Air Race News

Statement Regarding 2014 Unlimited Gold Championship Race

Reno, Nev. – Sunday, Sept. 14 concluded what was one of the most competitive National Championship Air Races in recent histories. Throughout the week, nearly 120 pilots, across six classes of airplanes, thrilled fans with racing that was intense and extremely close. Unfortunately, the results of Sunday’s thrilling Breitling Unlimited Gold Race have been called into question by some fans and pilots. Five-time reigning champion, Steve Hinton, won his sixth National Championship flying the P-51 Mustang “Voodoo.” Sherman Smoot and his Yak-11, “Czech Mate,” finished in second place. Unofficial race results had Thom Richard finishing in third place in the…


Statement from the STIHL National Championship Air Races

Reno, Nev. – Today, at approximately 3:30 p.m., there was an incident involving one of our participating sport aircraft during the qualifying heat. The pilot is deceased. Per the policy of the Reno Air Racing Association, the name of the pilot and aircraft will not be released pending notification of next of kin. Flying has been cancelled for the remainder of today. Currently, the event will resume at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, as planned.   For interviews and questions, please contact Tara Trovato with Draper Strategies at 775-287-5924.

Air Race News

Updated Statement from the STIHL National Championship Air Races

Reno, Nev. – At approximately 3:30 p.m. today, Sport Class pilot Lee Behel, 64, from San Jose, Calif. was involved in a fatal accident during a qualifying heat of the STIHL National Championship Air Races at the Reno-Stead Airport. Behel was flying a GP-5, “Sweet Dreams.” This was single-plane incident and no other pilots or spectators were injured. In addition to being one of the founders of the Sport Class and its current president, Behel was a retired Air Force fighter pilot and a loving father. Behel was a former Sport Class champion and longtime Air Race pilot. “Lee was a very…

Air Race News

Air Race legends to race head-to-head for first time headlining star-studded racing field

Reno, Nev. – With the kickoff of the STIHL National Championship Air Races less than two weeks away, the historic aviation event released its complete list of pilots and planes scheduled to compete for Air Racing gold. The lineup features nearly 120 pilots and planes and is headlined by a highly anticipated rivalry that pits two of the winningest Unlimited pilots in Air Race history head-to-head in the event’s most recognizable racing class. Coming out of retirement in an effort to regain Air Racing gold is famed racer and seven-time Unlimited Gold Champion Bill “Tiger” Destefani, racing his wildly popular…

Air Race News


JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Lt. Col. Kevin Sutterfield, an Air Force Reserve F-22 pilot, will be delivering an F-22 to the 51st Annual Reno National Championship Air Races and then making his debut in a 1942 AT-6 Texan during the competition Sept. 10-14. “It’s a real privilege to fly these amazing aircraft and to be part of this legendary aviation event,” said Sutterfield. “For a kid that grew up looking through the airport fence, this is a dream come true.” Sutterfield learned to fly before he had a driver’s license- soloing on his 16th birthday near his home in Tampa,…

Air Race News

Reno Mayor Organizes the Ultimate Ice Bucket Challenge to Benefit ALS of Nevada

August 26, 2014 (Reno, NV)- Reno Mayor Bob Cashell has taken it upon himself to organize the largest ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser the city has seen. On Thursday, August 28 from 11am-3pm, the community is invited to dunk leaders of local event and community organizations and charities in the Ultimate Ice Bucket Challenge Dunk Tank at Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill on 5995 S. Virginia St. with all proceeds benefitting ALS of Nevada. “The Ice Bucket Challenge has brought an overwhelming amount of exposure to this debilitating disease,” said Steve Duque, Executive Director of the Reno Rodeo Association. “As leaders…

Air Race News

National Championship Air Races to be site of unmanned aerial challenge

Reno, Nev. – With help from partner Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide, the STIHL National Championship Air Races will be home to the first-ever Small UAS Challenge during this September’s 51st event. The challenge, which is free to enter and takes place Sept. 12 – 14, will test a number of skills and demonstrate a variety of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). The Small UAS Challenge is just the latest in a number of new and returning entertainment that is planned for this year’s Reno Air Races, which take place Sept. 10 – 14, joining previously announced acts like Melissa…

Air Race News

High-tech F-22 Raptor and top female aerobatic pilot headline 2014 National Championship Air Races entertainment lineup

On the heels of a record-setting Pylon Racing Seminar, the STIHL National Championship Air Races have released its full entertainment lineup for the 51st event to be held Sept. 10-14 at the Reno Stead Airfield. In addition to an expected full field of elite race pilots in the world’s fastest motorsport, military demonstration teams and several of the world’s top aviation performers will ‘race on’ to awe hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts and curious spectators. This year, in addition to the already announced F-22 Raptor, L-39 Patriot Jet Team and top female aerobat Melissa Pemberton, will be Breitling stunt…

Air Race News

Record Number of Planes Expected for Air Races Rookie School in June

RENO, Nev. – The Reno Air Racing Association announced this week that a record number of pilots and planes will take to the famed Reno Air Race course for the first time in 2014 during the 17th annual National Championship Air Races Pylon Racing Seminar (PRS), June 11-14. PRS, or ‘Rookie School,’ is the only chance for rookie pilots to qualify for the September race and offers an opportunity for all race pilots to test their aircraft and practice their racing skills. This year’s PRS, which is not open to the public, features more than 70 airplanes and 90 participants,…