Re: Air racer crashes at Reno

Message posted by Joe on September 17, 2011 at 15:08:06 PST:

I'd never been to an airshow before yesterday, but was here in Reno to hear Ron Paul speak yesterday and decided to head out to the Stead airport with my 14 year old daughter Anna to see some of the air races before coming back to the hotel for more of the convention (LPAC).

We arrived about 11am to a beautiful day, and to the "Kids get in FREE day!" (The shuttle out and back wound up costing about twice what I had to pay for tickets for both of us).

I posted a photo of her on Facebook in front of an Air Races sign with a "WE ARE AT THE AIR RACES!!!" status update.

We sat in the grandstands for about two hours, saw a BUNCH of terrific races, then decided to walk the length of the carnival/fair like area. Walked out among some of the planes, saw a team of skydivers, ate corndogs, and wound up at the entrance to the box seating right around 2pm.

We didn't have tickets for seating there, so stood just off to the left and talked about what to do next -- go back to the hotel and swimming pool ("The Beach" here at the Grand Sierra), or go back up into the stands to watch more of the show.

(If I'd been alone, I'd probably have stayed, but Anna voted for the pool.)

We got back to the hotel around 3pm and in the pool about an hour later. The water was cold, the skies were heavy clouds and the wind was blowing and we both agreed we wished we had stayed at the Air Races.

About the time we got back to the room, my phone started ringing. We turned on the TV just as the local news was starting their live coverage.

To answer some questions I saw posted here -- there was no fire (apparently) because the planes fly with the minimum needed to finish the race -- both to reduce weight and for safety.

We took Amtrak over from Salt Lake and met several people on the train who were coming to the Air Races from Colorado. One was a woman with a sewing machine in the observation car at about 1:00AM working on custom shirts (with airplane designs) to give to her friends in the box seating they were sharing. She was from Grand Junction and her first name is Charis -- we hope she's okay.

The plane apparently came in from an unusual direction after the pilot pulled up to gain altitude (and time). It looked to me like the likely G-forces of that might have caused him to black out before coming back down.

The headline in the paper here in Reno today is "CARNAGE"

One of the helicopters on display was used to bring some of the injured to the local hospitals.

We've seen and talked to many others here at the hotel who were at the show at the time of the crash. Some look ashen colored and dazed.

The couple who sold us the shuttle tickets yesterday were very glad to see us today. They were here giving refunds to those who bought multi-day shuttle tickets. We spoke at some length. The economic hit to the community will be significant as well -- lots of unsold merchandise, uncertainty about the future of the event.
Some discussion about reopening the airport for departing flights so the dozens of pilots with planes out there can get home . . .

Anna and I are heading back to Park City later tonight. Should be home by tomorrow morning (Sunday).


In Reply to: Re: Air racer crashes at Reno posted by RickB on September 16, 2011 at 18:28:57 PST:


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