The Washington Post

Reno air show disaster: plane crashes as thousands watch (Video)

The Associated Press is reporting that a plane crashed into the stands at the National Championship Air Races.

Update: The embed function on the video originally posted here has been disabled; it can be seen here on YouTube.

Update No. 2: The video can be watched here:

According to the races’ Web site, the event started Wednesday and goes through Sunday. The site describes it as an event for the “World’s Fastest Motorsport,” with speeds of more than 500 mph.

The Post’s Steve Hendrix reported earlier this week that Heather ”Lucky” Penney and her father were at the races in Reno. Penney was one of the first fighter pilots in the air over Washington on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001; she was prepared to ram the 757 that was feared headed for Washington. It was a United plane, and at the time, her father was a United pilot.

The pilot of the plane was identified as Jimmy Leeward. “We’re as fast as anyone in the field, or maybe a little faster,” he told an interview in a video posted on The segment on Leeward starts at 2:24.

To get an idea of what kind of plane crashed, the plane in this video is identified as a P51 Mustang, the same kind the AP is reporting crashed.

Terri Rupar is The Post's national digital projects editor.


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