NTSB probes plane's tail in US air race crash

September 18, 2011 07:38


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RENO, Nev. - Federal investigators trying to determine why a World War II-era fighter crashed at a Nevada air race, killing nine people, said on Saturday they would focus on the plane's tail assembly.

A photograph of the modified P-51 Mustang in the seconds before it slammed into an airfield at the 48th Annual National Air Championship Races on Friday afternoon appears to show a component of the plane's tail section falling off.

"We have seen the photos and the video and clearly that is one aspect of this that will be investigated intensely," National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosenkind said at a briefing.

He said parts of the tail section had been recovered from the crash site, which left a 3-foot-deep crater on the tarmac of Reno Stead Airport.

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