Four individuals were killed in two separate crashes over the weekend during an airshow in Wisconsin, including the daughter of two-time Super Bowl champion offensive tackle Bruce Collie, who was celebrating her third wedding anniversary.
Devyn Reiley, 30, and her co-pilot Zach Colliemoreno, 20, were flying a World War II-era T-6 Texan during the AirVenture Oshkosh airshow on Saturday when the plane crashed into Lake Winnebago five minutes after takeoff, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
The vintage plane had reached a height of 3,900 feet before crashing into the lake.
Witnesses to the catastrophic incident reported that the plane was spinning wildly before crashing into the lake.
“I thought they were doing a trick at first,” said Brayden Hiebing, who had been fishing in the lake when the plane crashed, told NBC.
“I heard the plane start coming out of the sky, and it started like spinning and all of a sudden it just made a big splash,” said Hiebing.
The US Coast Guard began searching the lake that afternoon, and divers recovered both pilots’ bodies that evening, according to a tweet from the branch.
The first plane crash is being investigated to identify what caused it.
Later that day, about 12:30 p.m., a second disaster occurred near the airshow when an ELA 10 Eclipse gyrocopter crashed with a RotorWay162F helicopter in mid-air.
Mark Peterson, 69, the helicopter’s pilot, and passenger Thomas Volz, 72, were both killed.
A gyrocopter is similar to a miniature helicopter, except its propeller is located in the back.
The EAA confirmed that two individuals were hurt in the second incident but were transferred to a local hospital in stable condition.
The planes involved in the second disaster were not part of the airshow and were flown by spectators.
Hunter Reiley, with whom she co-owned a flight school in Texas, was also in Wisconsin for the occasion.”
On July 26, the pair had recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary.
“You only wanted to make the wasp proud.” “You earned your ‘Fifi’ wings,” Hunter wrote in a tribute to his wife on Facebook.
The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were a civilian women’s pilot organization that was created during WWII to aid the war effort.
Reiley was the oldest of 13 children born to former San Francisco 49er Bruce Collie, and her younger sister describes her as “enchanted” with aviation.
“She was the older sister, that was the one, everybody looked up to her,” Calyn Collie, 21, told the San Antonio Express. “Her love of aviation was always so evident from a young age.”
The Niners drafted offensive lineman Bruce Collie in 1985, and he won two Super Bowls with the team in 1989 and 1990 before being traded to the Eagles and retiring in 1991.
According to the Texas Warbird Museum, which she co-founded with her husband and family to preserve decommissioned WWII-era military aircraft, Reiley became a qualified private pilot in 2017 and plans to become a certified commercial pilot.
According to Fox 19, the passenger involved in the second crash, Volz, was a US Air Force veteran attending the event with his grandson.
“They tell me they never knew what happened,” Patty Volz, Volz’s wife of 52 years, told the publication, adding that their grandson called her to convey the heartbreaking news.
“He said, ‘I hate to tell you this, Grammy, but Babi has passed away’ – that’s what they called him,” the widow said.
She stated that Peterson, the aircraft’s pilot, was a highly experienced and trusted helicopter pilot, and that she “just screamed and said, ‘No, he’s not!'” “No, he’s not,” she said after learning her spouse had died.
Despite the fatalities, the airshow restarted after a brief delay at roughly 2:45 p.m.