After the spate of accidents at this year’s races, the Reno Air Race Association received many calls and emails highly critical of the races and questioning their continuation.
What many people do not understand is that Reno is a venue just like Daytona or Indy. The association provides a “place” — it does not control the racing classes. Safety factors for racing are mandated by the FAA in cooperation with the individual racing classes. This includes racecourse parameters and crowd lines based on aircraft speeds.
Racing classes establish their own rules and regulations regarding pilot and aircraft requirements and certification within each class based on FAA guidelines.
Together, these organizations provide for the safest race environment possible, but accidents happen. The best plan provides the least amount of opportunity for them to occur.
Although there have been pilot fatalities at Reno, there has never been a spectator injury caused by a racing plane.
Air racing took place long before Reno and has taken place in other venues outside of Reno. Air racing is a passion for those who race. They believe that they are fortunate to have a place where they can compete to realize their dreams. They know and accept the risk. If it were not for Reno they would find other places to test their skills as pilots and prove the ultimate superiority of their machines.