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Thread: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

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    Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    The death toll this morning was raised to 9 and many more are still in trouble in hospitals, but it could have been so much worse.

    One of the pictures taken off a video shows that piece of the left elevator had come apart.

    So it appears the age of the veteran pilot was in play and he actually saved lives, ad he lost his own.

    Police Say Nine Killed In Deadly Crash At Reno Air Show, As Probe Focuses On Wayward Part | Fox News
    RENO, Nev. Federal investigators on Saturday began looking into what caused a 74-year-old pilot to lose control of his World War II-era plane and crash next to a VIP section at a Reno air race in an accident that reportedly killed at least nine people and sent dozens to the hospital, Fox News reports.
    National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams told The Associated Press Saturday that a team has arrived from Washington to join regional officials. He said it's too early to say what caused the crash.
    As thousands watched in horror, the plane competing in a Nevada event described as a car race in the sky suddenly pitched upward, rolled and did a nose-dive toward the crowded grandstand.

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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    "A video shot by a spectator shows the small, brightly colored plane flying high overhead with its wings pitched almost perfectly vertical. Suddenly, brown smoke billows from the back of the plane, which almost immediately shoots to the ground. The camera finds the plane a moment later in a small sea of bodies, a trail of debris spread along the tarmac."

    3 dead, dozens injured in Reno air show crash | | The Bulletin

    "Reno as investigators determined that several spectators were killed on impact as the 1940s-model plane appeared to lose a piece of its tail before slamming like a missile into a crowded tarmac.

    Moments earlier, thousands had arched their necks skyward and watched the planes speed by just a few hundred feet off the ground before some noticed a strange gurgling engine noise from above. Seconds later, the P-51 Mustang dubbed the Galloping Ghost pitched oddly upward, twirled and took an immediate nosedive into a section of white VIP box seats.



    Reno Air Show Plane Crash: Airplane Crashes Into Stands At National Championship Air Races In Nevada (VIDEO)




    VIDEO: Plane Crashes at Reno, Nevada Air Show


    Last Interview of Jimmy Leeward, Pilot.



    This is the last interview with pilot Jimmy Leeward, which was apparently filmed Thursday. His plane crashed Friday afternoon at the Reno Air Races. - KTXL




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    Last edited by Gladiator; 09-17-11 at 09:49 PM.
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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    The death toll this morning was raised to 9 and many more are still in trouble in hospitals, but it could have been so much worse.

    One of the pictures taken off a video shows that piece of the left elevator had come apart.

    So it appears the age of the veteran pilot was in play and he actually saved lives, ad he lost his own.
    What makes you say that?

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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    What makes you say that?
    Others have said that the Galloping Ghost pilot was headed toward the 12 or so high rows of seats, in temporary stands, on the runway. The plane was headed for the stands, but apparently the pilot deliberately dove the wayward plane into the runway, before hitting the filled temporary stands. There were people in individual chairs on the runway, before the stands. Not sure what the puff of smoke was that came from the plane, before lurching upward and rolling. Banking in a turn at maximum G's, close to the ground may not give a pilot much room to manuever, when even just a single control mechanism is lost.


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    Last edited by Gladiator; 09-17-11 at 10:14 PM.
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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Has anyone on this thread actually been to an air-show. They do daring things! Do all kinds of tricks to stall the plane then drag it out just before getting to the runway. The age of the pilot is irrelevant. The real question is whether something failed on the airplane, or was it simply pilot error.
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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Quote Originally Posted by stsburns View Post
    Has anyone on this thread actually been to an air-show. They do daring things! Do all kinds of tricks to stall the plane then drag it out just before getting to the runway. The age of the pilot is irrelevant. The real question is whether something failed on the airplane, or was it simply pilot error.
    If the Gallping Ghost engine lost power in a turn, might that cause the plane to roll out of a banked turn? Or could the roll be a result of over-correction, responding to the loss of power, by the Pilot?

    Pilots at air shows take chances to entertain and thrill the spectators. Usually spectators do not think of themselves as daredevils, as the audience, but apparently there are some risks even as a spectator at air shows. There have been some spectator injuries at auto races in recent years.

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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Quote Originally Posted by stsburns View Post
    Has anyone on this thread actually been to an air-show. They do daring things! Do all kinds of tricks to stall the plane then drag it out just before getting to the runway. The age of the pilot is irrelevant. The real question is whether something failed on the airplane, or was it simply pilot error.
    I've been to a couple. This was an air race, not an air show where the aircraft do stunts and complex maneuvers/aerobatics.

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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Quote Originally Posted by stsburns View Post
    Has anyone on this thread actually been to an air-show. They do daring things! Do all kinds of tricks to stall the plane then drag it out just before getting to the runway. The age of the pilot is irrelevant. The real question is whether something failed on the airplane, or was it simply pilot error.
    The P-51 has a heavy engine compared with the wing span, and wing lift area. If a lighter, single engine plane loses power, there is glide time to maneuver. The P-51 is coming down fast, particularly from low altitude, and when banked for a turn. The brown cloud reported seen from the Galloping Ghost may have been coolant, the P-51 is water cooled. If coolant is lost, the engine will oeverheat, and sieze, or at least lose power.

    Here is a list of other P-51 accidents.


    The P-51 Mustang Accidents -MustangsMustangs.com:




    Here is an NTSB report of a P-51 Crash reportedly caused by a coolant leak, and subsequent engine damage, and loss of control of the aircraft.



    CHI97LA284

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    Last edited by Gladiator; 09-18-11 at 12:37 PM.
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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Vintage WWII aircraft like this should be retired to museums, not flown at airshows.

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    Re: Federal Investigators Looking Into What Caused Deadly Crash at Air Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Graffias View Post
    Vintage WWII aircraft like this should be retired to museums, not flown at airshows.
    There may not be enough prize money in air races to sufficiently keep the planes in airline safe repair.


    Here is report on a P-51 accident at a Reno Air race in 1994, in which the Propeller Oil seal started leaking, obscuring pilot vision, leading to a nose down landing, with a pilot only fatality.

    LAX94LA361



    31 Hours of flight training on a P-51 may not be enough experience to handle this Fighter plane.


    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...20X00970&key=1

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    Last edited by Gladiator; 09-18-11 at 12:56 PM.
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