I've had the privilege of doing some pretty neat things because of my job. I absolutely love traveling, and being a corporate pilot provides for a lot of such traveling opportunities. It's more than a treat when I have an entire day to explore New York City or Chicago or San Francisco. Especially when the only expense to me is public transportation, like a $7 all-day pass on the NYC subway system! I've even been able to spend lots of time at the Oshkosh Airventure because of where I work! It doesn't get much better than spending the week at the largest airshow in the world! Thanks to my job, I get to see some pretty wonderful things all over the continent.
Last week was especially nice, since I got to participate in something that I never dreamed I would. The Reno Air Races are known world-wide as the ultimate airplane racing venue. And I got to spend an entire day soaking it all in! It was Thursday, Day Two of the annual event, so the huge weekend crowds hadn't arrived yet. The races were incredible, with the various heats doing five laps around a giant course just a few hundred feet off the ground in front of thousands of people eagerly watching from the stands. A pace plane led the way until the race began, and then the excitement was underway! There were jet class heats, led by a Learjet 45 as a pace plane. There were classics heats, including several awesome airplanes racing against other World War II-era heavyweights. There were home-built class heats that amazed the crowd with their incredible speeds. One home-built almost lapped the airplane in last place! I had a huge grin the entire day, in awe that I was able to experience such an event.
We took the crew car to the show, but Terry returned it to town after just a few hours (those borrowed cars have a time limit so others can use them, too). I didn't want to bug him for a ride, so I asked around enough to figure out the local bus schedule. Because of post-show traffic, it took me almost two hours to make it back to downtown Reno (only seven miles away)! The bus was packed with race fans, and it was fun to relive the day's events by listening to their stories. I was already having Reno Air Race Withdrawal. Once downtown, I caught a connecting bus that dropped me off just a block away from my hotel. After walking all day at the races, I was grateful for such a close bus line.
I was certainly a kid in a candy store as I got to experience the Reno Air Races. If you haven't been and you have even the slightest inclination for things with wings, you should definitely check it out next September! I'm so blessed that my job affords me so many treats. I now have the t-shirt to prove what a great time I had at the Reno Air Races.