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. Fupped Duck

    His aircraft has been modified from flying 200mph when it was initially designed to almost 500mph to complete. A plane of that age with constant pushing of the design envelope will be looked at closely.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • YoureKiddingRight

      "...modified from flying 200mph when it was initially designed..."

      What?!?!?! Not that much of Galloping Ghost was still vintage 1944, but you better check your facts. The Vne (never exceed) speed of the North American P-51D was 505 mph (439 kts) right out of the box in 1944. Normal cruise: 362mph, and top speed in level flight: 437mph.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. scared

    18-21 year old women should not be legally allowed to drive around in white sports cars.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Emmanuel Perez

    Well, I saw the close-up video of the plane crashing into the crowd and it looks like wanted to do a fly-by, kind of like something you would see in the movie "Top Gun", besides, he said in a interview that he wanted to be the fastest there that day.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Well DUH !! Emmanuel, you don't go to a race to be the slowest, this isn't the tortoise and the hare story.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NB

    Airshows are great! I've been to dozens of them over the years and will continue going to them as often as I can. Sure, there's a tiny amount of risk involved. But the risk you take by driving your car to the airshow is far greater than the risk of being injured or killed at the show by an airplane.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bobby Reman

    As horrible as the accident was, as thirty year aviator, who grew up in the aviation business I have known many very experienced pilots who have died in the course of flying. These are machines, and when they break, you have seconds to revert to emergency training procedures. As to the age issue, it's a non-issue, Your talking about a gentleman who like me grew up in the business. He had witnessed the stunning progression of aviation in the last fifty years, and lived every minute of it. Like I said from the start, horrible accident. It happens

    September 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Aeromechainc

    Here is what I want to know. Why does anyone care WHAT caused the accident? We are going to spend taxpayer money through a NTSB investigation?? It is a WWII plane! It doesn't carry passengers. People shouldn't have been sitting that close, a 74yr old has NO business piloting a plane.

    Case closed.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • apmechanic

      The only case that is closed is that you are stupid!

      September 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • karnak

      The "X" in the N-number says a few things. One of them is that the plane is "experimental." In it's present configuration it's no more a WWII aircraft than a Vari-Eze is. As far as flying at 74 goes - you might be right, but Bob Hoover might not agree.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      karnak... get more information. All registered WWII or vintage aircraft are registered with the experimental aircraft association. All.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • BILLJ

      Jen, Karnack is correct. The EAA does not hand out aircraft registration numbers, the FAA does

      September 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. richunix

    Don't worry, I'll call Sams Trailer park manager and inform him not to leave his computer unattended.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Disbelief!

    I can't believe that no one in this particular string of replies has acknowledged that 10 innocent bystanders have been killed! Not injured – killed, and that number is likely to rise. It's one thing for the pilots to risk their own lives but when fans start getting killed then at least serious thought needs to be put in to banning these stupid races. The analogy that we should ban horse racing, boating, ladders, etc doesn't hold water because innocent bystanders are not getting killed!

    September 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot Inspektor

      People can die at spectator events. There was that guy who died at the Rangers game this year, should they ban baseball? This crash was an accident. Accidents happen.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • FedUp2

      Innocent bystander is kind of stretch don't you think? These people were not forced at gun point to go to the event while being told nothing would ever happen to them there. If you are not a total idiot, you know that going to an air race involves the risk of being hit by a crashing airplane. Otherwise, you are a completely naive moron to think otherwise. The same people are probably really shocked when a friendly looking dog bites them or a police car runs into theirs. Never assume anything based on your misconceptions about safety in society and the ways things should be according to your particular set of rules. Anything can happen to anybody, and many things will happen to many people who never expected it. So get a clue and be ready to accept your fate when it arrives.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      In that case, we should ban:

      * Off-road racing (8 killed last year in Lucerne, CA): http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/racing/news/story?id=5465256
      * The Indianapolis 500 (8 spectators have been killed, including a 12-year-old who was playing in his yard across the street from the track) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indianapolis_500_deaths#Spectators_killed_at_the_Race
      * NASCAR and other auto racing (spectators have been killed)
      * Drag boat racing (there have been numerous spectator deaths, including an 8-year-old at Irvine Lake in the late 80's)
      * Parades (two horses trampled a crowd watching a Fourth of July parade last year, killing one and injuring dozens) http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=7538482

      Of course, none of these sports are banned. Rather, they take these tragedies and learn from them and improve safety. No sport is 100% safe to watch, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have sports.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I agree with the poster above who said to wait until we know the cause before pontificating on the effects.

    It is sad, though...!

    September 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. charlotte

    74 is way to old to be participating in this type of event. Is it possible he had a stroke or heart failure while up there? I seriously doubt he was even able to climb into the plane by himself. Whoever helped him into the plane is as responsible as the murderer and should be prosecuted for negligent homicide.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • It'sSad

      that your ignorant of age and physique. There are plenty of old timers that are in better shape than you I'm sure and more capable of tasks you would consider for the younger.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • apmechanic

      Charlotte, my dear. Shut up, sit down and make yourself another boilermaker.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • V. P.

      You don't have to be 74 to have a heart attack or stroke. By the way my mother is 75, and is in better shape than I'm in at age 50.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jessica

    I look at it this way... 'Freak Accident'. Anything can happen at any point and time. We could be walk down the street and get hit by a drunk driver. The pilot at least turned as much as he could before he crashed. It could have been worse than what it was. He almost landed in the blechers. Something is bound to happen. We just cant take life for granteed. It could be gone before we know it! This pilot was a very known person. He knew what he was doing. My thoughts and prayers goes out to the friends and families that have lost a loved one in this heartbreaking time.

    Remember to tell someone how much you love them, cause you never know when the next time you will see them is..

    September 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric

    Spectators have died at auto races, and other events too, like soccer games (both from fan violence and collapses of grandstands, etc). Air shows are not unique in this regard. And if the plane snapped and knocked him out due to loss of elevator control, it doesn't matter if he was 34 or 74.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. FedUp2

    It seems silly not to imagine all the things that could go wrong. It is all together possible for one of the plane's wings to snap right off and the rest of the machine hurl into the crowd like a missile, killing thousands. The same could be said for any airport. It is possible for a jet to crash into the terminals. That could happen. There are risks involved in almost everything. The odds are better for some things more than others. The danger involved both to the crowd and participants is part of the thrill of any motorsport. Measures are taken, more so in the US, to make efforts at increasing safety, but only so much can be done. The one way to assure no injury is to not attend or participate. If nobody attended, they wouldn't have them, but that will probably never be the case. Many more people likely drown every year than are injured at motorsports events, but we don't ban swimming. You take more risks driving to any event than attending it.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. apmechanic

    Hey BJ, shut up, stuff some more Red Man in your jaw and ponder the shear genius that Sam must be.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikey

      sheer genius, a shear genius would be a great hairdresser though.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • nkrempa

      LMAO... thank you! Best laugh I've had on this site today!! 😀

      September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rich dempsey

    A terrible story.
    Terribly written by high school students. Seriously, Poring? how about pouring?

    September 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott Forster

      Open a dictionary (or use an online one). Look up "poring."

      There; you learned something today. Congratulations! Now apologize to the nice writer.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
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