Well, the races are over and the results are in, and once again the Reno Air Races provided some spectacular flying. New records were set in the Unlimited and Sport classes, with a young 21 year old pilot qualifying to race in the Unlimited Class with an average speed of just 345.371 mph, and a new class speed record of 409.297 mph was set in the Sport Class.
Unfortunately, air racing (and flying in general) can be a very dangerous enterprise, and sadly this year at Reno was no different. 32 year old Erica Simpson flying a Cassutt IIIM "Little Lynn" perished during preparation for the air races on September 5th when the wings apparently departed the aircraft.
Once again the magnificent P-51 Mustangs dominated the Breitling Gold Unlimited races with an average speed of 483.305 mph stealing the top spot by some 9 seconds from the second place finisher. In the Super Sport Gold race Jon Sharp won with his Nemesis NXT at 392.252 mph, and the winner in the T-6 class cruised to first place at 244.523 mph. In the biplance class the winning speed was 251.975 mph, for the jet class it was 507.124 just edging out those incredible P-51s!
The Thunderbirds performed as well as the spectacular F-22 Raptor team bringning thrills and chills to the crowd. And not to be outdone, the Air National Guard had its spokesman, aerobatic pilot for the John Klatt Airshows, John Klatt (an F-16 pilot for the guard) hawking the benefits of signing up for the ANG. Reno has to be a great place to find aviation aficienados who would be the best recruits for the ANG. Klatt performs his aerobatic maneuvers across the country promoting the ANG.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
For once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth
with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been
and there you will long to return. -- Leonardo da Vinci