Four people were killed and two others injured on Saturday, July 29, following two separate aircraft accidents in Wisconsin.
In the first incident, a plane crashed into a lake, while the second involved a mid-air collision between two aircraft at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The second incident took place during the ongoing Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture event, prompting concern among the aviation community.
The injured individuals were transported to a local hospital and are reported to be in stable condition, according to a statement from EAA director of communications, Dick Knapinski. The collision between a Rotorway 162F helicopter and an ELA Eclipse 10 gyrocopter occurred just before 12:30 pm at the southern end of the EAA AirVenture flightline. The gyrocopter came to rest on top of a parked plane, as reported by the Oshkosh Fire Department.
In response to the incident, Wittman Airport authorities suspended all aircraft operations during the initial investigation.
However, the afternoon’s air show at the event began as scheduled at around 2:30 p.m. CDT. It was clarified that the aircraft involved in the collision were not part of the air show. The identities and backgrounds of the aircraft owners and attendees are still being verified, and updates will be provided as they are confirmed.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the investigation to determine the circumstances of the collision. Coincidentally, the incident occurred on the same day that two people lost their lives when their T-6 Texan airplane crashed into Lake Winnebago, north of Oshkosh.
This year’s EAA AirVenture event, which started on Monday and was scheduled to end on Sunday, has seen a total of five crashes in the region, although the incidents before Saturday’s collisions did not result in serious injuries.
As authorities and investigators work to uncover the causes behind these events, the aviation community remains focused on safety measures for future events and flights.