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Culpeper Times • October 18-24, 2018


Performer killed during Air Fest sponsor show Airshow industry leaders have identified the pilot killed in Friday’s plane crash at the Culpeper Air Fest as Jon Thocker, co-owner and acrobatics pilot with Redline Airshows of Cincinnati. Thocker, a retired cargo jet pilot of 25 years, was performing an act with partner Ken Reider in two Van’s RV-8s aircraft when Thocker’s plane went down around 8:10 p.m. at Culpeper Regional Airport. The FAA, NTSB and state police are still investigating what caused the fatal crash. “He was well known in the airshow community, a wonderful person and friend who always loved to talk to everyone,” Airshow View 360 said of Thocker in a Facebook post. “He will be greatly missed. Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this hard time.” The Culpeper Air Fest Committee acknowledged Thocker as the deceased pilot Monday afternoon. "By now many of you have read about the tragic accident that happened during the Friday night portion of the Culpeper Air Fest. While performing a thrilling night aerobatic act at our sponsor event, Jon Thocker’s life came to an unexpected end," the committee said in a statement. "His dedication and passion for flying has entertained thousands, including many of us in the Culpeper community. While we mourn Jon and keep his family and friends in our prayers, we are working closely with his family to determine how they would like Jon to be remembered." The Culpeper Air Fest went on as planned Saturday, Oct. 13, with the performers reaching a consensus to continue the show for the public. "As you know, we then pressed on to produce an incredible airshow for everyone on Saturday in Jon’s honor - one of our largest in history," the committee said. "Thank you again for all of your support over the years, and we hope to see you next year." Airshow News reported Thocker and Reider had recently unveiled the

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Kyle Hardman (Editor's note: This is weekly series highlighting members of Culpeper's Youth Council. To join Culpeper Youth, go to to apply.) This is Kyle Hardman. He is a 14 year old freshman at Eastern View High School here in Culpeper. Kyle is many things. He is caring, supportive, honest, open minded, thoughtful, funny, dedicated, responsible, and resilient. Currently, Kyle is learning just how brave he is, too. He recently was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that most often impacts teens and is also often misdiagnosed as a sports injury, as it was in Kyle’s case initially. Since learning of the true diagnosis, Kyle has faced cancer with bravery, even in times when he doesn’t feel brave. He will have to undergo difficult treatments over the upcoming months and he and his family will be traveling back and forth to UVA to obtain these treatments on a more than weekly basis. We are raising money to support Kyle and his family as they navigate this journey and fight against this rare cancer. We want to let Kyle and his family know that they don’t have to worry about paying for treatments, transportation, or anything Kyle might need over these upcoming months and this is a way we can help to mitigate some stress this family will undoubtedly encounter. Kyle and his family, Pam, Darryl, Hailey, and Darryl Jr do not have to be brave alone. They do not have to fight this alone because Kyle is loved by many people and he is part of a community that comes together to support our own. Please consider investing in Kyle’s recovery and the resilience of him and his family. A quarter auction fundraiser will be held Oct. 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Culpeper Country Club.


Van’s RV08 aircraft used in Friday night’s performance. Thocker’s aircraft was registered with the FAA on Oct. 2, 2017 and is listed as an amateur-built, experimental plane. Friday’s act include pyrotechnics, something the duo often used during night shows, Airshow News reported. A photo on Redlines Facebook page Oct. 8 showed Thocker loading fireworks for the Culpeper show. Thocker’s career as a pilot included flights around the world with DHL Air Cargo and test-piloting heavy-cargo flights. According to his biography in the Culpeper Air Fest program, Thocker had built 10 custom airplanes. Thocker and Reider had been flying in formation together for more than 12 years. Their performances featured opposing, inverted and formation maneuvers. The accident is the second fatal plane crash during the popular Culpeper Air Fest. In 2006, pilot Nancy Lynn was killed when her Extra Flugzeugbau GMBH 300, N168EX, crashed during the event.

Cemetery tour scheduled for Oct. 20 Join us for a candlelight tour of the Culpeper Masonic Cemetery, Saturday, Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. The Cemetery, now under the care of the Masonic Cemetery Foundation, was originally given to the "Masons of Culpeper," the Fairfax Lodge, under the will of American Revolutionary War hero General Edward Stevens in 1820. The original one-acre Stevens family burial site has grown to over seven acres. The tour begins and ends at the Historic Train Depot in Downtown Culpeper, where you will board the trolley to embark upon the Culpeper Masonic Cemetery. Glow sticks and battery operated candles will be provided, but we ask that you come prepared for an hour plus long walking tour during dusk! For more information, visit: https://; call the Culpeper Visitor Center at 540-7270611, or email:

November 6th

VOTE "NO" TO QUESTION #3 The Culpeper YMCA is costing you much more than your $13,144,000 in tax dollars... ...and then you have to pay to use it.

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Culpeper Times - Oct. 18, 2018  

Victims no more | Brat, Spanberger spar in debate | Pilot killed in Air Fest crash | More

Culpeper Times - Oct. 18, 2018  

Victims no more | Brat, Spanberger spar in debate | Pilot killed in Air Fest crash | More