RENO AIR RACES CRASH – Pilot Tried to Avoid Bleachers

74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, a movie stunt pilot was flying a P-51 Mustang called « Galloping Ghost » for the Reno Air Race yesterday September 16, 2011.

On the video you can see that shortly after lifting-up to reach the middle part of a loop, the aircraft dived towards the bleachers, and crashed very close to them. According to the news, 3 died, and 54 would have been injured, 12 of which in severe conditions. A Mayday emergency call would have been heard a few seconds before the accident.

The Reno Air Races have been cancelled even if the families insisted on letting the airshow go on. Some videos on the Internet show how violent the impact was. The area has been cordoned off as the NTSB is still investigating, as well as FAA officials were on the spot, and a mass-casualty situation has been reported.

Jimmy Leeward would have tried to dodge the bleachers as his P-51 was going down. The famous pilot would have saved hundreds of potential casualties before he died, according to this eyewitness account:

Pilot survives race plane accident at Reno

Special thanks again to Xavier (http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com) who provided the links to these videos.