IAC President Vicki Cruse Dies In Crash
Former U.S. Aerobatic Champion and Reno racing pilot Vicki Cruse died Saturday when her Edge 540 competition plane crashed at Silverstone race track in England. Saturday was a training day for the World Aerobatic Championships, which run through Aug. 29 and Cruse was one of the members of the U.S. team. Witnesses told the the Telegraph the aircraft "nosedived" into the ground and there was no hope for her survival. Cruse,40, of Santa Paula, Calif., was president of the International Aerobatic Club, which said in its tribute to Cruse that team manager Norm DeWitt "said Cruse was flying the early-round 'Q' program when she lost control of her Zivko Edge 540 aircraft by what appeared to be a mechanical problem in flight. She was at an altitude that prevented her from bailing out of the aircraft."
Cruse was well-liked and well-respected in the aerobatics world and had served as IAC president since 2005. "The USA lost one of its most outstanding pilots, and the IAC lost the finest President we have ever had," DeWitt said. EAA President Tom Poberezny said Cruse epitomized professionalism in the sport. "Vicki was an outstanding competitor and was passionate about flying, her leadership as IAC President, and as an EAA Director," Poberezny said. "Her flying skills and enthusiasm were highly valued. This is a tremendous loss for aviation, EAA and IAC. Our condolences go to Vicki's family and many friends."
Promotional video showcasing Cruse's aviation story