Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 16, 2011 8:14 PM. The previous post in this blog was Have a great weekend. The next post in this blog is Reassuring thoughts. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, September 16, 2011

Air show madness takes, ruins more lives

Five years ago, the Hillsboro air show here in greater Portlandia had a horrible accident, in which an incompetent old guy showing off his antique aircraft plunged into a residential neighborhood. He killed himself, destroyed two homes, and damaged two others.

Today, something similar happened at an air show in Reno. But this time the geezer stunt man crashed into the spectator stands, killing at least three and injuring more than 50 people, many of them maimed.

Attending the Reno air show has been like playing Russian roulette in recent years. In 2007, there were three fatal crashes there in four days.

As we said five years ago, these macho events are dangerous and stupid. They ought to be outlawed. And people who go to them -- especially those who bring kids -- need to have their heads examined.

UPDATE, 9/17, 4:20 p.m.: The death toll from this senseless tragedy is now up to nine.

Comments (56)

Jack -

I know nothing about events in Reno today.

I do know a little bit about events in Hillsboro 5 years ago.

Despite your rant, the guy who crashed in Hillsboro crashed AFTER THE AIR SHOW WAS LONG OVER.

Despite your rant your rant, the guy who crashed in Hillsboro wasn't performing any stunts when he crashed.

Despite your rant, the guy who crashed in Hillsboro, was doing a normal take off from a standard departure runway when he crashed.

Air shows can be dangerous. NASCAR races can be, too.

Lets tru to link up causation - cause and effect - rather than blindly engaging in post hoc, propter hoc fallacies.

Nope, I am not now, nor have I ever been a pilot.

The guy who killed himself and destroyed people's lives in Hillsboro was 74 YEARS OLD AND FLYING AN UNSAFE AIRCRAFT. The only reason he was here was to show off the coolness of his dangerous equipment and his skills as a pilot, which weren't much. He was doing a "flyover" for the adoring crowd when he ditched the pile of junk he was flying.

The guy who killed three people and maimed countless others today was 74 YEARS OLD AND FLYING AN UNSAFE AIRCRAFT.

You can shout all you want, but it's the same problem. I hope the lawsuits eventually end the stupidity, because with so many dimwits with their CAPS LOCK KEYS making excuses for it, the politicians probably won't.

While I agree somewhat with you Jack, I do want to say that in Reno it is the air races, not just an air show. I will say that air races make an air show look like a poodle show...very dangerous, but it's been a big deal in Reno for a long time. Most of the people that go to the Reno event know the risk involved, but for some reason still turn out in big numbers.

"Do not be wicked overmuch, nor become foolish. Why should you die when it is not your time?" Ecclesiasties 7:17.

Jack is absolutely correct. The airshow is a menace and takes no responsibility for the completely unnecessary dangers they impose on the surrounding community. Unlike the NASCAR spectators referred to in the first comment, the surrounding homeowners are forced to participate in these dangers whether they like it or not. The people running the airshow also generate a huge amount of self-congratulatory advertising regarding the paltry amount of charity donations they generate with no mention of how much they pay themselves to run the event. The fact that the show happens at all is another utter failure of the bureaucratic clowns at the Port of Portland.

Jack, tobacco kills more people in a day in Oregon than all the airshows in a decade. And soda and junk food cause some people to become maimed by diabetes. Yes, both air show incidents were tragedies, but your hysteria distracts us from more important issues.

So jack, lets get right to it.

The guy in Hillsboro was 74 years old and flying. I suggest to you that his age, rather than an airsow which had already ended, was far more the cause.

The guy in Hillsboro was flying an unsafe aircraft? So where was the FAA? Unsafe is unsafe, whether at an airshow or taking off from Redmond / Bend airport.
The guy in Hillsbora was NOT doing a "flyover"; there was no "adoring crowd". The airshow had ended about two hours before the crash.

And Jack, just because folks disagree with you, they are not by definition "dimwits".

Your apology is accepted.

