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Old 09-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #26
Ought Six
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http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...ash/50482462/1

Death toll in Reno air crash rises to 11
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #27
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There is a photo now showing that the pilot may not have been in the cockpit at the time of the crash. Speculation that the seat broke, maybe moving the pilot to the rear of the cockpit area, and away from the controls. This is an air racer, not a WWII restoration P-51, hence the seat is far different than in an original Mustang, and the rear of the cockpit is minus all the proper period radio instrumentation or mock-ups of radios seen in such restorations. Further mods aft of the cockpit which freed up room and space include the removal of the radiators, both oil and water, from the belly, in favor of a "boil off" cooling system. It is possible that a broken trim tab caused some violent movement of the aircraft leading to the breakage of the seat supports and loss of control. A similar trim tab loss on the racer Mustang "Voodoo Chile" in 98 supposedly subjected the pilot to a violent pitch up and 10G's causing that pilot to loose consciousness for a brief moment before bringing the plane in for an emergency landing.

Also, some seem to be focusing on the tailwheel, as a photo I saw earlier depicted. Just before the end of WWII, most active and Reserve P-51's (in the interest of saving weight and maintenance issues) had a fixed tail wheel installed versus the original retractable unit. The tail wheel assembly I saw in the photo is no different than the photo's in my reference material, including Squadron/Signals P-51 Walk Around. It was a fixed assembly, as on most war end/Post War/Korean War Mustangs.

---------- Post added at 09:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:47 AM ----------

Here is the Photo I refer too. Dont know why there is a red circle on the tail wheel, as I see nothing amiss there.

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Old 09-21-2011, 10:18 AM   #28
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The tail wheel, I think I saw in prior reports, was stow able, and therefore indicative of a more serious failure than a simple trim tab.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #29
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In all military Mustangs, the gear were tied into the same hydraulic system. If the tail wheel was down, the mains were down and vice versa. It was discovered that a fixed tail wheel did not cause appreciable drag and the trade off in maintenance man-hours saved more than made up for the slight increase in fuel consumption over the service life (not meant to be measured in years, this was war remember) of the airframe. I would assume that an air racer, to save weight, would use a fixed gear of lighter weight (the frame is so much lighter than it was when it rolled off the Inglewood CA plant in 44, as this bird did) and drag would be negligeable with all the other mods (shortened wings among others) done to this racer.

I will admit though, I am not a fan of modifieds, I think a Mustang should look as God intended, stars and bars, 6 M2 Brownings in the wings, D-Day Invasion stripes, and Swastikas under the canopy rail. Having said that, if this bird had a retractable tail wheel (in sync with the mains or on a seperate system) then a dropped wheel would indicate something more amiss than a missing trim tab.

Regardless, the races, as they were known, will probably be altered forever.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #30
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It is beginning to look more and more like the loss of the trim tab created a really violent climb inducing a case of G-LOC (gravity induced loss of consciousness) in the pilot, that would have occurred in any pilot under those conditions regardless of age. In fact, it is possible that the aircraft responded so violently that the pilot may have suffered spinal cord injuries, perhaps even death before the plane hit the ground.

I love old warbirds, so much in fact that there is currently a 1/18 Scale F6F Hellcat sitting on my dining room table (Blue Box Toys) and many more in my sun room, but I wonder if it is not time to rethink flying and certainly racing 67 year old airframes and retire them to museums. I have been treated to standing feet away from a B-17 (Sentimental Journey) at engine start and having it taxi past, casting shadows over me as it did so, followed by a Connie, (Columbine) doing much the same, (working an airshow has its perks ya know) and I would love my grandchildren to someday experience the same. However, if the choice is preserved forever in a museum, vice losing these valuable pieces of history and sacrafice to accidents, Ill gladly take the museum.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:03 AM   #31
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Gd:
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It is beginning to look more and more like the loss of the trim tab created a really violent climb inducing a case of G-LOC (gravity induced loss of consciousness) in the pilot, that would have occurred in any pilot under those conditions regardless of age. In fact, it is possible that the aircraft responded so violently that the pilot may have suffered spinal cord injuries, perhaps even death before the plane hit the ground.
A guy I work with is an aerobatic pilot that does competition, and who belongs to the Washington state aerobatic team. He told me yesterday pretty much exactly the same thing about losing the trim tab, the climb and G-LOC. However, he said that as the plane was going in, it appeared the pilot was able to pull it away from the center of the stands. He does not think that the pilot was out cold. He thinks he only blacked out briefly.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:09 PM   #32
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Photo just before impact.

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File Type: jpg renocrash.jpg (155.8 KB, 37 views)
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #33
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I forgot to come back and correct my earlier comments. I talked to my coworker again, and I misunderstood him. He had said that it was the press who saying the pilot was conscious, but that is BS. The extreme G-forces of the sharp pull-up when the trim tab failed would have created instant G-LOC, and there is no way he could have recovered from it before the crash. This guy said that he figured that you could not see the pilot in the canopy because he had his head tilted forward to look at the instruments when the trim tab failed, and that his shoulder straps were not properly tightened. As a result, he was slammed forward and downward, his helmet probably striking and moving the stick, causing the roll to the side. He said that in a Mustang it is not possible for the pilot to move back far enough in the seat to disappear from view due to the upright seating position in that aircraft, so he had to be scrunched over forward.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:34 PM   #34
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I would agree that in a stock Mustang the seat could not move back, but in a heavily modified racer, (and keep in mind, dual seat mustangs have been created by simply adding a second seat behind the first, with little mod to the front seat and no lenthening of the canopy or airframe - there is that much room back there if you take out the radio racks) there could simply be nothing aft of the seat but empty space, especially given that the original oil and water coolers had been removed.

Regardless, once the trim tab came off, the plane and pilot were subjected to tremendous G's and the evidence points to an uncontrolled airplane, whether the pilot was thrown forward or backwards.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #35
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Bill Whittle breaks down the mainstream media narrative of the crash and it's relationship to the nanny state.
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