Local Crew Supports Air Races

Pilots, mechanics, and technicians were all awaiting today’s announcement regarding the future of the Reno Air Races. Unlike spectators, they have a personal stake in the event. The team manager of a perennial favorite in the Unlimited Plane Category at the races says he’s optimistic

Courtesy of airrace.org

Business goes on as usual at Aviation Classics at the Stead Airport north of Reno,.

The FBO and restoration facility is perhaps best known, among other things, for its work on the "Rare Bear."

The plane has won the unlimited class at the Reno Air Races multiple times, and these days team manager Alby Redick says they are working on getting the F8F Bearcat to go even faster.

“We continue to work on it in anticipation of a possible speed record,” says Redick with Aviation Classics.

Redick was there last year when Jimmy Leward crashed his P-51 plane.

He says he knew Leward since he was a little kid, and saw the family's reaction when the plan went out of control.

He says in the days and weeks to follow he questioned what would happen to the Reno Air Races.

“You know I'm just really pleased to hear that the air races are going to try to put the Reno Air Races on for 2012. I hope that the community and some of the fans and crews get behind the air races,” says Redick.

The issue of money Redick says it a tricky one--especially in terms of lives lost and people injured.

He believes there's been plenty of reverence and respect paid, but now its time to look to the future and what that means to the Reno Air Races.

“You know we can't crawl into a hole and stop our lives,” says Redick.

While no one can with certainty say what will happen here at Stead Airport on September 12th of this year, Redick can make one prediction, whether it's a final air show or continued air races, the “Rare Bear” will be there.

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