Crew Report - 21 Aug 13

August 21, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Blue Thunder II got a lot of coverage at AirVenture this year.  We made hundreds of new friends and saw hundreds of old ones.  We made three contacts with companies that might become sponsors for the 2014 season, plus a hand shake agreement with Ameritech Industries in Redding, CA to do an inspection, refinish the blades and re-seal of Blue’s propeller for 2013.


The photo above shows the “Live Airshow TV” camera crew doing an interview with “Jetman” using Blue Thunder II as a backdrop.  I was careful to insure the TV camera man could clearly see the sponsor logos on Blue’s cowl.

Thanks to Lee Behel flying a GP-4, Vicky Benzing flying a Glasair III, Bob Wolstenholme in his Lancair and myself in Blue, we flew a highly choreographed demonstration race that from all comments I received, was quite interesting to the spectators and made RARA quite happy.


As of August 5th, Blue Thunder is safe and sound back in its home here at the Stead Airport.  The round trip to Oshkosh took 12 hrs. 26 min of flying time which included the 18 min. demonstration race advertizing the Reno Air Races, and three intermediate fuel stops.

The V-12 we used for the Oshkosh trip this summer has over 100 hrs of time in service now and has been very reliable.  The only trouble we have had with it is a Ref A connector with a bent pin that started a misfire in the engine on departure from the Mojave air show.  In a previous report I mentioned how Andy Chiavetta helped with a presidential solution to get Blue back to Stead where we could put on a new connector.  Other than that, the engine hasn’t missed a beat for the 100 + hours.


As you probably know, The Blue Crew cannot leave anything alone.  As of August 15th the “transport” engine has been removed and the “Reno” engine has been installed.  While we are waiting for the propeller back from Ameritech and the exhaust stacks back from Caps CermaKrome, we are fixing a few minor discrepancies.   One being an improper reading of the main alternator amperage output, another, the intermittent loss of the GPS signal to the ADC.  Little things like that that can tear your hair out trying to fix them.

The next item on the Blue Thunder schedule is the Reno Air Races this September 10th through the 15th where we hope to be a major player.  As you know, American Air Racing will be holding our 13th annual open house commonly referred to as Thunderstorm 13.  All Thunder Mustangs are invited to the open house and the planes can bring their sponsors, owners, pilots, mechanics, interested friends and fans as their guests.

The next Blue Report will come after the races to let everyone know how we did and before the Gathering of Mustangs in October.  I hope the next report will be old news to everyone because they were here to witness the results and participate in the calibration of the 50th annual event of the Reno Races.  Thanks you everyone for your support.

John Parker

Tags: Engine 12023 Reno Air Races 2013 Oshkosh 2013 Ameritech Industries Thunderstorm 2013
Category: Crew Reports

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Posted by Justin on
Looking forward to seeing you and the rest if the crew in a few weeks John.
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