2011 Reno Air Races accident – Crash Animation
On September 16, 2011, the annual, multi-day event known as the Reno Air Races took place with thousands of spectators coming to watch the event.
On the day of the accident, Jimmy Leeward was one of the contenders in the air race with his aircraft known as ‘The Galloping Ghost’, a North American P-51D Mustang. At the heat of the race, Leeward was in third place when suddenly the airplane had abruptly pitched up, inverted and then pitched down vertically and crashed into the tarmac at 400 miles per hour (650 km/h), in front of the grandstands where many people were sitting. Leeward was killed along with 10 others on the ground. A further 69 people were injured. During the investigation of the crash, the NTSB had discovered that many modifications were made to the plane, causing it to be lighter but also not as stable as once before. During the race, Leeward forced the plane to fly at 850km/h, faster than he had usually gone before, causing extreme stress to the airframe. This most likely caused one of the trim tabs on the tail of the plane to loosen and break off in flight, causing complete loss of control.
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Music: Lucas King – Isolation