Wing-walker Todd Green, who was killed in front of thousands of spectators last August when he fell from a Boeing Stearman during an attempted helicopter transfer, let go of the airplane too early, the NTSB concluded in its recently published accident report.
According to the report, both the A75N1 Stearman and the Hughes 269C helicopter pilot told investigators Green let go of the airplane and attempted to grab onto the helicopter skid before it was in position. Green was expected to wait for a cue signaling that the aircraft were in place, but reportedly lunged toward the helicopter with both hands before receiving it.
The pilots said Green attempted to regain hold of the airplane, but failed, causing him to fall approximately 150 feet to the ground. He was transported by emergency personnel at the scene to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the Stearman pilot, Green normally waited to let go of the airplane after he had wrapped one arm around the helicopter skid.
Green, 48, was a veteran wing-walker who had performed with the Stearman pilot for a decade and completed the act hundreds of times before the fatal accident.
The incident took place at Selfridge Air Show in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, during a particularly deadly weekend for the air show circuit. According to the Detroit Free Press, approximately 75,000 spectators witnessed the tragedy.