(AP) – The National Transportation Safety Board says air race pilots should test out plane modifications and possibly wear flight suits to counter potentially dangerous g-forces.
The recommendations were among seven the board offered Tuesday as part of an investigation into the Sept. 16 crash at the Reno National Championship Air Races that killed 11 people.
Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what caused 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward’s modified P-51 Mustang to rocket up before nose-diving into the tarmac in front of a VIP seating area.
They say the plane was going about 530 mph. They suspect the high gravitational forces he experienced made him pass out moments before the deadly impact.
The Reno Air Races features planes flying wing-tip-to-wing-tip around an aerial track, sometimes just 50 feet off the ground.