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Thrust-powered Land Speed information => Discussions on absolute land speed records => Topic started by: J79 on October 29, 2019, 06:36:19 PM

Title: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on October 29, 2019, 06:36:19 PM
Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: ski123 on October 29, 2019, 10:14:24 PM
It's been two months with no answers.  I understand an investigation needed to take place, but.  NAE team was never known for good communication.  I'm guessing they want to keep things as quiet as possible, for multiple reasons.  I'm sure folks in this community know more then they are telling, and that's ok.  Still some big wounds to heal.  Someday we will know more, someday.  Is someone making a documentary?  They might have all the rights to any media, we all know there is footage somewhere.  There is quite a story to be told here.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: MAYOMAN on October 30, 2019, 07:23:04 AM
I inquired to the Harney County medical examiner for the coroner's report - an official pubic document. No reply. They are required to determine cause of death - natural, accident, suicide, murder - by law. It probably will be a lengthy process. The news reports were that data recorders and other evidence at the scene were taken by the Harney County sheriff, so that must be analyzed. While the coroner's report is a public document, good luck finding it.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: MAYOMAN on October 30, 2019, 08:14:09 AM
I may be in error regarding the public records laws in Oregon. I was relating to Alabama public records laws and disclosure of coroner reports. Oregon law is more complex regarding disclosure. It is more likely the Harney County sheriff will file an accident report covering the incident. As a (former) race car designer I would be interested in knowing the actual cause of death, whether it was trauma from impact, for example, versus fire (reported in the news), or any other detail which could lead to safety rules improvements in land speed racing. Obviously this was an accident, not murder or suicide. I was just reciting the legal distinctions for the cause of death contained in a coroner report in Alabama.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: SPARKY on October 30, 2019, 10:48:52 AM
From what I read and saw-- she hit stationary objects at a high rate of speed
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: kiwi belly tank on October 30, 2019, 03:10:58 PM
I may be in error regarding the public records laws in Oregon. I was relating to Alabama public records laws and disclosure of coroner reports. Oregon law is more complex regarding disclosure. It is more likely the Harney County sheriff will file an accident report covering the incident. As a (former) race car designer I would be interested in knowing the actual cause of death, whether it was trauma from impact, for example, versus fire (reported in the news), or any other detail which could lead to safety rules improvements in land speed racing. Obviously this was an accident, not murder or suicide. I was just reciting the legal distinctions for the cause of death contained in a coroner report in Alabama.
The NAE didn't conform to any acceptable construction or safety rules so it's unlikely to contribute anything helpful.
  Sid.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: MAYOMAN on October 30, 2019, 06:54:11 PM
On run 13 of The Blue Flame, Gary Gabelich lost the high speed parachute on a 555 mi/h run. The parachute line was melted by the hot rocket exhaust (running rich outside the nozzle) and broke, leaving  Gary to ride it out into the mud at mile 13. He never deployed the 2nd high speed parachute when he decided to ride it out. Reports of a fire on Jessi's run left me wondering if the parachutes were damaged by the alleged fire. Other reports stated the parachutes broke off the car, which then crashed. On The Blue Flame we installed fireproof panels behind the parachute cannisters and never had the problem again. So, did a fire occur before the crash and cause parachute failure? Did the fire occur after the crash? Was there actually a fire? Did the turbojet exhaust damage the parachutes before deployment?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: MX304 on November 04, 2019, 08:39:20 PM
https://www.autoblog.com/2019/11/04/jessi-combs-speed-record-crash-cause-wheel-failure/

I'm trying to find the full text of the sheriff's report mentioned in the link above.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: racergeo on November 04, 2019, 09:04:32 PM
  Ya, I've been mum on the subject but that is a pretty accurate account from someone who was there. Reason that the shoots didn't come out. Of course the crash and the fuel. Horrific is the right description, that and very sad.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 05, 2019, 03:00:44 PM
"Jessi Combs fatal high-speed crash was caused by a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert, according to the Harney County Sheriffs Office in Oregon. This information comes to us two months after Combs tragic accident on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert. Combs was 39 years old.

The investigation concluded that the front wheel failure led to the front wheel assembly collapsing. The sheriff's department says this happened at speeds approaching 550 mph. Both the Harney County Sheriffs Office and the North American Eagle Race Team collected evidence from the scene to come to this conclusion.

