Sunday, September 17, 2017 Reno, NV–The great news is no one was hurt, but there was a rare coming-together during the Sport Medallion final this morning at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.
The incident occurred during the start, when the racers were descending line abreast “down the chute” toward the start pylon. Before reaching the start pylon the GP-4 La Otra of Mark Ter Keurs, race number 96 and the RV-8 of Robert Swortzel came together. The propeller of La Otra got into a wing or aileron of Swortzel’s.
Both aircraft were guided to safe landings, Ter Keurs by the pace plane, and Swortzel by fellow competitor George Ford of Longview, Washington. Ford was flying the RV-8 Ice Hawk.
Officials black flagged the race within one half lap of the incident and all aircraft landed without further incident.
All involved are currently debriefing with FAA and RARA officials. It is likely the race will be called as little time remains to re-run the event during todays race-packed schedule.