The North American P-51 Mustang
Reno 2007
Home Unlimiteds Others Gold V-12 Future Eternal Flights
P-51 Mustang at Reno 2007
Eternal Flights - Reno 2007
story and photos by Curtis Fowles

Steve Dari - Biplanes - Lemon Grove, California

Brad Morehouse - Jets - Afton, Wyoming

Gary Hubler - Formula 1 - Caldwell, Idaho

These are the first fatal accidents at the races since 2002. Our hearts and prayers go out to the crews, friends and families of these racers.

RN6_0239dt.jpg RN6_0240dt.jpg RN6_9873dt.jpg RN6_9896wt.jpg RN6_9909dt.jpg RN7_0007097wt.jpg RN7_0007113wvt.jpg RN7_6874wt.jpg RN7_6883wt.jpg RN7_7065wvt.jpg RN7_7139wt.jpg RN7_7165wt.jpg RN7_7214wt.jpg

After the qualifying was over on Tuesday, Steve Dari was out to do some test flying in the racing biplane #3, "Rose Peregrine". I wittnessed this crash. The aircraft rolled down runway 8 and (to me) seemed like a long run. Once airborne the biplane climbed slowly then coughed, sputtered, coughed again with some smoke and then quit. The aircraft was across from the grandstands by now less than 200' agl. With little of runway 8 left, the aircraft turned and decended. Dari impacted the infield between runway 8 and 32.

Dari was a Reno Air Races veteran of many years.

Thursday 13 September: During the Jet race in the afternoon, Brad Morehouse flying L-39 "Dino Juice" #4 which qualified at over 500 mph, encountered wake turbulence just after pylon 9 in front of the pits. I was at pylon 2 and I only saw jets pull up off the course just as it happened. Wittnesses said that Morehouse was abruptly knocked inverted by the turbulence. Morehouse then righted himself but descent rate was too high and the aircraft impacted the ground after he recovered. The jet exploded on impact and a fire ensued for a short time as emergency crews hurried to the scene.

Friday 14 September: During Formula 1 Heat 2a, #1 qualifier Gary Hubler in #95 "Mariah" and Jason Somes in "Alley Cat" #4 contacted each other. Hubler's aircraft immediately went to the ground while Somes fought for control of #4 and set down on the desert floor. Somes was sent to the hospital with an eye and head injury. Somes was treated and released the following day. He returned to the races with a bandaged eye. Hubler was killed. Two pylon judges were also injured by falling debri. Gary Hubler, 51, was an air race veteran racing since 1984 and a former champion for the last five years at Reno.

RN7_7223wt.jpg RN7_7251wt.jpg RN7_7264wt.jpg RN7_7329wt.jpg RN7_7334wt.jpg RN7_7353wt.jpg RN7_7732wt.jpg RN7_7739wt.jpg RN7_7745wt.jpg RN7_7821wt.jpg RN7_7832wt.jpg RN7_8161wt.jpg RN7_8221wt.jpg RN7_9152wt.jpg

This is a dangerous sport. Aviation has its inherent dangers that we as pilots take on each time we strap in. But we continue to do so knowing the risks and taking measures to fly safely. Air racing has far more dangers than cruising around in a Cub. These pilots are trained, experienced and the best at what they do. They knowingly accept these risks doing everything within their ability to come back safely to earth after each take off.

The races were continued on Saturday and Sunday with safety. While we mourn the loss of pilots and friends, they would have it no other way ... but to keep flying.

RN7_9155wt.jpg RN7_9167wt.jpg RN7_9170wt.jpg RN7_9181wt.jpg RN7_9219wt.jpg RN7_9222wt.jpg RN7_9229wt.jpg RN7_9235wt.jpg RN7_9252wt.jpg RN7_r0052wt.jpg RN7_r0056wvt.jpg RN7_r0066wt.jpg RN7_r0090wt.jpg RN7_r0316wt.jpg