The annual “Rookie School” for the STIHL National Championship Air Races was held June 5-8

RENO, Nev. (June 17, 2019) —Training, preparation, practice and certification are all essential components in pilots participating in the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races. Each year the Pylon Racing Seminar (PRS), the only one of its kind, is held to help the pilots do just that.

“We have a one-of-a-kind event and that takes one-of-a-kind training to ensure we are putting on the best race possible in the safest manner possible,” said Fred Telling, chairman and chief executive officer of the Reno Air Racing Association.

PRS is required for rookies and open to certified racers to hone their skills. If a certified racer has not participated in PRS or the races in the last three years they are required to re-certify to be able to race again. The seminar consists of four days of intensive classroom instruction from experienced race pilots as well as extensive practice on the course.

“We are assembling the most experienced, skilled, trained and race-certified pilots to compete at the races in September,” said Telling. “Each class organization has its own set of rules, training and certification. At the end of every day all Classes and RARA discuss what can be done better to ensure every pilot is race ready.”

This year’s PRS class was the largest and most diverse the organization has ever had, with 129 attendees, 52 students (13 international students), 25 certified racers, 31 instructors and 13 officials with a total of 75 aircraft at Reno Stead Airport.

“We are seeing a resurgence in pilot interest,” said Telling. “This year’s class was impressive; we look forward to some great races this September.”

The 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races returns Sept. 11–15, 2019, just 20 minutes north of downtown Reno. Attendees can witness the fastest motorsport in the world as six racing classes go head-to-head plus demonstrations by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the National Aviation Heritage Invitational. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit


About the STIHL National Championship Air Races          
The STIHL National Championship Air Races are held every September just north of Reno by the Reno Air Racing Association, a 501(c)(3). The event has become an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world with six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. Independent economic impact studies have shown that the event generates as much as $91.7 million annually for the local economy. For more information on the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer, be a vendor or purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit