Four people died and two more were injured in two separate fatal EAA crashes near the EAA air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 29, 2023, according to a news release from the Experimental Aircraft Association, or EAA.
In the first incident on July 29, a T-6 Texan plane crashed into Lake Winnebago, killing two people. In the second incident, two people died and two others were injured in a mid-air accident involving two aircraft.
The aircraft involved in the mid-air crash was a Rotorway 162F helicopter and an ELA 10 Eclipse gyrocopter and belonged to attendees of the air show, according to a news release on the EAA’s website.
“Obviously somebody was in the wrong place at some time and that will be part of the investigation,” EAA Spokesperson Dick Knapinski said to WBAY-TV, which reported that one of the aircraft landed on a parked plane.
The names of the victims were not released.
A woman wrote on Facebook, “Today, I am thankful for small favors. The universe was looking out for one of my favorites.. My step dad was in a plane crash today at EAA.. He will survive.. Multiple spine fractures, rib fractures, and a collapsed lung.. All things considered, he got lucky.”
The EAA’s website released updates “on two accidents at and near Wittman Regional Airport on July 29 involving aircraft attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023.”
Just after 9 a.m., the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office “received multiple calls about an airplane that had crashed into Lake Winnebago,” the release says.
The Winnebago County Marine Units with Dive Rescue/Recovery Team members, along with the Oshkosh Fire Department, Winneconne Fire Department, Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue, Calumet County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary “all responded to the scene to immediately begin an emergency rescue response. There were two occupants in the plane, a T-6 Texan, and recovery efforts for the deceased occupants and also the plane began shortly afterward. The sheriff’s department is working closely with EAA, the NTSB, and the FAA in the investigation,” the release says.
At 12:24 p.m. that same day, “there was a mid-air accident involving two aircraft at the south end of the EAA AirVenture flightline at Wittman Regional Airport,” the release says.
“EAA, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, and Oshkosh Fire Department personnel responded immediately to the scene. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department confirmed two people were killed and two injured in the accident. The injured parties were transported to a local hospital and are each in stable condition.”
According to the NTSB, the aircraft involved was a Rotorway 162F helicopter and an ELA 10 Eclipse gyrocopter. These were aircraft that belonged to event attendees and were not involved in the air show. Aircraft operations at Wittman were halted while the accident was initially investigated, but the afternoon air show began at approximately 2:45 p.m., after a short delay.
EAA Crash Victims
The names of the deceased individuals in both accidents have not been released pending notification of family members.
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