Add to Google


The History Channel "Shockwave" interview about Wayne Handley's airshow crash

The History Channel "Shockwave" interview about Wayne Handley's airshow crash

I had my turn in the "hot seat" for the History Channel program "Shockwave". The show was about Wayne Handley's airshow crash in the Turbo-Raven and how he survived the horrific crash landing. At the 1999 California International Airshow, Wayne's Saturday performance was perfect and a great crowd pleaser. On Sunday, Wayne experienced an engine failure below bailout altitude and was left with no choice but to fly the Turbo-Raven into the ground. Compounding the problem was the propeller going into a "zero pitch" condition and acting like a giant air brake. Wayne's attempt to control the plane and glide to a safe landing was hindered by the braking drag from the huge propeller. As a result, the glide angle was very steep due to the minimum airspeed Wayne needed to control the aircraft. The impact caused catastrophic failure of the airframe and Wayne was partially ejected from cockpit, only to be slammed back down into the seat when the plane bounced from the initial impact. Wayne suffered a few broken vertebrae, a broken sternum, broken ribs, and massive bruising from head to toe. Wayne went thru successful surgery and was back flying in only a few months.

Video of the crash:

Video of a full airshow performance: