Remember Jane and Charlie

To some people, the thought of flying is scary. Suggest that they hang from an airplane with no straps, and you’ll probably be told you’re crazy.

After taking a scenic ride with a friend in 1988, Jane was bitten with the aviation bug. From there, she obtained her pilot’s certificate in 1989 and then continued on to obtain her instrument, commercial, multi-engine, and multi-engine commercial ratings.

In 1990, she was bit by another bug. An ad in a local newspaper was how Jane Wicker got her start in Wingwalking. In 1990, she answered an advertisement in the Washington Post looking for a new wingwalker at The Flying Circus in Bealeton, VA. She thought it would be “fun.” The rest is history.

Many in the airshow industry had never met Jane, but they felt connected to her. Her personality and outgoing spirit was what made her unique. She was always one to interact with the fans after a performance, hoping to inspire someone (especially females) to take to the skies and try out aviation.

Jane Law Wicker had two kids. She was 44.

One of Jane’s pilots for Aurora was Charlie Schwenker. Charlie started flying sailplanes in 1975 and over the years gained almost as much sailplane time as he has powered time. Like Jane, in 1990, he was bit by the airshow bug and started flying competition aerobatics. Charlie won several awards, including the Canadian National Aerobatic Championship and regional International Aerobatic Club contests held up and down the east coast. He could be seen many weekends during the summer flying his Pitts S-1T or Extra 300 at The Flying Circus in Bealeton,VA. Charlie Schwenker was 64.

Below, we’ve linked pictures that we’ve taken over the years or fans have sent us. If you’d like to contribute please send your pictures to Ricky Matthews ( or post them on our Facebook page.

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