Racing pilot nearly decapitated in runway accident

Dramatic video has emerged of a pilot's close shave with the wing of another plane.

United States stunt pilot Thom Richard is lucky to be alive after another pilot failed to notice his aircraft had stopped on the runway at the Reno National Championship Air Races.

Richard was sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off when video from his own plane captured the other aircraft racing up behind him.

The other plane's wing clipped him, spinning Richard's aircraft 180 degrees and ripping the canopy off his plane.

Incredibly he suffered little more than a hand injury.

"The impact was violent and loud," he wrote on Facebook.

"His left leading edge shaved off the top several inches from my vertical and skimmed the turtle-deck without touching until it impacted my right hand holding up the canopy, at well over sixty miles an hour [100kmh].

"I'm not the slightest bit upset over the accident. I, in fact, consider myself a very lucky man. Another four feet to the left and I would have been minced meat. A busted up hand is a small price to pay. I'll take it. It'll heal."

- NZ Herald

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