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Thunder Mustang Crashes

Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:36 pm

So far this year, three of the Papa 51 Ltd. Thunder Mustangs have been written off in operational accidents. First one was N695HR (Miss Picabo) at Spanish Springs, Nevada on July 26, 2014. Airplane made forced landing on a road and struck a pickup truck. Pilot and passenger walked away with minor injuries. Second one was N51TG (Live Bait) on October 3, 2014 at Council, Idaho. The pilot was the only person on board and perished. The third one (our airplane) was N244SW (Swede's Steed III) on October 24, 2014 west of Globe, Arizona. Engine experienced sudden catastrophic failure and pilot made a forced landing in a wash. Pilot walked away with minor injuries.

All three aircraft were powered by the Falconer V-12 and all three crashes were due to sudden loss of engine power. Twio others were lost due to emergencies at the Reno Air Races (Blue Thunder I and Rapid Travel). Blue Thunder was lost to a ground fire after making an emergency landing (overheated brakes ignited dry grass when the airplane departed the runway). Rapid Travel was lost due to loss of control while making an emergency landing in high winds.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."

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