To date there have been Eleven deaths reported as a result of a plane crash at the Reno Air Races in Reno Nevada on September 16, 2011. At this time the death toll is still uncertain as medical professionals are still conducting DNA testing on unidentifiable bodies. As the number of dead seems to increase everyday, a person has to wonder: how safe are air shows?
The cause of the crash is still undetermined. What is known is the plane that crashed, was a post World-War II P-51D Mustang, that had been heavily modified in an attempt to make it the fastest of its type in the world. The mother of one of the deceased told ABC News her son was there because he “loved planes" and “that’s why most people go to these things." No one ever expects that a professional pilot will loose control of a plane and crash into the crowd.
The Reno plane crash is highly publicized because of the high death toll and the numerous spectators hospitalized with catastrophic injuries. Sadly, the day after the Reno air show crash, another plane, a T-28 war bird crashed at the Blue Ridge Air Show in Virginia. Luckily for spectators the T-28 warbird crashed far enough from the crowd that none of the onlookers were injured, however, the pilot was killed in the plane crash. These two incidents are not isolated events. There have been eleven air show accidents in 2011 alone. Unfortunately, most of these accidents resulted in at least one death.
Modified planes may be one of the reasons for the large number of accidents at air shows. Pilots who fly at these events make changes to the engines and bodies of the planes in order to excite the spectators. While these changes may be in violation of Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) Regulations, and the experienced pilots are professional pilots, they are not professional engineers.
Regardless of the recent string of Air Show plane crash accidents, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University intends to hold the Wings and Waves Air Show in October of next year. The university had shut down the show for the past seven years. University officials assure air show spectators that “safety is [their] mantra" while further saying “until you know what caused things, its hard to draw a lesson from it." Perhaps more effort should be placed into finding out why air show accidents keep occurring.
The experienced Philadelphia air show accident and aviation accident lawyers of Reiff & Bily along with the attorneys of The Beasley Reiff Law Group understand the complex process involved with investigating air show accidents. Our in house team of experienced aviation accident and air show accident lawyers include professional pilots as well as established relationships with top aviation crash experts. The aviation accident attorneys at Beasley Reiff Law Group know that proving the cause of an airplane crash can be difficult and that a tragic and unexpected accident can change your life. If you, or a loved one, have been injured at an air show accident contact the accidental injury attorneys at the Beasley Reiff Law Group at 1.800.588.0130 or at www.reiffandbily.com for a free consultation.