Today was a testament of teamwork! Sawbones tail wheel was not retracting, from 7am to 3pm crew worked on problem. With 55 minutes till next race and retraction problem fixed. ADI, Water, Fuel and assembly was all needed. It was a work of art how crew came together and plane was in the air within that window of time.. Sawbones / Curt had the fastest lap of the week under the pressure. Pretty cool !
Frost warnings? Not in Reno. At 0600 it was 54, but by 1400, it was 90. Sue and I got to Sawbones' pit at 0630. We opened up and set up. Photographers, some with green MEDIA vests, all wearing their official numbers taped to their hats, arms, pant legs, back packs, and - yes, butts - angled for the best shots. The low morning sun and shadows add highlights to the sleeping airplanes. I got my start in airshows 40 years ago with my trusty Minolta. As we say, "Been there, done that." It's all about composition. Although sometimes it can be about being in the right place at the right time. This right place is Reno.
Sales have been brisk. Some designs are sold out. KC, the designer of our newest Sawbones shirt, stopped with his daughter. His Art Deco impressions of racing planes are superb. He really liked the shirt with his new design. KC is an amazingly creative artist.
Dale is here. He told us he was coming to Reno and he's here. Dale is one of our most important and loyal Sawbones supporters. Think truck - think and thank Dale. By: Tom L.
Contrasts abound. Patch Man and his little dog, a golf cart with a yellow kangaroo riding in the breeze, and Xavier, an old buddy from under the wing of the Stinson trimotor at Oshkosh, his first visit to the races, going to the infield and being stationed at a pylon. Everyone here speaks aviation. Ramp flying, hangar flying, call it what you want - the class 3 medical, 100LL's cost and replacement, the aging pilot population - all part of our day at Sawbones' trailer.
Robin and Jackie arrived yesterday. The first of our guests from 3M and Fox Hollow (Say Hi, Don) trade the trailer's shade for the "patio" on top when the races begin. Today we race in the Gold.
The crowd has increased - coming in waves between races and aerobatics. Some items are sold out already. Section 3 members buy orange Sawbones gear, EAA members stop to talk about AirVenture, and a large delegation from the Air Force Academy met with Curt. Australia, the UK, New Zealand, France - the world comes to Reno. Tom Lymburn
Sawbones took 1st place in the Unlimited Silver Heat 1
race, speed of 416.158 Mph Avg. Strega cut pylon 4 on lap 6 which added +12 sec. Total of 6 laps was flown. 1st place, Yes!
0800. The biplanes scramble and buck into the air, heading into the low harsh sun - like a scene from a black and white epic, say Howard Hughes' "Hell's Angels." You expect to see Errol Flynn or David Niven, or better yet, Jean Harlow appear. I watch as a red Pitts goes from second to pass a blue and yellow compatriot, climbing high and wide, and when by the rival, diving to convert altitude to speed to take first place.
Although the morning starts at 55, it's 90 by race time. Formula, Sport, T-6, Jet, and the Bronze run. All the while, Sawbones' crew, led by Crew Chief Doug Weske, works to ready the Sea Fury for the Silver heat - the last race of the day.
Race fans stop to buy, talk, and support us. Like an embassy in another country, Sawbones' pit is Minnesota away from home - host to guests, our generous sponsors, and race fans who tell us, "Man, are we glad you're back again." Tom Lymburn
We're up at 0530. Out the window of our 22nd story hotel room I watch a FedEx Airbus take off from Reno-Tahoe Airport. The forest fire smoke has thinned and Sue and I head for the rental Kia for the drive to Stead - gotta set up early.
Pylon judges, those who hang out with the rattlesnakes, like to buy Sawbones gear before they drive to their posts. Previous customers return with "What's new this year?" Sales have been good. The new "spider" shirts with the KC design, are on the verge of selling out.
The low yellow sun glints off Sawbones. Open the trailer, start the generator, empty the trash cans, lug out the bins - another day at the races begins. Tom Lymburn
Curt & Doug successfully landed at Reno Stead airport in Nevada. Plane is running very well, and ready for another year of racing. Only stop the guys made was at Casper Wyoming for fuel and plane look over. Crew will follow within a few days to setup pit for 2014 Reno Air Races. Tony is still on the road with support trailer and truck. See pictures below.