Virginia Air Show Organizers Dedicate Event to Fallen Stunt Walker, Pilot

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

WARREN COUNTY, Va.--- Aviation enthusiasts remember a stunt walker and a pilot who died at the Ohio air show in June.

Even though the Virginia Air Show is a tribute to 9/11. This year organizers dedicated the event on Saturday to Jane Wicker and Charlie Schwenker.

Wicker was based at the Front Royal-Warren County airport with her plane "Aurora." Wicker's pilot, Schwenker, flew at this airport several times.

Aerobatics pilot and Wicker's friend Scott Francis said this is the perfect way to commemorate her life.

"She was a fantastic person, full of life and part of the reason we are here is to celebrate her life," said Francis.

During the show, both were honored by throwing petals out of balloons, mentions during a prayer and doing the missing man formation.

Francis said flying is a way to keep her memory alive.

"It's difficult but I think everybody who flies airshows has a common bond and a common spirit. Quite honestly for many of us this is the way we heal," said Francis.

Rock Skowbo who is a pilot said those who knew her carry on her legacy by doing aerobatics and stunts for hundreds of spectators.

"I wish Jane could be here with us but she is probably in a better place and we are doing what she would want us to do," said Skowbo.

Wicker was supposed to perform at this show this year. Something Francis said she would have enjoyed doing.

"She loved performing for the crowd. She loved the people. She loved the aviation and I think people being here today would make her honored and proud," said Francis.

Francis said even though Wicker is not here physically, he can feel her presence at the show.

"There is no question that I think she is with us in spirit today," said Francis.

Virginia air show organizer Ken Thurman said many people have flown at the air show this year because all of them knew Jane.

Skowbo said he plans to an extra memorial for Wicker at the next air show.

"Hopefully by this time next year, I've rebuilt her airplane. Her airplane will be here even if she won't be able to here with it," said Skowbo.


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