In the wake of the tragic Reno crash earlier this year and the immense media attention surrounding it, the NTSB will take a closer look at air race and air show safety next month during a public hearing on the topic.
During the hearing, regulators, industry groups, aviation organizations and airport authorities will field questions about the planning and execution of safety measures at events across the country. All five Board members will participate in the one-day meeting, which will be led by NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.
While the assessment will not focus solely on the National Championship Air Races at Reno, the event will be part of the probe, according to the NTSB.
The future of the 47-year-old championship, one of the few remaining of its kind, has remained uncertain since the highly modified P-51 known as Galloping Ghost crashed into stands of spectators at the event in September, killing 11 and injuring more than 70. The accident was the first crash involving spectator deaths since the event’s inception in 1964.
Not long after the Reno crash, Red Bull Air Race World Championship officials announced the continued suspension of those races, citing a need to further improve safety, among other reasons. Officials said the races would not be held in 2012, but vowed to unveil a fixed race calendar in 2013.