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Thread: 74 year old pilot loses control, crashes into airshow fans in Reno

  1. #1
    Ascendant Laughingstock's Avatar
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    Default 74 year old pilot loses control, crashes into airshow fans in Reno

    Reno Air Show Plane Crash: Airplane Crashes Into Stands At National Championship Air Races In Nevada

    If anyone hadn't heard the details of this, a 74 year old pilot with years of flying experience crashed his plane at the Reno airshow and injured scores of people. Witnesses report "arms and legs" everywhere in a "bloodbath". Luckily, there hasn't been many deaths as they were narrowly avoided but none of this seems to be the real issue.

    Regardless of flying experience and even equipment (the plane was a World War II era fighter) do you think that people of advanced age ( over 70) should be allowed to fly planes at airshows? Is there a greater risk of pilot error due to physical reflexes naturally slower with age? Does the increased physical threats (stroke, heart attack, etc) that are inherent with age make this type of pilot more dangerous? Or should piloting airplanes in this fashion by the elderly be treated like drivers of an automobile on highways?
    Last edited by Laughingstock; 09-17-2011 at 04:42 AM.

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    Ascendant tro44's Avatar
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    wow sorry to hear that

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    Plane Touched Meeki's Avatar
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    This could have happened to anyone. Unless he had a heart attack or something affected from his age, it's irrelevant. If it's a problem with the plane (which is most likely), it doesn't matter how old he is. The fact he pulled away to spare hundreds of lives at without having much time to pull it off shows that he is a good pilot and experienced. Just an accident. It's happened many times before with much younger pilots.
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    Rift Chaser
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    I read that it appeared to be a mechanical problem and the pilot did try to take evasive action.

    However, I was sort of thinking the same thing. Our family attended an airshow about 10 years ago and I was amazed at the advanced age of some of these guys. As long as they are checked out and are in good health though, I don't see why not.

    As an aside: my dad was a Korean War pilot and flew fighter jets. He decided to take up his hobby again in his 60's and I must say that the doctor's were very, very careful in clearing him for flight duty. He is in excellent health but has had glaucoma since he was in his 40's. When he started experiencing the slightest bit of vision loss (at that point it was tiny), the doc grounded him. No questions asked.

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    Rift Chaser Finaltidus's Avatar
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    i think once you get to a certain age (maybe 65) you need to renew your license for driving/anything more frequently then others, just because its fact as you age you lose reflexes/coordination.

  6. #6
    Ascendant Laughingstock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
    I read that it appeared to be a mechanical problem and the pilot did try to take evasive action.

    However, I was sort of thinking the same thing. Our family attended an airshow about 10 years ago and I was amazed at the advanced age of some of these guys. As long as they are checked out and are in good health though, I don't see why not.

    As an aside: my dad was a Korean War pilot and flew fighter jets. He decided to take up his hobby again in his 60's and I must say that the doctor's were very, very careful in clearing him for flight duty. He is in excellent health but has had glaucoma since he was in his 40's. When he started experiencing the slightest bit of vision loss (at that point it was tiny), the doc grounded him. No questions asked.
    I think this is the point really.

    Your dad sounds as if he was wanting to fly from Point A to Point B, not do what this other advanced elderly man was doing.. racing and pulling Gs on vintage aircraft in competition. There is a huge difference in the two activities.

    Age and mission (or use) in this case is much different. We will never know based on the sheer amount of damage with this plane what happened regardless of what people think they know about his actions.

    More to the point, I would be more concerned about elderly doing this competively in this fashion. I hear the argument "it could and does happen with younger pilots" but the point is why add potentially MORE accidents with elderly simply because it already happens now?

    That's pretty bad logic when I see that argument.
    Last edited by Laughingstock; 09-17-2011 at 06:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Telaran
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    So who let that weird old guy onto a plane anyway...americans...then you wonder

  8. #8
    General of Telara
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    Where as driving, there isnt as many hazzards in the air as on the road.

    However At 74, surely your reflexes arent as good as they are when you are say 30, so i think questions have to be asked as to whether or not an age cap/retake on license, should be introduced when flying/driving, operating any machinery that can cause loss of life.

    It was sad to see, but if you look at the amount of Air show crashes over the last 10 years, it looks like they have increased from the previous 10, now if anything i would have thought flying should have gotten safer, not more dangerous.
    Last edited by Elgarr; 09-19-2011 at 01:10 AM.

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    Ascendant Sinndel's Avatar
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    I don't even like old people driving cars, nvm aircrafts O_o
    I have a photoshopic memory. I remember everything you say or do exactly the way I want to.

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