Nancy Parker, an anchor with the WVUE FOX 8 News in New Orleans, died in a small plane crash Friday, the station reported. She was 53.
Parker, who was with Fox 8 for 23 years, was shooting a story in a stunt plane when it went down just after 3 p.m. in a field about a half-mile south of the New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
The trained acrobatic pilot of the 1983 Pitts S-2B aircraft, Franklin Augustus, was also killed.
“Nancy was absolutely a joy to work with each and every day,” FOX 8 vice president and general manager Tim Ingram said. “Today we lost a wonderful journalist and remarkable friend, the New Orleans television community lost a true treasure, but beyond that, her family lost a wife, a mother and daughter. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
“Nancy was a part of the FOX 8 family for the last 23 years, she put her heart and soul into her work, covering thousands of stories and touching countless lives. She made a difference in the lives of those she reported on. She will be sorely missed, and her absence creates a void that cannot be filled.”
An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the pilot contacted the tower shortly before the crash and asked to return to the airport, citing problems with the propeller-drive plane.
“Witnesses reported observing the airplane appeared to have engine problems shortly after take-off,” the NTSB statement said. “According to witnesses the airplane then pitched down and struck the ground.” The plane was consumed by flames after the crash.
A preliminary report will be released by the NTSB within a few weeks, with the final determinate of the crash’s probable cause issued at the conclusion of the investigation in 12 to 24 months.
Parker is survived by her husband Glynn “Glen” Boyd and three children, twins Piper and Pierce and their oldest son, Parker.