I filmed the air show at Hillsboro once - I needed some military shots for a movie I was making. It was exciting seeing the new stuff like the Stealth fighters, but I definitely felt the danger when the vintage prop planes were high over our heads doing stunts.

Comparing it to NASCAR is ridiculous. Yes, auto racing has had some deadly interaction with the fans but that's been pretty much brought under control with fences and barriers.

However, you can't always control where a malfunctioning plane's going to come down if it's diving from hundreds of feet above the grandstand. It's inherently more dangerous.

I also don't get the distinction with the plane that crashed in Hillsboro that time. (Incidentally, they pointed out where it went down to me.) I mean so what if it was just practicing or whatever - it was there for the air show, wasn't it?

I remember one plane in particular that day. It was an old MIG fighter from the early 60s/late 50s with a huge nasty flame coming out the back and a really primitive look. Wow, was iit loud. I had no confidence in it. I mean an early Russian jet fighter? If that bastard had just blown up in midair it wouldn't have surprised me.

just because folks disagree with you, they are not by definition "dimwits".

Your apology is accepted.

I don't apologize for my comments. You have the facts wrong about Hillsboro, and you need to learn to lay off the caps lock key. See you next year.

The airshow had ended about two hours before the crash.

The Hillsboro crash occurred at 4:30 p.m., "toward the end" of the show. There were still thousands of spectators in the stands, and they saw the plane go down. Then the show was stopped; it did not end normally.

I don't go to these things, but if I remember the reports correctly, that plane in Hillsboro was only on display at the show. The guy was taking off to go back home and his engine flamed out.
That could have been any plane that leaves that airport every day.

It could have been, but it wasn't. It was an out-of-shape old vintage aircraft that wouldn't have been in Hillsboro except for the dopey airshow. And the 74-year-old guy flying it -- who'd crashed another creaky old plane once before -- would have stayed in L.A., where he belonged, instead of ruining innocent people's lives on the ground.

Go fly your antiques over the Mojave Desert!

I bet more spectators have died driving to get to air shows than from the planes at them.

Survival of the fittest is still a going concern. The shows should not be open to children, and the adults should be free to be immolated.

Do them out in the boonies, far away from where people live.

I bet more spectators have died driving to get to air shows than from the planes at them.

That is so profound.

What got me tonight was the utter nonchalance of the Reno Air Race President & CEO Mike Houghton, and who, in closing his post-"mass casualty" "press conference," asked for any other questions saying he's "happy" to answer any of them. Oh, the humanity....

Meanwhile, the tears seem to be reserved exclusively for the pilot. "He was so brave -- he tried to pull up at the last second so that more people wouldn't die. His family wanted the air races to go on all weekend. Jimmy would have wanted it that way." It's as if the other dead people and the amputees aren't even worth talking about.

At 74 years old, that old cowboy should have been on a golf course somewhere. And that pile of junk he was flying belonged in a museum, or a recycling center.

In any event, the whole enterprise of air shows is criminal negligence. What a waste.

Meanwhile, getting back to the Hillsboro disaster, the clown in that accident was indeed showing off his plane when it crashed. From the NTSB report (scroll all the way down):

Event coordinators reported that the pilot planned to make 1-3 non-aerobatic low passes over the runway after departing from runway 30. Subsequent to completing the maneuver(s), the pilot intended to continue the flight to his home airport in Van Nuys, Calif.

One might quibble a bit with Jack on some of his characterizations of the people and the events, but his overall larger point is valid. It's sufficient to just say air shows and air races standing alone are inherently dangerous (which probably is one big reason why people go to see them), and are made even far more dangerous when they occur over populated areas, and many people there have no choice about being there in harm's way. Shouldn't be allowed to happen.

According to NBC the plane had been modified by shortening the wing span by 5 feet on each wing of the airplane, and making the cockpit canopy smaller.
It will be interest to see if the NTSB finds that these modifications, or any others, may have contributed to any mechanical failure that may have caused the crash.
I am not a fan of these types of air shows, but then I am not a car racing fan either. The possible gore factor is not to my liking as it reminds me more of the gruesome public executions that were held to amuse and instill fear the masses in earlier centuries.

