Four people attending a Wisconsin airshow were killed on Saturday, in two separate air crashes – with a 30-year-old female pilot of a World War II-era plane among the dead.
The first crash happened around 9am on Saturday, when Devyn Reiley of Guadalupe, Texas – the daughter of two-time Super Bowl champion Bruce Collie – crashed her vintage plane with 20-year-old Zach Colliemoreno on board.
Eyewitnesses said the plane begun spiraling down before crashing into Lake Winnebago.
The second crash took place on an airfield near the airshow site, shortly after midday.
A helicopter piloted by Alabama-based instructor and engineer Mark Peterson, 69, was hit from below by a gyrocopter and burst into flames.
Both Peterson and his passenger Thomas Volz, 72, of Amelia, Ohio, were killed.
Devyn Reiley of Guadalupe, Texas, was killed on Saturday when her World War II-era plane plunged into a lake in Wisconsin
Reiley is seen with her father Bruce Collie, a two-time Super Bowl winner
Collie is seen in action with the San Francisco 49ers in November 1989
Volz, an Air Force veteran and cancer survivor, was attending the airshow with his grandson, his wife of 52 years, Patty, told Fox 19.
‘They tell me they never knew what happened,’ said Patty. ‘It hit and burst into flames and it went straight down.’
Their grandson called her to say he had been killed.
‘He said, ‘I hate to tell you this, Grammy, but Babi has passed away’ – that’s what they called him,’ she said.
‘I just screamed and said, ‘No, he’s not! No, he’s not!”
She said Peterson was a highly experienced helicopter pilot, who was trusted by all.
‘It was a horrific accident. They were hit by a gyrocopter from underneath as they were coming in to land,’ she said.
Thomas Volz, an aviation enthusiast from Ohio, was killed when a helicopter he was riding in crashed on Saturday
Volz had built his own helicopter (pictured), but was not flying it in Wisconsin
One of the largest aviation events in the country, AirVenture draws 10,000 planes and more than 600,000 attendees.
Reiley and her husband Hunter, who was also at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, ran a flight training school in Texas.
The pair met at the aviation gathering, and married there three years ago.
They flew off from their wedding in a Vultee B-13 warbird, and their Texas home was decorated with airplanes.
‘We got married during ‘NOshkosh’ so we could celebrate every year at Oshkosh!,’ she wrote on July 26, celebrating their anniversary.
‘Here’s to living and chasing our dreams together for many more years to come with my best friend at my side.’
She was also training to become a commercial air pilot, San Antonio Express News reported, and had been accepted into the Air Force reserves, aiming to fly refuelers.
The eldest of 13 children born to Bruce Collie, former San Francisco 49ers star, and his wife Holly, she became a certified private pilot in 2017.
Bruce Collie retired from NFL and opened a pizza parlor and brewery in Texas with his wife, with whom he has 13 children
Reiley co-founded the Texas Warbird Museum with her husband and his family to preserve retired WWII-era military aircraft known as warbirds and to share aviation stories from the Rio Grande Valley.
She had a ‘passion of representing the history of female aviators by flying these historical aircraft,’ the post read.
She taught at Texas Aviation Academy in New Braunfels from 2018 until it closed earlier this year.
Reiley was flying a T-6 Texan aircraft when it crashed into the lake.
Brayden Hiebing was fishing on the lake with his grandfather, and told NBC 26 he watched the plane spiral down.
‘I thought they were doing a trick at first,’ said Hiebing.
‘I heard the plane start coming out of the sky, and it started like spinning and I told him, and all of a sudden it just made a big splash.’
Hunter Reiley said his wife was in awe of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP – a civilian women’s pilot association formed during WWII.
‘All you wanted was to make the wasp proud. You earned your ‘Fifi’ wings,’ he wrote on Facebook.
Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the airshow, said both crashes were being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.
‘Having accidents like this in the singular is very rare,’ he told Fox 59.
‘Having two fatal accidents take place on the same day is exceedingly rare.’