Reno air races seek financial stability

The US Reno Air Racing Association says it has had to cut wages and benefits, lay off staff and eliminate some positions.

The US Reno Air Racing Association says it has had to cut wages and benefits, lay off staff and eliminate some positions. It also needs to raise $500,000 by 15 December. In an open letter quoted on AVweb, RARA President Mike Houghton said the cuts were made following three years of financial losses in the wake of the crash of competitor Jimmy Leeward’s P-51D Galloping Ghost during the 2011 event, which killed eleven and injured 69. (The potential consequences of this accident were discussed in US correspondent Don Peterson’s ‘Reno Reflections’ Letter from America, Pilot magazine, March 2012).

Houghton said the cuts and the fundraising are necessary to ensure the long-term financial viability of the Reno Air Races. ‘As difficult as these steps are, they are intended with the sole purpose of keeping air racing alive and preserving this historic aviation event for our community and the world.’

Held in September and enjoying good weather, spectator numbers back up to previous levels and a good level of safety, this year’s 50th anniversary event was judged a success,