Robert “Hoot” Gibson Wins Unlimited Gold Race in “Strega” at 2015 National Championship Air Races, unseats six-time gold winner Steve Hinton in “Voodoo.”
Robert “Hoot” Gibson won the Unlimited Gold Race at the Fifty-Second Annual National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, Sept. 20, unseating six-time gold winner Steve Hinton Jr. Gibson flew the P-51D Mustang Strega and covered the course in a time of 7:52:54, for a speed of 488.983 mph.
16 September 2011:In the late afternoon, six highly-modified World War II-era fighters were competing in a preliminary heat for the Unlimited Division championship of the National Championship Air Races. The Galloping Ghost, race number 177, was flown by its owner, James Kent Leeward. At 16:24:28.9 Pacific Daylight Time, The Galloping Ghost‘s angle of bank rapidly increased from 73° to 93° in just 0.83 seconds. The air racer, corrected by its pilot’s aileron input, rolled back to the right, but then violently pitched up and the pilot became unconscious. The airplane essentially flew itself into an inside loop, then crashed into the ground directly in front of a seating area. The Galloping Ghost was totally destroyed. Jimmy Leeward and 11 spectators were killed, with at at least 69 others injured.
“And so what we found with the trim tab was that the elastic stopped nuts, which are there to give enough friction so that the bolts can't work their way loose. The elastic stopped nuts were too old and too worn and the bolts were able to back out and give some slop to the hinge points of that trim tab. And at the speed Jimmy was going, that airplane went fast enough that that trim tab fluttered, which means it's bouncing back and forth. It couldn't stand the stresses and the trim tab broke off. And at that point, that 17 G pitch up happened.” -Hoot Gibson.
Hoot Gibson’s Hangar, aviation’s premier podcast, hosted by America’s premier aviator, Hoot Gibson, “The Man That Can Fly Anything."
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