Pilot Makes Emergency Landing at Air Races

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A Carson City pilot made an emergency landing at the Reno Championship Air Races when his cockpit filled with smoke.

Mike Brown was on a qualifying run Monday when the engine in his Unlimited class Sea Fury began smoking and vibrating.

He made an emergency landing at Reno Stead Airport and was unharmed.

His wife, Sue Brown, said her husband told her the engine began vibrating violently, and the cockpit filled with so much smoke he couldn't see. He cracked open his canopy to let the smoke out, she said.

"His life flashed before his eyes,"she told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The incident followed two separate crashing landings during practice runs the day before.

Larry Lechner of Buena Vista, Colo., and Dan Borgstrom of Karlskoga, Sweden crashed within 30 minutes of each other Sunday.

The two were taken to Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Officials said their injuries were not considered life threatening.

Race officials said Lechner was landing when his plane went over a dropoff at the end of the runway and flipped on its top.

Borgstrom was landing on another runway when his plane went out of control and also landed upside down.

Organizers estimate 200,000 people will attend this year's race, the 40th anniversary of the event.

About 120 airplanes are competing in six different classes for a share of the $1 million prize money.