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Race pilots and race organizers join Federal Aviation Administration in support of safety at 2011 National Championship Air Races



Safety first as six Jets will not race this year

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) announced that six entries of the fastest jet aircraft for the 2011 National Championship Air Races will not race at this year’s event. This was determined in order to align with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) and RARA’s requirements for public safety. RARA, in conjunction with Racing Jets, Inc. (RJI), has already begun corrective action and the six jet aircraft are expected to be back in 2012.

“Safety is our foremost priority here at the National Championship Air Races,” said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “The Reno Air Racing Association along with Racing Jets, Inc. always work with the FAA to create the safest environment possible for our pilots, volunteers and fans.”

RJI is the recognized organization that represents the jet aircraft that race at the National Championship Air Races. The racing jets are former military aircraft that may be modified to include different engines than production that conform to race and FAA rules.

The FAA, by federal law, is charged with safety in air commerce. This includes seeing to the safety of spectators at the racing event. During a practice event this past summer, a modified jet encountered issues which led to a review by the FAA.

“We work year round with pilots, racing classes and the FAA to create an amazing world class racing event,” said Houghton.

While the six jet aircraft will not fly in this year’s event, the remaining fifteen jets will race as scheduled. Speeds are still anticipated to exceed 500 miles per hour. The aircraft not racing are expected to return next year for the 49th annual races scheduled Sept. 12-16, 2012.

The 48th 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 14-18, 2011 at the Reno Stead Airfield and will feature the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. For tickets or more information please visit www.airrace.org or call (775) 972-6663.

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