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Reno Air Race Crash

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So I was debating whether or not to post this, but given the lack of news in firearm circles I thought I would. One of the members of the Hogue family, as in Hogue INC and their line of firearm accessories, was killed during the Reno Air Races. Pilot in question was Aaron Hogue and he was flying an L-29 in the Jet Class. I'm not sure what happened but at some point on lap 3 on the far end of Jet course. It all happened fast and I suspect it was fairly instant. Not sure what if this will affect the company at all, but given his brother and one of their sons is running it with him, I don't think the company is going any where. I didn't really piece it together initially since they were selling only their knives out at their spot in the Jet pits in Reno, that they were part of the same corporation.

https://mynews4.com/news/local/pilot-from-paso-robles-dies-in-reno-air-races-crash-northern-nevada-reno-air-races-death-plane-crash

 

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Wow that's sad.  I just watched a few videos - nothing indicated any real issues before the plane went in... Unless something happened to Aaron physically.. 

What's weird is that he banked right then back left again - was he supposed to do that?  Maybe the g-forces from the banking broke something?  Or was maybe that the indicator that there were issues?  These jets have Ejection seats right?  I mean - it may not have made a difference so fast and so low.  RIP Aaron.

 

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I’ve been following this on one of the pilot boards, but didn’t make the connection to Hogue firearms accessories until it was pointed out here. 

Tragic accident.

The consensus is G-LOC, the plane showed no signs of mechanical issues, but the pilot was no longer making control inputs   I learned that the racers don’t wear G-suits, to save weight   And while it wouldn’t have helped an unconscious pilot, they don’t have ejection seats either, both due to weight and the near impossibility of getting one approved for a civilian aircraft  

 

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I was told they don't wear the G-Suits because it interferes with their ability to feel out the airplane control inputs. It's low level VFR type flying with fairly shallow inputs so I can see why they wouldn't. As for the ejection seat they're pretty much all deactivated on the planes that have them (at least the racers). Those early generation ejection seats weren't the best to begin with, plus the older Warsaw Pact planes tended to some sort of explosive charge to fire off the seat (NATO uses a rocket motor) so it's likely that the seat would stand an equal chance of killing you. I'm definitely thinking this is some sort of mechanical failure. Fire crews were out there pretty quick and thankfully it happened on the far end of the Jet course. I don't remember seeing the pilot in the pits, but I do remember they were selling their knives at their spot and saw a firearms catalog there. When I did research afterwards I made the connection. Matter of fact it looks like both the brothers and the CEO have a fleet of planes at their disposal. Another thing I wonder is if the Engine STC played any factor (PW JT-12) in the crash? I know the Siddley Viper engine STC if you ran them at high power for extended periods of time the engine mounts would start cracking. .

http://hogueairforce.com/

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The Air Safety Institute has posted an 'early analysis' video.  They note that the NTSB hasn't issued any kind of report yet, so it is still speculative.  ASI favors GLOC as the cause, but does also call out structural failure or wake turbulence as possibilities.

Reno air race crash early analysis

The ASI VP who made the video is a former flight leader for the Thunderbirds.

 

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