Her cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head, which happened before the vehicle was engulfed in flames. No other official information regarding the crash was released.
"

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/11/04/jessi-combs-speed-record-crash-cause-wheel-failure/
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: gowing on November 05, 2019, 03:26:45 PM
"Jessi Combs fatal high-speed crash was caused by a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert,
so then.........If I am reading this correctly,  it was "most likely" the condition of the course (objects on it) that caused her to crash?
how unfortunate.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 05, 2019, 04:38:06 PM
You can walk the surface and see a flat, rock free surface. The metal wheels of the North American Eagle penetrate the surface a few inches and find the unavoidable hidden hard objects.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 05, 2019, 04:44:46 PM
I wonder if a full roll cage or a full face helmet would have helped keep her alive?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: racefanwfo on November 05, 2019, 08:29:24 PM
Why are we getting information about the crash from the sheriff instead of the information comming from the NAE people.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: jl222 on November 05, 2019, 08:42:53 PM
I wonder if a full roll cage or a full face helmet would have helped keep her alive?

 MY thoughts also. Were they thinking nobody's will survive an 800 mph crash?

 BUT how about a 500 mph crash or less?

  What's Bloodhound's roll bar system like. Hard to tell from what i've seen.

   JL222

 
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Stainless1 on November 05, 2019, 08:57:11 PM
If your team lost their car and driver you would not be quick to spread the word.  It is not our right to know what happened.  Nor is it our right to criticize how the car was built.  At the time it conformed to the FIA requirements. 
Racing is not safe
Car building is not easy
especially if you are trying to go 650 to 750 MPH. 
Craig Breedlove told us you can't build a Lear Jet that the pilot can survive a crash into a mountain.... there is a risk when racing.....
So let's stop bagging on the team, the car and why anyone would do it that way. 
Unfortunately it is what it is... I hate that Jessie was killed, but nothing changes that now... there is not blame to level, it happened.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tortoise on November 05, 2019, 09:24:12 PM
Nor is it our right to criticize how the car was built....
Say what?
Quote
there is not blame to level, it happened.
If not blame to level, how about lessons to be learned?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Stainless1 on November 05, 2019, 10:06:04 PM
Tort... if a car built in compliance with the rules why would we question it's safety.  Even now I think the rules only suggest roll structures. 
550 MPH in a very heavy car carries a lot of inertia and force.  If it crashes in all likelihood it will not be pretty. 
They said the car hit something and broke a front wheel, causing the suspension to collapse... leading to loss of control and totally destroying the car.
The lesson to be learned.... Newtons law of motion.... and racing is not safe... those of us that do it accept the risk because we want the reward...
   
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: racergeo on November 05, 2019, 11:39:10 PM
    Ed and his pardner and there team, 20 years chasing a dream. All the time they spent together, the camaraderie,all the beer they swilled,and then Ed lost to cancer. Jessi,  with all the hope associated with the dream of Worlds fastest woman, or even American. The rewards, endorsements, potential sponsors, world wide recognition and fame. She had to go for it. Then it's all lost to an unimaginable crash. Their wonderful and fearless driver gone, the car they held such high hopes for destroyed. 
   
     They clearly have a form of PTSD. They probably don't even care to talk about it. It's to upsetting. It's gone :-(
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tallguy on November 06, 2019, 12:04:47 AM
    Ed and his pardner and there team, 20 years chasing a dream. All the time they spent together, the camaraderie,all the beer they swilled,and then Ed lost to cancer. Jessi,  with all the hope associated with the dream of Worlds fastest woman, or even American. The rewards, endorsements, potential sponsors, world wide recognition and fame. She had to go for it. Then it's all lost to an unimaginable crash. Their wonderful and fearless driver gone, the car they held such high hopes for destroyed. 
   
