Local air show will study fatal accidents - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local air show will study fatal accidents

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As investigators search for clues to what caused Friday's deadly crash at an air race in Reno and Saturday's fatal accident at an air show in West Virginia, air event organizers across the country are asking their own questions.

"What happened? How did it happen? And how can it be prevented from happening again?" Peter O'Hare said.

O'Hare runs Hawaii's air extravaganzas at Kaneohe Bay. He said the safety of pilots and patrons is paramount

"I look at it from, 'How do I mitigate the risk and remove the risk as much as possible?' Everyone does a very good job from crowd control, to the demonstration pilots and their capabilities," he said.

The Reno crash killed pilot Jimmy Leeward and nine people on the ground.

The K-Bay show doesn't feature air races but there are a lot of high-flying aerial acrobatics.

Thousands of spectators are kept at a distance determined by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We follow a many tiered level process to make sure that everyone is where they're supposed to be and doing what they're supposed to be doing," O'Hare said.

Air shows in America attract 17 million fans annually, K-Bay included.

"We follow all the FAA rules and regulations. We follow all the industry standards," O'Hare said.

Planning begins this month for next year's show at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. O'Hare said a lot of focus will be on safety precautions and what went wrong in Reno and West Virginia.

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