The world’s fastest motorsport returned to Reno last month for five days of races, amazing flying feats, aircraft displays, and more!
The world’s fastest motorsport returned to Reno last month for five days of races, amazing flying feats, aircraft displays, and more at the STIHL National Championship Air Races, September 14-18 at the Stead Airport. Click Bond was a Bronze Sponsor of this beloved event, and despite the heavy smoke, an enthusiastic team of 20 Click Bonders volunteered to work our event booths over the five-day period.
This was Click Bond’s fifth year of sponsoring the air races, starting in 2017 (the Reno Air Races did not happened in 2020 due to the pandemic). Our first booth, in the Pit Area, was home to our Glasair Sportsman II airplane, the craft built by students in 2018 using over 1,000 Click Bond parts. The Sportsman was equipped with its amphibious float landing gear, which made it distinctive among the other aircraft on display. Air race attendees were invited to climb into the airplane and explore its features. A representative from Glasair Aviation, Ran Fang, was also on hand to answer questions.
On the other side of the grandstands was the STEM Education Discovery Zone, where Click Bond’s second booth welcomed students and families from all over the area — many of them bussed in from local schools — during the weekday events. At the booth, visitors got the chance to repair and modify kit paper airplanes by using fasteners, then attempt to fly the planes through a set of rings in order to win Click Bond swag. We were thrilled to see young people’s curiosity and ingenuity in modifying their planes to achieve their goals; their excitement was infectious! Many asked questions about what Click Bond does and were fascinated by our work and the many kinds of jobs that exist in the aerospace manufacturing field.
Although the event was well attended and our presence was a huge success, the event came to an unforeseen and terrible conclusion on Sunday. Pilot Aaron Hogue, who was piloting an Aero Vodochody L-29 aircraft named Ballista, was killed in a crash on the third lap of the Jet Gold Race. The rest of the event was abruptly cancelled.
Of course, for those in attendance, watching these events unfold was devastating, and an important reminder of the inherent risks that these highly skilled pilots take every time they fly. For Click Bonders, it should also remind us that the work we do to keep pilots, passengers, and military personnel safe in the air every day is critical and should never be taken for granted.
Every Click Bonder should be proud of our involvement in the Reno Air Races to help inspire the next generation of aerospace employees, innovators, and enthusiasts. Thanks to everyone for your hard work in helping us to show up in an extraordinary way!