The 25-year-old Canadian finished 15th and last in Abu Dhabi after clipping one of the 65-foot, air-filled pylons that mark the closed-circuit course.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship series returns to San Diego Bay for the third straight year. It's one of six stops around the world, and one of two in North America. The other is in Windsor, Ontario, in mid-June.
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McLeod, one of 15 pilots on the tour, got his first look at the San Diego Bay course this week. He said it has "a nice flow to it."
McLeod is the youngest pilot to fly in the Red Bull Air Race series, which started in 2005.