August 24, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Vicki Cruse, president of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) and a member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, died Aug. 22 during a qualifying flight for the Twenty-fifth World Aerobatic Championships in England. It is conducted every two years.
Cruse was a four-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team and was the national aerobatic champion in the unlimited category in 2007. As IAC president, she was a member of the EAA board of directors. She lived in Santa Paula, Calif. The accident occurred at Silverstone, Buckingham, England, where an automotive race course is co-located with an airport. It is northwest of London.
Those who saw the accident said Cruse was performing her routine for the judges, a performance that was videotaped. It was considered a qualifying round of the competition. She had completed a 90-degree vertical climb, pushing the nose over at the top in order to descend on a vertical down line. On that descent she performed a one and one-quarter snap roll. The objective is to stop rotation after the aircraft has rolled one and one-quarter times, but rotation in this case only slowed. The rotation continued to the ground. The accident is under investigation by British authorities.
The Zivco Edge 540 in which she died was based in England and had been borrowed for the contest to avoid the cost of shipping a personal aircraft to England. Although team blog entries by Cruse late last week indicated she was having difficulty with the aircraft’s ignition system, that problem had been corrected before competition began, a team official said.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
For decades, pilots have headed to Bay Bridge Airport in the Chesapeake Bay for scenic coastal flying and great seafood. Check it out after attending the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
The first A-29 Super Tucano was delivered Sept. 25, a tangible victory for Embraer and workers in the new factory in Jacksonville, Florida.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>