An award-winning local Fox reporter in New Orleans and the pilot of a small plane are dead after their aircraft went down on Friday, Aug. 16, in a field near a city airport.
FOX8 confirms that Nancy Parker, a reporter and anchor at the television station for 23 years, was killed in the crash near Lakefront Airport, which accommodates smaller aircraft.
So many are heartbroken about the death of longtime #NewOrleans news anchor #NancyParker. Our own @isiahcareyFOX26 shares his memories. She died today in a plane crash while working on a story. pic.twitter.com/PXwmjVEtd3
— Jonathan Martin Fox26 (@JMartinTV) August 17, 2019
The station said the 53-year-old journalist was shooting a story about a stunt pilot when it crashed.
The pilot was identified as Franklin J.P. Augustus by the station. Augustus also died in the crash.
Parker is survived by her husband, Glen Boyd, and three children.
“My heart is shattered. The dearest and most wonderful person in my life is gone.” Boyd wrote on Facebook on Friday. “She had so much to give. So smart, so talented, she was my everything. I just don’t know. I really don’t. ”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards praised Parker’s professionalism and sent his condolences to her family.
“An Emmy-winning reporter, cancer advocate, and author, Nancy used her platform to tell stories that mattered to the people of our state,” Edwards wrote on Facebook.
“Please join your prayers to mine and Donna’s for Nancy’s husband and three children as they come to terms with this shocking loss,” the governor added.
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) also sent their deepest condolences to Nancy’s family and FOX 8 News.
“On behalf of Superintendent Ferguson and the entire NOPD we are sending our deepest condolences to Nancy’s family, her husband Glenn, and their three children,” the department said in a Facebook post.
“And to the entire FOX 8 News family, thank you for sharing Nancy with us for so many years. She will be so greatly missed,” the post continued.
A Federal Aviation Administration statement said the plane was a 1983 Pitts S-2B aircraft that crashed in an empty field about a half-mile south of the airport, which accommodates smaller aircraft, under unknown circumstances. That model aircraft is a biplane.
New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold told reporters the plane crashed about 3 p.m., causing a fire.
“It looks like the plane is completely charred,” said Gerald Herbert, an Associated Press photographer who also is a pilot and has a hangar at Lakefront Airport. He went to the site and described charred debris lying near a fence in a grassy field.
Numerous emergency responders were on scene, including the city’s fire and police departments and emergency medical personnel.
Arnold did not confirm whether there were reports of engine failure. He said those details would be part of the investigation.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.