OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — Two deadly crashes connected to EAA AirVenture are under investigation and the names of the four victims killed have now been released.
According to a press release from the Experimental Aircraft Associatoin (EAA), Devyn Collie Reilly and Zach Colliemoreno were killed when the T-6 Texan airplane they were flying in crashed into Lake Winnebago around 9:00 am Saturday morning. Roughly three hours later, Mark Peterson and Thomas Volz were killed in a mid-air collision between a Rotorway 162F helicopter and an ELA 10 Eclipse gyrocopter.
Calyn Collie is the younger sister of Devyn Collie Reilly, and remembers her as "the model older sister for our whole family."
She says flying, and especially AirVenture, were big parts of her sister's life.
“Planes were her life…" said Collie, "she got her pilot’s license and actually met her husband at Oshkosh…she was about to take her commercial [pilot's exam] this month.”
Collie says her sister was one of 13 children of two-time Super Bowl champion Bruce Collie...and says Collie Reilly and her father connected over their shared experience as pilots.
"She had a dream to be a pilot from a young age, and my Dad is actually a pilot..." explained Collie, "...so they bonded over that and it was always like a fun topic of conversation for the growing up over the years, and we were a big family, we [would] all go to airshows
EAA Communications Director Dick Knapinski offered his condolences to the Collies, and the families of all those killed in the crashes.
“It is something that’s always tragic," he said, "aviation is a close-knit family, and it’s something that certainly our hearts do go out to them.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still examining the cause of the crash, and waiting on parts of the T-6 to be recovered from the lake. Once the plane is removed from the lake, the NTSB says "it will be taken to a secure facility for examination." As for the helicopter crash, the NTSB says "a preliminary reporter [should be] available on the NTSB website in about 12-15 days."
The family of Devyn Collie Reilly has set up a gofundme page, to help her husband Hunter Reilly.