Reno Air Race disaster recounted from cockpits

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Updated: 9/16/2012 9:33 am

STEAD, Nev. (AP) — Pilots at the National Championship Air Races in Reno say they thought they'd never have the chance to race again after last year's deadly crash.

Two-time champion Steve Hinton Jr. says he remembers a radio call the afternoon of Sept. 16 telling all racers to get off the course, and knew instantly that tragedy had happened.

He later found out 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward's modified P-51 Mustang had crashed and killed the pilot and 10 people on the ground.

The 24-year-old Hinton says Leeward was long supportive of his air racing dreams.

Hinton says pilots and crew members sat alongside the race course the night after the tragedy and reflected that it would probably be their final race.

He says it's a dream come true to be back on the course.

 

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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