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Wing walker made fatal error during stunt, report says

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published March 15, 2012

 Michigan stuntman Todd Green fell 150 feet following a failed stunt during the 2011 Selfridge Air Show last August. The Ann Arbor native, a husband and father of two, died from his injuries.

Michigan stuntman Todd Green fell 150 feet following a failed stunt during the 2011 Selfridge Air Show last August. The Ann Arbor native, a husband and father of two, died from his injuries.

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board last week revealed that the wing walker who fell to his death during a failed stunt last summer moved too quickly and was unable to correct himself in time.

Ann Arbor stuntman Todd Green fell 150 feet in front of 75,000 spectators during the Selfridge Air Show on Aug. 21.

NTSB investigators say the helicopter that Green was moving onto wasn’t in position when the 48-year-old reached for it.

The final report statement supports the findings of a preliminary report released in September.

The report states that Green was walking on a Stearman biplane plane flown by John Mohr and attempting to transfer to a helicopter flown by Roger Buis when the accident occurred.

Green had successfully completed the same feat the day before at the air show in the same type of weather conditions. On the third pass of the plane, however, Green was unable to grab on, and he fell to the ground.

A MedStar ambulance took Green to Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the report, Mohr said Green was supposed to wait for a signal from him before making the transfer. However, Green jumped to reach the helicopter before it was in the right position and was unable to grab on. The report also states that Mohr said Green normally didn’t let go of the airplane until he had his other arm wrapped around the bottom of the helicopter, but this time was different.

Buis backed up the statement, saying he and Green had agreed to make the transfer on the third pass of the planes, but that on the third pass Green tried to grab onto the helicopter too early. He added that Green jumped with both hands for the helicopter before it was in position. Buis said Green tried to get back to the airplane, but couldn’t grab on to anything.

“The wing walker did not normally let go of the handle on the airplane until his arm was wrapped around the skid on the helicopter,” the report states.

The report also indicates that high winds the day of the show did not contribute to the accident.

 

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