Reno, NV-- (KRNV and mynews4.com)-- Organizers say the 49th Annual National Championship Air Races will take place from September 12-16 this year, and they've appointed a blue-ribbon panel to review practices and policies at the much-anticipated annual event that was rocked by tragedy last year.
Eleven people died and 70 were injured when a plane piloted by Jimmy Leeward of Florida crashed into the box seats on September 16, 2011. But as a federal investigation continues, local organizers say they've gathered a group of four aviation experts to review procedures at the races.
"This panel has been asked to make possible recommendations and determinations on how we can further ensure spectator and pilot safety," said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the air races. "We expect the panel to deliver preliminary recommendations within the next 90 days.
"They're fast, and they're good."
Houghton says a memorial for the victims and survivors of last year's crash will also be part of this year's event.
General admission seats for this year's event go on sale March 1.