$h!t happens. If you buy a ticket to an airshow, be sure to read the fine print on the back. It's dangerous out there in the real world.

Okay folks some FACTS from here in Reno.

1. My own brother is a local airplane owner and has volunteered as an infield course marshall at the Reno Nation Air Races for several years. He was
"off duty" and looking at a DC-3 parked about a half mile away from the accident site at the time it happened.
2. The actual race course and the runway
at several hundred feet away for where spectators sit. At no time are any airplanes allowed to fly above the spectator area.
3. The rest of the Air Races are cancelled
and it's anyone's guess if they will be
held next year.
4. In the 40+ years the Reno National Air Races have been held there have never been any spectator accidents involing moving aircraft
before this incident.
5. According to local media, these have been three deaths - the pilot and two spectators and 54 people transported to local hospitals for treatment. At least
12 are in critical condition.
6. The pilot had completed a flight surgeon's examination - much more rigid than a typical medical examination - prior to flying in this event.
7. At the time of the accident, it is estimated that the airplanes involved in the race were flying at speeds in excess of 400 MPH. The crash was so severe that metal parts of the airplane are inbedded
in the concrete runway.

Every day is an air show in SE Portland. All summer we have been burdened -- new this year -- by the two-prop airliners of Alaska, et al, flying in low, loud, and often to-and-from PDX, nearly ten miles north. Along with the smaller, louder, twin-prop craft so plentiful during the early evening. There is also a constant presence of smaller, single-engine planes, most of which are extremely loud, some of which just go back-and-forth above the neighborhood. The occasional seaplane buzzes by, perhaps from the river two miles west, as well as a lumbering DC-3. And a biplane is less unusual than might be expected. Before dawn, a helicopter, very low, rattles the house, perhaps observing traffic on nearby Powell Blvd but maybe taping a dog stuck on a roof; there will be three or four such fly-overs each day -- unless a lone hiker has managed to lose himself on a Gorge trail. There are far more flying objects in the sky above inner SE than there were a decade ago above, for example, inner NE.

The F-15s and the large airliners are high above all of this traffic but they also contribute to the high volume of ambient noise and possibility of disaster of this air show.

One might hope that some agency is regulating such use of urban airspace; but, given the erosion of the FAA for political reasons, there is cause to wonder and worry. Besides, the FAA does not regulate the choppers, darlings of the local network outlets.

Things are dangerous. Airshows, skiing, motorsports, driving to work, bicycling to work, enlisting. I'd like to do the actuary work myself though, not have some black swan events cause you and politicians to raise their pitchforks and try to outlaw events like this, especially when the risks are so known.

And if your ultimate intent is to make a statistical affect on human mortality (a noble intent), your best bet ioff the top of my head is probably fighting corn subsidies, curing cancer, and labeling caloric values at restaurants.


You just did what you have warned us against. Ban air shows especially for those who bring kids: "It's for the children."

A airline pilot is not allowed to work past 60 or 65 years of age. So why is a pilot over 65 allowed to fly at a air show?

I don't what what the full story might be but I understand that the Hillsboro air show is no longer a part of the Rose Festival. It was always a stretch, given the time frame of the festival and the dates for the air show but for years an effort was made to tack it onto the end of the calendar.

Crashing planes aside, I recall hearing lots of complaints about the heat and attendant sunstroke. Not a place I would want to take the kids. It would probably be safer to make a day trip to the 'drome in Tillamook and take in some history and beachcombing at the same time.

As for the Hillsboro air show, anyone on the West side was a target for all kinds of noise from military hot dogs and their jets.

Breaking News on another air show crash in WV this afternoon.

Lets tru to link up causation - cause and effect - rather than blindly engaging in post hoc, propter hoc fallacies.

Indeed, let's. The reason the plane was in Hillsboro in the first place? For the air show. The reason it was being flown? To leave the air show.

