RENO, Nev. – The NTSB says they found evidence the Galloping Ghost pilot Jimmy Leeward fainted while hitting at least 9G’s just before the crash. That's why they are suggesting the Reno Air Races Association look into requiring some race classes to wear g-suites.
“We don't know if it could have prevented this pilot from becoming incapacitated, but it certainty could help pilots in the future,” NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said.
The RARA spokesperson says she's not sure that's the most practical idea since normal racing would not get to that high of level of 9 g's. And she adds that the suites are costly and might have a hard time fitting in the old style cockpits. RARA President and CEO Mike Houghton also says:
“I believe that a pilot that pulls 9 plus g's isn't going to be aided much by a G-suit.”
Again they will research this recommendation and are also considering adding additional training for pilots on g-forces. But as with all of the other recommendations, G-suits are not a mandate from the government. It's just a suggestion. RARA says they also have an internal review looking at the issue and a special independent panel of experts who will weigh in. The association plans on taking all three panels’ thoughts and implementing the best common ones.