The Pylon Place - May 2010

Rare Bear Creator, World Record Holder and Motor Sports Hall of Famer Lyle Shelton has Gone West

By Marilyn Dash

Lyle Shelton after Rare Bear’s Gold Win. (Jan Peters)The Reno Air Races community is mourning the loss of yet another legend. Lyle Shelton died last month after a long illness.

You could say that Lyle Shelton became an air-racing champion because of a missed flight. Shelton was a Naval Aviator in 1964 when he took a month’s leave intending to travel around the world via space available military transportation. But, while in California after missing his flight to Hawaii, he came across an article in a magazine saying there was going to be an Inaugural Air Race in Reno. The idea of air racing intrigued him enough to abandon his journey and hop a ride to Nevada. He must have liked what he saw, because less than a year later he flew in his first air race.

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The Pylon Place - April 2010

A Loving Tribute to a Dear Friend…

By Marilyn Dash

Ruby Red Racing

Where he belonged, flying low, fast and turning left. (Victor Archer)The Warbird and Air Racing Communities lost a great friend last month. Al Goss was flying his beloved T-6, Warlock, with his crew chief, Steve Ballard, when tragedy struck.    

Alfred Fredrick Goss Jr., or “Papa Goss” or “Al” to all that knew him, was born Dec.16, 1941 in Shenandoah, Idaho, to Alfred and Lucille Goss.

At 18, Al started flying and soon found employment as a crop duster flying for Pat Tomlinson of M & W Flying in Porterville, Calif.  After several years, he migrated to Northern California and flew for several different organizations.  Twenty-two years ago, he took a job in the Bakersfield, Calif., area with Old River Crop Dusting, owned by dear friend and fellow air racer, Eddie Van Fossen. 

A crop duster by day, his real passion was Warlock and the people who surrounded him and supported him while he raced the pylons at Reno. Two sons, Randy and David, and a daughter, Sandra, survive him but he adopted the rest of us and made everyone feel like family.

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The Pylon Place - March 2010

So, You Want To Go Air Racing?

By Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

The third most frequently asked question I hear about Air Racing is “how do I get started?” I thought I would share with you how I get started and tell you how to go about moving from the stands to the pits.     
At one time, every race pilot went to the races and thought; I want to do that!  Each of us had to make some decisions and focus on the goal. And while the process has become more structured in recent years with the creation of the Pylon Racing Seminar, it’s still a process.

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The Pylon Place - February 2010

Airshow Season Preview

By Marilyn Dash

Not just an Air Show Preview, but – where can you see some of your favorite racers.

Warbirds in Action, Minter Field
One of the first shows of the year is also a show that guarantees you will see some of your favorite racers. “Warbirds in Action” at Minter Field, Shafter, Calif., is the home show for Warlock, Czech Mate and Strega. I’m sure Al Goss will be in attendance and will likely fly that day; Tiger and Stevo will likely be there, not sure if they will be flying or not. Czech Mate is also at the field, however rarely flies or displays. You will likely see Eddie Van Fossen in his T-6 hopping rides and forming up on Warlock. The show is a one-day event and is scheduled for April 17.

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The Pylon Place - January 2010

Off-Season Entertainment

By Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

During the off-season, when there isn’t enough news to keep the fans interested, I say we take a look at our bookshelves and see how Air Racing has been covered in literature, biographies and nonfiction.
Did you know there are two novels written about air racing?

The first was written by William Faulkner and is called Pylon. It isn’t exactly fun and easy reading, but it is a classic. Faulkner participated in air shows during the early 30’s and many of the stories in the book are based on his real life experiences. The characters are based on real people he met along the way. But, very little of this book resembles the characters and events of the National Championship Air Races or any other form of air racing.

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