The pilot of a stunt plane that crashed in New Orleans last week, killing beloved news anchor Nancy Parker, reported problems with the aircraft just moments after taking off from Lakefront Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board announced on Saturday.
Parker, a 53-year-old journalist with Fox affiliate WVUE for 23 years, was working on a story, and Franklin J.P. Augustus piloted the plane when the aircraft went down in a crash that killed them both, the outlet reported.
“Shortly after take-off, the pilot radioed the controller in the Lakefront Airport tower and indicated that he was having problems, which were not specified,” the NTSB said in the statement. “The controller gave the pilot a clearance to return to the airport.”
Witnesses said the plane looked like it was experiencing engine problems shortly after take-off, according to the NTSB. The nose of the plane pointed down before the aircraft crashed, the NTSB said.
A fire broke out after the plane went down and consumed most of the wreckage, the agency reported. The crash is under investigation, and the NTSB said in the statement that it will publish a preliminary report “within the next few weeks.”
Parker was remembered as “a joy to work with each and every day” by WVUE vice president and general manager Tim Ingram, WDSU reported.
“Nancy was a part of the FOX 8 family for the last 23 years, she put her heart and soul into her work, covering thousands of stories and touching countless lives,” Ingram added. “She made a difference in the lives of those she reported on. She will be sorely missed, and her absence creates a void that cannot be filled.”
Parker is survived by her three kids and husband Glynn “Glen” Boyd, who is a public information officer at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. On Saturday, Boyd shared a tribute to Parker on Facebook, saying that his “heart is shattered.” He wrote that he “would trade places with her right now.”
“I should’ve been on that plane,” he wrote. “She was our road map, our compass, our guiding light. I’m lost without my wife.”
Several journalists and local residents mourned the death, remembering Parker as “a cornerstone to New Orleans news,” a reporter who told “stories that mattered to the people of our state.”
City Council President Helena Moreno called Parker’s death a “tremendous loss.”
“Nancy was a mother, wife, accomplished journalist and community leader,” Moreno said in a statement to WVUE. “I worked on stories alongside Nancy during my time as a reporter. She was the utmost professional, so incredibly kind, funny and genuine. I am so saddened and shocked. Sending my deepest condolences to her family and Fox 8 family.”
“She will be dearly missed by the community that she reported on every day and cared so much about,” she added.