Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reno Air Race Crash - The End of Air Races or Not?

A old World War Two era P-51 Mustang, modified for Air Racing and painted with the number 177 on the sides of the fuselage - crashed at Reno, Neveda. The tragic event took place on Friday, September 16th.

As of the 17th, the death toll has climbed up to 9. More than 50 spectators were injured at the same time.

Jimmy Leeward lost control of his aircraft and it crashed into the crowd on the ground. Mr. Leeward hails from Ocala, Florida. He was 74 years old and a skilled airman.

And now the typical calls to end "anything" that might result in "possible" deaths. But as was stated in that article that I reference this blog post for quote: But all the regulations in the world won't prevent deaths in the event that a competitor plunges into spectators. end quote.

Other than the flying aspect to the National Championship Air Race, there is no difference than any automotive type racing such as Indy or NASCAR.

Another quote from that same article: "When you fly an airplane, there are certain risks just taking off and landing," said Michael Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Races. "When you add the other dimension of racing — it's a fast sport. It's not unlike Indianapolis or NASCAR." end quote.

This blogger thinks that - over time, the Reno Air Races will resume once again next year. And then the year after that, and the year after that.

1. "Reno air race has raised alarm in past over danger" by Martin Griffith and Scott Sonner of the AP. September 17, 2011. ( ).
2. image with article (AP photo/Grass Valley Union, Tim O'Brien).
3. "Friends: Pilot in Reno crash was skilled airman" by Martin Griffith and Scott Sonner of the AP. September 17, 2011. ( ). photo of Jimmy Leeward by AP Photo/Doug Engle - Star-Banner.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Super Earth Found 35 Light Years Away is reporting that 50 new alien planets - including one "Super" Earth that could support life, has been discovered by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Sixteen worlds fall into the "Super" Earths category including one specific world in orbit of HD 85512 b. A star in the southern constellation of Vela (the Sail). This world is estimated to be about 3.6 Earth masses and is in the outermost region of the habitable zone of HD 85512 b.

Observations were made with the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher instrument, or HARPS. The HARPS spectrograph is part of ESO's 11.8-foot (3.6-meter) telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Quote: "This is the lowest-mass confirmed planet discovered by the radial velocity method that potentially lies in the habitable zone of its star, and the second low-mass planet discovered by HARPS inside the habitable zone,” said exoplanet habitability expert Lisa Kaltenegger, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Boston.

"I think we're in for an incredibly exciting time," Kaltenegger told reporters in a briefing today (Sept. 12). "We're not just going out there to discover new continents — we're actually going out there to discover brand new worlds." end quote.

Total confirmed extra solar planets discovered so far is now 564 alien worlds.

1. "'Super-Earth,' 1 of 50 Newfound Alien Planets, Could Potentially Support Life" by Denise Chow. September 12, 2011. ( ). image from same article on