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Crash kills member of IAC family

Marianne Fox was an active competition aerobatic pilot engaged to marry IAC President Jim Bourke. Photo courtesy of IAC.The accident occurred around 5 p.m. on March 2. Fox was flying an Extra NG registered to Southeast Aero Sales Inc., the U.S. distributor for the aerobatic aircraft maker based at the airport. Local media reported her aircraft came to rest in a salt marsh near the end of the runway. News4Jax reported Fox was removed from the aircraft and taken to a local hospital, where she died from her injuries on March 3.

FlightAware data show the Extra EA-300 NG departed from the Keystone Heights Airport in Florida, around 4:45 p.m. Eastern time for the short flight back to St. Augustine.

Air traffic control recorded by LiveATC show that Fox was flying on the wing of another Extra, returning to St. Augustine as a flight of two. The pilot of the lead aircraft declared an emergency when the two Extras were about seven miles west of the airport:

“My flight partner is having engine trouble, the engine is not running well, she’s trailing smoke and she’s making a beeline for the airport right now.” Fox can be heard declaring an emergency moments later.

The lead pilot offered guidance to Fox as she nursed her stricken aircraft toward the runway. 

“You’re going to make it now, Marianne. Just cut the throttle and slip it in,” the lead pilot said. “You’ve got a lot of energy, now. Just cut the throttle and slip it really deep.”

Moments later, the tower controller advised all aircraft to stand by for an “emergency in progress,” followed a moment later by “One zero zero November golf we’re sending help for you, and advised Fox’s companion that “she went off the end of the runway.”

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating.

Marianne Fox was engaged to marry International Aerobatic Club President Jim Bourke. Photo courtesy of IAC.

Fox became an IAC member in 2019, and began competing in aerobatic competitions in 2020. In 2021, she placed first in Sportsman in the regional series competition in the Northwest Region.

Fox volunteered in several positions at aerobatic contests and served as contest director of the 2021 Covallis Corkscrew contest in Oregon, according to a tribute posted on the IAC website.

Fox earned a business degree from Western Oregon University, and owned a successful clothing store, ReStyle Resale.

“Adventurous, charming, intelligent and caring, Marianne inspired those around her,” IAC said in the online tribute. “Her enthusiasm for aviation and aerobatics was infectious. She delighted in the close company of her innumerable friends and her amazing family.”

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