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'Our grief will never pass:' Family mourns pilot who crashed stunt plane in St. Augustine Wednesday

Troopers say the plane was a stunt plane, however, the pilot was not doing any kind of aerobatics because the aerobatic “box” at the airport was not open at the time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The pilot involved in the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine Wednesday afternoon has died, according to multiple sources.

The International Aerobatic Club Vice President confirmed to First Coast News that Marianne Fox was piloting the plane that crashed yesterday at the airport in St. Augustine.

She later passed away as a result of her injuries.

Her longtime boyfriend expressed his grief in a Facebook post.

"Our family is devastated to report that Marianne Fox passed away early this morning after an airplane accident following a declaration of emergency during a short cross-country flight," posted Jim Bourke. "We are so happy to have known Marianne and to have experienced the joy of sharing our lives with her, yet our grief will never pass. "

The small plane crashed upside down in a marsh close to the runway around 4:30 p.m., according to the St. Augustine Fire Department.

FHP says the pilot, who they could not confirm is Fox, died this morning shortly after 6 a.m.

The filed flight plan was from Keystone to St. Augustine, FHP says. 

Troopers say the plane was a stunt plane, however, the pilot was not doing any kind of aerobatics because the aerobatic “box” at the airport was not open at the time.  

Roughly 40 minutes after impact, the pilot was in trauma arrest and CPR was started, says FHP. The pilot was taken to Flagler hospital, but then airlifted to a trauma unit afterwards

Credit: Jim Bourke
Marianne Fox

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Bourke says arrangements are being made for a funeral near her childhood home in Oregon. 

"Marianne delighted in the close company of her innumerable friends and her amazing family," posted Bourke.

"She was adventurous, charming, intelligent, and caring.  Her success in everything she did inspired us, whether she was demonstrating her prowess as a business leader, pushing herself during a morning run, or flexing her muscles as an interior decorator. Everything she touched was made better."

Rob Holland, International Aerobatic Club Vice President, described Fox as a beloved member of the aerobatic and aviation community. 

"Marianne Fox was a smart, talented, friendly and joyous person. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude was infectious to everyone around her... we are saddened by her loss, but will always cherish her memory and the ways she touched our lives in a positive way," Holland said in a statement.

"While an investigation by the FAA and NTSB are underway, the IAC (International Aerobatic Club) will respect the privacy of the family during their time of personal grief."

The IAC says in 2019, not long after she earned her private pilot license, Marianne became an IAC member. 

She began flying in aerobatic competition in the Primary category at her home airport in Corvallis, Oregon in 2020. In 2021 she moved up to the Sportsman category and flew in five contests. She successfully placed first in Sportsman in the Regional Series competition in the Northwest Region.

Credit: Jim Bourke
Marianne Fox and Jim Bourke

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