Sport Class Mid-Air

Mark Ter Keurs propeller will take more than filing after this morning's close call.

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.

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a professional magazine writer and nurtures an ongoing affair with all things internal combustion. His writing is most often found in automotive magazines, but aviation is his first love. Working as a line boy, he learned to fly while in high school, but still hasn't mastered the art of keeping a paper chart in an open cockpit.

9 Replies to “Sport Class Mid-Air”

  1. sport class has to be the way of the future of air raceing since the planes can be kitted together by a privateer and suped up with turbos ect and do 400 mph as good as any warbird and less restrictions than formulae one class and will probably save the day for reno in the end as warbirds are getting disfunctional and may be we will see sport class get to 500 mph who knows ... skeatesy 2017

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