Red Bull Air Race: Day Three Reporter's Diary

Sheiban ShakeriSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2008

A bit of disappointment today in Detroit on Saturday as the qualifying round for the Red Bull Air Race was cancelled due to high winds going as high as 35 knots.

Throughout the event, the runs were being pushed back while having sideshows of various vintage and current aircraft. The highlights were the Canadian forces vintage aircraft and the F-14 flyby at near Mach 0.98 – any more and the windows of the buildings lining the river would break and the pilot would have to defect to Canada! As well, a Corsair and the Red Bull Grumman Albatross made flybys as well.

While waiting, the MCs of the Red Bull Air Race gave their perspective and colour commentary to keep the crowds entertained while we waited for the gusts to pass.

Finally, when the bad news was delivered, the crowds took it quite well, albeit, disappointed. Mike, Nick and Don from Detroit weren’t happy about this saying that “it sucked” and all wanted their money back. Of course, Red Bull will honour refunds for Mike, Nick, Don and everyone else who bought a ticket for the Saturday event.

Ryan from Coldwater, Michigan was a little more upbeat saying that “it was fun ‘til it got cancelled.” Of course, it wasn’t just those who paid that were upset, Joan and Marlena from New York came for a bowling tournament and were looking forward to having a look at the planes passing by. However, regardless of planes or not, they said that the planes were pretty and they look forward to seeing another event like this.

The pilots were also quite frustrated with not being able to give the fans their money’s worth, but safety comes first. “It’s a pity because we were not able to test out some things and it was not good for you (the spectators)” said Nicolas Ivanoff. Steve Jones added that “it’s a great shame” and Peter Besenyei was “very sorry for the spectators.”

Overall, it was a great event to see before it got cancelled, and if the sideshows were any indication of the action and entertainment that got hampered by the weather, then we are in for a treat for Sunday.

Photgraph taken by Sheiban Shakeri