I'm usually there every year for the races sitting in the box seats, but decided to stay at home this year for ALMS races at Laguna. Counting my blessings, but very sad for all involved.
I hope this does not lead to the end of the Reno Air Races.
For me, this tragedy strikes very close to home. I have close friends who are there every year, who base their planes there and worst of all my gut tells me that I will know someone who has been injured of killed in this accident.
Given all the speculation that surrounds accidents like this I will contunite to try and contact those friends who normally are there.
A friend of ours from the Voodoo team just posted a new video of the accident as seen from his view on top of their transporter. It does not show the impact. What it does show is rather interesting. The first pitching move the aircraft made while still banked over is the hardest pull of the whole sequence. The tail wheel is starting to come out before it rolls level and makes the pitch up. The tail also flexes a lot while this is happening most likely due to the asymmetric loading on the tail since the trim tab on the right side was locked out, and the left was moveable. You can hear the flutter starting (remember the sound is delayed due to the distance from the camera) as it goes up. Also, Jimmy is not visible in the canopy as it rolls level. It is pretty clear the trim tab linkage broke and that caused it's first move. Then as it went up, the flutter set in, and the tab departed just as it started the roll over the top. The video can be seen here: Final Flight of the Ghost on Vimeo
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