Authorities have released the names of four people killed in two fatal accidents within three hours of each other at AirVenture 2023 Saturday. The first involved a T-6 Texan that went down in Lake Winnebago under unknown circumstances with two people on board. Dead are Devyn Reiley, 30, of New Braunfels, Texas, and her passenger Zach Colliemoreno, 20, whose hometown was not released. Reiley was co-founder of the Texas Warbird Museum. The accident happened just after 9 a.m. and EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said at least one body has been recovered.
About 12:30 p.m., a Rotorway 162F helicopter and an ELA Eclipse 10 gyrocopter collided somewhere over the field, and two people in the helicopter were killed. They were 69-year-old Mark Peterson of Foley, Alabama, and his passenger, 72-year-old Thomas Volz from Clermont County, Ohio. Two others in the gyrocopter were taken to a local hospital and their names have not been released. The gyrocopter crashed on top of a Mooney parked on the field.
Debris landed on a parked airplane. One of the aircraft involved in the collision caught fire and it was put out by airport firefighters with help from a military firefighting helicopter, according to Fox11News. That crash closed the airport for two hours, but it opened in time for the afternoon airshow to go on a little later than scheduled. EAA Chairman Jack Pelton offered condolences to the victims’ loved ones.