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Entries in Crash (1)

How To Prevent Flutter And Other Aeroelastic Modes

Patrick Veillette, Ph.D. | Business & Commercial Aviation

On Sept. 16, 2011, The “Galloping Ghost,” a highly modified P-51D Mustang racer piloted by James K. “Jimmy” Leeward, had just rounded pylon No. 8 at the famed National Championship Air Races when the racer suddenly pitched up abruptly, rolled inverted then nosedived. The aircraft hit the Reno/Stead Airport (RTS) apron at over 400 mph in front of the grandstands in an area containing box seating, disintegrating on impact. Seven people, including the pilot, died at the crash site, and four more died later.

The NTSB began examining the wreckage after the crash along with photographic evidence taken just before the crash. The latter revealed that part of the left elevator trim tab was missing. The extensively altered aircraft showed signs of extreme stress demonstrated by buckling of the fuselage aft of the wing in addition to gaps appearing between the fuselage and the canopy during flight.

The investigation report found that...

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