Sunday will mark one year since a plane crashed into a crowd of people at the National Championship Air Races that killed 11 and injured 70 others.
That tragedy meant months of uncertainty for the decades-old event, but this week, it's back.
"It's actually fantastic to be here," Steve Hinton said. "After the tragedy, last year, most of us thought that was going to be the last air race."
Hinton is the pilot of a P-51 Mustang called "Strega."
He was in the same race as Jimmy Leeward, last year, when the "Galloping Ghost" crashed into the crowd.
"It didn't really hit me until I was on the ground and had time to not think about flying," Hinton said.
"It was such a freak accident," Vic McMann said. "You could never plan that that would happen."
McMann was one of the first responders on-scene and immediately began tying tourniquets on the wounded.
He also knew Leeward, and two other victims who died on the ground, George and Wendy Hewitt.
He says he's glad to see the races continue.
"I'm kind of doing it for George," McMann said. "George came down to see me. He's the one that talked me into putting 'pilot' on the side of my sleeve and I said 'Well, I don't need to do that.' Kind of still wearing the shirt for George and I'm just doing it again. I'm just getting back on the horse that kicked us off, so to speak."
Along with the countless friends attending this year's air races, some of the surviving victims also plan to return to Reno.
"They were the ones that were giving us the most encouragement to keep moving ahead, no matter what obstacles we ran into," Reno Air Racing Association President and CEO Mike Houghton said.
Along with this week's races, there will also be tributes to the victims of last year's tragedy.
"I think the tributes are going to be emotional," Houghton said. "It's going to be very difficult not to feel something. We do every time we talk about them. We will never forget our friends that were lost."
While it may not be business as usual, most of the pilots here say they are looking forward to an exciting week of aviation seen nowhere else in the world.
"You look at it with a positive light and they all would've wanted to be here, this year, if they could've," Hinton said. "So, we just try to make the best of it, learn from actions in the past or past mistakes and do it better and move on."
Air racing officials say they are working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration and making sure this event is as safe as possible.
General admission is free Tuesday and Wednesday while pilots make qualifying runs.
Opening ceremonies are Thursday.
When the air races start Wednesday - you'll see some temporary public land closures up in Stead.
The public land -- adjacent to and north of Reno-Stead Airport -- will be closed for four days.
Washoe County Sheriff's Deputies and Reno Police will patrol the area for your safety and the safety of the pilots.
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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