ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138572
Last updated: 6 October 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic P51 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
North American P-51D-15-NA Mustang (mod.)
Registration: N79111
C/n / msn: 44-15651
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:10
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Reno-Stead Airport - KRTS, NV -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Reno, NV (KRTS)
Destination airport:Reno, NV (KRTS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAB-12/01.

On September 16, 2011, about 1625 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, single-seat North American P-51D, N79111, collided with the airport ramp in the spectator box seating area following a loss of control during the National Championship Air Races unlimited class gold race at the Reno/Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp (dba Leeward Aeronautical Sales), Ocala, Florida, and operated by the commercial pilot as Race 177, The Galloping Ghost, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and 10 people on the ground sustained fatal injuries, and at least 64 people on the ground were injured (at least 16 of whom were reported to have sustained serious injuries). The airplane sustained substantial damage, fragmenting upon collision with the ramp. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed RTS about 10 minutes before the accident.
Probable Cause: The reduced stiffness of the elevator trim tab system that allowed aerodynamic flutter to occur at racing speeds. The reduced stiffness was a result of deteriorated locknut inserts that allowed the trim tab attachment screws to become loose and to initiate fatigue cracking in one screw sometime before the accident flight. Aerodynamic flutter of the trim tabs resulted in a failure of the left trim tab link assembly, elevator movement, high flight loads, and a loss of control. Contributing to the accident were the undocumented and untested major modifications to the airplane and the pilotís operation of the airplane in the unique air racing environment without adequate flight testing.



Related books:

Revision history:

16-Sep-2011 21:07 RobertMB Added
16-Sep-2011 21:14 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
17-Sep-2011 12:19 vielmetti Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
17-Sep-2011 16:23 gerard57 Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
19-Sep-2011 02:30 flyflyfly Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
19-Sep-2011 09:16 gerard57 Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
21-Sep-2011 00:16 gerard57 Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Aug-2012 13:19 harro Updated [Source, Embed code]
28-Aug-2012 00:36 Anon. Updated [Time, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:14 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description