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Jimmy Leeward

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NATIONAL
September 17, 2011 | Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
In the world of airplane racing, Jimmy Leeward was as big as they came. His story was legendary: Born to parents who made a life flying and selling airplanes, Leeward "was literally raised on the airports his father operated," according to a profile on his family's website. A business in real estate development paid the bills, but there was never a question to anyone who knew him that Leeward's heart rested in racing planes. He owned a team of racers, barreled through the skies in more than 120 competitions, and worked as a stunt pilot in several films.
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NATIONAL
September 16, 2012 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
RENO - Anele Brooks is one of the many who came back. A year after a vintage World War II fighter plane crashed at the annual air races here, killing 10 spectators and the pilot and injuring about 70 others, the San Luis Obispo-area woman sat in a box seat on the airport tarmac, not far from where the carnage occurred. And even now, she refused to flinch at the sky. She first came to this race in 1978, on the arm of her then-boyfriend. His friends told him back then that any date who could appreciate the beauty of those magnificent men in their flying machines was marriage material.
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NATIONAL
May 22, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
A year after a crash killed 11 and injured more than 70, the Reno Air Racing Assn. is planning to modify its race course to keep its fastest planes away from spectators, officials said Tuesday. Association director Mike Houghton said the group will ask federal regulators for permission to shift the largest course away from the crowd and to soften some of the curves. Houghton made his announcement as a panel appointed by the group released its list of safety recommendations. The association will hold its 49th annual National Championship Air Race beginning Sept.
NATIONAL
September 12, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
A year after a vintage World War II  fighter fell out of the sky , killing 10  spectators and the pilot, the National Championship Air Races in Reno have resumed -- with a greater emphasis on safety. This year's version of the races -- the 49th annual edition -- kicked off this week. The event usually brings out some 200,000 spectators and is worth $80 million to the Reno area, according to the group's website. Vintage planes will be racing at speeds of 500 mph in what promoters call "The World's Fastest Motorsport.” It was on the afternoon of Sept.
NATIONAL
September 12, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
A year after a vintage World War II  fighter fell out of the sky , killing 10  spectators and the pilot, the National Championship Air Races in Reno have resumed -- with a greater emphasis on safety. This year's version of the races -- the 49th annual edition -- kicked off this week. The event usually brings out some 200,000 spectators and is worth $80 million to the Reno area, according to the group's website. Vintage planes will be racing at speeds of 500 mph in what promoters call "The World's Fastest Motorsport.” It was on the afternoon of Sept.
NATIONAL
September 16, 2012 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
RENO - Anele Brooks is one of the many who came back. A year after a vintage World War II fighter plane crashed at the annual air races here, killing 10 spectators and the pilot and injuring about 70 others, the San Luis Obispo-area woman sat in a box seat on the airport tarmac, not far from where the carnage occurred. And even now, she refused to flinch at the sky. She first came to this race in 1978, on the arm of her then-boyfriend. His friends told him back then that any date who could appreciate the beauty of those magnificent men in their flying machines was marriage material.
NATIONAL
August 27, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
Less than three weeks before the Sept. 12 start of the 2012 National Championship Air Races in Reno, federal investigators on Monday released a report on the cause of last year's spectacular crash at those races. The pilot and 10 people on the ground were killed; 70 were injured. The National Transportation Safety Board said that the failure of an aircraft tail structure on Hollywood stunt pilot Jimmy Leeward's souped-up World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter was the probable cause of its Sept.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A year after an accident at the National Championship Air Races in Reno killed 11 people and injured dozens more, officials have implemented changes that they hope will improve the safety of an event in which airplanes can reach speeds of more than 500 mph and fly as low as 50 feet above the ground. The event has been under close scrutiny since a World War II-era P-51 Mustang flown by Jimmy Leeward, a 74-year-old Florida real estate developer, plunged into the crowd , killing himself and 10 spectators.
NATIONAL
April 11, 2012 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Federal investigators issued seven recommendations Tuesday to improve the safety of the National Championship Air Races in Reno, where a highly modified World War II fighter plane plunged into spectators last year and killed 11 people, including the pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board called on the Reno Air Racing Assn. to review its 8.4-mile course to determine whether the risk to spectators could be reduced during races of powerful piston-engine aircraft in the so-called unlimited class.
NATIONAL
September 17, 2011 | By Michael Mishak, Paul Pringle and John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
As a state built on gambling, Nevada has been the perfect host for Reno's National Championship Air Races, an event that has promoted the inherent risks in the daredevil sport as part of the thrill for spectators. On the occasions when pilots were killed, boosters were quick to note that no onlookers had ever been hurt. Now the odds have caught up with the races' fans in the worst way, and it has become clear that the rigorous safety measures governing the competition were not enough to protect them.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A year after an accident at the National Championship Air Races in Reno killed 11 people and injured dozens more, officials have implemented changes that they hope will improve the safety of an event in which airplanes can reach speeds of more than 500 mph and fly as low as 50 feet above the ground. The event has been under close scrutiny since a World War II-era P-51 Mustang flown by Jimmy Leeward, a 74-year-old Florida real estate developer, plunged into the crowd , killing himself and 10 spectators.
NATIONAL
August 27, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
Less than three weeks before the Sept. 12 start of the 2012 National Championship Air Races in Reno, federal investigators on Monday released a report on the cause of last year's spectacular crash at those races. The pilot and 10 people on the ground were killed; 70 were injured. The National Transportation Safety Board said that the failure of an aircraft tail structure on Hollywood stunt pilot Jimmy Leeward's souped-up World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter was the probable cause of its Sept.
NATIONAL
May 22, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
A year after a crash killed 11 and injured more than 70, the Reno Air Racing Assn. is planning to modify its race course to keep its fastest planes away from spectators, officials said Tuesday. Association director Mike Houghton said the group will ask federal regulators for permission to shift the largest course away from the crowd and to soften some of the curves. Houghton made his announcement as a panel appointed by the group released its list of safety recommendations. The association will hold its 49th annual National Championship Air Race beginning Sept.
NATIONAL
September 17, 2011 | Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
In the world of airplane racing, Jimmy Leeward was as big as they came. His story was legendary: Born to parents who made a life flying and selling airplanes, Leeward "was literally raised on the airports his father operated," according to a profile on his family's website. A business in real estate development paid the bills, but there was never a question to anyone who knew him that Leeward's heart rested in racing planes. He owned a team of racers, barreled through the skies in more than 120 competitions, and worked as a stunt pilot in several films.
NATIONAL
September 26, 2011 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Dan Weikel and Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
Ambulances were parked on the tarmac, ready for an accident. Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration were milling around Reno-Stead Airport, looking for safety risks. The potential for trouble was so high that the National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the National Air Racing Championships just in case something went wrong. All the attention was focused on the possibility that a pilot could die, the kind of grim outcome that had occurred 19 times in the past.
NATIONAL
September 18, 2011 | By Maria L. La Ganga and Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Reno The noise was "hellish," a "big crunch," followed by stunned silence and then screams. The smell was acrid, spilled aviation fuel and burnt oil. And the sight was enough to keep Gerald Lent awake for more than 24 hours: The massive plane falling from the sky directly toward him. The cloud of shattered tarmac and razor-sharp shrapnel. The body parts. The first responders. The dazed survivors at a storied air show that careened from festive to deadly in seconds.
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