To my friends, here, I'm thankful to be alive.

  • Many of you probably saw on the news the horrific accident at last weekend's Reno Air races. Last weekend I was attending my tenth event in 23 years. I had a deep sense of foreboding about this year and wanted to cancel, but got stuck into going, because I'd cancelled gigs to be there. I had bad premonitions two weeks ago and told a co worker what could happen the day before I left. I knew a big accident was coming, but I never imagined an airplane would go into the crowd. I was in my usual spot in the pit area next to my friends Simon and Aussie John when the accident happened and we that were there all feel very lucky to be alive. The airplane pulled up right in front of us on the race course and was over my head in about 1.5-2 seconds. I knew instantly it was a mechanical failure, because airplanes do not ever pull up like that. When it came overhead, I thought it was out of control and all the controls were broken. (In fact the pilot was unconscious due to the 10 g pull up). I couldn't believe it when it pointed right at the stands and thought it was going to hit about 200 people. This was my second accident there and I remained calm.

    It's the days after that I'm really feeling messed up. I'm still trying to deal with the deep grief and sense of sorrow I feel about the 11 killed- they were only about 1200 feet from us!

    I'm inspired to try to finally get some things done in life that are bugging me, (little things like get rid the old phone I have that's driving me nuts). I'm having some good days, and then there are days like today when I feel like crying. I love those airplanes, but I just don't know if I can stand there in harms way watching the races anymore. We've all had a wake up call at some point- this is the biggest one I've ever had.

  • Oh dear...I was reading about that accident and it reminded me immediately of the air show disaster in Ramstein in 1988. My sister and her husband who was a member of the US Airforce witnessed that tragedy. She couldn't get rid of the terrible pictures for quite a long time.
    I hope you will get over this soon, it will surely enter your mind again here and then. Keep speaking about it to friends, don't lock your feelings away, they will catch you up until you took your time for grief that you need.
    If you look at it as a wake up call it's the first step forward to get over it.
    Best wishes to you from across the pond...

  • Thank you for your replies. It touches my heart with irony that the first two people to respond to this are from the country I love the most besides my own. Ich liebe Deutschland! Vielen Danke.

  • Geez John, I know the feeling, my in-laws had traveled to the Reno Air Races also and were luckily unhurt. They go every year, but I think they, like yourself, will be passing on the event should it ever restart.
    Be strong and always feel the love.

    Frank:div27:
    "if only we'd turn around and notice the door to the cell is open"

  • Thank you for your replies. It touches my heart with irony that the first two people to respond to this are from the country I love the most besides my own. Ich liebe Deutschland! Vielen Danke.



    Oh...I never expected that. I think it's always great how the internet can connect people, regardless the distances.
    Thanks a lot and "alles Gute"! :)

  • I saw the tragedy on my news page John. Wishing you much love and inner peace at this difficult time. As geosoulberlin says, keep talking about it with friends and family ... until you're all talked out ... which will take time.

    :rose:

    'You thought that you could take me for granted, but I couldn't take it no more. Better run if you see me coming ... '

  • Thank you for your replies. It touches my heart with irony that the first two people to respond to this are from the country I love the most besides my own. Ich liebe Deutschland! Vielen Danke.



    Hi John,
    Geez, what a lovely compliment for our country, thank you. Any particular reason you care so much about Germany? Have you been here on holiday, do you have friends/family here?
    Try to talk about it with people who have made a similar experience. They will understand you. I know what I'm talking about. I lost my father in a car crash over six years ago. Believe me, it took years to recover from that shock and to get back some kind of life again.
    But you learn to accept your fate and you learn to live with it.
    And we're always here for you.
    Yvonne

    "I might have been born in Liverpool, but I grew up in Hamburg." John Lennon

  • Hi John, thankfully you survived but you will be feeling so many mixed emotions about what happened as you described.

    You are stronger than you think that you are able to openly talk about it and say how you feel. You witnessed a very traumatic event, one in which people were hurt and killed and yes you had a very narrow escape yourself.

    It is very noble that you grieve for the one's who weren't as lucky as you and even though they may have been strangers the connection in being there and seeing their tragic deaths links you to them in a way you won't forget. You may also feel guilty that they died when you survived and maybe by the sounds of it you feel guilt and anger at yourself because you had a feeling about the event but still went.

    Dwelling on the 'if's' will not change what happened but it's a natural part of grief, bargaining and fantasising about different outcomes should you have dome something different. Try not to blame yourself for havign been there.

    Getting on with normal everyday activities may seem difficult when your heart is so heavy so set yourself daily tasks in a structurd and safe routine that are realistsic that you are going to do, and know when the days are worse than others and set smaller tasks, this will help keep you going in your life while you allow yourself time to process your feelings.

    I'm so sorry to hear that you are feeling so low, you survived the tragedy but you need to focus on surviving the aftermath and I hope and pray for you that you have the support you need to survive how you are feeling now.

    Keep talking and maybe my bits of advice may be useful for you to help yourself thorugh it too.

    You are in my thoughts xxxx

  • Hi John,
    Geez, what a lovely compliment for our country, thank you. Any particular reason you care so much about Germany? Have you been here on holiday, do you have friends/family here?
    Try to talk about it with people who have made a similar experience. They will understand you. I know what I'm talking about. I lost my father in a car crash over six years ago. Believe me, it took years to recover from that shock and to get back some kind of life again.
    But you learn to accept your fate and you learn to live with it.
    And we're always here for you.
    Yvonne




    First thanks for the other messages as well. I am finally getting my sanity back at last.

    I started taking German classes at age 12 and more came a few years later. I have been there for vacations in 99, 2003, 2007 and my longest was a wonderful week two years ago. I have always enjoyed it as I am a huge history, car and aviation fan and love castles as well so it's perfect for me. Germany is always a nice break from LA. Today was a prime example: This morning I was in a hotel breakfast area in upstate New York, and there was a very loud annoying tv blaring needlessly in the dining room. Peace and quiet can always be found in Germany, I've never seen a blasting tv in a dining room! I went to a nice bar after the Blackmore's Night show in Kulmbach for a nightcap, and no tv's were there either. That's one of many reasons I like it and I've always been treated well. I do like watching TV, I just can't stand them where they don't belong. Thanks to this gig out of town in New York this weekend I am finally getting over last week. Thanks.

Join in now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!