Pilots prepare for air races at pylon racing seminar

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 6/15/2013 7:26 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- The National Championship Air Races, presented by Breitling, are less than three months away. This week organizers held a pylon racing seminar out at the Reno-Stead Airport.     

The seminar is a chance for new pilots to get certified for the races, veterans to test out the course, and most importantly it helps ensure safety at the event.

"In a non-competitive, non-pressured environment, it's a great training exercise," said Reno Air Racing Association President Mike Houghton.

Houghton said the pilots first go over pylon racing protocol in the classroom, then they try it out on the course.

"We simulate some passing, simulate the feel of what it's like to go behind someone's wake, and also to fly lower to the ground than they're used to normally close to another aircraft," Houghton said.

While practicing on the course Thursday, two of the pilots got a little too close.

"We do train them to get closer than they're used to and these two got a little closer than that and they kissed in mid air," Houghton said. "These guys showed that they are great pilots."

Both pilots landed safely and walked away from the incident.

Houghton said this training will cause some pilots to walk away from the races.

"Every year we have this there's at least one pilot that says I don't want to do this, and this is the best time for them to make that decision," Houghton said.

Because the races are right around the corner. 

"Hear the jets in the background and blood gets pumping and we get excited about September," Houghton said.

The National Championship Air Races, presented by Breitling, will hit the skies September 11-15.

Tickets are on sale now.
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manzier - 6/19/2013 4:47 PM
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Shame on News 4 for sponsoring this event. Closing the event down is the only way to make it safe!
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