This man has been touched. By God, maybe, but also when his head was clipped by the wing of another airplane. Getting rear-ended as you taxi out onto the runway by another, landing airplane is much, much worse than any automotive fender bender.
The crash occurred during the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada. The plane that was hit in the video, called the Hot Stuff, was taking off for the final race of the Formula One Class of the championship.
The pilot, Thom Richard, took to the video’s description to describe the terrifying crash:
“The impact was violent and loud. His left leading edge shaved off the top several inches from my vertical and skimmed the turtle-deck without touching until it impacted my right hand holding up the canopy, at well over sixty miles an hour. The left landing gear hit the top of the gull-wing center-section, blowing a hole in the top skin and impacted the rear face of the front spar so hard that it broke the landing gear clean off his airplane. The propeller sliced three evenly spaced gashes about mid span of my right wing, about a foot apart. The right landing gear sheared the wing off just short of the right wingtip. The impact spun me around nearly 180º, like a teacup ride at warp eight. The other aircraft came to rest several hundred feet in front of me with a folded gear, damaged wing and sheared propeller facing the other way as well. That pilot received no injuries.”
Richard went on to explain that he wasn’t mad about the crash, just happy to be alive. His hand was crushed from the impact of the other plane’s wing, but is expected to heal. The protocols for the race will be reviewed to prevent something like this from hopefully happening again.
“I’ve used up another of my nine lives, but why would you have nine unless you plan to use them?… We live, learn and race on.”
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