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ShrikeHawk

Terrible crash at Reno

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I was considering going this year, possibly taking my 3 month old son. We wouldn't have been there until Saturday, but still, kinda makes me shudder.

 

PS - Not that it can't be discussed here at CA, but there is a pretty lengthy thread at SimHQ already. Contains some interesting discussion as to what might have happened.

 

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3391667/Tragedy_at_the_Reno_Air_Races.html#Post3391667

Edited by malibu43

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Luckily it didn't end in a huge fireball. Then it would had been a Ramstein disaster all over again

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Not again.

 

High speed, low level, kills dead. F-89s and MiG-9s (yea lookem up), and P-51s. This is the top reason I hate the concept of low level air racing.

 

They do need to STOP this nonesense with these old warbirds. The solution to "warbird show" is to setup flights of P-51s with a B-17, takeoff, climb high, putt-putt around pulling contrails, and land. Nothing fancy. Seriously -- watching four real P-51s and a B-17 in the 1944 combat formation pulling contrails at 20,000 feet (need smoke generators for more southerly lattitudes where contrails form much higher), and a real or stand'in Bf - Fw interceptor and see how the P-51 contrails manuever to deal with the situation silently, high overhead, would be alot more exciting to me than these insane high speed low level death flights.

 

Here, the 2nd last pic at the bottom, the sale sign says it all. At least one "button" on the shirt figured it out.

 

:salute: ~> http://www.warbird.com/voodoo.html

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No.

 

Accidents happen. Auto racing kills far more spectators than airshow crashes in the US. In fact, in the almost 50 years that the Reno Air Races have existed, this is the first time there has been an accident that has seriously injured or killed someone on the ground.

 

Every death sucks, period. But I refuse to condemn a whole class of flying because of one accident. Pilots understand and accept the risk. The accident happened in an unexpected manner, where the aircraft paralleled the crowd line. No one expected the P-51 to suddenly pitch up and barrel roll into the crowd.

 

And racers would be happy to go to other prop aircraft if they were competitive. But there has only been one attempt so far:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites_Pond_Racer

 

I actually saw this aircraft in person at the 1991 Reno Air Races. It was awesome to see fly and compete with a sound completely different from the other racers. But it wasn't successful unfortunately...and R and D is still very expensive.

 

You want to save warbirds from racing? Develop an alternative unlimited racer.

 

FC

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Along the lines of what FC said - I think that a lot of people/media are going to wrongly start pointing to the cause of this accident being that the aircraft was 60+ years old. These airplanes have no business still flying, blah blah, etc...

 

This wasn't a carefully restored P-51 meant to be as it would have been in 1944. Galloping Ghost was heavily modified. I would guess that the only part(s) of the aircraft that may have actually been around since the '40's would be the actual frame itself. Engine components, control surfaces, controls, control mechanisms, etc... could all be heavily modified and newer (younger) than I am. Those components that aren't new are probably meticulously inspected and combed over before any race/flight and on a regular basis. Therefore, I don't think (totally unqualified opinion, BTW) the risks of racing these warbirds is any greater than the risks of racing any other modified aircraft being pushed to it's limits (which is what racing is, BTW).

 

The only real safe solution would be to only view air shows and air races on TV in your own home. Moving spectators farther away may have helped in this situation becuase of the way the aircraft behaved once control was lost/and or pilot was incapacitated, but it's not the end-all answer. An aircraft moving at 400-500 mph can cover a lot of ground between the time control is lost to the time it hits the ground. This time it was box seats right next to the final leg of the course, but it could have easily been a home several miles away. Or the plane could have impacted in the desert 100 yards in the other direction and it would have been just another air show accident.

 

My point isn't that there shouldn't be any airshows. My point is that there was real bad luck involved in this case.

Edited by malibu43

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FC::

No.

Yes my friend. High speed, low level, kills dead.

 

mal, great poast, there's risk in everything but there is one difference -- risking the warbirds. At least that Button fella seemed to wake up. :drinks: On the other hand, maybe a lot of these warbirds have been saved from scrap by these yahoos. If so...then they can fly them how they like. I'll submit to that but is that the case?

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Airplane crashes happen all the time in all phases of flight. Pilots accept the risk that entails. It is not your call to decide how an aircraft is flown (other than regulation compliance) unless you are directly affected by the decision to fly.

 

Also, a lot of these warbirds were in fact rescued from the scrapheap, instead of being left to rot or melted down. As much as I mourn the tragic loss of life and the loss of the aircraft, at least up until the end, it was giving joy to it's owner, pilot, and fellow fans of avaition vs sitting, rusting and forgotten.

 

You want to play boy in the bubble, that's fine...but don't ask the rest of us to.

