Skip to comments.Safety of popular air shows, races under scrutiny
Posted on 01/09/2012 12:49:51 PM PST by EveningStar
Despite suffering severe injuries in the worst air race accident in the U.S. in more than a half a century, some victims have told their lawyer they would like to attend future races.
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No, really? Next you’ll be telling me people injured in skiing (diving, climbing, football, auto) accidents expect to resume the activity when they recover!
I tried to read the comment section for this article.(most of it seemed to be bickering between posters) I was surprised to see some real pleased about air shows. (msnbc)
I am glad to see this article. Air shows are fun and enjoyable for me and our family. Mom used to call the Blue Angels the Blue Birds. She would sit in her wheelchair on that tarmac in 100 degree weather and just love them.
Dad was at Ramstein in 88 when that midair occurred. He called me right away to tell me he was OK.
Mexicans must be fearless.
I don’t care what anybody says, THAT looks like fun.
Oh to be young again.........
I used to celebrate my birthday by going to the Pt. Magu airshow and treated myself (well, Mrs. FD terated me) to the Flightline Club which was so close to the planes you could see the pilot’s facial expressions (before they put on their helmets/masks). It was always a few weeks before or after my b-day.
Then after 9/11 they stopped doing it and I was never able to find it again.
Now I am in Dallas so I am looking for airshows in the area (of course, I have learned “in the area” means “drivable inside a day”).
Those airshows are still some of the best memories of my life. I *LOVE* aircraft of all kinds, milcraft in particular.
There are only 2 things that kept me from becoming a pilot:
1) Bad eyesight
2) HORRIBLE acrophobia
I can fly in airlines since that is a different experience and my brain doesn’t see that as “up high.” But the few times I have been in small planes or helicopters I was mentally attaching myself to the nearest pole or fixed object.
If the Reno Air Races are allowed to continue as they have been since 1964, then you absolutely must plan a trip to Reno in September.
It’s the world’s fastest motorsport.
Heck, If I have extra tickets, I’ll treat you to my box... let me know if you are coming and I will keep you updated on seat status.
But, if Reno is going to be turned into just another Air Show, I’m going to start going to Oshkosh instead.
As a military brat I saw every air show they had at the base. You could go up to the flight-line to where the planes were parked and tour the planes. Once you had had enough of the static show (I liked the static part, great fun for a little kid) they would have either have the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels.
We would sit in the bleachers at the flight-line and they looked super close as two jets came at each other at incredible speeds right over the main runway. They had an announcer and both groups put on an incredible show. I think the last one I saw was in the late eighties and I drove to the other side of the base and had an excellent view.
I miss Mather Air force Base.
I hope they keep Reno like it is, I have heard great things. It sounds like a great idea to meet up with ya next September. Reno is a Texas short yonder down the road a spell. :)
What about those rally races in I think Finland? They do the same thing, the audience lines the road; I’m surprised more don’t die. I wouldn’t stand there.
Best parts of Reno?
Different classes of races...something for everybody
You can buy pit passes (included with box seats)
Pit passes let you get up close and personal with the pilots and their planes. The pilots and crew love to have their pictures taken (unless they are thrashing/getting ready for a race)
Some teams, if they are done for the day, will allow you access to their planes for pictures... all you have to do is ask
I can’t say enough good things about Reno. The races, the venue, the people... all have made me come back every year since 1988... and I have been going off and on since 1971!
It’s on my calendar!
Let’s see if we can remember 9 months from now. These days I am lucky if I can remember 9 minutes from now (lol)
I think there’s a big difference between airshows where pilots are typically flying the same routine, and doing it day after day, week after week, throughout much of the year.
In air races, the pilots might fly less often, and are flying in the public manner (racing) far less often. Moreover, they’re not flying the same routine, but are trying to WIN.
You’re more likely to find a rich adrenaline-junkie hobbyist performing at an air race, and a cool young military pilot performing at an air show.
If Reno reopens, I’m sure it will be with substantial limitations on the proximity of the flight path to the spectators.
You don't remember this?
Is that from Death Race?
I know what you're talking about. I hate heights. OTOH, if you want to get over your fear, just go skydiving. It works.
>>OTOH, if you want to get over your fear, just go skydiving. It works.<<
The best definition of skydiving I have seen (courtesy of some FReeper Ranger types IIRC) is jumping out of a perfectly good airplane for no good reason.
(I would probably faint dead away — I almost did when I visited the WTC observation deck circa 1989).
Most Unlimited Class Air Race pilots are current/former airline pilots, ex-military pilots, ex-test pilots. There are a couple rich hobby type flyers. A majority of the Gold Race pilots are hired sticks...the owners aren't flying the plane. These guys have thousands of hours of flight time. The civilian air show pilots are high time pilots as well, most over the age of 40.
If Reno reopens, Im sure it will be with substantial limitations on the proximity of the flight path to the spectators.
I'm going to be optimistic and say the course will not change much at all. If whatever happened to cause Galloping Ghost to go out of control had happened seconds earlier or later, we would have had the pilot dead and some sagebrush on fire. The safety record for spectators at Reno is evidence in itself.
Blue Skies, Jimmy Leeward!
Use to go to a little 1/4 mile dirt track in Okeechobee to watch bad car racing. Would expect a few fender benders. That’s part of the fun.
Same with air shows and races, you go knowing there is a little risk involved. For the preformers, as well as an out of control plane and minimally the crowd.
In their wisdom, the race planners have the crowd generally away from this part.
I'm hoping for very few changes to the race, Reno (actually Stead Airport) is such great way to spend a day.
One up at Alliance in October - probably the only close one
Looks like the Snowbirds and the Thunderbirds this year
"Welcome to the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show to be held Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7, 2012. The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is the premier air show in North Texas, featuring TWO jet teams in 2012. See the jaw-dropping aerial performances of the US Air Force Thunderbirds and the Canadian Snowbirds. "
I love aviation, but as a pilot the one thing that MUST always be present is safety. If it isn’t safe and people get hurt then it is no fun. That said, I hope they make rules to help prevent accidents and injuries without compromising the ability to have airshows or to let them be fun.