September 19th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Nevada air show death toll rises to 10

The death toll from a crash at an air race at Reno, Nevada, has risen to 10, one of the hospitals treating patients from Friday's accident said Monday.

Close to 70 people were injured in the incident, which occurred Friday.

National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind said investigators are looking at whether the plane's apparently damaged elevator trim tab - whose breaking apart was captured in a photograph - played a role in the nosedive crash. Authorities do not know why the aircraft went down.

A full investigation could take six to nine months, Rosekind said.

Investigators will be poring over a trove of spectators' videos and photos, he said.

"It seems there were a tremendous number of cameras and video that was captured," he said. "On the one hand, it's an excellent source of information, but on the other hand, there's not a lot of other specific components from the wreckage that at this point we can identify."

At the time of the crash, three NTSB investigators happened to be at the air show - a common practice - and one of them has been appointed investigator in charge, Rosekind said.

The board will look at safety oversight and the placement of the grandstands for the air race, Rosekind said.

soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. KentAZ

    Tragic situation and I feel for the victim's friends and families.

    That said, is the risk involved in these types of events and stunts really worth it? It's one thing if a plane crashes while performing the function of transport, but this seems to me to be a very unnecessary tragedy.

    September 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |

    September 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |

      Reality hits you hard bro!

      September 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    FYI – It's very possible the pilot was unconcious when he hit. P-51's require trim tabs to stay level at high speeds. When the tab broke off, it very likely caused the sharp extreme high-G climb as well as the roll at the top due to additional damage to the horizontal stablizer. There is a precedent of exactly this type of accident in a previous race. In that incident, the pilot blacked out and luckily was able to come to and pull off the power to regain control.

    I find the argument over whether the pilot did or did not try to avoid folks ridiculous. It's a given that if he could have avoided everyone, he would have. He was a skilled pilot who loved to fly – the last thing he would have wanted was to hurt anyone.

    September 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |

    September 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    The faster an aircraft goes the more nose down trim the airplane needs to maintain level flight,(more thrust=more lift) if the aircraft looses the trim tab and the pilot does not maintain control, at full throttle that much power would cause the airplane to climb rather quickly which at that speed could cause excessive g's and the pilot could become unconscious. These aircraft have tremendous torque if the pilot does not maintain coordinated flight ie using the rudder effectively the airplane could roll causing the change in direction and thus the nose dive

    September 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Exactly. Google the Reno 1998 Nationals – aircraft name Voodoo, pilot Bob Hannah. He lost his left trim tab and went vertical, pulling enough G's to black him out.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gluez

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    September 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. truth hurts

    If it isn't stages falling on these hillbilly's it's planes. and they worry about flash mobs?

    September 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dot8

    All air shows should be outlawed, they are tragedy's waiting to happen.

    September 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?!

      This is the most idiotic, close minded statement on here so far (and thats a very impressive feat). If we do that we may as well cancel every car race, or boat race, or major sporting event period for that matter. Like is all things, there are inherent risks people take when participating in, or attending any event of this sort. People like you would probably like to outlaw anything involving potential risk or danger.

      Go take your stupid somewhere else, CNN is already full.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ladder 114

    Tragedy, no doubt about that but blaming this pilot or the show is just plain ignorance. The airplane is just a mechanical machine and machines, despite the operators best efforts sometimes fail. It's a simple as that. The Pilots age is CERTAINLY not to blame. You dont go to the local walk in clinic and get your medical certificate. You go to a designated FAA certifed Medical examiner and anyone who has been through that process will tell you it's no picnic. The fact that he was able to MAINTAIN that medical certificate tells me all I need to know about his physical conditioning. Spend as much time doing your research and you'll feel even more ignorant with your comments here.

    Banning Air shows... more dumb remarks. I feel safer at an air show than I do commuting to work or driving my children to school. There is inherent risk in every thing we do.. every single day. Get out and enjoy what short time we have here or stay buried behind your keyboard thats your choice but don't jump on a bandwagon full of misinformed beings and try to squash the rights for folks that choose to live their lives.

    A very sad, horrible accident happened but thats all it was. An accident.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
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