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AirVenture Accident Updates
Last Updated: 11:35 a.m. 7/30/23
Updates on two accidents at and near Wittman Regional Airport on July 29 involving aircraft attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023:
Just after 9 a.m., the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office received multiple calls about an airplane that had crashed into Lake Winnebago. The Winnebago County Marine Units with Dive Rescue/Recovery Team members, along with the Oshkosh Fire Department, Winneconne Fire Department, Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue, Calumet County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary all responded to the scene to immediately begin an emergency rescue response.
There were two occupants in the plane, a T-6 Texan, and recovery efforts for the deceased occupants and also the plane began shortly afterward. The victims are identified as Devyn Reilly, age 30, of Guadalupe, Texas, and 20-year-old Zach Colliemoreno, whose hometown was not immediately available. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department is working closely with EAA, the NTSB, and the FAA in the investigation.
At 12:24 p.m. that same day, there was a mid-air accident involving two aircraft at the south end of the EAA AirVenture flightline at Wittman Regional Airport. EAA, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, and Oshkosh Fire Department personnel responded immediately to the scene. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department confirmed two people were killed and two injured in the accident. The injured parties were transported to a local hospital and are each in stable condition.
The deceased were identified as the pilot, Mark Peterson, age 69, of Foley, Alabama, and passenger Thomas Volz, age 72, of Amelia, Ohio.
According to the NTSB, the aircraft involved were a Rotorway 162F helicopter and an ELA 10 Eclipse gyrocopter. These were aircraft that belonged to event attendees and were not involved in the air show. Aircraft operations at Wittman were halted while the accident was initially investigated, but the afternoon air show began at approximately 2:45 p.m., after a short delay.