Harrison Township — This summer’s air show at Selfridge Air National Guard Base won’t include a wing walker performance after an experienced stuntman died while doing an aerial stunt during the last show at the base in 2011, an official said.
Technical Sgt. Dan Heaton of the guard’s 127th Wing in Macomb County’s Harrison Township said the decision was about safety.
“That includes not only the public and the base community but the people who are flying as well,” Heaton said.
The 2014 Selfridge Air National Guard Base Open House & Air Show is Sept. 6-7. The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will perform for the first time since 2005. .
Stuntman Todd Green, 48, of Ann Arbor fell Aug. 21, 2011, after trying to grab a helicopter’s skid from his perch atop a small plane. Scores saw the wing walker fall about 150 feet and land about 1,500 feet from the crowd.
Green apparently missed a cue and tried to move before the helicopter was in position, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. Base officials waited for the results of the report before making their decision, Heaton said.
Green was an experienced stuntman. His father was prominent aerial stuntman Eddie Green, who was inducted into the International Council of Air Shows Foundation Hall of Fame in 2006.
Congresswoman Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, was at the airshow on that tragic day and witnessed Green’s fall.
“It was hard to watch a good man die,” Miller said. “This show has a strong safety record, and I believe that this was an isolated incident.”
Miller added that despite the tragic event, this air show remains one of the best, most exciting events.
“I invite everyone to come experience the show, see what a fantastic facility Selfridge is and meet brave men and women who serve there,” said Miller, whose husband is a past base commander.
The Selfridge Museum will be open during the open house. It contains 35 full-size aircraft, cockpit simulators and other attractions.