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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
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
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.