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Did pilot error cause the fatal crash at a Reno air show?

Posted by David Nemeroff | Sep 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

Living in Chicago one of the great summer events is the Air and Water show in August. Over a million people make the trip to the lakefront to watch all the amazing acts. The event provides endless hours of joy and entertainment for the spectators. I quite enjoy the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels. The precision they exhibit as they maneuver around the Chicago buildings. Leaving one to wonder, what would happen if the timing was off or the pilot mad a miscalculation?

Imagine going to the Airshow expecting to be entertained for the day and instead you witness a plane crash. This happened in Reno this week. Many spectators watched as a plane that was competing in the Nevada Air Show suddenly crashed into the ground. Many observing the Air Show stated that it was clear that the pilot lost control of the plane. The fatal airplane crash happened after witnesses reported that the pilot attempted to steer the malfunctioning plane away from crowd.

It is common in these types of air shows for planes to fly very close together. At times it might even appear to the spectator that the wings are touching. This allows them to complete the intricate and timed maneuvers. The National Championship Air Races is a favorite and brings thousands of people to Reno every late September. Whether you like to watch military or civilian planes race, there is something for everyone. This weekend a tragic crash occurred and three people were killed and dozens were injured.

It is unfortunate as these National Championship Air Races are well monitored by the FAA. The FAA certifies all the pilot training and qualifications. The FAA also implements numerous course layout testing. The FAA is on sight for all the pilots' practice runs to ensure that safety measures are in compliance. The pilots receive extensive information on route maneuvers and emergency procedures. It is believed that a malfunction of the aircraft caused it to go out of control.” The pilot who lost his life was a Hollywood stunt pilot. He had many years of experience navigating aircraft in these types of air shows. It is believed that the pilot made every attempt to avoid crashing in a crowded area. Unfortunately, he was unable to control the plane and it crashed into the concrete section of VIP box seats. The plane caught fire upon impact and disintegrated. The airplane crash site resembled a movie set. The air was filled with dark smoke and debris. Everywhere you looked people were injured. Many were badly burned due to all the fiery debris. It was estimated that over 50 people were injured. 15 victims were reported or were considered in critical condition, 13 were in serious condition with potentially life-threatening injuries and 28 had non-life threatening injuries.

As a Chicago injury and workplace accident attorney, I realize that many of the victims from this Air Show crash suffered catastrophic injuries. Suffering a catastrophic or serious injury is a life changing occurrence. Catastrophic injuries often include spinal cord injuries, brain injuries (TBI), or the loss of limbs, burns and multiple bone fractures. The majority of catastrophic injuries often occur as a result of car accidents, plane crashes and train accidents. Catastrophic injuries are usually associated with an impaired quality of life. Caring for a catastrophic injury victim can be very complex and is a lifelong commitment.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a catastrophic injury, it is very important to retain an attorney who understands the lifelong challenges you will face. At Nemeroff Law Offices we represent individuals that have either been victims of catastrophic injuries or who lost loved ones in wrongful death cases.

Source: 3 dead, scores injured after crash at Reno air show,, September 16, 2011

About the Author

David Nemeroff

David Nemeroff was voted one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the entire state of Illinois (out of 83,000 lawyers) by Super Lawyers Magazine...


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