NTSB To Investigate Airshow Safety

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The NTSB will hold a hearing next month to gather information about the safety of air races and airshows, the board said on Friday. During a one-day meeting on Jan. 10, the board will hear from regulators, aviation organizations, industry groups, and airport authorities to learn about safety practices, procedures and protocols. The board also will gather information about the safety regulations and oversight in the planning and execution of these events. In September, a pilot and 10 spectators were killed in an accident at the Reno Air Races, and several performers died in U.S. airshow accidents over the last season.

In March, Kyle Franklin's Waco caught fire after an emergency landing, and his wife, Amanda, died of injuries about two months later. In August, wingwalker Todd Green was trying to transfer from an airplane wing to the skid of a helicopter when he fell about 200 feet to his death at the Selfridge Air Show near Detroit, and pilot Bryan Jensen was killed when his highly modified Pitts Special crashed on the field at the Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show. The Red Bull Air Races are still on hiatus, but recently a plan to revive the races in 2012 was reported. Several minor incidents occurred during the last Red Bull season in 2010, but there were no major injuries.