Adidas Climacool 1 Tech Fresh
Wayne Erickson said they weren't at the races on Friday during the crash that killed nine, including the pilot, but it's not the first time they've seen an airplane go down at the event.
And the stakes are high for the pilots. About $1 million prize money is up for grabs, and a local sports book even took wagers this year on the event.
Elsewhere, there are air shows, time trial races and aviation museums, but the Northern Nevada event is the last place on the planet where pilots go head to head at the pylons, screaming around an oval track so close to the deck that spectators could see their faces.
Financing the event has became harder over the years, too.
"A few years ago here, we were in the stands, and an aircraft came by, a P 51 that was modified with Learjet wings . and the wings came off," said Erickson, referring to Gary Levitz of Grand Prairie, Texas, whose plane disintegrated during a race, scattering debris and damaging a house. He did not survive.
"It's very addicting," Pat Erickson, 65, said. "The noise and the speed is awesome."
But to that prospect, pilots, organizers and air race fans answered with words they did not learn from their mothers.
"It's got to continue," he said. "This town relies on it. This city. This is part of our life."
The Ericksons called Friday's tragedy a fluke. Local officials say the races generate $80 million for the local economy during the five day event held every September. They attract more than 200,000 spectators per year, including about 90,000 visitors to the area.
The pilots always say they know the risks. And with those risks have come deaths enough over the years for some critics to call for an end to the event. Friday's incident brought the toll to at least 20 since the Reno event began in 1964.
On Saturday, the closest the Ericksons could get to the tarmac was a bench outside the gates. Their daughter called to make sure they were OK.
Wayne and Pat Erickson have been making the trek to the National Championship Air Races from their home in British Columbia, Canada, for 20 years. Wayne, 68, flies single engine aircraft, and both of them love the thrill of watching planes roar by as they watch in the stands.
Gary Otto, 57, has been coming to the event since 2002 from Pewaukee, Wis., to admire the display aircraft that are also featured.
Before Friday's incident, Mike Houghton, the Reno Air Racing Association president and CEO, said the organization was optimistic about growth, though on Friday he said any talk about the future of the event would be speculation at best. Fans say it's not the vicarious danger, but the precision of the fliers and the beauty of the planes that keep them coming back.
The event is already subject to stringent regulation by the Federal Aviation Administration, including an examination of pilot qualifications, their airplanes and records and a requirement that airmen complete rigorous training before being allowed to compete, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. He said the FAA also requires organizers to come up Original Adidas Basketball Shoes For Sale
The air races are known for flirting with danger, though Friday marked the first time in the event's 47 year history any spectator was ever killed or injured by a plane, organizers said. The aircraft fly wingtip to wingtip at speeds surpassing 400 mph for the propeller driven planes and 500 mph for the jets.
"It's probably the most exciting aviation event," Otto said. "You can go to other air shows, but you've got the thrill of the racing. It's the fastest motor sport in the world. The sounds of it alone, people come here just for the sounds."
"I think an accident of this nature, it certainly threatens the future of the air races," said Doug Bodine, a pilot who has raced at Reno for the last Adidas Climacool 1 Tech Fresh six years.
But as he sat on the back of his rental car on Saturday outside the airport gates, Otto said the future of the event is now in question, especially because Friday's incident involved spectators.
with a thorough race plan and demonstrate to the agency that they have done as much as they can to ensure the crowd's safety.
Air races in Reno last of a breed with future in question
"The insurance companies are going to be the ones that probably make that decision, because if they can't insure the event, then they probably won't have the event," Otto said. "I think the rest of the community is definitely going to want to stay with it.
It sounds like a recipe for the event's extinction. Adidas Originals Climacool
The planes are decades older than most of the pilots. Each year, aviation gas and liability insurance gets more expensive, and parts for the World War II prop planes and Cold War jets grow scarcer. Sponsor dollars decreased as the economy sagged. Year after year, fewer and fewer fans who remember when the planes ruled the skies remain alive to see them.
they need to consider ending the air races as one of the options."
The National Championship Air Races are the last of a breed.
"Both the FAA and (Reno race) will suffer extensive and ongoing scrutiny, and I think Adidas Boost 2018 Basketball
Astronauts and famous aviators, military heroes and foreign dignitaries, pioneers of flight and celebrity pilots have all made pilgrimages to Reno for the event. Test pilot Chuck Yeager, actor John Travolta and broadcaster Hugh Downs have had front row seats.
Air race finances
Although some say that's enough of a reason for them to continue, critics contend it's the last of a breed for a reason.
Adidas Climacool 1 Tech Fresh
Adidas Basketball Shoes 2014 Low