A horrible airplane crash at an air show in Reno took the lives of 9 people plus 58 more that were inured, how did that happen? Airplane pilot Jimmy Leeward was a veteran pilot with years of experience. What went wrong in Reno? Keep reading to know all the details about this tragedy plus the crash video provided below.
Nobody knows exactly what happened to the aircraft of Jimmy Leeward, when on Friday September 16 at about 4:30 p.m. when his plane crash violently into a box seat. The plane disintegrated upon impact and left one of the most horrible scenes in Reno’s history, the crash killed nine, seven dead on the tarmac and two died in the hospital, 15 of the 50 people taken to the hospital are in critical condition. Witnesses said it seemed that the pilot was struggling to steer the plane out of the crowd, but he lost control, many said his effort saved thousands. He managed to lead the uncontrolled planed onto the tarmac in front of the VIP box seat. Without his efforts the plane would have crashed in the area where more spectators were seated.
Pilot Jimmy Leeward 74 was flying his Galloping Ghost, a p-51 Mustang that has been racing since 1946. Like Jimmy, this aircraft is a legend in Reno mostly known as Jeannie, Jimmy was one of the most experienced pilots to race in Reno and in P-51’s. Jimmy a veteran pilot from Ocala, Florida, was the owner of Leeward Air Racing Team where his beloved family works too. Bette, his beautiful wife, their children are all adults now – Tracy, Dirk, Kent and grandson Ryan who is Dirk’s boy and an aerospace engineer student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Mr. Leeward had appeared as a stunt pilot in two popular films, like the 1980 movie Cloud Dancer with David Carradine, Dragonfly with Kevin Costner and Amelia with Hilary Swank, the PBS 2004 film Tuskegee Airmen, plus he has been in several television commercials and TV productions. He had been racing for over 30 years. His death is a great loss.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Leeward family, friends and fans just like the rest of the mourning families who lost their dear ones in this terrible accident.
Photos: www.wenn.com/ Ray Filmano, Eric Isaacs