Plane Crashes at Nevada Air Show in ‘Mass Casualty’ Situation

Posted September 16th, 2011 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A small, vintage plane has crashed at an air show in Nevada, and there are reports that at least 60 people have been injured, 25 critically. Authorities say there likely are fatalities in what they describe as a “mass casualty” situation.

The plane crashed Friday near or into the grandstand during the National Championship Air Races in the Reno area. Video taken at the scene and posted on the Internet showed the plane heading nose-down, and spectators could be heard gasping as they witnessed the accident.

Authorities say the crash impact area was “fairly full” at the time and that emergency response teams immediately went to work.

The status of the pilot was not known, but reports say he issued a “Mayday” before the plane went down. He has been identified as 80-year-old Jimmy Leeward, a real estate developer from Florida. Authorities say he was flying a P-51 Mustang called “Galloping Ghost.” P-51 Mustangs are fighter planes used during World War Two.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration are on the scene.