 

FC

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That's the thing that always gets me. I refute 100% the asinine statement "speed kills." No, it doesn't. AF447 crashed because it was going too slow. Most planes are lost at takeoff and landing, when they're going the slowest.

A car going 100mph isn't automatically dangerous, a car going 10mph isn't automatically safe. If 500 mph is far too fast, how come planes worldwide fly that speed all day without incident? It's all about the circumstances, and anyone who tries to sum it up in a snappy little line is being an ass to push whatever their meaningless agenda is. Actually, that's redundant. All agendas are meaningless, to everyone but the one whose agenda it is. No one else cares.

 

Of course, while the media is focusing on the deaths, I think it far more important to note those that did NOT die but are instead maimed for life. Apparently there are a large number of spectators who now will need prosthetic limbs. Something every volunteer soldier has had to think about, that you could live to make it home but not in one piece, but not something most spectators at a racing event probably consider. Of course, I don't go to any. I dislike crowds, extended periods of deafening noise, and generally being outside for that length of time period.

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Jed, I hear ya about crowded spaces, lots of injured in this one. I still think all the time about The Station fire; that insanely flammable nightclub. Its maybe a good thing it bothers me often, as it comes to mind when I'm near crowded enclosed areas.

 

 

Jedi::

If 500 mph is far too fast, how come planes worldwide fly that speed all day without incident?

Altitude Saves. These planes fly mostly at cruise altitude.

 

Jedi::

...anyone who tries to sum it up in a snappy little line is being an ass to push whatever their meaningless agenda is.

The snappy line condenses a well known fact in aviation, and aviation safety is the agenda here. I've seen so much clowning around with airplanes its sad. I agree these guys should be able to do what they enjoy, and others in society can also call them out. Yes FC, it is my call here. Aviation safety is not always a "popular" thing.

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If I'm to pick sides here (and I don't like to pick sides, I'm quite too arrogant selfish being to be of any side!)

 

I'm with Lexx, but I have a mixed feelings about this whole thing, the races etc.

The planes weren't designed to fly low for Whoa!s. Period.

 

But

As for safety, there's MUCH higher risk I'll die in a car accident (4000+ yearly in Poland! Pick up small town or large village here, it's gone every single year!) than in a plane.

(BUT the plane I was first time up in the air in (Yak-12M) claimed lifes of a pilot and 3 passengers some years later... )

Edited by Stary

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The way I see it, the pilots and the fans knew the risks and participated anyway. The loss of life is terrible, but they knew what they were getting into.

 

On the other hand, the old warbirds are precious. They are national treasures. Even though the pilot is willing to take the risk - and bless him for that willingness - I'm not so keen on losing national treasures in racing. We'll lose enough of these planes as it is. We lost a mustang a month or so ago just doing formation flying with a Skyraider. Racing these planes is putting irreplaceable machines at great risk.

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Guest rscsjsuso5

I pray for the lives that was lost and pray for the injured ones . what makes me angry about this topic is it happened twice. they should have grounded all planes and pilots and do a safety check and also do basic flying and no complex maneuvers and they should have checked that the pilot is capable of flying. from the path of flying from those two planes was very close to the audience , their should be safety limit on how close the planes can fly toward/close to the audience .

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I pray for the lives that was lost and pray for the injured ones . what makes me angry about this topic is it happened twice.

 

Can you explain this? There was one crash this year. If you're talking about past years, there have been 19 or 20 fatal crashes total in 47 years of racing. This is the first time spectators were killed/injured at the reno air races.

 

they should have grounded all planes and pilots

 

They did more than ground the planes. They cancelled the race.

 

and do a safety check

 

Umm... Do you think they don't do "saftey checks"? I'm sure they go through an extensive preflight. The planes are probably crawled all over by the pilot and crew for days/weeks before the races.

 

and also do basic flying and no complex maneuvers

 

They fly in a big oval/circle. That's about as basic as you can get. There are no complex manuevers.

 

and they should have checked that the pilot is capable of flying.

 

Oh yeah! You're totally right! We should let the NTSB that the probable cause of the crash is that no one checked to make sure the pilot could fly before he got in the cockpit.

 

from the path of flying from those two planes was very close to the audience , their should be safety limit on how close the planes can fly toward/close to the audience.

 

There is a minimum distance. The FAA says what it is. And the planes don't fly toward the audience. There's nothing you can do when a plane going 500mph goes out of control. The audience could have been miles away and the plane could still kill people.

Edited by malibu43

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Alright, looks like all points have been aired in this thread, from the intelligent to the asinine. No one's mind is going to be changed. As Cave Johnson would say, "We're done here".

 

This thread is closed.

 

FC

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