RENO PRS was great!
Our Vice President, Elliot Seguin taught a fantastic Formula One ground school. Elliot's level of knowledge and enthusiasm with regard to the why of aircraft flying and design is quite impressive. Everyone in the class, including me, learned something from his take on our syllabus.
Because this was an accreditation year for us as well as RARA, the FAA was well represented. Bill Kunder from the FAA audited our presentation to the Formula One Class, and Sue Gardner, the National Aviation Event Specialist from FAA headquarters, and John Goldfluss, the Regional Aviation Events Specialist from the Western Pacific Regional Office also the FAA IIC, spoke to us regarding our involvement with the Reno, Tunisia and Lleida races. All thought our syllabus was complete and very well presented; and our involvement with Reno and overseas was well received as it showcased Pylon style air racing to the world. We should receive our re-accreditation letter shortly thanks to Kirk's and Elliot's hard work.
Veteran Jim Jordan attended this year's PRS as he was hopeful the major modification of Miss Minn (new wing) would be compete in time for the 2015 RENO National Championship Air Races (NCAR). After a great effort, it looks as if we'll have to wait another year before she returns sporting that new Catto wing.
Also attending PRS was Justin Meaders, who is modifying a Snoshoe around that new Catto wing as well. Although Justin lost the use of his legs in a motorcycle accident years ago, it hasn't slowed him down or dampened his love of flying. He is an Olympic Triathlete and president of the Disabled Pilots Association. Provided the Olympic Games in Brazil don't get in his way, (Did I mention he's got a slot on the team if he wants it) he should also have his modified racer ready for the 2016 Reno NCAR.
Student Jerry Marshal, purchased Aero Magic and is dressing her up for the NCAR. Also purchased by Jerry was Carbon Slipper, which he soon plans to bring back to Reno as well. Jerry is in the flight preparation stage with Aero Magic and I'm waiting on a call so Kirk or I can come out and observe his qualification flight.
Rick Poe purchased my old flame Miss Demeanor, in addition to four other Cassutts and two tailwinds. Rick, Justin, and Elliot have been attending to some deferred maintenance on the cassutts over the last year. Rick has worked at Northrop Grumman for 30 years, but started his career at Task Research on the Santa Paula airport where he first fell in love with experimental airplanes and more importantly Air Racing. As a result Rick comes to the class with a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work required to design, build and test these airplanes as well 30 years of coming to Reno and watching the races, particularly the Formula class. A life-long fan taking this step to become an active participant is a sign of a healthy racing organization.
Justin Gillen attended PRS with Rick and Elliot from Mojave. Justin built a Tango II that he flew to PRS, (setting a record during the flight up). Justin works with Elliot and Jenn doing flight test among other things as a Project Engineer at Scaled Composites. Justin has been crewing for Elliot for 4 years and recently started helping Elliot with some developmental flight test of new Formula Racing products (some of which have already raced at Tunisia). As a result Justin has 20 hours of testing in Miss Demeanor. Like Rick, Justin was an attentive student that came prepared and offered good insight from their observation of the sport.
As a result of our participation in AirRace1 we had three students with airplanes from across the pond.
Trevor Jarvis, from England is flying a French Registered Shoestring. Trevor raced in the inaugural AirRace 1 event in Lleida Spain in 2014 in a Taylor Tich, and got the racing itch, but wanted something with a little more speed. He certainly has the determination, and he and his crew have the commitment to bring the "Silver Bullet" to Reno this year to join us in a little sport.
Rob Michie, a South African / British citizen also living in England found a project and converted it to a racer and is having a bit of work done on it. He even has a Facebook page to show off "Mad Hatters Racing." Looking at the pictures he posted he should give a few slab winged Cassutts a run for their money.
Remy Olagnier from France purchased Outrageous and is having some safety upgrades done and is coming back in August to hone his flying skills in the cramped (for Remy) little racer. In September he should be ready to give the gold racers a run for our money. Remy has a lot of hours flying cargo and charter in South America, the Caribbean and Europe. When you get the chance ask Remy to tell you some of his stories that he has about alternate starting methods he's used. It'll be an eye opener.
Ok now it's back to Paris for work and to celebrate my wife’s birthday, (yes I brought her along) and then to Lleida Span for the second leg of the Air Race 1 Series.
I just love this stuff!
Steve Senegal, President
International Formula One Pylon Air Racing