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Standley White

Reno Air Races to fly in 2012

By June 1, 2012

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Racing aircraft and spectators at the Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show, Nevada, NV
Racing airplanes speed past spectators at the 2011 Reno Air Races. Photo © Stan White.

With proposed safety changes being implemented, the 2012 Reno Air Races are scheduled to get off the ground as planned from September 12th through the 16th.

New procedures for pilots and aircraft, along with safety enhancements for spectators, were recommended by a "Blue Ribbon" panel created by the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) following the fatal crash at the 2011 Reno Air Races. Changes race fans will see include moving the race course further from the grandstands, barriers in front of the spectator area, and the removal of a fuel tank from the vicinity of the runway.

RARA has received a permit to hold the event from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, operator of Reno Stead Airport. The organization has also obtained a $100 million insurance policy. The last hurdle is an as yet to be granted waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration.

All of this comes with a price tag, especially the huge insurance policy. Mike Houghton, RARA executive director, is urging fans to buy tickets to support the event and help with the added expenses.

All things considered, I'm happy to see that this spectacular and popular event live on. I think figuring out how to continue the Reno Air Races following a tragic accident is the right thing to do.

The Reno Air Races have always been acknowledged to be a dangerous event, but is it just too risky to continue? Thusfar, the answers to this on-going poll are heavily in favor of continuing the event. What do you think?

Sources: Reno Air Racing Association, Reno Gazette-Journal.

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