Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

crosswind

"Galloping Ghost" crashes at Reno Air Races

Recommended Posts

Also in the USA even though in events such as this Airshow and a disclaimer will not stop letigation from the loss of life or personal injury law suits. The lawyers will get in there and look for areas where the organizers failed to properly protect the public making such disclaimers nil and void. I imagine there will be a long investigation and findings will come out even beyond this accident pointing fingers at the organizers. This will take years to be determined but this is how you get around disclaimers. I feel sorry for the pilot as this sort of thing would be the last thing in the world anyone would want to have happen. He won't have to live with this accident however any good pilot would go to great lengths to avoid a collision with people on the ground like that. It seems he didn't have a chance or was at least trying to pull away from the bleachers.

Share this post


Link to post

Would you accept a similar disclaimer on the back of an airline ticket? After all, we all known there's a risk associated with flying. If your children survived would you be happy at the thought of them being brought up in poverty when they might be entitled to compensation?

Share this post


Link to post

That's just it....I've never heard of anyone who didn't pursue litigation because of a disclaimer and I've never heard of a disclaimer that can actually stand up in a case with this type of loss of life and personal injury.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest jahman
Would you accept a similar disclaimer on the back of an airline ticket? After all, we all known there's a risk associated with flying. If your children survived would you be happy at the thought of them being brought up in poverty when they might be entitled to compensation?
Good point! The answer to obviate lawsuits is of course is insurance, so premiums (and ticket costs) will reflect the measurable risk. The organizers then could sell optional accident insurance, so that thse that don't buy the insurance would have a much weaker case in court i they sue for damages. This is all a very complex subject of course. For those near the blueprints of the P-51, it would be interesting to calculate the maximum stick force generated by an elevator trim-tab falling off at Vne, and for those with the P-51's POH my question would be what is the flight envelope max +ve G's. Cheers, - jahman.

Share this post


Link to post

Their is breaking news at the moment of another airshow crash in Martinsburg, West Virginia involving a post-WW2 era T-28 aircraft. The only reported casualty is the pilot. Not a good weekend for airshows.

Share this post


Link to post
Good point! The answer to obviate lawsuits is of course is insurance, so premiums (and ticket costs) will reflect the measurable risk. The organizers then could sell optional accident insurance, so that thse that don't buy the insurance would have a much weaker case in court i they sue for damages.
The sensible solution is for the organisers to take out their own insurance and include it in the ticket price. I imagine responsible organisers do that in any case. Optional insurance would be a two-edged sword in court.because it implies the organisers knew and accepted there was a risk and so are liable.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest firehawk44

A tragic accident for sure! It's a shame the crash occurred in and near the crowds and not out in some desolate area. What are the odds of it happening where it did? My thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the pilot and the unfortunate fans who were killed or injured. I hope the people who were injured make a full recovery. Best regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post

Are the Reno race pilot's medical criteria above and beyond what the FAA requires?

Share this post


Link to post

"The sensible solution is for the organisers to take out their own insurance and include it in the ticket price. I imagine responsible organisers do that in any case." Wouldn't public liability insurance have been mandatory? In the UK you have to have it even if you're just running a market stall.

Share this post


Link to post
"The sensible solution is for the organisers to take out their own insurance and include it in the ticket price. I imagine responsible organisers do that in any case." Wouldn't public liability insurance have been mandatory? In the UK you have to have it even if you're just running a market stall.
Within the UK there is no requirement for public liability insurance, so the organisers of an air show needn't take out insurance - although they must ensure that aircraft are insured. http://www.caa.co.uk...s/33/CAP403.PDF However, they'd be fools not to and it's usually made a condition of being granted a licence or permission to, for example, run a market stall.

Share this post


Link to post

They have insurance for the event. RARA has a track record though of making the safety a priority. If you even look at just the past 10 years, the changes made to the course and the safety they have put there for the spectators. I, for one, will not hesitate to go back there next year or years to come.

Share this post


Link to post

Of course their would be insurance. You can't even operate an RC Model Aircraft club without insurance. And yes the insurance is part of the operating costs so those expenses would be covered in the ticket sales. After an accident like this the insurance adjusters will take a close look at everything with the spectator areas and distances from the course and most likely increase the rates for this event. NTSB will also investigate and make recomondations as well. I am sure this event will continue but their will most likely be major changes. We've seen this in Car Racing events as well with safety improvements for the spectators.

Share this post


Link to post

Here we go....Back in 1955 with Formula 1 racing when their was only a 4 foot high retaining wall between the car and the spectators.....86 spectators were killed and over 100 injuries in this accident and they didn't even stop the race. Those were the days when men were men and insurance and safety regulations just didn't exist....Post World War 2 people were more accustomed to this sort of thing, my how we have changed. You can even hear the announcer say "A desolete and tragic scene, but rightly the race goes on..." http://www.youtube.c...h?v=IuKP-rNyiOQ

Share this post


Link to post

The death toll is up to 9 now! Let's hope it doesn't get any higher!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Here we go....Back in 1955 with Formula 1 racing when their was only a 4 foot high retaining wall between the car and the spectators.....86 spectators were killed and over 100 injuries in this accident and they didn't even stop the race. Those were the days when men were men and insurance and safety regulations just didn't exist....Post World War 2 people were more accustomed to this sort of thing, my how we have changed. You can even hear the announcer say "A desolete and tragic scene, but rightly the race goes on..." http://www.youtube.c...h?v=IuKP-rNyiOQ
And the Romans used to enjoy watching people fighting to the death or being torn to pieces by wild animals - thse were the days when men were men!

