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Bob Axsom 09-10-2012 12:42 AM

2012 Reno Adventure (2nd Attempt)
After much typing the computer said what you have typed is not that interesting - START OVER! ARHG! I hate when that happens! So an abreviated second attempt:

I flew the RV-6A that my wife Jeanine and I built in our garage like so many of you, out here from Fayetteville, Arkansas (Woo pig ... sorry it's a local thing) Friday. Refueled at Goodland, Kansas and Rock Springs, Wyoming. The weather was so good that I just threw a flight plan in the 695 got a briefing and tookoff improvising on the way.

Four trip Highlights for me ocurred on the last leg. I looked at my charts after I tookoff from Rock Springs and decided to go a little south of my planned route and go over Salt Lake City, Utah for some viewing opportunity. Some Of you NASA insiders may remember the Genesis Mission that returned solar wind samples from 3 years of collecting at the L1 point to the Utah Test and Training Range on September 8, 2004. I was involved in that and spent some time at UTTR and Dugway Proving Grounds and Hill AFB during the mission. I thought it would be at least interesting to see the area from the air over the highway south of The Great Salt Lake. I looked for Wildcat and Granite Peak to the south in that vast area and in my mind at least - I saw them. As I continued west I looked to the north side of the highway and saw the famous destination of Burt Monro and his World's Fastest Indian, the Bonneville Salt Flats. Then almost Immediately on the south side of the highway I saw the the Air Base at Wendover (well it always will be The Air Base to me where Paul Tibbets trained the 509th Composite Group for dropping the Atomic Bomb to end WWII) that I had read so much about in books with various titles including the words "Enola Gay." The end of this trip of discovery came as I was passed the south end of Pyramid Lake and called the temporary tower at Stead Field. "Experimental November 710 Bravo Juliet report downwind abeam left traffic for runway 8." Nothing significant there you say... well I guess you had to be there.

Mark Frederick saw me coming and had a golf cart do follow me duties to the red and white "No Prop Truning" line then tow me to Bob Mills' Hangar. Bob had the doors open waiting for us.

Basically, I was there the plane was safe and I just waited until Bob was done for the day and it was time to go to the hotel get some food and sleep.

The Tailhook Convention was just ending at my hotel in Reno and I thought this bus was interesting:

If you look closely you can see a sidewinder on the top and a tailhook on the rear (aft).

The end of the first day.

Bob Axsom

Lars 09-10-2012 04:06 PM

Very cool story, however brief. I would love to fly over there in my newly-minted RV, but alas I won't be able to break free until Friday. So driving it is. Again. Fortunately it's only about 2-1/2 hours for me. Hope to meet you Saturday evening, Bob!

Bob Axsom 09-10-2012 11:54 PM

Days 2&3
The big introductory IN-BRIEF has taken place

and a Crew briefing completed , wrist bands, head bands (most worn on arms never saw one on a head - different color and marking for each class) and yellow validation tags are in place so that part of Sport Class Race #43 is set.

I have seen Bob Mills and Mark frederick, Alan Crawford, Ernie Sutter and Lynn Farnsworth from SARL fly so far and all seems well. there have been some flat tires and one mayday but nothing major. Tomorrow is another practice and qualification day. With a lot of briefs and tune up flying. I suspect few have qualified so tomorrow will be tense.

Bob Axsom

Bob Axsom 09-11-2012 10:39 PM

Day 4
Our guys in the Sport Class did well today. To my knowledge everyone qualified
Mark Frederick went a little over 260 mph and Bob mills was a little over 245.
The minimum qualification requirement was 200 mph. A fellow flying an
absolutely beautiful RV-3 made it in the Sport class and he is going to race at

There is a little fenced off area at the north end of the first hangar west of
the ramp where all of the crews are to go to when their planes leave the ramp
for flight. This fellow's crew is his wife. When one of the guys in the area
that was timing the planes accurately but I think unofficially, stated that #89
was over 200 mph the smile on that woman's face was not for show. There was a
deep inner pride and happiness that was for them alone. It was a major or a
small victory depending on your view but it was deeply felt by the principles in
the story and it didn't matter a whit that they were at the bottom of the heap,
they were in.

I saw the smile and it made me feel good as I too have shared
such a victory in other arenas and I understand the private joy it can bring .
There are so many stories at all levels here at the Reno Air Races it is like a
small cross section of life with an aviation and racing spine.

Tomorrow there is still some practice time but the real racing starts. I will
be watching the SARL racers closely and pulling for them all but maybe a little
harder for Sport Class #43 (my team) and our close associate #12.

The NTSB presented a slide and video program on the devastating crash last year
that provided far greater insight than I had ever seen.

They too want the races to continue but they are doing their job to make them safer for everyone.

End of Day 4

Bob Axsom

DaAV8R 09-11-2012 10:55 PM

Great thread
Thanks for the reports Bob. Great thread. Just a reminder, we do like pictures :D

Bob Axsom 09-12-2012 12:19 AM

I'm taking them but ...
My cable is at home that connects my camera to the computer. Someone else is going to have to fill that void I'm affraid.

Bob Axsom

Bruce 09-12-2012 05:33 PM

See if you can get one of those camera thingys from Rocket.
At least you should get a good smile.

Be Safe out there.

Bob Axsom 09-13-2012 12:50 AM

Day 5
We had a good day in the Sport Bronze group (Our Pilot Bob Mills refers to them as the Bronze Gods). He finished 2nd in the Sport 1C heat. To find the detail reports of the races and qualification go to:
In the morning the Sport Bronze group ran some practice racing just to sharpen the procedures but the real thing came at 14:55. All went well and as reported earlier Bob Mills in his RV-Super 6 did well holding off a Radial Rocket but chasing a Glasair II-S. His speed was 242.39 mph. We tried to refine the taping but it came loose in a couple of places. We will try to do better in the next Sport Bronze heat on Friday.

The outstanding performance of the day was given by Steve Senegal in Formula 1. He flew Race # 11 Endeavour to a new race record:
260.775 mph
Steve also flies in the Sport Bronze Class. He walked up to our group around Mark Frederick and Bob Mills airplane and said I just flew the fastest Formula One race ever - I'm stoked! He was so pleased that he might have burst on the spot but I asked do you remember when I gave you tha bottle of water the other day. He slowly said "yes", wondering where is this going and I responded "how about an autograph. With the tension broken he wrote in my little notebook:

Formula One
Race 11
Fastest Formula One
in a heat race
Steve Senegal

I'm going to change the oil on our airplane tomorrow and some folks are planning to take a look at the baffling with the cowl off. Bob Mills, Stan Sutterfield form Port Orange, Florida and Red Hanilton for sure

When the race day was over I had dinner with Red Hamiltom and Marilyn where we discussed an engine rebuild.

End of Day 5. Bob Axsom

rv7boy 09-13-2012 10:47 AM

Wrong Web Site Link?
I believe the link should be

and for the Sport Class a sub-page is

The one you have points to a generic site.

As a moderator, I started to change it in your post, but I'd prefer you tell me it is indeed incorrect.

Bob Axsom 09-13-2012 09:33 PM

I don't know where I picked up the "ing" that made it wrong. I corrected it in the post thank you very much for pointing this out.

Bob Axsom

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