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NTSB: Plane that crashed at air race had camera

September 18, 2011 • National News


Noah Joraanstad, a commercial pilot from Alaska, lies in a hospital as he points to himself in a video taken at the air show where he was injured a day earlier, in Reno, Nev., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. Joraanstad was injured after pilot Jimmy Leeward’s plane crashed on Friday, killing a number of people, including Leeward himself, and injuring dozens of others. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A World War II-era plane had a video camera facing outward, and memory cards were found at the scene where it crashed near a grandstand in Reno.

It raises the possibility of video of the crash that killed nine, including the pilot.

Investigators with the NTSB said Sunday the cards will be analyzed to see if there is any footage. Before it crashed, the aircraft also sent information to the racing team crew including oil pressure and temperature, altitude and velocity. That information could help investigators determine what caused the plane to crash.

Officials said they have heard reports the pilot sent a mayday call before crashing. They said so far there is no evidence of a call.

The plane hit the first few rows of VIP box seats like a missile Friday, causing a crater roughly 3 feet deep and 8 feet across with debris spread out over more than an acre.

Some members of the crowd have reported noticing a strange gurgling engine noise from above before the P-51 Mustang, dubbed The Galloping Ghost, pitched violently upward, twirled and took an immediate nosedive into the crowd.

The plane, flown by a 74-year-old veteran racer and Hollywood stunt pilot, disintegrated in a ball of dust, debris and bodies as screams of “Oh my God!” spread through the crowd.

The death toll rose to nine Saturday as investigators determined that several onlookers were killed on impact as the plane appeared to Login to read more

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