Memorial Service Confirmed For Reno Air Crash Victims

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By Johnell Smalls, Christian Post Contributor
September 20, 2011|10:04 pm

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at Idlewild Park in Reno for the victims of the plane crash that took place in Reno last week.

The City of Reno is inviting the public to attend a memorial service for all victims, their families and others affected by the National Championship Air Races and Air Show tragedy. The City will dedicate a tree in the arboretum of Idlewild Park to all the victims.

The World War Two-era fighter lost control and crashed at the 48th Annual National Air Championship races. It's unclear to federal safety investigators what caused the crash.

74-year-old pilot Jimmy Leeward struck the box seat area in front of the grandstand, which killed 10 people and injured more than 50 people. According to Reuters, four people are in critical condition and four others are known to be in serious condition.

An aviation mechanic tells Fox News that photos of the deadly crash suggest the pilot may have become dislodged in the cockpit as a result of a broken seat. A photograph snapped just seconds before the crash does not show Leeward in the cockpit. Also, the plane's tail section appears to have fallen off before the crash.

Leeward, who was among those killed, came from an aviation family and his sons have also took interest in flying planes. He was a well-known veteran stunt pilot and worked in a few movies, including "Dragonfly."

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The plane barely missed the grandstand where even more spectators were watching. The plane did not explode but aviation fuel was sprayed on the crowd.

Mayor Bob Cashell said this year marks the first time spectators were harmed since the Reno Air races began in 1964. A total of 29 people have been killed since. Just a day before, another classic plane crash at a West Virginia air show during an aerobatic demonstration.

 

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