Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Watch Man Dies after Falling from Plane at Selfridge Air Show (Video)
A wing walker, whose stunt went wrong during an air show at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base, has died. His death was confirmed by a spokesperson for Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center.
Todd Green fell 200 feet from a moving plane as he tried to climb onto a passing helicopter. Officials said he was flying on a Steerman aircraft operated by John Mohr. When he fell, many people thought it was part of the act.
“All of a sudden something just trickled out of the helicopter,” said Amanda Cull. “We thought he had a parachute because early guys were falling out in parachutes.”
Channel 7 viewer, Matt Torres shot video of green making two runs at the helicopter before the third try.
“They all gasped, and they said, I hope he’s all right because when he fell, his body bounced a few times on the ground,” said Matt Torres. “He had his hand almost there to grab the strap and then it looked like he didn’t get it.”
Minutes before the accident, correspondence on the announcer’s radio can be heard that there was some worry about wind issues.
It was about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, on the final attempt, that the wing walker fell. No parachute and no safety net.
“I jumped the fence. We ran out and ran to his aide,” said Darren VanBuren.
The Memphis firefighter and EMT raced to start emergency care on Green. He had been in the stands watching the show with his family. He was followed out by a surgeon from Ohio and two other doctors from the crowd.
“Everybody worked in perfect conjunction together,” said VanBuren.
Despite their efforts, Green died from his injuries at the hospital. The wing walker had just performed the same stunt Saturday at the air show.
A video from his website shows how the stunt should look, and shows Green successfully grab the skid of the helicopter while standing on the wing of the bi-plane. It’s a move the experienced stuntman performed numerous times before.
Arnold Sese was near the front of the crowd watching the stunt. He tells Action News that Green was making his third attempt at transferring from the wing of the bi-plane to the helicopter.
“He was reaching for the spar underneath the helicopter and just fell.” Sese tells us. “It looked like a dummy falling to the ground. But when the emergency crews started rushing to the runway everyone knew it wasn’t part of the stunt.”