The National Championship Air Races has launched a worldwide fundraising campaign to try to keep alive the 50-year-old event that’s been struggling with insurance costs since a deadly accident in Nevada two years ago.
Reno Air Racing Association president and CEO Mike Houghton says they need to raise $500,000 by Dec. 15 to keep their operating budget functioning for the first quarter of next year.
The races’ insurance premium ballooned from about $300,000 to $2 million the year after a pilot and 10 spectators were killed and scores injured in a crash at Reno Stead Airport in September 2011.
The premium is still more than $1 million.
An estimated 200,000 spectators turned out last year but Houghton says they suffered a significant budget shortfall for the third year in a row.
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