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. Xfinity.net. "Reno air race has raised alarm in past over danger" by Martin Griffith and Scott Sonner of the AP. September 17, 2011. ( http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20110917/US.Air.Show.Race.Dangers/ ).
2. image with article (AP photo/Grass Valley Union, Tim O'Brien).
3. Xfinity.net "Friends: Pilot in Reno crash was skilled airman" by Martin Griffith and Scott Sonner of the AP. September 17, 2011. (http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20110917/US.Air.Show.Crash.Pilot/ ). photo of Jimmy Leeward by AP Photo/Doug Engle - Star-Banner.