Let's make it simpler than that: Without an air show, that plane would've never crashed into the neighborhood. Period. It was an older plane, a trophy plane, and an accident waiting to happen.

What's the "logical fallacy" there, exactly? Jack seemed to be saying air shows should stop. Remove the air show? No 2006 Hillsboro crash of an old plane.

Few years ago a small plane crashed in a yard off SW Lancaster in PDX, about 1 mile from our home. Who was piloting? A grandpa with grandkid as passenger.

All of the older gentlemen I happen to know should not even be driving cars, let alone flying planes. (Sorry Pop!)

But the old duffers have the money and time to dabble in this hobby. Scary.

The Reno toll is up to nine, including the pilot:

Gardiner - I once had a several year battle with the Port of Poopheads over planes flying too low way too far from the airport. I looked up all kinds of info on how other airports have tried to distribute flight patterns equitably and use steeper take-off and landing trajectories. But what I got out the grifters at the Port was that they were there to serve the airlines and do what ever was easiest for the airlines. Since they are not elected they do not feel they have to answer to those who play taxes to support the airlines.

Ah, yes more corporate welfare that should be expunged. The users of the Port should pay full freight and no tax dollars should be used.

Can't believe I'm defending anything Reno, but...

The Reno Air Races are the last of their kind in the country, they are obscenely dangerous, and whether they should be allowed to continue is a good question. My father was involved in the Air Races for years, and yeah, pilots died.

But, until this year, no spectators died.

Also, after 40+, all private pilots have to be given FAA-mandated physicals every two years. He may have had a tougher physical requirement than regular private pilots as a stunt pilot. So he was old, but probably in a lot better condition than I am in my 30s.

You couldn't get me out there for anything, though -- the traffic was always insane. The one year my husband went, he fell asleep in the stands.

So, not our thing, but other people do really love it. Sitting on the tarmac, I don't think anyone ever considered that they were completely, 100% safe.

In any case, I wonder how many people have died at car race events?

I have to agree 100% with Jack and all the other comments asking,

Why is a 74 year old flying much less able to have a pilot's license?

If we have learned anything over the past few years, elderly behind a motor vehicle need to be held to higher standards than everyone else including cherry 16 year old drivers.

The only reason why we don't see elderly getting into car wreck equivalent to the numbers for 16 year olds is that they drive a lot less. Sources? My own grandparents on both sides. All the driving my Grandpa in Lake Tahoe did was to the grocery store, driving to a fishing spot, and driving up to the casinos to bet on the race horses. I would include church, but my Grandpa was not particularly religious after a pastor in 1960 asked why he was voting for Kennedy, which led to the pastor being thrown out of my Grandparent's house. My Grandfather did not go to church much if at all after that.

Be it a pilot's license or driver's license, those aged 65 and over need to be tested annually with the focus on the testing being physical examinations.

I don't get the whole air show, NASCAR, etc. kind of thing. Nor do I "get" hunting as a hobby. With all of the things to do to keep one's self amused I don't get the whole watching cars go around in circles or airplanes flying dangerously close to one another thing. Sports are one thing, but just watching machinery waste fuel for the sake of entertainment seems kind of primitive to me.

I hate to sound uppity but I figure the majority of the folks who enjoy these kinds of activities are not the brightest bulbs out there. That said, I think that spectators should be out of harms way at these kinds of events. If doing so interrupts their having fun watching machines go round and round, well then so be it.

It starting to look like a pure mechanical failure, not pilot error (operator error that is), some of the media outlets are reporting that one of ailerons failed or came off which would explain why the plane pitched up so violently.

But that raises an equally pertinent question as to how closely the race organization regulates the kinds of planes that can be raced and what kinds of safety inspections they do considering this one was "highly modified" (apparently the ailerons were shortened to make the plane more aerodynamic, which to me translates to "hack job").

Pure mechanical failure in a fair type race where there is no encompassing league like a NASCAR, NFL, NBA, or MLB would mean it is entirely pilot error.

