A “stunt rapper” killed shooting a music video in B.C. in October had essentially turned himself into a large spoiler on top of the Cessna 172 wing on which he was attempting the stunt. Jon James McMurray died when he fell from the diving aircraft and his parachute did not deploy. His body was found in a farmer’s field in Westwold, a rural community about 60 km northwest of Vernon. The Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report on the mishap, which appears to have resulted from an aerodynamic upset as the cameras started to roll.
According to the report, McMurray climbed up on top of the wing while the aircraft flew over Westwold at about 5,000 feet AGL. A videographer then climbed out onto the strut and gear to film the sequence. “The passenger on the right wing laid down parallel to the direction of flight, and began to move slowly toward the tip of the wing,” the report reads. “Suddenly, the aircraft entered a spiral dive, with the right wing low.” The videographer jumped free and hit the silk but McMurray apparently hung on for an undetermined number of revolutions before either letting go or being flung off. The pilot regained control after losing about 3,500 feet in the dive. The right wing upper surface and aileron were found to be damaged when the aircraft landed back in Vernon. A Cessna 310 camera plane was in formation with the 172 when it went into the dive and the pilot made an emergency call.