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, eclipsing the previous record of 63 planes in 2007.
“PRS formally kicks off the anticipation and countdown for the September event and it’s the first time you get to hear the thunder of an unlimited engine, the roar of a jet engine and the friendly competitive chatter of pilots,” said Joey Scolari, member of the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) board of directors. “To have such an overwhelming turnout of pilots and planes is a pretty good indication that this year’s National Championship Air Races will be one of our biggest, yet.”
All new pilots must attend PRS and complete and pass all classroom-based course work before flying in supervised test runs of the course. After successfully passing both segments, rookies will be given approval by flight instructors to race in the September event. Though mandatory for rookies, RARA, in conjunction with the individual racing class organizations, opens PRS to all pilots offering them practice time, education, training and certification. PRS helps ensure that racers compete with maximum competitiveness and safety at the STIHL National Championship Air Races.
“While the importance of PRS to pilot and spectator safety cannot be overstressed, it also builds excitement and provides us with an opportunity to get our volunteers and staff ready for September,” said Scolari. “We have a lot of exciting changes in store for this year’s event and PRS also allows us an important onsite opportunity to start our final preparations.”
The 51st annual National Championship Air Races is the world’s premier air racing event. The races kick off Wednesday, Sept. 10, and will continue through Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Reno-Stead Airport. Tickets for the show are available by phone at 775-972-6663 or online at www.airrace.org. For more information on the STIHL National Championship Air Races, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.