From what I have read, Jimmy Leeward bragged about,

"Leeward, who bought the plane in 1983, described the modifications he made to the plane in a May interview for Sport Aviation magazine. He said he had trimmed the wings 10 feet shorter than stock, among other things.

Asked by the magazine how fast his plane could go, he said: "There are some things you never tell the competition and that's one of them. But it's fast. Really fast."

The plane was built in 1946 and named after Chicago Bears running back Red Grange, who was nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost.""


Jimmy Leeward is personally liable for the modifications to his plane and the effect they had in it's "mechanical failure." He chose to cut the wings.

Otherwise, you can hold the NTSB or FAA fully liable for not regulating each and every air show. Then again, in this economy I doubt the US taxpayer has an appetite to throw more taxpayer dollars at governmental organizations.

I'm a licensed private pilot. I gave up flying about three years ago because I just didn't feel comfortable in the air anymore. I also owned a 1966 Cessna Skyhawk and had been given the bad news that the aircraft could not be signed off until the engine was overhauled. The overhaul cost was 25 grand and I sinply couldn't justifty it at my age (56).

I learned to fly from Wally Olson, at Evergreen field in Vancouver, out on East Mill Plain. Wally started the field in 1946 and ran it for fifty years. He was in his early eighties when he taught me to fly. I knew lots of very sharp pilots in their late seventies and early eighties so I don't think age was a factor in this accident.

The Reno air races are another matter. Jack has described the P-51 that crashed as a "piece of junk". I'm pretty sure it wasn't.

That aircraft was running in the "unlimited" category of the air race. The unlimiteds are the fastest poston-engined aircraft flying. They are usually P-51 Mustangs or British Hawker Typhoons that are left over from WWII or Korea and have been extensively modified for the racing role.

Unlimited racers push their engines to the limits and know that, sooner or later, they will blow the engine during the race. Becaue of their speed, if the engine blows they can pull the stick back and climb 2000 feet in a couple seconds. That's gives them plenty of altitude to perform a dead stick landing by gliding to the alternate runway at Reno. It's pretty common, and I've seen it more than once.

That does not appear to be what happened in this case. It looks like a catastrophic airframe or control surface failure was at fault.

I think it would make sense for them to move the race course further away from the bleachers. People thrill at the sight of the unlimiteds roaring past fifty feet in front of them, but I think it would be just as impressive if they were five hundred feet in front of them.
If every pilot flying the unlmiteds knows their engine is going to fail during the race, the race management should acknowledge that and take the appropriate steps. But I don't think ending the Reno air races as we know them are the answer.

Let's bring back chariot races, too.

You've brought us very close to the refuge of literature and film:

"While most critics consider Pylon to be Faulkner's most flawed novel ('unnecessary horror and violence,' 'unintelligible descriptive passages,' an 'inconceivable climax'), Faulkner himself is reported to have considered 'The Tarnished Angels' (1957) the best screen adaptation of his work."

("Tomorrow" ('72), with Robert Duvall, is actually the best film adaptation of Faulkner; but it's from a short story and it was made a decade after WF left the planet. There is not even one airplane in the tale.)

Hillsboro Airport was built in 1928.

The housing developments built to the south of the airport were primarily built in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The airport was already well-established as an airport for general aviation and corporate jets. The folks that moved into those homes knew the airport was there, that they were building homes right underneath the approach to runway 30, and that every now and then someone bad happens. Folks who choose to live near an airport need to accept some responsibility. This isn't a newly built airport...

It's the same as the folks up in the Pearl District (established 2000) bitching and moaning about the trains that blow their whistles - like the have been since the 1880s, back in the days when much of that area was a wetland known as Guild's Lake. Then the smart planning environmentalists filled in the lake, displaced wildlife, and are complaining about noise pollution. Duh. Or the folks in Tualatin complaining about the WES noise, even though that railroad existed for close to 100 years.

