Passenger Killed in Taxiway Accident at AirVenture

The propeller of a Navy warbird sliced into a home-built airplane on a taxiway during an airshow Sunday, killing a passenger, officials said.

The victim in the home-built Van's RV was pronounced dead at the scene at Wittman Regional Airport, but the pilot was unhurt, said Tom Poberezny, president of the Experimental Aircraft Association, which puts on the annual AirVenture show.

The identity of the victim, a 63-year-old man from Canada, was not released pending notification of family members, officials said.

Neither of the two people in the World War II-era Grumman TBM Avenger were injured, Poberezny said.

The planes were preparing for departure when the Avenger struck the back of the Canadian-registered RV, said association spokesman Dick Knapinski.

Federal and local authorities were investigating.

The fatality was the airport's third since people began arriving for AirVenture. A couple died July 23 when their Europa XS home-built plane crashed on approach.

Billed as the world's largest gathering of recreational aviators, AirVenture, a fly-in and convention of the aircraft association, attracts more than 10,000 airplanes and nearly 250,000 aviation enthusiasts from around the world.

The Van's RV is one of the most popular kit-built planes, Knapinski said.


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