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From the Galloping Ghost airshow accident a couple weeks back... Rick

Ok... here's the skinny on the accident.... A P-51 normally has two trim tabs.. one on each elevator... this one had one and other one was fixed in place.. He was warned about the forces being put on that one tab. It failed.. He had at least a 10G load when the plane pitched up from the loss of the trim tab and he went "nighty night" and probably never woke up. The telemetry downloaded from Galloping Ghost revealed an 11g pull-up, fuel flow interrupted on the way up, and then the engine restarted when fuel flow resumed at the top of the arc. The aircraft was making 105 inches of Manifold Pressure on the way down.

Here's another “theory” of the crash from experienced racers. In 1989 this type of thing happened to another pilot but he lived to tell the story. When flying a P-51 at 450+mph you need to have full nose down trim to keep the plane level. The elevator trim tab broke off and the aircraft immediately went in to a 10G climb, confirmed by the G-meter. The pilot came to, from the sudden blackout and realized he had slipped through the shoulder harness and was looking at the floor of the airplane. He was able to reach the throttle and pull it back to slow down and was able to recover and land.

Photo one is the airplane taxiing, note the pilots head in the canopy.

Fast forward to 2011. Photo two is typical oil canning as a result of the tremendous torque these engines put out at high power.

Photo three is a photo of GG upside down with a missing elevator trim tab. Note all you see is the back of the pilots head indicating he is being forced down in the cockpit.

Photo four is a view of the left side nose down with the tail wheel extended and no view of the pilot. The tail wheel is held up by hydraulics only with no mechanical uplock, thus indicating a high G-force causing it to extend.

Photos five and six are from the left side prior to impact, note no view of the pilot and the tail wheel extended.

Photo seven is the debris just after the crash. To the right of center above the crowd it appears to be the wing with the leading edge down. A friend of mine was supposed to be there but didn't go and he has several friends in the hospital right now. The people were mostly hit by chunks of concrete, asphalt and aircraft debris. They were also hurt by the trampling of people getting out of the way.

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