Crew Report - 21 Nov 12

November 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Ladies and gentlemen I must apologize for this late report on both the Reno Air Races and the Gathering of Mustangs at Nut Tree, CA. Let me start by wishing everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving, and if I don’t see you before the yearend holidays, may you have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The Reno Air Races went just about as good as it could have. We were very successful in putting on a good show, greeting the fans and thanking them for their support of the races and the Blue Thunder Team. We all salute Jeff LaVelle for winning the Gold at 393.552 MPH. Anyone who can make a Glasair go 400 MPH is truly a remarkable person. The Blue Team had a plan to win but it wasn’t to be. On Saturdays gold race I aborted the race due to gear trouble. The gear would not go up completely. I cycled the gear several times and it would go down but not up fully. With the gear down and locked and not knowing what was wrong, I thought I had better keep it down, come back and fix the problem before Sunday. Due to the DNS on Saturday, we had to start at the back of the pack on Sunday. Our plan was to hit the engine as hard as possible from the start to see if we could beat Jeff to the first turn. Well, things didn’t turn out as we had planned. First of all, the nitrous oxide did not come on and with the extra fuel the engine was running rough and cold. On lap 3 & 4, I was having a little trouble getting past Lynn Farnsworth but did get past eventually. Fred Roscher, the teams telemetry chief on the ground, was able to tell me to go two clicks lean which helped considerably and laps 5 & 6 were quite fast but not enough time to catch Jeff. Blue Thunder II finished second by 19.3 seconds at a respectable race speed of 377.033 MPH.


The Gathering of Mustangs at the Nut Tree airport was very successful. There five Thunder Mustangs and seven real Mustangs one of which was a P-51H, a very rare aircraft. The show was well attended by a large crowd from the Sacramento area. This gave us the opportunity to put our sponsor’s names in front of a metropolitan audience. Blue Crew member, Jim Adams, had one of his girl friends as a guest at the show which helped draw attention to our sponsor logos. Yea, like right.


Blue Thunder II is back in the hangar on this beautiful Thanksgiving day awaiting the installation and flight testing of a new high speed GPS in conjunction with our Sponsor It would appear that the three GPS receivers Blue has cannot keep up with the speed and turn rate experienced in air racing. So, 51 Aero has found and is working on an improved GPS we will help test. The schedule at this time is for the flight testing to be complete by the end of December at which time more engine development and conditional inspection will begin.

Our next Blue Thunder update will come out when we can report on the results of the new GPS tests. In the mean time, the entire Blue Crew wishes everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thanks again for your support.

John Parker

Tags: Gathering of Mustangs Reno Air Races 2012
Category: Crew Reports

Please add a comment

Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.