Aviation News

Reno Air Races 2010 – the final results

by on Sep.20, 2010, under Articles, Aviation, Aviation News, Video of the day

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Due to high winds on Sunday afternoon, officials for the Reno National Championship Air Races had to cancel the final race – The Breitling Unlimited Gold Race because of winds gusting out of the southwest to 35 mph.

This was the first time the Gold Race was cancelled in its 47 year history.

“It was a safety issue,” stated Mike Houghton, CEO and President of the Reno Air Racing Association. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our pilots.”

23-year-old pilot of Strega, Steve Hinton, from Chino California, was awarded the title based on the winning of the unlimited Gold qualifying race on Saturday.  It was his second consecutive title in the race and the ninth overall for the “Strega” Mustang.

“It’s more than kind-of disappointing,” Hinton stated. “Every one of these crews up here work hard 365 days a year to come out and show what you’ve done with the airplane and to compete.

“As the racing process goes, you’re building up to Sunday, so what we used yesterday or what Rare Bear used yesterday isn’t necessarily all we had,” he said. ” We were saving it for Sunday and when you don’t get to go out there and use what you built up all year, it’s a major disappointment.”

The pilot or Rare Bear, John Penney, who has been an Unlimited Gold champion four times, also agreed: “It’s very disappointing,” he said. “We had all kinds of issues during the week with our oil pressure system, our water and oil cooling system, and we thought we had everything settled down now, so we were anxious to get up there and give it a shot. We’ll have to wait until next year.”

It was considered by the organizers of the air race to postpone the race until today (Monday), but due to logistical problems this was deemed prohibitive. More than 2,500 volunteers help put on the air races, many from out of state, and many with jobs they must resume today.

Due to the strong winds, the T 6 Class Gold race also had to get cancelled. Dennis Buehn from Carson City had the fastest qualifying time on Saturday in his airplane Midning Miss III and by that won the Gold medal.

In the Super Sport Gold Race earlier on Sunday pilot George Giboney his Thunder Mustang, the Rapid Travel. He made a hard landing and his plane cartwheeled off the runway. It was a frightening moment from everyone and there was a huge relief in the crowd, when it was announced that Giboney had walked away from the crash. Click on the photo below for a link to a video showing the accident.

Giboney got some lacerations to his head and leg, but his injuries were considered minor at the hospital where he was treated.

Mike Dacey of Pismo Beach, Calif., won the race, posting a speed of 374.052 mph, and he was definitely ahead of John Parker of Reno, who finished at 355.993 mph.

In the Jet Class, Curt Brown of Hudson, Wisconsin., won his third consecutive title with his L-29 jet “Viper” which he took around the pylons at 515.582 mph.

In the Sport Class, Jeff LaVelle of Mukilteo, Washington., won the  Reno gold championship for the first time.

In the Biplane Class, Tom Aberle of Fallbrook, Calif., got his third consecutive gold title in the Biplane class. He flew his modified Mong Sport “Phantom.”

In Formula 1, Steve Senegal of San Bruno, Calif., won his second gold title in the past three years during very windy and blustery conditions.

Conditions were challenging with the winds and in spite of the disappointment with no final Gold Race, we whole heartedly agree that safety is the number one concern. The participating pilots are way too valuable to warrant taking any risks. We are already looking forward to the 2011 Air Races – less than a year away….

The spectacular Canadian Snow Birds had a great show on Sunday afternoon against a cumulus clad sky.

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