Reno Air Races celebrates 50 years
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More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the 50th annual Reno National Championship Air Races, which got off the ground Wednesday.
You just heard a batch of biplanes racing on opening day. The event draws pilots and flying enthusiasts from across the globe, making an economic impact of $85 million a year.
Roland Jones is here for the second time from Wasilla, Alaska. He points to a plane called Precious Metal to explain why he keeps coming back.
"That's probably one of the most unique P-51s I've ever seen. It is absolutely flawless. So yeah, there's a mystique about it; this is the fiftieth year. To a pilot, this is chocolate cake."
Like Jones, about 70% of attendees will come from out-of-town to commemorate the event's 50th anniversary and to see special attractions like JETMAN.
"He is a self-contained jet. He has a suit, and he leaps from a helicopter and flies around in his suit. It's very exciting to see this man racing at speeds planes reach."
That's Jennifer Crowe, a board member for the Reno Air Racing Association. She says that other events in the country only have timed racing with single planes on a track, but actually having groups of planes racing each other head-to-head is unique to Reno.