Yesterday, Friday September 16th, 2011, a pilot in the Reno National Championship Air Races crashed into the crowd of tens of thousands of spectators. At this time, it’s estimated that at least 58 people have been injured and 3 are dead. 12 of those injured are in critical condition. TRAGIC NEWS: Plane Crashes Into Spectators at Reno Air Races | 58 Injured, 3 Killed | September 16th, 2011 | Unofficial Networks

TRAGIC NEWS: Plane Crashes Into Spectators at Reno Air Races | 58 Injured, 3 Killed | September 16th, 2011

TRAGIC NEWS: Plane Crashes Into Spectators at Reno Air Races | 58 Injured, 3 Killed | September 16th, 2011

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TRAGIC NEWS: Plane Crashes Into Spectators at Reno Air Races | 58 Injured, 3 Killed | September 16th, 2011

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plane crash at reno air races september 2011

P-51 Mustang disintegrates on impact at Reno Air Races on Sept. 16th, 2011. photo: ward howes rgj.com

Yesterday, Friday September 16th, 2011, a pilot in the Reno National Championship Air Races crashed into the crowd of tens of thousands of spectators. At this time, it’s estimated that at least 58 people have been injured and 3 are dead.  12 of those injured are in critical condition.

“The plane disintegrated on impact, sending shrapnel into the crowd and tearing limbs off bodies, while the blast from the explosion ripped clothes off some spectators, witnesses said.” – rgj.com

plane crash at reno air races september 2011

Jimmy & his P-51 just before impact at Reno Air Races on September 16th, 2011. photo: rgj.com

Pilot Jimmy Leeward, 74, was one of the confirmed deaths.

“I did just visit the site and it is horrific,” – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

p-51 mustang, ‘Galloping Ghost' during a dive at Reno Air Race. photo: AP/grass valley union, tim o’brien rgj.com

This was the first fatal crash in the air races since 2007.

Spectators noticed Jimmy lose control of his P-51 Mustang (named the Galloping Ghost) due to a mechanical malfunction.  The Galloping Ghost was headed straight for the stands when control was lost. Jimmy was able to veer the plane into the ground, avoiding the bulk of the crowd and in doing so saving hundreds of lives.

Carnage after the crash. photo: AP/grass valley union, tim o’brien rgj.com

 

 

Jimmy had been a pilot since the age of 14.

Jimmy Leeward and the P-51 Mustang, the Galloping Ghost.  photo:  maryln newton rgj.com

 

 

Reno Air Races have taken place in Reno since 1964.

12 people reported to be in critical condition. photo: liz margerum rgj.com

 

 

This is the 4th air show in the USA this summer to have a fatality.

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