Reno Air Races Disaster

RENO, Nev. (AP) — As thousands watched in horror, a World War II-era fighter 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.
The plane, flown by a 74-year-old veteran Hollywood stunt pilot, then slammed into the concrete in a section of VIP box seats and blew to pieces in front the pilot’s family and a tight-knit group of friends who attend the annual event in Reno.
“It absolutely disintegrated,” said Tim O’Brien of Grass Valley Calif., who attends the races every year. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Three people were killed and more than 50 injured amid a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris.
Authorities say it appears a mechanical failure with the P-51 Mustang – a class of fighter plane that can fly in excess of 500 mph – was to blame. Some credit the pilot, Jimmy Leeward, with preventing the crash from being far more deadly.
Leeward was among those killed.
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Dr. Eowyn
Dr. Eowyn
9 years ago

Latest news: 3 dead, more than 50 injured, many seriously injured. Since the pilot crashed the plane into crowded grandstand, I don’t understand how/why “Some credit the pilot, Jimmy Leeward, with preventing the crash from being far more deadly.” I also question why a 74-year-old man was allowed to fly the plane. No matter how healthy he might have been, age does slow down our reflexes.
This is all Nevada needs, already hurting badly from the long recession-depression’s housing crash and drop in tourism. The state has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

9 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

Concur….my dad quit flying a long time ago. Knew better.
Feel badly for all involved. Prayers.