2011 Reno Air Races – in Memorial

Crash of 'Galloping Ghost' into the box seating area, Reno Air Races

We grieve the loss of friends and strangers in the tragic crash of Jimmy Leeward’s ‘Galloping Ghost’ P-51 at Reno, Friday, September 16th.   From our Victory Girl booth behind the stands, we witnessed the P-51 spiraling apparently straight for us, then veering left somewhat to crash into the box seating, where our friends George and Wendy Hewitt sat, killing them and others instantly.

With all the debris and injured, it was difficult to tell who was where. It was some time before it was confirmed that George and Wendy were both killed.  George and Wendy had wandered into our booth earlier, waiting for the Unlimited races to run.  We joked about their drive up from Arizona (they had elected not to fly the Navion into Stead) being the longest part of their vacation.

George and Wendy owned a North American Navion and flew with our family and our 1947 North American Navion to aviation events around the country- the most recent, the American Navion Society convention in Cody, Wyoming, in July.   George was an accomplished pilot, having flown jumbo jets for Air Canada for 30+ years.  He and Wendy had just purchased a home in an airpark in Arizona, where they’d planned to have many happy retirement years together.
We share our grief with the many  family and friends of the Hewitts, along with others who have suffered in similar loss from this terrible accident.
George and Wendy – we will miss you. We will remember you.

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