Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflecting on the Reno Tragedy

Final Flight Of The Ghost - Video By Jason Schillereff

This is a video of Jimmy Leeward's final race. This video shows no impact with the ground, just the events leading up to the accident, segments of this footage have been turned over to the NTSB to help with the investigation.

 This recently uploaded video from Jason Schillereff shows the Galloping Ghost and Jimmy Leeward in their final flight. The crash is not shown (thankfully... I wouldn't have posted it if it was) but we do get a clear view of the airplane when the trouble first appears. The small rolling actions followed by the pitch up (and the tailwheel extension) add to the questions about what exactly happened. There's always the possibility that we'll never know exactly what happened, but I'm confident that the continuing investigation will eventually bring all the details to light.
 The video begins with the Unlimited racers from this heat starting their engines and then their takeoffs. I encourage you to watch all this, especially Jimmy's takeoff in the Galloping Ghost. I believe watching this takeoff shows how completely competent and in control Jimmy was with the Ghost. There's no question that Jimmy Leeward was an exceptional pilot and was very much in his element in the Unlimited races at Reno.
 Beyond what is seen when the trouble begins as the Ghost is completing the turn into the home stretch, I won't speculate.

 We continue to pray for those injured from the accident (some still critical), and of course for the family and friends of those who were injured or lost their lives.

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