What happened in Reno and in Hillsboro was tragic. But what about United 173? Nothing to do with an airshow, nor did it involve an elderly pilot. It was just an ordinary DC-8 flight from Denver Stapleton to PDX. Due to a problem with a landing gear (causing the pilots to believe the landing gear was not down) the pilots decided to circle to figure out what was wrong. They ran out of time and out of fuel, sending the DC-8 into what was then (December 28, 1978) a "sparsely populated area" near East Burnside and 158th Avenue. Two crew and eight passengers died.

Do we, as a result of that one crash, shut down PDX? Ban United Airlines from flying into PDX? Ban DC-8s (the type is only used by cargo carriers now, and very seldom at that.) Ban all Douglas aircraft (DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, MD-11, MD-80 family, MD-90 family)?

That's a weak point about the airport being around since 1928 so that the people nearby should have known bad things could happen. Did they know when they moved there that sometime around 1988, an air show would start up?

That's like saying there was a road out in front of your house so you should have known when you moved in, that it would one day be used for street racing.

That's what this is. Unless it's out in an empty desert somewhere, that's what an air show is: Street racing. Why? Because it's not contained to a race track. It gets the public unwittingly involved in its thrill seeking.

Look, we need to get around, we need transportation to exist, so we accept commercial airlines in this country that - by the way - had no fatalities in 2010 despite more than 10 million flights involving 700 million passengers. Oh, and 3 out of the last 4 years had no fatalities.

But even if it was worse, we need to get around. So you accept that cars have to go down that road by your house, even though there could be a crash.

But if the road gets taken over by teenagers (or 75-year-olds) thrill-racing old jalopies that routinely crash in a spectacular fashion, I bet you wouldn't accept it near you. I mean what's the point? You'd say take it to a racetrack.

Air shows, unless they're way out in the sticks, can't isolate their behavior to just the participants.

An out of control car recklessly barreling off a road towards your house in a street race is one problem. Now imagine if it's a Soviet MIG from 1959 doing barrel rolls and dives.

Who needs it?

I agree with Nonny Mouse's first post and would add that "assumed risk" is part of living outside the shell of a boring life.

The pilot's age is of dubious concern. What appears to have happened in Reno is the "missile pin" failed, which renders the horizontal control surfaces on the elevator inoperable. When an airplane loses the missile pin, it becomes a missile.

This could have been a 24 year old celebrity plowing his Cadillac into a crowd of kids, or it could have been a 60 year old commercial pilot (like that Alaska Airlines MD-80 that had a jackscrew fail): age likely had nothing to do with this accident.

With very little to go on; news stories, you tube, a couple of things stand out. One is in the photo of the aircraft coming straight down, there is no one visible in the cockpit. Any pilot at that moment would be frantically struggling to pull out of the dive and would be animated visually in the cockpit. With a structural component failure at those speeds, there is no time to do anything. From what has been presented so far, it appears that the failure or error occurred instantly, meaning pilot was incapacitated through a heart attack or stroke, or the force of the structural failure caused the aircraft to dive vertically, which would have forced him back into his seat so that he couldn't be seen during the dive.

My experience: 13000 hours; USMC fighters, Naval Flight training instructor, helicopters, Air America STOL, USAF Reserve cargo C-124,123, Rescue helicopters with 304th Rescue in Portland, EMS helicopters Seattle, Portland, Emanuel Hospital.

Never cared much for racing, air shows are OK on TV. Aging and flying don't mix too well, for there are always physical problems that an older person doesn't like to admit, especially anyone who continues to perform in public.
At 81 I don't fly alone, but through my entire career, I never told the flight surgeon everything, especially when I hit 50.

Wow, those are some great credentials you bring to this, Bill Andresevic. Thanks for the service.

I see a number of comments here that talk about mechanical failure, but what concerned me more when I was at the Hillsboro air show was all the extremely close flying to another plane.

You'd look up and it would appear that these planes were coming down right at you, flying really close together. Sometimes head-on.

Now, the Blue Angels were there - they rarely lose anybody.
But I doubt some of these planes in the stunt teams were up to the Blue Angels standards. At one point they had a military jet called the Warthog and a prop plane flying extremely close together. I do have to say, the Warthog was one of the most spectacular planes out there. It could take off and go straight up while rolling over. Those planes are awesome.

