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Old 10-30-2013, 10:56 PM
jetdriven jetdriven is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Houston tx
Posts: 124

I talked with Bob and discussed air racing techniques and mods several times at the air races over the last couple years. He always had some new thing he was trying out on his plane which he spent 4 days modifying. This was a weekly thing for him. He also shared some interesting data about altitudes, winds, and technique via email. Bob was an absolute fanatic about drag and air racing technique. He was thinking on a much higher level than most of us, who were thinking full throttle, yank left and up, and run like **** hope we win. He could see the airflow out to bottom of the cowling and the interference drag from the exhaust, and fixing articulating flush NACA scoop plugs for the fresh air vents. Nothing escaped his total focus on drag reduction.

But the same or more important than that he would always take the time to just talk and catch up. I heard him described as a loner but I didnt find him to be that way at all. I last saw him at the Jasper air race last week. We talked a good ten minutes. He looked a bit tired, but he was up all night putting a fixed pitch prop on his RV-6A, and made it in time to get the race. I think he busted his record again, by 2 MPH.

There is no finer and more dedicated air racer than Bob Axsom. But just as notable, or moreso, he was a fine man and a great friend. The kind who would stay late and help you to get your plane home, whatever you needed. You will be sorely missed, Bob. Tailwinds and blue skies forever, friend.
1977 Mooney 201
Houston, TX
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:07 PM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
Forum Peruser
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Austinville, Alabama
Posts: 2,494
Default Bob's West Texas 100 Adventure

Here's a good narrative written by Bob. It's a good way to remember his passion for air racing. I'm not sure what year it was written, but I would guess this is the first race after Jeanine passed.
Don Hull
RV-7 Wings
KDCU Pryor Field
Pilots'n Paws Pilot
N79599/ADS-B In and Out...and I like it!

?Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:10 PM
jrovey jrovey is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Wickenburg, Arizona
Posts: 26
Default Year of Bob's West Texas writeup

Originally Posted by rv7boy View Post
I'm not sure what year it was written, but I would guess this is the first race after Jeanine passed.
That race was in 2010 and my first. That is the report I was referring to in post #30 of this thread. Thanks for finding it and sharing.
Jason Rovey
RV8 - Modified Superior XP IO360
SARL/Reno Race 76
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:41 PM
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roadrunner20 roadrunner20 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Andrews, NC (KRHP)
Posts: 1,972

Sorry to hear the sad news.
I really enjoyed his posts.

Danny "RoadRunner" Landry
Morphed RV7(formally 7A), N20DL
1240+ hours

Last edited by roadrunner20 : 10-31-2013 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:32 PM
gerrychuck gerrychuck is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Moose Jaw, SK, Canada
Posts: 555

Exactly one week before he passed, Bob wrote a raw and heartbreaking reply to my post "Re-birthday flight". He finished with these words:

"It doesn't get any worse than to have someone die that you feel is perfect and is very dear to you. Live a good new life Gerry.

Bob Axsom"

I'll do my best, Bob, and although you may not have been perfect, I think many on this forum know exactly what you meant right now.
Gerry Julian
Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
RV6A "Second Wind" C-GERZ (born N242UL)
O-360 A1A, Sensenich FP prop

Those who think any system is foolproof greatly underestimate the ingenuity of fools
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:50 AM
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RV6airplanePilot RV6airplanePilot is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ft Laudedale FL
Posts: 180
Default Found this online bio:


Robert Wayne Axsom, 77 of Farmington, AR. passed away on October 29, 2013 in his home. Bob, had served with the US Air Force in the Korean War in 1956. After his military service he began a life long career in the aeronautical and aerospace industry. Bob earned several bachelor degrees and served as Quality Assurance Manager on some of the most ambitious aerospace projects including the Genesis Project. He was an accomplished air racing pilot competing all across the country in an airplane that he had built with his wife Jeanine.
Bob was pre-deceased by his parents Paul and Ethel, his brother Drex, and his wife Jeanine.
He is survived by two sons, Don and Tony, and his daughter, Laural.
Graveside services will be held 10:00 AM, Friday November 1st at Fairview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville.
To sign the online guest book please visit

Graveside Service

Friday November 1, 2013, 10:00 AM at Fairview Memorial Gardens
ATP, dreamer and maintainer; but not a builder
RV6a N18XP 960TT (builder: Jerry Cochran)
RV6a flight experience 2100 hrs
Superior IO-360 2007
Hartzell Blended Airfoil Prop
Dual LS EI, Dual Battery
GRT HX efis & RAIM GPS, 2 axis GRT autopilot
G696, GDL39 WX, Traffic
Dynon D10
Gear Leg Stiffeners from Woodmanrog
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:39 AM
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rbibb rbibb is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Freericksburg, VA
Posts: 624

I never talked directly to Bob in any fashion but I really enjoyed his posts. It was obvious he was an engineer in the highest meaning of the word. Applying theory with the best of them he was a true engineer in that he didn't hang his hat on theory but the empirical evidence that well instrumented and documented results provide.

But perhaps the best tribute to the man was his fearless exposition of his devotion to his wife; his unselfish sharing of his passion and knowledge of flying; and his modesty and humility.

I am poorer for not making the effort to get to know him personally. That is a lesson I need to learn. The time is always shorter than we think.
Richard Bibb
RV-4 N144KT
Fredericksburg, VA
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:56 PM
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txaviator txaviator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Arlington, TX (DFW)
Posts: 1,177

I have yet to read through all of these posts about Bob. However....

While I never met him, I always read his posts and learned something from each and every one of them. He was one of the great guys in our hobby!

What I do vividly remember from reading his posts over the years, was his immense love for his wife. He lost her awhile back, and now he is with her in eternity. Now that is awesome!

I hope to meet them both one day. Tailwinds, Mr. Axsom.
Gary Robertson
Cresson (50F), TX

RV-12 Built / Sold / Flying
Currently Flying: Cessna Skylane 182
* Hoping Vans decides to offer a bush plane, before I order something else! **EDIT**: got tired of waiting, and bought a '46 J3 Cub!
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:57 PM
jarhead jarhead is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 264

I literally felt myself sinking when I saw the headline, while skimming the "Old News" on the VAF homepage.

Rest In Peace, sir.

Helicopter mechanic (A&P)
USAFR KC-10 Boom Operator, on final approach to retirement
My RV-9/8/7 dream may be on life support, but it ain't dead yet!
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:12 PM
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rvmills rvmills is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 2,154

This past weekend, Jeff Barnes and I carried Bob's soon-to-be-retired race number (71) with us during the race. We'll do it again next weekend (11/9) at the final race of the year in Taylor, TX (T74), where Bob will be honored. Would love to see folks join us for the celebration. Come race or come watch...and raise a toast to Bob.

The race brief is 1400, race start is 1500, and from the SARL race info page:

Awards and dinner after the race, with end of year awards, Presentation of 2013 Champions and Bob Axsom's induction into the Sport Air Racing Hall of Fame.
Also the opening of a keg of Race Pace beer, brewed for the occasion by Alan Hunter.

Bob Mills
RV-S6 "Rocket Six" N49VM
Cross Country-Marshall Field (07TS)
Georgetown, TX
President/Sport 49, Sport Class Air Racing
Trustee, Formation Flying Inc (FFI)
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