As we mentioned in our last post about an air show crash in West Virginia, just a day before a similar situation played out in Reno, Nevada, but with much worse consequences.

The airplane crash during an air show in Reno killed 11 people, including the pilot, who had worked as a stunt pilot in Hollywood. Dozens of spectators were injured in the crash that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials say did not fit any of their expected crash scenarios.

Recent FAA documents indicate the air show had security measures set up to keep spectators safe in case of a crash. But in this case, the accident happened at the closest point to spectators. Experts say the FAA’s safety regulations are faulty because they expect the airplane to continue moving in the same direction once it begins to crash.

While the investigation into the accident is ongoing, it has been reported that a damaged tailfin on the vintage plane may have been the cause of the plane plummeting out of the sky. Investigators have found the component they believe may have led to the incident. The plane was a World War II P-51 Mustang. Amateur film of the incident shows the single-seat aircraft rolling over before it slammed into the ground. The site of the impact was a roped-off space filled with spectators.

It is truly tragic when an airplane crash occurs. As one might expect, surviving an airplane accident such as this is unlikely. Often, families are left with unanswered questions of how and why such a horrific event could happen and who is to blame.

These are important questions and need to be answered. While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts investigations of all airplane accidents, the surviving family members of victims may well benefit from a consultation with an attorney devoted to helping victims and surviving family members of airline disasters. The lawyer may provide some guidance and assistance in getting answers and holding negligent parties accountable for their wrongdoing.

Source:, “Reno Air Races crash beyond scope of FAA safety precautions,” Frank X. Mullen Jr., Oct. 1, 2011