On Sunday, a pilot died in a plane crash at Reno Air Races in Nevada. Just before the crash during the Reno Air Races, a video shared on social media showed several jets in flight, with spectators looking on from below. After the plane crashed, footage showed smoke coming from the wreckage. This tragic accident has once again raised safety concerns about the air races.
In this article, we will find out about the incident, aircraft, earlier incidents, and more.
How did the plane crash happened?
The Reno Air Races, also recognized as the STIHL National Championship Air Races, were held over four days, with the final day of competition taking place on Sunday. The event featured 152 planes and 156 pilots, based to the racing association.
According to KRNV, the aircraft crashed at high speed on lap 3 of 6 at outer pylon 5 during the Jet Gold Race, sparking a brush fire. In a news conference Thursday evening, Fred Telling, chairman and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association, acknowledged the pilot’s death.
The identity of the deceased pilot was not revealed. The racing association posted on Twitter that all other jets in the air at the moment landed safely and that no other pilots were injured. All race activities for 2022 have been suspended.
At this time we are gathering information and confirming details of the incident that happened today during the Jet Gold Race. We can confirm that only one plane was involved. The National Championship Air Races has suspended all operations for the 2022 event.— Reno Air Racing Association (@RenoAirRaces) September 18, 2022
Know more about the Aircraft!
According to the NTSB, the aircraft participating was an Aero L-29 Delfin produced by the Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody. During the Cold War, the Soviet Air Force mainly used the military jet trainer.
What is investigation on the tragic incident
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, according to the administration. The NTSB will lead the investigation and provide updates.
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Earlier incidents at the Reno Air Races in Nevada
The jet (then known as Miss Candace) collapsed on September 18, 1970, while trying an emergency landing due to engine failure at Reno-Stead Airport during that year’s Reno Air Races. During the landing, the plane’s longer racing propeller clipped the runway surface, causing the aircraft to drift off the edge of the runway, collapsing part of the landing gear but injuring the pilot, Dr. Cliff Cummins, only slightly.
During the Reno Air Races in 1998, another modified P-51 Mustang, Voodoo Chile, misplaced a left trim tab. Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, the pilot, revealed that the plane pitched up, subjecting him to more than 10 g and knocking him out. When he came to, the plane had climbed to over 9,000 feet (2,750 meters), and he managed to bring it in for a safe landing. This aircraft (renamed Voodoo) was present at the 2011 race and was close by at the time of the accident.
Miss Ashley II, another specially modified P-51 captained by Gary Levitz, encountered rudder flutter during an unlimited race at the Reno Air Races in 1999. Levitz was killed when the plane crashed.
Our thoughts are with the pilot’s family and friends during this difficult time. The loss of life is always tragic, but it is especially so when it comes unexpectedly. We can only hope that the outpouring of support from the community will help them through this trying time.