/ game shows

Whammy

Peter Tomarken, the host of the 80's TV game show "Press Your Luck", got himself and his wife killed in a plane crash the other day. The ultimate whammy.

From the eyewitness reports and the wreckage, it appears that he had a problem with the plane shortly after takeoff, apparently lost the engine, and was trying to glide back to the airport, and it just wasn't in the cards. The sad thing is, they were out over water as they were turning around, and at some point it was probably better to ditch in the water rather than trying to "stretch the glide" to land. Instead of a controlled crash into shallow water, it looks like the pilot stalled the plane and caused the plane to nose over and descend very rapidly into the water; if they weren't killed on impact they were likely incapacitated and drowned in shallow water.

Additional sadness: the Tomarkens were on an Angel Flight, enroute to pick up a patient in need of air transportation to a distant hospital for treatment. Angel Flight is an organization that organizes volunteer private pilots who fly these flights entirely for free.

Trying to stretch the glide is akin to pressing your luck.