But when it flew right by the prop plane I wondered what would happen if they clipped each other. This was right over the crowd. That was the danger element that stood out for me - the extremely close flying.


Maybe you should realize that driving is dangerous and we should no longer engage ourselves in such a dangerous, and idiotic form of transportation as PEOPLE WILL DIE.

Maybe you should realize all activities that humans participate in come with some level of danger.

Maybe you should watch the news about how many people were shot this weekend in major cities across the country, you'd quickly see that there are far more dead than what happened from airshow accidents.

Your argument has been thoroughly debunked in the earlier comments. Air racing is not like driving. It is like drag racing on a residential street. Which is illegal, even though the more Darwin-challenged segments of the population would pay to watch it.

Take these piles of overpriced "vintage" junk, and all these dried up military gents who want to play with them, and go jerk around out in the desert where you all belong.

You seem to have a couple things wrong here. First off the accident in Reno was not an "Air Show" it was an "AIR RACE". They take all precautionary measures to prevent this from happening (at both types of events) but sadly; sh** happens. Yes, this was an older gentleman flying but I am sure he had a HECK of a lot more experience flying and maintaining his aircraft then a 30 year old would of. And may I point out he had the presence of mind to steer his aircraft away from the grandstands? Potentially saving hundreds of lives...Maybe you should start focusing on the positive that comes out of these air shows and air races instead of the negatives. All of the people that attend these events know the risks of what could happen! Accidents happen in the real world, it's the way it is buddy.

We should ban children riding bikes on city streets too..

Maybe you should start focusing on the positive that comes out of these air shows and air races instead of the negatives.

Oh, that brave, brave wonderful man who took his souped-up Flying Viagra machine into the sky and only killed eight other people! How wonderful! My hero!

And gosh, if you go to an air RACE (what is it with the air show people and the CAPS LOCK KEY?), you're definitely assuming the risk that you're going to die or be maimed. That's why you sign a release clearly stating those dangers... no, wait...

Accidents happen in the real world, it's the way it is buddy.

I'm not your buddy -- hon.

We should ban children riding bikes on city streets too.

Yeah, if those kids on bikes go wrong they might kill nine people and send 75 people to the hospital. It's the same thing. Really. That's a brilliant analogy.


I lived in Seattle for about 12 years. Every August, for Seafair, the Navy's elite Blue Angels perform an airshow over Lake Washington and, in effect, downtown Seattle. For four days the jets practice and perform the show. It's an amazing sight to see: fighter jets flying in formation right thru downtown, jets screaming below the tops of skyscrapers and right over residential neighborhoods. I have to admit that I kind of like it but I also have to admit that it is not worth the risk. One August I was working in the (former) Washington Mutual tower downtown. We were enjoying watching the planes fly to the east over the lake during a practice session when two of the jets broke off to the west and started flying right toward our building at several hundred miles per hour. My coworker and I were transfixed as the planes rocketed toward us. She muttered "they're going to hit the building." I was thinking the exact same thing. I knew that at that moment my life was in the pilots hands. If he -ucked up, I was dead - along with a lot of other people in the building. At what seemed like the last second, the two planes banked, and split around the building. We were on the southeast corner of the building and were basically eye-eye with the pilot as he flew his plane right past our windows and only barely above the top of the building across the street to the south. We were unwitting participants in the "air show" along with thousands of other residents of the city who were needlessly (recklessly?) put in harms way by the planes. If (or, when?) a plane crashes at a show like Seafair's or San Francisco's Fleet Week, it will likely kill a lot of people and will probably put an end to such shows.

This is the Darwin Principle at work folks. Moreover, I bet if you ran the political demographics of the people who go to these things, I bet the Tea Party lost a dozen voters.

Meanwhile... nobody died at Burning Man.

Actually, as of 2007, five deaths were associated with Burning Man festivities.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics