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Recommendations for rental in Nevada

I’m planning a trip to Reno air races this year, landing in SFO, a few days in Yosemite then driving up to Reno for the 12th September.

The air races are from the 14th to the 18th, but I don’t see any point in going every day so I’ll just book tickets for the last 1-2 days of the races. For the 13th-16th I’d like to rent a plane.

There seem to be some options at Reno Tahoe airport, but I’ve no reason to actually stay in Reno itself until the races, so anywhere within 50 miles would be good. Does anyone have recommendations for where to rent a C172 or PA28 from? I have a 61.75 piggyback licence and should be 200-250 total time when visiting.

I don’t expect to be crossing the mountains or anything, but it seems difficult finding anywhere that will allow rental for more than a few hours here and there.

United Kingdom

I don’t have any specific recommendation in the area, but an internet search should bring up the local(ish) schools and FBOs. If you have ForeFlight they’re also listed under the relevant airport tab. As a general guideline, a daily minimum of 2 hours is required Mon-Fri, 3 on the weekends. I’d suggest to do some research and then email and/or call. You can sometimes negotiate the total time down if you take the airplane on a longer trip, but you’re only looking at three days, so prob90 not applicable.

You could try some US forums Mike…
My last visit there dates some, but rental was made in the bay (SF) area, Oakland to be more precise, and worked out pretty good.

Good luck

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

Thanks chaps, I’ve found a number of FBOs and clubs in the area and have emailed a few, with varying degrees of success.

Certainly for the UK, personal recommendations seem to go a long way with rentals, especially given the sheer state of most of the rental fleet here. It seems this is less of an issue in the US however.

United Kingdom

San Carlos Flight Centre, about 20 miles south of SF has a large rental fleet. Crossing the Sierras to the Reno/Tahoe area is not usually a problem. Just follow the I80 over the Donner pass. There will be far fewer rental options close to Reno
Do you need a flight review? Possibly combine with a rental check-out.
Stead field will be closed to visitors for the races. Parking at Reno airport would usually need to be pre-booked. Other options are Carson City, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee or Minden. Getting a rental car from these airports could also be tricky, especially at weekends.

When I was living in the SF Bay area, I would not attempt to fly across to the races. It was far simpler to do the 3.5 hour drive to Stead and book a hotel in Reno or Carson.

KHWD- Hayward California; EGTN Enstone Oxfordshire, United States

Mark_1 wrote:

San Carlos Flight Centre

Thanks for the recommendation, I’ve been in contact with them and a few other schools in the bay area.

Despite having 70hrs on type, to rent a PA28 all of the schools seem to be requesting at least 5hrs checkout for self fly hire, some saying 8hrs(!). I guess this is insurance driven but it means I’ll be doing at least two days worth of checkout flying just to be able to rent something for a further 2-3 days! Seems massively overkill.

United Kingdom

You mean fixed gear PA28? Wow! Renting in the US has really gone down the drain…

Yes, in many cases these things are indeed insurance driven. But in this case, it is hard to believe. Maybe some of it is just to squeeze more hours (including instructor rate) out of clients (a bit like many UK schools with their own 30/60/90 day “currency rules”). But then on the other hand, maybe US schools have simply found out that it is not so much about the flying itself (for which, in a PA28, one hour is really enough), but that foreign pilots often need at least 5 hours of acclimatisation, to avoid them making havoc with ATC, at uncontrolled airfields, etc.).

Last Edited by boscomantico at 04 May 12:42
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Have you tried Advantage Aviation at Palo Alto? Your experience may vary but my own was that as long as you are obviously competent as a pilot and on the type, a single flight of 1.5 hours or so is plenty. Try to fly with Steve Philipson if you can, no doubt there are others just as good but I can 100% vouch for Steve.

LFMD, France

If you hold FAA61.75, maybe saying you are ‘already have load of hours’ in N-reg (if it’s the case) seems to help, I know it’s irrelevant but at least your know one or two things about FAR…also make sure you have BFR signed-off in the UK, have night & day currency and arrange for your own renter insurance

I did the mistake once of doing my BFR sign-off in US in busy airport with complex TAA Arrow, it took 6h, I did the same thing on another trip taking a complex C177RG in relaxed airport, with everything sorted, it took 1h15min, my other rental checkouts in the likes of C172/PA28/DA40/SR20, were 1h max…

Try Sunrise Aviation at John Wayne? not sure if they have PA28 but plenty of C172 to pick from

Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:

Try Sunrise Aviation at John Wayne? not sure if they have PA28 but plenty of C172 to pick from

They don’t. But it’s a friendly outfit. Just watch out for airside access. Once you’ve been checked out, they expect you to get airside without their help, but the airport (or the DHS) won’t issue airside passes unless you’ve got a residence permit – or possibly a proper visa. Visa waiver doesn’t cut it. (Ask me how I know.)

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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