JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At air shows, the planes travel at speeds up to 500 mph, the twist and turns leave spectators in awe, but the recent accidents have left many wondering if the sport is really safe.
"I hope these mishaps don't put a damper on that part of aviation," said Vic Martinelli, a member of the St. Augustine Airport Pilots Association.
The Ponte Vedra pilot said the acrobatic sport is inherently dangerous, but it is safe for the pilot and the spectators.
"The kids who go to these shows need to know they are safe," he said.
A fellow pilot at the Air Races in Reno told his friends in the St. Augustine Aviation community, the air race crash was so sudden that there was nothing to do but watch.
"It was really pretty drastic, the mustang came in from over his head down into the box right in front of him, the impact was unbelievable. The plane just cratered into the ground," he said.