Reno Air Races Tailhook VIP Tour

54th Annual National Championship Air Races

Sunday, 10 September 2017

If you have already registered for Hook '17 Click Here to Sign up for the VIP Tour.

Jessica Sanders Walker - Tour Guide

The Tailhook Reno Air Races VIP Tour leaves the Nugget at 1200 and travels to Stead Airport - located in “The Valley of Speed” which is home to the World’s Fastest Motorsport. Upon leaving the Nugget, your tour guide will transport you back to the origins of air racing over the past 50 years plus in Northern Nevada. You will learn about the different types of race planes, the race courses they fly and who is crazy enough to pilot these planes.

Tour participants will be introduced to and briefed by pylon race pilots from all six classes of aircraft - Unlimited, Jet, T6, Sport, Formula One and Biplane.

A viewing tent will allow you to watch the pilots push their planes to the limits to prepare for qualification that will determine their position within each race class group.

On the tour, you will see technical inspections of the T6 race planes, witness a practice pilot extraction procedure by the Air Race Crash Fire Rescue Team, and enjoy a local wine tasting from Nevada’s premier Estate Distillery and Winery. The tour comes to an end with a briefing from the Air Race Boss Greg “Shifty” Peairs (lifetime member of Tailhook) and other air racing officials.

About your Tour Guide Jessica Sanders Walker…

Jessica has been responsible for coordinating logistics for the Big Red (T6) Crew since 2004. Coming from a strong aviation background, (soloed at 16 years of age) Jessica immediately fell in love with the air races and became a fixture in the T6 pits. Whether she is hosting a pit party, turning a wrench or making breakfast for all of the pilots and their crew, Stead Airport is where she calls home each year in September.

While earning her undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama, she worked with the 117th ARW in Birmingham, Alabama, to fight BRAC from closing the base where her father once flew F-4 Phantoms. After undergrad, she produced USO type shows at military installations across the country, then returned to academia to complete her Master’s Degree. Upon graduation, Jessica moved to Bogota, Colombia, and taught Thesis and Dissertation Research at UNICA.

Jessica married LT William Walker in 2014 and currently lives at NAS Fallon where her husband flies the F/A-18 and F-16. They welcomed their first child, William Joseph Walker, IV into the world this year!

She is currently the Military Liaison and Sponsorship Coordinator for the Reno Air Racing Association. This is Jessica’s 3rd year to lead the Tailhook VIP Tour.