New Photos Of Reno Air Show Crash…(Warning: Raw Video)

*UPDATE*…(Chron) –The death toll grew Monday to 10, as another injured person died late Sunday, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Jamii Uboldi said. Authorities said 70 people were treated at hospitals, and that four remained in critical condition.

(WSJ) —  RENO, Nev.—A local deputy police chief said nine people had died after a vintage World War II fighter plane slammed into a crowd of onlookers Friday at an air race here, while another 17 people were still being treated for injuries and 24 had been treated and released under a vintage sign store offering vintage signs for sale.

(SUN)…THREE people are thought to have been killed after a plane crashed in front of the grandstands at an air race in America yesterday.  A medical official said more than 54 people were injured at the Reno National Championship Air Races — 25 critically.  It was described as a “mass casualty situation” by a spokesman for the race in Nevada.  In shocking footage from the show, planes pass in front of the crowd at high speed before one aircraft suddenly smashes into the ground from an almost vertical angle.  It creates a huge cloud of dust and debris and screams are heard.


Spokeswoman for the Regional Emergency Medical Service Authority Stephanie Kruse said 25 people were critically injured and another 25 people were seriously injured in the crash.

She said the critically injured had life-threatening injuries and more than 25 other people were treated for minor injuries.

Terrifying ... Mustang plane seconds before smashing into crowded grandstand

Terrifying … Mustang plane seconds before smashing into crowded grandstand

Kruse said 40 people had been taken to local hospitals by ambulance and one person has been flown to a hospital.

The plane crashed at about 4:30pm (12.30am UK time).

Eyewitnesses described the scene as a warzone.

Horror ... debris from crashed plane covers runway

Horror … debris from crashed plane covers runway

Shocked Gerald Lent said: “It’s just like a massacre. It’s like a bomb went off.

“There are people lying all over the runway. There’s blood everywhere.”

Maureen Higgins of Alabama, who has been coming to the air races for 16 years, said the pilot was on his third lap of a race when he lost control. She was sitting about 30 metres from the crash.

Aftermath ... witnesses and rescue workers after the crash

Aftermath … witnesses and rescue workers after the crash

She said: “I saw body parts and gore like you wouldn’t believe it. I’m talking an arm, a leg.

“The alive people were missing body parts. I am not kidding you. It was gore. Unbelievable gore.”

Organisers issued a statement extending their condolences and deepest sympathies to families involved in the horrific accident.

The statement said: “The Air Races are truly one big family and our thoughts are with all of our aviation family members, immediate and extended.

“While we can’t confirm the number of casualties or fatalities, local hospitals and emergency response organizations are beginning to release this information.”

This is not the first time there has been a crash at the Air Races. Since 1964, there have been 19 fatalities.

The plane, a World War II-era P51 Mustang, crashed at about 4:30pm (12.30am UK time).

Plunge ... Mustang plane crashes into VIP area of air show

Plunge … Mustang plane crashes into VIP area of air show

About Ad rem

Millions of little gray cells wrapped in fur.
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9 Responses to New Photos Of Reno Air Show Crash…(Warning: Raw Video)

  1. WeeWeed says:

    Some amazing photos there, Puddy! Interesting how we have to rely on the Brit press for everything these days, isn’t it??


    • Ad rem says:

      All because of something called a ‘trim tab’ fell off of the plane’s tail….probably the only part someone forgot to check.


      • If it was really a trim tab, I’m not sure it would’ve caused such a departure from controlled flight. A trim tab helps to trim the aircraft to attain a more efficient angle-of-attack and it really reduces your workload on the controls. I guess it just fine-tunes the operation of the control surface. The only thing that I can imagine happening to cause something like a P-51 to auger in is a major structural failure or a loss of pilot control, such as losing consciousness or, the parting of a rudder or elevator control cable.

        Of course, the P51 is a wild, wild beast, especially tuned as they are for the Unlimited. In the mid-70s, there was a local guy who’d bought a P-51, even though he had only about 100 total hours, and that was mainly in mainly Cessnas and Mooneys. It was a typical case of more money than skill (or brains). One lazy fall Saturday afternoon, he was trying to impress some girls out plane watching on the flight-line of a small, west Texas municipal airport where he was doing touch-and-gos. Anyway, as he took back off, he firewalled it. Well, there’s nothing like the sound of a Merlin engine devouring a snootful of 100-octane av gas, and we were working in the hanger and ran outside to watch. Within about three seconds, this Mustang rolled inverted from the incredible torque, he didn’t know how to counteract it with his controls. It was a miracle that he didn’t plow the mesquites with it, but he crossed the boundary fence inverted, about 50 feet off the ground, fighting a horrible yaw, and probably close to 300-knots. He used up the rest of whatever luck and good will he had left with the big guy upstairs, but he got it righted, landed at Midland International and put a ‘for sale’ sign on it. To the best of my knowledge, he never flew anything but commercial, again.

        Here is the Merlin, as it’s attached to the venerable Spitfire:


        • Sorry, here’s the Mustang. This is “the sound”. Nothing like it. Nothing on Earth. That’s why crazy people (like me) get as close to these beasts as we can. One day, the sky will echo no more with this indescribable music.


        • Good Mustang info, EC. And thanks for the analysis. I think you’re right about the still-mysterious cause. Loss of trim tab would not cause such total lack of control. I was thinking broken elevator control cable, but why would that happen at the exact time the trim tab failed? Unless they share linkage hardware?

          I wonder about your idea that maybe the pilot blacked out. It’s weird that you can’t see his head in any of the photos, as if he’s slumped. But there’s not enough room in that cockpit to slump down much, so that’s a mystery. It’s true, though, that the wing had just been rebuilt to reduce the planform and the drag, making the plane faster. Is it possible that he was pushing the envelope beyond what he could handle and blacked out in that last turn? It’s weird that the trim tab would have failed at the same time, but it could have happened AFTER he blacked out due the excessive dive speed. In the final death dive, he would have been getting close to flutter speed where the control surfaces vibrate violently.


    • Ad rem says:

      And I also heard something (on the radio…in the middle of the night) about some stunt work Leeward was scheduled to do in the coming week. Can’t remember it now for the life of me….and googling is no help. (Will have to sleep with pad and paper in the future.)


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