John is the former Chairman of the Board of the Reno Air Racing Association, whose mission is to perpetuate the most unique air racing event and aviation experience in the world by combining the world’s fastest motor sport with spectacular military and civilian air entertainment.
The National Championship Air Races is the last event of its kind, carrying on the tradition of the Cleveland Air Races of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. In 1964, Bill Stead organized an air race near Reno, Nevada, that became the Reno National Championship Air Races. The event has only been interrupted once in September of 2001 when all aircraft in the United States were grounded following the terrorists attacks in New York and Washington.
Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one week, the high desert north of Reno becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 150,000 spectators and generated more than $60 million a year for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations.