Reading, PA Stunt Pilot Crashes, June 1969


Reading, Pa. (UPI) -- Capt. DICK SCHRAM, internationally known stunt pilot, plunged to his death in a power dive Wednesday night at the Reading Air Show while 10,000 persons, including his Navy officer son, looked on in horror.
Lt. Dick Schram, Jr., public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels precision flying team, was describing the air maneuvers on the public address system when his 52-year-old father was unable to pull his single-engine Piper Super Cub out of the dive.
The plane plunged nosedown into a field 100 yards from the roped-off spectator area. SCHRAM apparently died instantly.
The Blue Angels canceled their act for the night.
SCHRAM, a Navy reservist from Glenview, Ill., began his "flying professor" act in 1946 and had performed it before audiences throughout the nation and in several foreign countries.
His appearance before the audience in a top hat and long coat with an open book on flying instruction brought roars of laughter. He climbed into the plane with his "instructor" but the instructor hopped out, leaving him to fly alone.
The plane took off and his son began instructing him over the public address system on how to bring the plane to a safe landing. As young Schram shouted instructions, the plane dipped and looped over the field for 10 minutes in mock confusion. Then, from 400 feet, the plane dived toward the air field. It never pulled out of the dive.
SCHRAM was dead when air show workmen reached the wreckage.

Lebanon Daily News Pennsylvania 1969-06-05



I was there that day. It was awful to witness that crash right in front of my family and I.