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crosswind

"Galloping Ghost" crashes at Reno Air Races

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as per CNN [updated 8:43 p.m. ET] Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are on the scene in Reno, Nevada, where a plane crashed Friday in front of a grandstand at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show, a spokesman for the show said.Members of the National Guard, which were on-site for the show, are also assisting in the response, air show spokesman Mike Draper said.[updated 8:41 p.m. ET] "There are people still being escorted out of that area with various injuries," a spokesman for a Nevada air show said early Friday evening, shortly after a P-51 plane crashed in front of a grandstand.Mike Draper said he's been told there are "likely fatalities" but it has not been determined who they may be, nor whether the pilot of the "Galloping Ghost" aircraft that went down survived.[updated 8:39 p.m. ET] There are "mass casualties" at an air show after a plane crashed Friday into an area in front of a grandstand at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nevada, a spokesman for the air show told CNN.In video posted on YouTube, emergency responders could be seen assisting spectators at the show, though it was not immediately clear how many were injured. CNN could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video.Witnesses told CNN affiliate KTVN that the plane was about 400-500 feet in the air when it nosedived and crashed


Simeon Richardson  a.k.a (KROSWYND / KILO_WHISKEY)

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Just heard about it via the BBC World Service. Deep Sympathies to all concerned.

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I hope this doesn't lead to stricter regulations in regards to spectator viewing. I watched the Red Bull Air Race in NYC and it was amazing to be so close to these planes whipping through the course. That's part of the experience for me. Risk included.


Drew Sikora

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It's been suggested before and doubtless will be up for discussion again following this incident, but of course anyone who has ever been to an airshow knows that the ticket has a big disclaimer on the back with regard to the risk of such incidents. What may also be brought up however, is the age of the pilots racing at Reno, some of whom are very much older than the age at which one is forced to retire from flying airliners and such. Al


Alan Bradbury

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It's been suggested before and doubtless will be up for discussion again following this incident, but of course anyone who has ever been to an airshow knows that the ticket has a big disclaimer on the back with regard to the risk of such incidents. What may also be brought up however, is the age of the pilots racing at Reno, some of whom are very much older than the age at which one is forced to retire from flying airliners and such. Al
I was just in Reno 3 days ago and almost delayed my trip back to go to the races-this is simply tragic. As far as age-it is all relative. I know a ww2 pilot who is pushing 90 who still flys who would put a lot of 50 years olds to shame in health and mental facilities. No matter-simply tragic and like all air accidents one needs to wait until the facts are out.

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True enough, although with the severity of the impact and the fact that such aircraft don't carry FDRs like an airliner is equipped with, we may simply never know what happened. Al


Alan Bradbury

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I used to go sailing with one of Rare Bear's crew members. I pray for all the victims. The future of the Reno Air Races is not bright at this moment.


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They do not seem to have a great track record at this event. From Wikipedia

Over the course of the sport's 49-year history, there have been a total of 19 deaths due to crashes and collisions in the course of competition and airshow.[1] In 2007, two pilots died over the course of four days in separate incidents. One pilot died after show hours due to an engine failure shortly after take off (Gary Hubler, Steve Dari, & Brad Morehouse),[2] prompting the temporary suspension of the event.[3] Races were resumed on Saturday after various safety meetings.[4]
On this occasion the youtube videos show an almost vertical plunge into some spectators, scary.

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Bruce

 

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It's been suggested before and doubtless will be up for discussion again following this incident, but of course anyone who has ever been to an airshow knows that the ticket has a big disclaimer on the back with regard to the risk of such incidents. What may also be brought up however, is the age of the pilots racing at Reno, some of whom are very much older than the age at which one is forced to retire from flying airliners and such.
While a tragic accident, likely some politician will use the event to champion legislation in the name of "keeping us safe", resulting in a huge revamp with regards to FAA regulations concerning proximity of spectators to aerobatic demonstrations/racing events. The medical angle isn't something I thought of though. The pilot held a Class 2 medical which was 18 months old. I could see the FAA requiring Class 1 medicals with even tighter recency requirements if performing at events with spectators in close proximity.. Who knows what the FAA and some politician will come up with as part of a knee-jerk reaction. RIP to those that were killed.

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Those who know Jimmy say he was a great pilot. He did very well last year and was fast again this year. The pilots who race there understand the risks, but they enjoy doing it. Please keep in mind that the media is going to speculate along with the public and the amount of misinformation out there already is pretty disheartning.. Please don't add to it here. People really need to just let the professionals handle it to find out what went wrong and come to the conclusions. I have been sick to my stomach since the news came out tonight and have actually shut off the TV because the last video had me break down. I feel bad for the families affected by this event. I was out there yesterday to watch the Thunderbirds and planned to go back Sat/Sun. I have gone to this event for the past 20+ years and I can assure you the people who run it, as well as the pilots that participate in it are a class act.


Jeff Smith
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I don't think anyone here doubts the skill of the pilots and the dedication of the organisers, we all know accidents happen, even really bad ones like this. But far from not discussing it, we should do, since in doing that we thrash out the arguments that are no doubt coming our way as pilots, and will as a result be ready for them. More importantly, ready to refute any ill-thought out 'instant solutions' that tend to get forced through as legislation at times like these, usually from people who will be only to happy to see us stuck for a plausible reply because we've not got around to thinking about it all and discussing it. I'm sure those of us who've been flying for real for some time will confirm that we've all known someone who has either been killed or injured in an air accident, sadly in my case, quite a lot, since unfortunately, mid air collisions in gliders are not that rare. If one is around aeroplanes long enough, it is inevitable you'll come across something like that. But clamming up about it does no good, that I do know, since I've seen a lot of ill will and blame fester in silence around flying clubs when such incidents occur, to the extent that it starts dividing flyers, and the one thing we can guarantee is that we'll not prevent knee-jerk legislation going through by being divided and quiet on the matter. Al


Alan Bradbury

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Very very sad indeed, The pilot will of been struggling like mad to get as far away from the crowd as possible, my heart goes out to all involved.


Simon Roberts

 

 

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I believe Al is correct, Jeff. We all understand you're intentions are sincere when you ask us not to add to the plethora of misinformation that inevitably surrounds a tragedy such as this. We also can feel the pain emanating from your words. All of us offer our condolences and support to you and to those good folks most directly affected. The inevitable discussions that are generated by a tragedy such as this and that take place among folks with similar interests are necessary and, many times, therapeutic. We certainly all join together in praying for the swift recovery of those injured as we offer our hearts to those families who must now bear the grief of serendipitous and tragic loss.


John

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