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Airshow pilot Jon Thocker diesAirshow pilot Jon Thocker dies

Airplane crashed during Virginia performanceAirplane crashed during Virginia performance

Jon Thocker, a Cincinnati-based pilot who flew with the Redline Airshows aerobatic team, died Oct. 12 when his airplane crashed in Culpeper, Virginia.

Jon Thocker (right) and Ken Rieder of Redline Airshows are shown at the Dayton Airshow in 2016. Thocker died Oct. 12 after his RV-8 crashed during an aerobatic performance in Virginia.

Thocker and Redline Airshows partner Ken Rieder were flying together when Thocker’s Van's Aircraft RV–8 crashed during a nighttime performance at the Culpeper Air Fest, according to local news reports. Thocker was the airplane’s sole occupant, and no one on the ground was injured. Rieder’s airplane was not involved in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

Thocker was retired from worldwide cargo service DHL. He was an enthusiastic RV pilot who had built 10 aircraft, and quipped that he had “empty hangar syndrome.”

Thocker and Rieder made their debut appearance at the Dayton Airshow in 2016 and were on the performance roster again in 2018. They shared their excitement at appearing at Dayton in a 2017 feature article in AOPA Pilot.

“Everybody loved them. The Blue Angels loved them, the Thunderbirds loved them, everybody, all of the other performers like them,” said airshow announcer Rob Reider. “They were professional, they were friendly, they were eager to do the best job they could with these airplanes that they built themselves,” he told

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
Topics: Pilots

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