It was a horrific tragedy amid Sunday's air show where sky divers and stunt pilots entertained thousands of audience at Selfridge Air National Guard base, when a stunt wing walker plunged 200 feet to his death.
The accident happened around 1:30 p.m, when wing walker Todd Green from Ann Arbor was trying to stand on the wing of a Stearman biplane and grab onto the skid of a helicopter flying above the plane at Selfridge Air Show in Harrison Township, Michigan.
Witnesses and officials confirmed that Green tried twice to grab onto the helicopter skid before he fell on this third attempt.
An ambulance rushed Green to Mount Celemns Regional Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead.
Ed Goodfellow, a photographer shootig pictures at the air show, snapped the scene of the wing walker's plunge.
My first thought was it was a mannequin falling because there was no movement at all, said Christine Doran of Allen Park.
I turned to Jeff (her boyfriend) and asked, 'That was fake, right?'
I thought it was part of the stunt, said Jeremy Mitchell, 35, of New Baltimore. Even when the announcer said it wasn't a part of the show, it still felt surreal. It wasn't until the ambulance came that it set in.
Green, son of a legendary aerial stuntman Eddie The Grip Green, started his career of aerial stunts over 25 years ago.
The airplane-to-helicopter transfer stunt is a technical feat that requires experience and skill, said Kyle Franklin, a fellow aerial stuntman and friend of Green's, reports the Detroit News. According to Franklin, Green was one of few people who could perform the maneuver.
Todd was extremely good at what he did and logged many hours doing stunts, said Franklin. He was one of the best in the business when it came down to doing that. He's very proud of his legacy and his family's legacy.
Eddie had performed this stunt literally hundreds of times. In the air show business we like to say that nothing should be done in front of an audience until it has been done 1,000 times in private without incident. said John Cudhay the President of the International Council of Air Shows.
The accident is under investigation, said Selfridge officials.
According to National Weather Service officials, winds were blowing west about 15 mph, which are not considered high. Whether wind played a role in the accident is yet to be determined.