Air Racing Officials Say Jet Accident Was Minor - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Air Racing Officials Say Jet Accident Was Minor

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Two planes touched in midair at the Reno-Stead Airport, Thursday.

The incident happened during the Pylon Racing Seminar when the tail of an L-39 Jet bumped the bottom of another one, flying at 140 miles per hour.

The first jet made an emergency landing on its belly.

Officials say it was a minor accident, referring to it as "trading paint."

The two pilots walked away without injury.

"In touching, it caused some additional reaction situations for these pilots," Mike Houghton, President and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association said. "They both performed admirably. They did what they had to do. They got their planes down safely. They're both probably a little shaken but they're feeling pretty good."

The jets were in the air as part of a seminar that is designed to train pilots and certify them to participate in the Reno Championship Air Races, in September.

"These are the best pilots in the world," Houghton said. "We've got a combination of rookies as well as certified racers that are out to practice and then our certified racers are also instructors."

About 200 pilots, from around the world, are certified to fly in the Reno Air Races.

67 pilots are here this week, including Seattle resident, Barry Woods.

He's been coming to the races as a spectator, since 1967, but he's hoping make his racing debut this year in the sport class.

"This year, I decided to come to PRS just to experience the experience," Woods said. "I've wanted to do it forever and chose this time to do it."

The seminar is set up to train rookies and pilots that haven't raced in at least three years.

The goal is to experience what happens on the race course in a non-competitive environment.

"The training is so valuable, no matter what kind of a pilot or experience that you've had in the past," Woods said. "You just can't beat the overwhelming experience that you get here."

The air races run September 11-15.

Written by Paul Nelson
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