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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Battlefields and Museums > Military / Naval Shows & Weapons Events

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Military / Naval Shows & Weapons Events Here you will find discussion of various shows & events - occurring, planned, or scheduled.

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  #1  
Old 17 Sep 11, 18:35
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Unhappy Disaster at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show

The vintage World War II-era P-51 Mustang crashed at about 16:30 local time (23:30 GMT) on Friday at the National Championship Air Races.(and air show) near Reno NV

Nine people were killed, police said on Saturday, including the pilot. Seven died at the scene and two others in hospital. Dozens were also injured.

The Mustang, named The Galloping Ghost, was flown by well-known racing pilot Jimmy Leeward, 74.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14960728

Now there is one less flying Mustang and a loss of a great pilot. RIP
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  #2  
Old 18 Sep 11, 07:30
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My uncle, who is into flying, speculates that the accident may have been caused by a high speed stall of the wing facing the pylon. (The wing facing the turn pylon lose all lift while the wing opposite of the turn had full lift.) It would cause the plane to suddenly flip over and head straight to the ground.

Regardless of what the investigation find for the cause, it will be a dirty shame if all future air races and shows get cancelled due to exploding insurance cost thanks to the greedy lawyers that are now behaving like flies attracted to a rotting carcass to this tragic event.
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Old 18 Sep 11, 17:59
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Nine people dead! And the Mustang is a total loss. Terrible.
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Old 23 Sep 11, 04:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burntmoon View Post
The vintage World War II-era P-51 Mustang crashed
the plane was old, that's why it crashed; in fact it was bound to crash... should fly new planes only.
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  #5  
Old 23 Sep 11, 08:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stalin View Post
the plane was old, that's why it crashed; in fact it was bound to crash... should fly new planes only.
I agree, there are new airplanes designed as air racers and built with modern materials. Old Warbirds belong in museums or at the least in airshows in original configuration and flown well within safety limits.
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Old 23 Sep 11, 08:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stalin View Post
the plane was old, that's why it crashed; in fact it was bound to crash... should fly new planes only.
If you were to examine that plane, you would find little left of its original material other then the engine.

The plane was completely rebuilt with clipped wings, the air scoop removed, cooling system changes to a total loss cooling, and other modifications designed for max speed per given weight.

Study of the videos shows that the aircraft had lost a rudder trim tab. That could have caused enough of a change in the flight characteristics to result in the plane experiencing a high speed turn stall. IE, the inside wing loses lift while the outside wing retains lift. You see the plane in the video snap roll in the turn and shoot straight up. Then it comes down fast in a spiral dive. The pilot had no room to recover.

The only reason you didn't see a fireball was because of the methanol racing fuel that was instantly diluted with the water based coolant upon impact.
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Old 25 Sep 11, 08:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRV Ron View Post
If you were to examine that plane, you would find little left of its original material other then the engine.
Ron is correct. This was no vintage warbird. Fighter planes have always pushed the envelope, and this P-51 was "sharpened" even more. They were dangerous planes to fly stock, imagine the skill needed to fly a highly modified version. I can't help but wonder if the pilot's age had anything to do with this tragedy. How many 75 yr old GP motorcycle or F1 racers do you see?

Don't mourn the loss of the P-51. That airframe died as soon as it was modified.
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  #8  
Old 26 Sep 11, 07:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer86g View Post
I can't help but wonder if the pilot's age had anything to do with this tragedy. How many 75 yr old GP motorcycle or F1 racers do you see?
I doubt that he would have been racing if he didn't have a clean bill of health from his mandated FAA physical which are quite extensive.
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