Popular New Orleans TV icon killed in fiery plane crash, had circle of friends in former home of Baton Rouge
NEW ORLEANS – A beloved south Louisiana television anchor with ties to Baton Rouge was one of two people killed when a small plane crashed in New Orleans Friday afternoon.
Nancy Parker, the TV anchor, was with the pilot Franklin J.P. Augustus on the small, two-person 1983 Pitss S-2B aircraft. The plane went down about a half-mile away from New Orleans’ Lakefront Airport around 3 p.m. The plane was originally popular among air show performers.
The crash happened while Parker was filming a report to air later on TV.
Parker, a TV legend in New Orleans, anchored the morning news on WVUE, the city’s Fox affiliate. She was a fixture on New Orleans television for more than 20 years.
Before New Orleans, Parker was seen on TV in Baton Rouge at WAFB Channel 9 where she built lasting friendships – journalists at most of Baton Rouge’s media: TV, radio and newspaper outlets.
Nancy Parker was a native of Alabama, a published author of children’s books and most importantly, a mother and wife. She has three kids and was married to a former TV newsman.
Authorities called the fiery crash “catastrophic” and “tragic.”
The National Transportation Safety Board says the crash happened shortly after the plane took off from New Orleans. Once the plane was in the air the pilot radioed the Lakefront Airport tower to say he was having problems, which were not specified.
The tower told him to return to the airport. Witnesses say it appeared that engine problems began shortly after take-off.
Witnesses say the plane then went down and crashed. The resulting fire destroyed much of the plane.