In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, four people lost their lives in separate airplane accidents just before a major airshow.
Officials stated that in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, two planes collided in midair shortly before an airshow on Saturday. One of the planes crashed into Lake Winnebago, resulting in the deaths of four people, while two others were injured.
According to the Coast Guard, the North American T-6, an old military training aircraft, crashed around 9 a.m. near Lake Winnebago, and two bodies of people who were riding on the aircraft were recovered on Saturday night.
The Coast Guard said that the aircraft was descending rapidly from an altitude of about 3,000 feet. Several agencies, including the Oshkosh Fire Department and the Coast Guard, responded to the accident, according to a statement from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), which organizes the annual AirVenture convention.
Around midday on Saturday, two other people lost their lives in a separate accident when a RotorWay 162F helicopter and an E-10 Eclipse gyrocopter collided in the vicinity of the Vitamin field regional airport, where the program was scheduled.
Gyrocopters are small aircraft that resemble helicopters but rotate naturally without the aid of propeller engines.
The statement said that the two injured people were taken to a local hospital and their condition is stable.
It is not clear which victims were in which aircraft, but the organizers said that those involved in the helicopter and gyrocopter program were not part of the airshow.
Officials have not released the names of the deceased until their relatives have been notified.
The airshow started around 2:45 p.m. After a slight delay, the organizers said.
The airventure event is a multi-day program featuring airshows, fly-in campgrounds, and fireworks displays, claiming to be the “world’s largest aviation celebration.”
Organizers have issued instructions to participants planning to fly planes during the celebration, in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending an investigator to determine the causes of both accidents.