A year after a vintage World War II fighter fell out of the sky, killing 10 spectators and the pilot, the National Championship Air Races in Reno have resumed -- with a greater emphasis on safety.
This year’s version of the races -- the 49th annual edition -- kicked off this week. The event usually brings out some 200,000 spectators and is worth $80 million to the Reno area, according to the group’s website. Vintage planes will be racing at speeds of 500 mph in what promoters call "The World’s Fastest Motorsport.”
It was on the afternoon of Sept. 16 when the Galloping Ghost, a modified P-51 Mustang piloted by Jimmy Leeward, flew out of control then crashed into the box seats near a grandstand. Seventy people were injured.
Dr. Anne Courtney, an emergency room specialist from Seattle who was at the races last year, helped treat the wounded after the crash. She told the Associated Press that she will be coming back this year.
“We are going to be sitting there in our same box seats we've been in now for the last 20 years. It's kind of like a big reunion. I have no apprehension whatsoever,” she said.