     They clearly have a form of PTSD. They probably don't even care to talk about it. It's to upsetting. It's gone :-(

I was on the NAE team, but not present on the lakebed when Jessi crashed.  There is something to be learned
from this.  Maybe a more-thorough "fodding" (pre-inspecting of the race course) is in order, perhaps using
something like sonar to "look" for rocks several inches below the surface of the lakebed.  Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: racefanwfo on November 06, 2019, 01:52:40 PM
When jessi had her accident in the NAE just about every news service had a story about the crash. I wonder if ed had been driving the car when it crashed would any of the news services have reported it.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: jl222 on November 06, 2019, 04:15:42 PM
Tort... if a car built in compliance with the rules why would we question it's safety.  Even now I think the rules only suggest roll structures. 
550 MPH in a very heavy car carries a lot of inertia and force.  If it crashes in all likelihood it will not be pretty. 
They said the car hit something and broke a front wheel, causing the suspension to collapse... leading to loss of control and totally destroying the car.
The lesson to be learned.... Newtons law of motion.... and racing is not safe... those of us that do it accept the risk because we want the reward...
 

  What kind of rules don't require a roll bar?

 You don't question the safety of a race car without roll bars?

        JL222
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: ski123 on November 06, 2019, 04:29:51 PM
Ed would have got some coverage as it is a quite unique sport, 550 mph?  But yes it was Jessi, her knowledge, exposure, influence and yeah her good looks is what fueled the media a bit more then Ed, sorry.  One would think part of the investigation would be to go back and inspect the track.  Follow the cars tracks, if it hit something I think it would be sort of easy to find.  The car had all sorts of GPS and tracking they should be able to find the exact moment and location of the failure.  I'm sure the NAE team is shocked and broken.  This is harsh, this is racing. Only racers race.  Watching the Bloodhound and how they are going about things is quite amazing, and expensive.  What will the Aussie bring to the table?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tortoise on November 06, 2019, 05:58:00 PM
  What kind of rules don't require a roll bar?

 You don't question the safety of a race car without roll bars?

        JL222

And didn't the original chassis come with an ejection seat?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Stainless1 on November 06, 2019, 08:07:34 PM
  What kind of rules don't require a roll bar?

 You don't question the safety of a race car without roll bars?

        JL222

Same question I had for Craig Breedlove back in 94? when he was testing at the salt.... I've posted the answer multiple times... "you can't build a Lear jet to survive a crash into a mountain"
Would I drive one?... Hell ya

And didn't the original chassis come with an ejection seat?

Yes it did, probably not a zero/zero but do you have any idea what it takes to maintain one of those seats... they also come with a danger to everyone working around it. 
 
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tortoise on November 06, 2019, 09:26:38 PM
And didn't the original chassis come with an ejection seat?

Yes it did, probably not a zero/zero but do you have any idea what it takes to maintain one of those seats... they also come with a danger to everyone working around it.
I should probably have paused and thought a bit before posting that. Thanks for a serious reply to a silly question.


Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: MX304 on November 06, 2019, 11:00:12 PM
  What kind of rules don't require a roll bar?

 You don't question the safety of a race car without roll bars?

        JL222

Same question I had for Craig Breedlove back in 94? when he was testing at the salt.... I've posted the answer multiple times... "you can't build a Lear jet to survive a crash into a mountain"
Would I drive one?... Hell ya

And didn't the original chassis come with an ejection seat?

Yes it did, probably not a zero/zero but do you have any idea what it takes to maintain one of those seats... they also come with a danger to everyone working around it.

Depending on how old that particular air frame was, it could have been one of the early models that used a downward firing seat.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: PorkPie on November 07, 2019, 01:13:19 AM
Did this speculation starts again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got an accident report on the web, who creates more question that he gives answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No sense to start again a discussion, wait for that we see a proper report with facts and answers.....but be aware that it can be that a so one will never show up.....

And for ALL, before making comments and asking unnecessary comments about this racer, Ed documented all very well, the history and the built, of this racer on his webpage.
Take time to read them and take time to read about Alvord Desert, what a place it is......it will give you all the answers.....and you will figure out that this was in fact a very famous bird.....

And please, stop now this senseless discussion and bashing the team and driver.....R.I.P. Jessi....and to the team, hope you can overcome that shock.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: TrickyDicky on November 07, 2019, 07:06:05 AM

...

 BUT how about a 500 mph crash or less?

  What's Bloodhound's roll bar system like. Hard to tell from what i've seen.

   JL222

See attached photo of Bloodhound?s carbon fibre/fiber "tub" / "safety cell" as it was in 2014.  The cockpit is surprisingly spacious.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 07, 2019, 11:14:22 AM
Tall Guy. Did the car hit an object that was above or on the surface or hit an object that was unnoticeable beneath the surface? Compared to the level of the surface, where was the object they hit and how big was it?
[/quote]
I was on the NAE team, but not present on the lakebed when Jessi crashed.  There is something to be learned
from this.  Maybe a more-thorough "fodding" (pre-inspecting of the race course) is in order, perhaps using
something like sonar to "look" for rocks several inches below the surface of the lakebed.  Thanks for reading.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Bob Drury on November 07, 2019, 11:59:12 AM
  Here is how I see it.
  Anyone driving a vehicle with the capacity to exceed two hundred miles an hour is accepting the fact that they are in imminent danger
of loss of life if ANYTHING goes wrong, mechanical or otherwise.
  I have a couple of different DVD's and Book's related to the Brit's successful attempts to break the Sound Barrier at Black Rock Desert and You would have to digest all of the info contained to understand  how much effort (and money) it took them to lay out courses long enough to make a run and back it up.  They literally walked the many mile surface before every pass and used multiple helicopters to scout for debris before every attempt.  They were required by the BLM to have air security to keep people and animals away from the courses at all times.  The logistical time and cost were in the millions.  Ask Craig Breedlove about the costs.
  Ed, Jessie, the partners and friends and small sponsors all knew ahead of time that they could not control the surface, sub surface, weather or course safety with a limited budget and time but THEY ALL CHOSE TO ACCEPT THAT RISK  pursuing the one thing they all shared... reaching out to the Racer's ultimate dream, to conquer the goal of being the fastest that they can be and hopefully be remembered for the goals they achieved if not record's.
  Tom Burkland nearly lost His life at Bonneville when He hit a half buried oil drum and destroyed the family streamliner.  Bob Dalton should be dead. George Poteet crashed horrifically. Watch the in car videos of Danny Thompson or the Turbinator, both near disaster's.
  The point I am making is that none of us are bulletproof.  We make our own life decisions and our fate is often out of our hand's, especially if We are risk takers.
  As Stainlesss said, the vehicle Jessie drove was legal for FIA records and from the reports sofar nothing could have saved Her.
  One more thing to ponder... at 250 mph You are going a football field (100 yards a second) so to think that She could have done anything to save Herself is ludicrous... She died doing what She wanted, may She Rest In Peace.
                                                                                      Bob Drury
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Stainless1 on November 07, 2019, 07:49:12 PM
Well who would've ever thought One Run could be the voice of reason   :roll: Thanks Bob
I think it is a good time to let Jessie rest in peace and the NAE Team have a little quiet time. 
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: racergeo on November 07, 2019, 09:14:52 PM
   Maybe so, but did we just get told this is NOT a forum and that that we should abdicate out first amendment rights??
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Beef Stew on November 07, 2019, 10:44:21 PM
When I started racing in the 1950's, even NASCAR wasn't safety conscious. Just look at those early helmets.
(https://macsmotorcitygarage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Bob-Welborn-49-1957-Chevrolet-Elmo-Langley-8-1956-Chevrolet-Bowman-Gray-Stadium-.jpg)
Back then if you wanted to stay safe, you staid home. Today, real racers still don't stay home.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: aircap on November 07, 2019, 11:34:24 PM
Quote
Maybe so, but did we just get told this is NOT a forum and that that we should abdicate out first amendment rights??

Not at all.
But we should probably show a little courtesy and common sense and just shut the hell up about it.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: kiwi belly tank on November 07, 2019, 11:45:54 PM
The NAE was controversial right from the start & obviously still is.
 I was of the understanding they started their own Land Speed Record Association because they couldn't & didn't want to run under FIA rules! Is that not the case?
Where is the "FIA legal" information coming from? & that question opens many more!
Why did they claim Jessie was the fastest woman on four wheels when the car had five wheels?
These & many other questions will probably never be answered, just like they never were before it crashed. The media & Joe Public hear the claims & take them for the truth!
  Sid.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Bob Drury on November 07, 2019, 11:52:57 PM
  TRUMP did it.............................  One Run, out............................
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: 4-barrel Mike on November 08, 2019, 12:22:11 AM
An ignorant response from the Peanut Gallery: Rob Freyvogel has "survived" a crash somewhere over 400mph in Blue's superior design.  Would he have "survived" at all in a crash approaching 600mph?  I doubt it.

Mike
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: noboD on November 08, 2019, 12:31:58 AM
PLEASE lock this Bentley thread.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: 4-barrel Mike on November 08, 2019, 12:44:27 AM
PLEASE lock this Bentley thread.

Say what??

Quote
Bentley thread
  what the he!! is that?

Mike
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tallguy on November 08, 2019, 12:57:24 AM
Quote
Maybe so, but did we just get told this is NOT a forum and that that we should abdicate out first amendment rights??

Not at all.
But we should probably show a little courtesy and common sense and just shut the hell up about it.

I am in favor of being courteous to living people.  In my opinion, if Jessi is "resting in peace", she's not going to be bothered by discussions that might help other living people to survive land speed racing.

It appears to me that some folks with useful info about the fatal run aren't telling the world what was
seen or otherwise witnessed (i.e., anything Jessi said in her last few moments).  There could be some
helpful knowledge to be shared.  Who among us is not in favor of more safety within the (admittedly
risky) activities of driving at speeds exceeding a couple hundred mph?

I met Jessi, and consider some of the NAE team members as friends.  All great folks, in my opinion.
But mistakes were made in the past.  They didn't result in a crash then.  More than a year ago, the
wind, prior to a run, blew down a mile marker.  Jessi, not seeing that marker, drove far off-course (onto un-cleared ground). I witnessed this, and shortly thereafter learned that the mile markers were not all safely and thoroughly secured to the ground.  That's the kind of thing that can get someone killed.  I was one of the people in earlier NAE test sessions that walked the course, picking up rocks.  Most of those I found were fairly small(ish), but several were about 5 pounds, with only a tip showing above the dirt, like the tip of an iceberg. 
It gave me immense pleasure to learn that I was digging up a potential killer rock.  After spending much time clearing lanes that were about 100 feet wide, I learned that Jessi drove outside this area on at least one run.
I was angered not because she "cheapened" my time.  I was concerned for her safety.

I would also like to know more details about the fatal run.  Did Jessi deploy a chute during her last run?  If so, did it function decently?  How about air brakes?  Did she run off the end of the lake bed at high speed?  Did she (while at high speed) stay on the fodded (cleared) part of the lakebed? 

The reason I'm seeking facts is not to gloat over death and/or destruction.  I am very bothered and unhappy about all this, and certainly don't want to minimize the pain experienced by anyone over any of it.  But safety improvements are still evolving, sometimes after some very unpleasant occurrences.  Who can help us learn what went wrong?  Is the news released by the county Sheriff available to the general public?  Is there some important information being held back, in order to save someone from embarrassment, guilt, or lawsuit(s)? 

It's been said that "all the world loves a scandal."  I take exception to that, as I don't like scandals.  But I am a big fan of safety.  I believe that the NAE should have had a nice padded roll cage, and perhaps even airbags in the cockpit.  Yeah, this sounds like some kind of Monday evening quarterbacking, and of course it can't bring Jessi or any other crash victims back to life.  But I strongly believe that we should be talking about this. And the Bloodhound team, along with the Aussie Invader team, should participate in the discussion.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: manta22 on November 08, 2019, 09:47:14 AM
After a plane crash there is a report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board, detailing what happened and the probable cause of the accident, including inspection reports of failed items, etc. It would be helpful to the racing community to be able to learn from these types of reports of racing accidents.

I am afraid that we are being denied this by the fear of incurring lawsuits. We as a society are becoming ruled by lawyers. I despise lawyers.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: 4-barrel Mike on November 08, 2019, 09:54:51 AM
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part 2  :cheers:
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: donpearsall on November 08, 2019, 10:43:18 AM
That was an excellent post Tallguy. Thanks for being a voice of reason. You actually have first hand experience with the team. I don't understand why some think we should not discuss this tragedy. Even though most of us are not going to drive a 500 mph jet car, we can still learn from the facts of this crash. Every racer should be open to learning from success and from failure.

Don
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: gowing on November 08, 2019, 11:47:43 AM
"Jessi Combs fatal high-speed crash was caused by a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert,....
"most likely caused by striking an object".
Were they not able to tell for sure that the wheel failed as a direct result of impact?
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: wobblywalrus on November 08, 2019, 11:50:16 AM
The law enforcement investigation results in Oregon are typically available using a "Public Information Request."
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Bob Drury on November 08, 2019, 12:08:07 PM
  I don't for a minute think that discussions about safety are being dismissed in regards to the Alvord Desert Crash.
  About seven or ten (?) years ago on this site Ed and others were discussing trying to get permission to run on the Alvord Desert.
  As a native Oregonian who has never been to the site I pulled out a map and later posted that the nearest city of any size (think Hospital, Airport, etc.) was Lakeview, Oregon about a hundred miles west and requiring driving into Nevada to reach. The Alvord desert is used by Hang Glider and Wind Sailor's along with others and has limited if any patrol by the BLM, State or County Police. I tried to convince Ed and others who posted what I saw as a disaster waiting to happen. 
  As I wrote in yesterday's post, Ed and crew, etc., were underfunded, and having already been stymied by the BLM in trying to run at Black Rock decided to proceed with "testing" at Alvord while trying to promote the venture and fund a dream.
  I spoke with Ed several times over the past few years and never mentioned My concerns as He was such a nice, humble and positive person that believed He could achieve the "dream" that I wrote of in My previous post.
  Ed had several friends with engineering background's and as the project proceeded many more joined on board or at least provided technical advice.  I don't believe any of them took for granted that the end results of a high speed crash was survivable, and as Mike implied in a previous post... most likely isn't no matter what safety equipment is on board or built into the vehicle.
  Considering the speed Jessie was traveling (using My finger calculations) of one hundred yards in one half of a second, I doubt She or anyone else could have seen any object, pulled any chute or fire extinguisher or even said "oh, Subaru" before She became a memory of what was.  Take a look at the video taken from afar of the run.
  Take a good look at the wreckage photo's and tell Me what can be learned from that rubble.  I doubt that even a "black box" or telemetry to the pit's could clarify the explosive destruction of the vehicle.
  The lessons learned?  Read My previous post.
  Whom to blame? Read My previous post.
  As long as racer' race, accidents will occur, drivers will die, people will be devastated and questions will be unanswerable.
                                                                                        Bob Drury
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: Rcktscientist on November 08, 2019, 02:33:16 PM
This is a sad deal. About 30 years ago I picked up a good, popular LSR Book. As I went through the history I believe about half of the people died while attempting these records. That ratio dropped significantly in recent years, even though the speeds have increased. I build race cars, or should I say built, the liability is no longer worth it. The Jessi story is as I said, sad, but predictable. I believe it should not have happened. As we watch the well funded, engineered and executed Bloodhound project we have a huge contrast with the NAE. The speeds the Bloodhound will attempt are unprecedented and success is not guaranteed for Andy or the records. I don't expect, however, a suspension failure, hitting debris or similar problems will be encountered due to the diligence of the team.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: DaveL on November 08, 2019, 03:36:27 PM
https://youtu.be/VksiNU-sSEo
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: ski123 on November 08, 2019, 06:02:23 PM
^^^ Wow! If the above video is accurate then she was a day and a half off course.  I think the NAE Team are keeping quiet about this whole situation just in case any law suits seem to pop up.  Keeping tight lipped may be the best move for them.  We all want to know more, that's fair too.  I couldn't imagine seeing the scrub brush coming at me at high speed, very scary.  I bet the jack rabbits were freaked out.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: gowing on November 09, 2019, 08:29:02 AM
WOW is right! the video answers a lot of the questions that I had.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 09, 2019, 05:34:20 PM
A North American Eagle Jessi Combs 2016 477mph run on the Alvord Desert video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ17X8DoqS0
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 10, 2019, 07:50:48 PM
Does anyone have information on the F104 Starfighter regarding if you were to go to go down the runway on full afterburner and take off at the appropriate speed, fly level, the speeds you would achieve based on the time? That would give you an indication of how long it would take to get to the 600mph range.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tallguy on November 13, 2019, 12:56:18 AM
This is a sad deal. About 30 years ago I picked up a good, popular LSR Book. As I went through the history I believe about half of the people died while attempting these records. That ratio dropped significantly in recent years, even though the speeds have increased. I build race cars, or should I say built, the liability is no longer worth it. The Jessi story is as I said, sad, but predictable. I believe it should not have happened. As we watch the well funded, engineered and executed Bloodhound project we have a huge contrast with the NAE. The speeds the Bloodhound will attempt are unprecedented and success is not guaranteed for Andy or the records. I don't expect, however, a suspension failure, hitting debris or similar problems will be encountered due to the diligence of the team.

