Thursday, October 13, 2011
Reno Air Race 2011 - Final Flight of the "Galloping Ghost."
News from our investigative troops on the ground - The investigation is now looking at a Center of Gravity (CG) being too close to the aft limit due to the modified cooling system. This led to pitch instability, which likely caused the fatal, divergent pitch moment leading to the roll-over and impact.
From our source: "There is video of the entire last lap of the Ghost before the crash. As Leeward was coming around pylon #8 at about 480 mph after passing Rare Bear, he hit turbulence, which pitched his left wing down, and Leeward corrected with hard right rudder and aileron. Just as the aircraft was straightening out, he hit a second mountain of turbulence which caused the tail to 'dig in' resulting in a high-g climb rendering Leeward instantly unconscious, and resulted in the tail wheel falling out (broken tail wheel support structure was found on the course). As the Ghost shot upward the LH elevator trim tab broke loose. This can be heard on the recording, so the trim tab did not cause the crash."
Video courtesy: VooDoo1650