The Pylon Place: What’s New at the Reno Air Races? 

By Marilyn Dash

Last year’s winner, Voodoo and Stevo HintonThe big news everyone is talking about is the hiring of Mike Crowell as the president and chief executive officer of the National Championship Air Races. After a few visits with Mike, I can say that I am very happy to see someone of his caliber taking the reins.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Mike’s caliber step in to take the helm at the Reno Air Races,” said John Agather, chairman of the RARA board of directors. “We are looking to Mike to bring his leadership, experience, and expertise in running efficient organizations to the Reno Air Races so that we can ensure this important northern Nevada event is successful for many years to come.”

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The Pylon Place: February 2015

Introducing the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team World Aerobatic Championships 2015

By Marilyn Dash

The Team

First, I want to congratulate the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team! The USA will be represented by a group of pilots who are long time aerobatic competitors. Everyone on the team has participated in at least one previous World Aerobatic Championship (WAC) in the past. This is very valuable experience!

The U.S. team is comprised of Goody Thomas (Team Captain), Rob Holland, Jeff Boerboon, Nikolay Timofeev, Brett Hunter, Melissa Pemberton, Benjamin Freelove, Mark Nowosielski, and Tim Just.

This team will compete at the 28th FAI World Aerobatic Championships in Châteauroux-Déols (France) Aug. 19-29, 2015. Who wants to go with me? I was lucky enough to help out in 2013 when the WAC was held at North Texas Regional Airport in Denison, Tex. I’d be thrilled to go again and support our team.

Aerobatic Performance Zone – The Box

Competition Aerobatics takes place on a playing field just like most other sports. The only difference is our field is a “Box” in the sky.

Just like all sports there are penalties for leaving the “Box”. “Outs” or “Boundary Infringements” as they are referred to in Competition Aerobatics are verified by “Boundary Judges” that sit on the ground and use a sighting device to determine these penalties.

If you’ve ever seen clear panels on an Aerobatic Plane–this is why. We need to be able to see the ground positioning to stay in the box.

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The Pylon Place: January 2015

2014 Year in Review

By Marilyn Dash

Team Ruby – Getting Ready for the Big Race (Anthony Taylor / year is in the books with some great highs and some devastating lows. I wanted to take the time to look back and celebrate the good and memorialize the losses.

Red Bull Air Racing was Back!

If you read this column regularly, you know that I love Air Racing of any kind–especially the Closed Pylon racing like we do at the National Championship Air Races in Reno. But I also have a great affection for the Red Bull Air Racing Series.

After a three-year hiatus, the series came back stronger than ever, finishing the season at their Home-Drome with the Championship being decided on the last flight. Amazing year–congrats to all, especially Nigel Lamb, the 2014 Series Champion!

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The Pylon Place: December 2014

Red Bull Air Race 2014: Worth the Wait

After a three-year hiatus, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship came back in 2014 with dramatic action.  

By Marilyn Dash

Final Preparation for his Championship Winning Flight . ( Photos used by Permission from Red Bull Air Races)It all started when 12 of the world’s best pilots reunited in February for the season opener in Abu Dhabi. The new rules, which mandated standardization of engines and propellers, were created to level the playing field and to make the action tighter–and they did.

Fans were able to see the action at eight locations on three continents. Venues like England’s Ascot Racecourse and the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria completely sold out, and at the race in Gdynia, Poland–the officials had to close access to the beach viewing when they reached the mandated civic limit of 130,000. Now, that’s a crowd!

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The Pylon Place: November 2014

By Marilyn Dash

2014 NCAR Review – Part 2

Last month, we reviewed the International Formula 1, Biplanes and T-6 classes from the 2014 National Championship Air Races held in Reno, Nev.  This month, we will complete our review, highlighting the Sport Class, Jets and Unlimited Division.

Sport Class

Jeff LaVelle does it again in 20134. (Anthony Taylor/ year, Jeff LaVelle broke two records. In his Glasair III, Jeff broke his own record for Fastest Qualifying time and in Heat 1A, he broke the fastest time in the race also.

Not sure what magic Jeff has in that aircraft, but it sounds awesome and looks great. And he is most likely not done tinkering yet. Always looking to increase his speed by a knot or two, he is one of the reasons to watch the Sport Class.

Veteran Thunder Mustang Pilot, John Parker was nipping at his heels but was denied in the end with a mechanical and a DNS for the final.

Gary Mead qualified fifth, but through luck and attrition, ended up taking second place. While Swiss Pilot, Peter Balmer, qualified eighth in the only other Thunder Mustang racing this year–he finished third. It was one of those years.

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