Share this post


Link to post

"- thse were the days when men were men! " When men were dead, surely?LOL.gif"Post World War 2 people were more accustomed to this sort of thing, my how we have changed." It could alternatively be that people were so sickened by wartime death that safety regs in sporting events were made much tighter.

Share this post


Link to post

I doubt that. Safety regs in general are driven by the insurance industry. Take a look at NFPA or any of these other organizations that write codes and they where started by a group of insurance regulators. They are now comprised of a mix of Insurance and Government regulators and some industry specialists.

Share this post


Link to post
I doubt that. Safety regs in general are driven by the insurance industry. Take a look at NFPA or any of these other organizations that write codes and they where started by a group of insurance regulators. They are now comprised of a mix of Insurance and Government regulators and some industry specialists.
Society has changed. If you don't like it find yourself a time machine and return to an era you do like. Remember it's the insurance industry that has to pay out the claims at the end of the day!

Share this post


Link to post

I wasn't saying that I would prefer to go back...I was just showing how back in 1955 spectators used to lean over a 4 foot retaining wall to watch a Formula 1 race, and when 86 spectators were killed and 100 injuries in an accident....they didn't even stop the race. Today the spectators are further back and their is a crash fence to protect them and a race would shut down if their was a serious accident. This just shows how far along we have come since then. The safety regulations didn't really start to advance until the 1970's as you can even take a look how NASCAR did things in the 1960's and compare that to how they've improved today. This Air Race in Reno has obviously shown some areas where perhaps the spectators in the VIP area were probably too close to the circuit. I am sure next year the spectators will be moved further back due to this recent accident but this is for the NTSB and the Insurance Regulators to decide what changes or even if this race will continue....It is possible that the insurance company raises the rates to the point the promotors won't be able to afford having this race continue. This recession plus low attendance and a hike in insurance premiums that raises ticket prices would be enough to shut down this race for good. Plus the pending litigation from the up coming lawsuits from this accident. I wouldn't want to see this race discontinued but I recognize the many challenges ahead for the promotors. This is the world we live in and their is no turning back from it now. Cheers

Share this post


Link to post

As a resident of Reno, NV and having attended roughly half the races held since the first one in 1964 (which I was at), I can tell you without hesitation that the group that run these events are among the most knowledgeable and professional in the world. The accident last Friday was unusual and the flight track of Jimmy Leeward's P-51 didn't follow a path that had ever been considered. Initial observation of the photos indicate that the port side elevator trim-tab had failed. Leeward followed race protocol and immediately climbed for altitude, but his aircraft barreled rolled right, changing his direction 90° to the race line. There is on the ground, a series of black/white markers for the pilots to follow and they are required to stay between the north side of the runway and the line between the pylons. The north side of the runway is 1,400 feet from those box seats that Jimmy crashed into and the race line from the S/F pylon to pylon 1 is at a 10° angle away from the spectator area. Also seen in a series of stills, Jimmy’s tailwheel had extended, indicating he was attempting to get his landing gear down to scrub speed, plus I have talked to three personal friends of mine that were there (all pilots) that each, independently, noted Jimmy’s elevators were at maximum pitch-up, indicating he was attempting to clear the spectator area. I also know several of the fire fighters and race officials, who also confirm what my three friends told me. Of great interest is that the area was completely awash with high octane aviation fuel, but no explosion occurred, thankfully. It should also be noted that it was announced this morning that the 9th spectator has passed, bringing the fatalities to 10, including Jimmy Leeward (the pilot). Area hospitals have treated 74 people for injuries. Many of the emergency personal attending those injured, were in fact spectators that were witnesses to the crash, and there were two Vietnam era medivac helicopters (Huey's), there on static display, along with a US Army Blackhawk medivac helo that were all immediately brought into service and each transported many of the more seriously injured to area hospitals. Steve (Bear) CartwrightReno, NV

Share this post


Link to post

I read this at FS.com earlier today and thought I'd pass it along:

I just learned this morning that one of the fatalities was Mike Wogan, the son of FS.Com member Bill Wogan,(Pilatus96). Both Bill and Mike suffer from muscular dystrophy and were seated in a wheelchair acessible "VIP" area very near the point of impact. Mike was killed instantly, his father Bill was critically injured and is in the hospital. My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Bill and his family...

Share this post


Link to post

"Leeward followed race protocol and immediately climbed for altitude, but his aircraft barreled rolled right.." That's interesting, as I wondered how the detachment of something as small as a trim tab could bring a plane down, but I guess this, combined with the airspeed at the time, produced an pronounced imbalance of lift on the tailplane causing the plane to rotate. If he was pulling hard to gain height then that, combined with the roll & low altitude, could (and evidently did) easily end up with the plane diving into the ground before the pilot could work out what the hell had happened and try to deal with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest jahman

At this stage I don't think we really know what happenned. FWIW the pilot could have been knocked unconscious (see New York Times photo) by the sudden pull-up due to loss of the elevator trim tab and never regained sufficient consciousness to take control of the aircraft defore hitting the ground. Cheers, - jahman.

Share this post


Link to post