The NTSB has opened the public docket on the September 16, 2011 crash of a highly modified P-51 at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev. The docket includes 900 pages of documents, photographs, FBI findings, drawings, maintenance records and aircraft weight-and-balance information. The agency expects to add more material as it becomes available.
Reno Air Races
In its final report of its review of the Reno Air Race Association (RARA) and the National Air Championship Races, the blue ribbon review panel formed by the RARA recognized that the element of safety is “contextually different” than typically encountered at some other aviation events and offered 15 recommendations to improve safety.
Last year’s crash of a modified North American P-51 Mustang, into a crowd of spectators at the Reno National Championship Air Races, claimed the lives of 11 people including the pilot. The aircraft struck the box-seat stands at the south end of the course where 66 more people suffered serious injuries.
The Big Frog racer is getting attention for more than just its tongue-in-cheek patriotic name. The French aircraft is the first carbon-fiber race plane to run on a diesel engine powered purely by jet-A fuel. And it is turning heads here at the Le Bourget show.
The Reno Air Races were back on form this year as some 180,000 people trekked to Stead Field in mid-September to watch 128 aircraft compete in six race classes for a record $800,000 in prize money. Last year’s event was canceled early in race week due to September 11.