Crew Report - 6 Oct 15
October 06, 2015 at 8:13 AM
As you all know, I am way behind on the updates to the Blue Thunder activities. There have been three activities that deserve reports on which are the Air Venture Cup Race, the Oshkosh convention and the Reno Air Races. Everyone knows that we won the Sport Gold on Sunday so I will start the Air Venture Cup Race in this report and get to the next two events in subsequent reports in the next few weeks.
Fred Roscher, owner of 51 Aero LLC, departed Reno for Mount Vernon in the middle of the night on July 17th with our crew chief Jim Adams on board for our support at the start of the race.
Barry Woods and I departed Stead after day break on Friday July 17th for Mount Vernon, IL (KMVN) which was the start point for the race. We had planned for a two fuel stops on the way to be a little constrictive side and the first stop was at Cheyenne, Wyoming (KCYS) which is a very nice airport with lots of aviation operations. Upon departing KCYS, I got lost on the radio and couldn’t communicate with anyone until I was about 150 miles east. Barry had a hydraulic problem leaving KCYS and returned to the airport. The story of his problem is a subject for another time.
I continued on, (not knowing that Barry had returned to Cheyenne,) and arrived without incident at the Mount Vernon airport about 15:01:18 per the data recorder. I learned from Fred what the problem was with Barry’s TM and that he was working on replacing a hydraulic line. If he could get it fixed, he would continue on to Mount Vernon. That evening, there was a meet and greet dinner at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant where I had the most expensive God awful dinner I have ever had.
The next day was “Media Day” which turned out to be a bust. The camera crew that was supposed to take the Air-to-Air photos showed up with the wrong cameras and didn’t know a thing about Air-to-Air photography. The result was very little coverage of the event in Mount Vernon. The good news was that Barry arrived mid afternoon in time to participate in Sunday’s Race. The weather was turning bad and the forecast for Sunday’s race was very grim.
Sunday morning the WX was low overcast and not looking good. The first leg of the race was canceled and everyone was to make their own way north to Whiteside County airport (KSQI) where the race would start.
Barry and I, along with many of the other racers, made our way north to KSQI for the start of the Race. Blue Thunder developed an oil leak on the way to KSQI which I tried to fix but could only slow it down, and as a result, I departed in the race nearly last but finished first overall in the Unlimited division and was faster than two of the three turbine powered participants. Barry did quite nicely as well at 309.5 MPH. Click here for the official race results.
The finish line of the race was at Wausau, WI (KAUW) where I landed, had lunch, talked with the reporter from the local TV station, refueled Blue and added a gallon of oil and proceeded on to Oshkosh for parking and the awards dinner.
In all, I think we made about 50,000 impressions for out sponsors through the ads and coverage we did get for participating in the race. It is through the support, donations and sponsorship that make our participation in these events and ever expanding our fan numbers possible.
It is with my deepest gratitude for everyone’s support that I am so thankful for.