I sure hope everything goes well for Bloodhound.  But I'd be surprised if that massive operation to clear the
lake ("pan") bed of rocks included finding and removal of buried ones.  Yes, it's expensive.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tallguy on November 13, 2019, 01:25:58 AM
https://youtu.be/VksiNU-sSEo

Thanks, DaveL.  Watching this video told me more than we may ever be told (about the fatal crash) by anyone who was there or investigated it.  It appears that failure to brake effectively led to running off the smooth part of the lakebed at high speed, and impacting uneven ground.  This could certainly wreak havoc on the front wheel
and its supporting structure.  Assuming no driver error while driving, it looks like some kind of mechanical (or electrical or whatever) failure in chute deployment/function. Possibly not enough redundancy in the safety (braking) systems, apparently.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: jl222 on November 13, 2019, 01:52:48 AM
 
 Seems like there would be more tire tracks from recovery vehicles?

                     jl222
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tallguy on November 17, 2019, 08:18:59 PM
Tall Guy. Did the car hit an object that was above or on the surface or hit an object that was unnoticeable beneath the surface? Compared to the level of the surface, where was the object they hit and how big was it?
I was on the NAE team, but not present on the lakebed when Jessi crashed.  There is something to be learned
from this.  Maybe a more-thorough "fodding" (pre-inspecting of the race course) is in order, perhaps using
something like sonar to "look" for rocks several inches below the surface of the lakebed.  Thanks for reading.
[/quote]
[/quote]

J79, I don't know what Jessi hit, or details (of the apparent braking failure).  The NAE was equipped with 2
chutes.  It appears that no witnesses are eager to report details.  The video showing her tracks into the
bushes is very telling, but doesn't address root cause of the crash.  I'd be happy to share more info when I
know more, but my optimism about this is fading fast. 
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: 4-barrel Mike on November 17, 2019, 09:17:51 PM
Apparently, she was extremely ill in July.  Extracts from her FaceBook page, copied from another forum:

Quote
This is her post from July 28th: "
Thank you for the healing wishes also: past three days have been the best... still slow... still hurts... tho being able to stand for more that 10 minutes without wiggling around the whole time is a huge improvement... especially being able to host the SEMA Gala, walk to the hotel hot tub, and actually get in all by myself: such a blessing. Doing therapy daily... energy work has been the most effective... Kaiser can suck it."

This is from July 12th: "
17 days of being on bed rest and I?m ready for an adventure... mentally of course, cus physically I?m still laid up  After multiple doctors/therapists/healers we are getting closer to answers as to where this pain is stemming from, what it really is, and what the next steps will be. This is really jamming me up! Sorry if I haven?t been getting back to you."

This is from July 6th: "
?If I can?t have my legs, at least I have this view? was the motivation on this day. A few snaps by @sgtoepfer from the most amazing place I?ve been, northern Italy Dolomites, captures my mobility coming to a near end. This was the last day I could somewhat get around before the pinched nerve took over. Day 9 now and I?m amazed at how quickly 90-to-nothing happens, how we don?t always bounce back, and how much we take our legs for granted. I have faith this will come to an end with the right therapy, tho I would never wish this pain upon my worst enemy."

Mike
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: tallguy on November 20, 2019, 09:03:55 PM
A North American Eagle Jessi Combs 2016 477mph run on the Alvord Desert video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ17X8DoqS0

Thank you for posting that.  It looks like she didn't go into full afterburner mode very early in the run.
Title: Re: Any news on what caused the North American Eagle F104 - Jessi Combs crash?
Post by: J79 on November 24, 2019, 05:48:51 PM
It looks to me that within 1/4-1/2 mile of take off, she's into after burner. That would be early to me. I'm no expert and from what I remember reading, you might take 10 seconds slowly opening up the throttle, allowing the engine to get to 100%, then push the throttle farther into the after burner section. There is a lot of weight in that turbine that needs time to get to upper limits of RPM, plus you want to get the car into the 100mph range before you start adding more power so the engine does not suck dirt into it at the lower speeds.

I wonder if those 2 black looking lines perpendicular to her course about even where she's lighting the after burner are an indicator of where she should be using the after burner?

A North American Eagle Jessi Combs 2016 477mph run on the Alvord Desert video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ17X8DoqS0

Thank you for posting that.  It looks like she didn't go into full afterburner mode very early in the run.