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With a touching tribute to pilots, volunteers, friends and family lost over the past year, the National Championship Air Races officially kicked off today. The “Missing Man” formation and final lap ceremony provided a poignant exclamation point to a day filled with intense racing action and awe-inspiring aerobatics.
“It has become an annual tradition to kick-off this event with a stoic tribute and somber celebration of the family members we have lost over the past year,” said president and CEO of the National Championship air Races Mike Houghton during his opening remarks. “We honor their memory the only way we know how – through flight.”
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds arrived with their first performance of the week. The world-famous military demonstration team will provide entertainment to event-goers through the weekend. Additionally, several other performers took to the skies including Michael Goulian, David Martin, Kent Peitsch and Greg Poe.
“Each year, we are privileged to feature the top military demonstration teams from around the world and we are thrilled to have the Snowbirds return this year,” said Houghton. “They are an incredibly talented group who continue to keep the fans entertained with their amazing precision and stunning skill.”
Racing continues Friday with a salute to veterans, Snowbirds demonstration, exciting aerobatic performances and racing from some of the greatest planes and pilots featured in the Reno Air Races. Racing includes T-6 aircraft, Super Sport and the defending champion Steve Hinton will race the legendary Unlimited race plane, “Strega.” Additionally, it was announced that platinum country music recording artist, Aaron Tippin, will perform during the opening ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday.
The 47th Annual National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno is the premier air racing event in the world. The air races will be held September 15-19, 2010 at the Reno Stead Airfield and will feature the Canadian Snowbirds. For tickets or more information please visit www.airrace.org<http://www.airrace.org> or call (775) 972-6663.