Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mal Dia

by Norm

Most, if not all, of you who have been following this blog are probably aware that we lost Vicki Cruse in an accident, yesterday. Vicki was performing her "Q" flight in front of the judges when she was unable to recover from a 1 1/4 snap on a downline. The plane crashed on the grass inside the racing circuit. No one on the ground was injured. Assistance was at the site moments after the crash, but the impact was not survivable.

Many of the competitors from around the world witnessed the accident. All are heart broken. Many have offered their condolences to the team and Vicki's family. All flying has been suspended until an investigation has been completed. The team members have met with the local police and the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

A meeting of the team managers was conducted this morning, and all voted to continue the contest in Vicki's memory. I know that Vicki would have wanted the contest to go on. The contest organizers will restart the contest on Monday afternoon, weather permitting. Due to other Silverstone commitments, there will be no flying on Wednesday and Thursday. The contest will be shortened, and most likely will include the results of the Q program and the Freestyle. The 4-Minute Freestyle will be flown on Saturday.

I have had the honor to have known Vicki for 14 years. Both of us flew Christen Eagles in competition, and later, the Edge 540s. We traveled to contests from California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona to Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas. She flew contests in many other states, in addition. I will never forget the memories of flying on her wing tip to or from a contest, meeting new friends, and seeing old friends. Vicki was an extraordinary person. She was bright, street smart, unassuming, and possessed a twisted sense of humor. Many of you know how much she enjoyed pulling a prank on any one of us. I will miss her, greatly. I feel very lucky to have been one of her close friends. I am sure that you share my sentiments.

Good bye my dear, dear friend


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  2. I think Marta must be forming up the ultimate US Team on the other side!

    I never met Vicki, but I felt I knew her through Marta. Marta thought the world of Vicki and was very impressed with her skills, work ethic and sense of humor.

    Norm, please extend my deepest sympathies to the Team, some of whom I met in Muret in 2000. And I wish you, too, comfort in these darkest of hours. You may never know how pofoundly you comforted me, and I dare say also Bob, in Yukon, OK, in Sept 2005, and I know no-one better than you to be with and comfort the Team today. Please just be careful to look after your own needs, too. If there is anything I can do to help, please contact me at ilsa dot bohn at gmail dot com.

    Ilsa Bohn

  3. My respects and condolences to Vicki, her family friends and the team. We never met but I watched and appreciated her flying.
    James Baring

  4. I had the pleasure of knowing Vicki in her new and mysterious role as a dancer, having been a student at our studio in Thousand Oaks, CA. She was a great person, dry "twisted" sense of humor, but a huge heart. She won an inhouse contest between our 3 studios, a tango in a long flowy black dress with 3 inch heels and a rose in her hair. "So much for not being competitive through dancing coach," were her words when she received the trophy. I didn't want to belive she wasn't with us any more, but I know on spirit she is with the team, her friends, and her family.

  5. I'm too choked to comment, Norm.
    Take care of yourself and the team.

  6. I don't know any of you, but I grew up with Vicki in Springfield MO, and went to school with her from elementary through high school. All of the Glendale class of '86, 87, and 88 (the year of her brother's class) have been heart-broken to hear this news. Some of us weren't aware of Vicki's extraordinary flying talent, but she had attended the class of '86 20 year reunion, and many of those classmates have reported enjoyable conversations with her about her flying adventures. She was also a member of the Glendale h.s. volleyball team, and several of those teammates have been grieving for her this week. We just wanted all of you to know that her childhood friends remember her fondly, and have been so sad about this, but also proud that she died doing something she loved so much.

    Janet Knopp Frick

  7. I didn't know Vicki but I would like you to accept my deepest condoléances. I have read about her and i discovered that she was a real sunshine for all of her friends. She will always stay close in our minds. We all share the same passion and I know that she will meet Caroline Aigle, another wonderful woman and pilot.
    Adrien Schneider Strasbourg France