It was a hot time in Reno last night. This photo, taken just 25 hours ago, catches FFT's "Champ the Bronco" (N307FR) hurriedly trying to taxi from the runway 16R hold line all the way down to the other end in an attempt to make it to runway 34L and get out of town. The Frontier flight had just left the terminal and was almost at the north end of taxiway Alpha, next to go from 16R, when sudden high swirling winds descended from the Sierra Nevada and a vicious electrical storm exploded over the airport and the city. An inbound SW, less than a mile out, encountered a brutal wind sheer and the pilots immediately reported that the flight was diverting to SMF. This Frontier Bus, a Navy C-40, and a FDX heavy all shut down their engines on Alpha to wait out the storm. As they sat, lightning ignited the fire visible here and a second fire just beginning to spread at the right edge of this photo. About 35-40 minutes later, after a UA inbound made a rough arrival on 34L, the FFT pilots requested permission to restart, swap ends of the runway, and get gone for Denver. This pic was taken as they hustled from the hold of 16R to 34L where they made a successful getaway.
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