Journalist identified as one of the victims killed in plane crash in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- A longtime reporter is one of the victims identified in a fatal plane crash in New Orleans East.

According to WVUE, Nancy Parker was shooting a story in a stunt plane Friday when the plane went down about half a mile south of New Orleans Lakefront Airport.

The pilot was also killed in the crash. He was identifed as Franklin J.P. Augustus, 69, a veteran acrobatic air show pilot and New Orleans-based member of a group that honored the Tuskegee Airmen.
Authorities say that at around 3 p.m. the 1983 Pitts S-2B aircraft was preparing to land when it crashed in an open field.

"Orleans Parish 911 received a call of a potential airplane crash, off the south end of Lakefront Airport," said Collin Arnold, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement that the pilot contacted the tower just before the Aerotek Pitts S-2B went down in a field not far from the airport.

"Witnesses reported observing the airplane appeared to have engine problems shortly after take-off," the NTSB statement said. "According to witnesses the airplane then pitched down and struck the ground."

Parker, 53, was a journalist for WVUE FOX 8 for 23 years. She is survived by her husband and three children, twins Piper and Pierce and their oldest son, Parker.

Parker's husband, Glynn "Glen" Boyd, posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook early Saturday that read, "I would trade places with her right now."

"My heart is shattered," said Boyd, a former television news journalist who is a public information officer for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. "The dearest and most wonderful person in my life is gone.

"She was our road map, our compass, our guiding light."

New Orleans Saints quarterback was one of many who expressed his grief on Twitter, saying his "heart goes out" to Parker's family.

WVUE-TV anchor Lee Zurik announced Parker's death during a break in programming on Friday. Choking back tears, Zurik said his colleague was on the plane "doing what she loved, telling a story."

Augustus performed in air shows and also served as a flight instructor. The aviator, who said he grew up in a poor neighborhood in New Orleans, was a collector of Pitts Special aerobatic planes and had a love for the air show business.

He often visited schools to encourage black students to aspire to become pilots.

"I want to let the young people know that if I can make it, anybody can," he said in newspaper article from several decades ago.

The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash.