Reno Air Racing: Thunder mustang Update!

Pardue Bearcat Out For '99


Click Here For More Photos Of This AirplaneLong time Reno National Championship Air Races competitor, Howard Pardue, was involved in a take-off mishap at the EAA convention, at Oshkosh, on Thursday, 7/29.

Pardue's Bearcat was struck from behind by an F-4U Corsair piloted by Laird "Lad" Doctor. Doctor was beginning a formation take-off with another Corsair in preparation for a warbird fly-by. Pardue, also in a formation take-off position farther down the runway with a second Bearcat, was apparently not seen by Doctor. After the collision, the Corsair cartwheeled and burst into flames, finally coming to rest inverted. Doctor, who has flown the T-6 pace plane at Reno for many years, was critically injured.

First reports on the damage to the Pardue Bearcat are not good. The right wing was severed outboard of the landing gear, the left wing was also severely damaged. Word from a contact at Oshkosh Click Here For More Photos Of This Airplaneindicated the aircraft would, likely, be a total rebuild.... Reno '99 will not see this beautiful example of the World War Two fighter.

Pardue was not injured in the mishap, we should see him at Reno '99 in his Hawker Sea Fury, Race 66 "Fury"...

Details on the cause of the crash are not officially available at time of this writing. We will update this story as further reports from the FAA and NTSB are made public.

Our deepest sympathy and best wishes for a swift and complete recovery go out to the injured pilot and his family.


The following is the preliminary report on this accident, as published by
the National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB]
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors.
Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Accident occurred JUL-29-99 at OSHKOSH, WI
Aircraft: Chance Vought F4U-4, registration: N712RD
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

On July 29, 1999, at 1500 central daylight time (cdt), a Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair, N712RD, operated by a commercial pilot, was destroyed when it collided with a Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat, N14HP, which was positioned on the east edge of runway 18 at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, approximately 1,400 feet from the departure end. The F8F-1 was substantially damaged in the collision. At the time of the collision, the F8F-1, N14HP, was stationary on the runway with its engine at idle power. The F4U-4, N712RD, was at full power on takeoff roll and struck the F8F-1 from behind. A Chance Vought F4U-5 Corsair, N179PT, on takeoff roll in formation with N712RD, sustained substantial damage when the pilot saw a second Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat positioned on the runway in front of his aircraft and elected to steer his airplane off of the runway to avoid the other airplane. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot of the F4U-4, N712RD, was seriously injured. The pilot of the F8F-1, N14HP, reported no injuries. The pilot of the F4U-5, N179PT, received minor injuries. The flights were being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 and were not on a flight plan. The three airplanes were part of a formation demonstration flight of eight airplanes in four sections of two airplanes each, that had been cleared to takeoff from runway 18 together. The accident occurred at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) convention "AirVenture 99" in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Air traffic control clearance for departing aircraft had been relinquished from the FAA tower to a local "air boss" who was a member of the Warbirds of America. The air boss confirmed that he had cleared all of the airplanes to takeoff as a flight. Witnesses reported that the first section, composed of the two F8F-1, Bearcats, taxied down runway 18, turned toward the southwest, and stopped, and the lead airplane in the second section, composed of the F4U-4, N712RD, and the F4U-5, N179PT, overran the first section, while the two airplanes were still on the runway.

The 1999 Reno National Championship Air Races Will Be Held September 16-19 At Stead Field, Reno Nevada. Qualifying and Practice Events Run September 13-15 And Offers Some Of The Most Exciting Action Of The Entire Week. For Ticket And Lodging Information go to:

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