Photos are trickling in, and this photo may display the Smoking Gun.
Reno's daily paper the Reno Gazette Journal has a photo album with another good photo clue.
|AP Photo/Grass Valley Union Tim O'Brien|
That tail wheel is normally retracted in race trim. Odds are control flutter from the unbalanced elevator combined with the high-G pull-up maneuver shook it open.
Eyewitness reports say Jimmy did everything he could to keep that plane out of the crowd. He was probably pulling on that stick with everything he had.
I'm chilled to the bone tonight. I was packing to head up to Reno for the weekend. I'd hoped to get underway after lunch, but circumstances beyond my control held me up until the Friday night rush. I decided to cool my jets, and depart after the Giants game and let the Friday Freeway Frenzy precede my trip across the Big Valley and up the hill. I got wind of the crash minutes after it happened. I was surfing an Air Racing bulletin board for Reno news, where a thread alerted me to the disaster.
I pray for the victim's families and souls, and pray that RARA finds a way to continue the Reno Air Races into the future.