August 2012 Newsletter
The National Championship Air Races are on for Sep 8-16, 2012! Extra effort by many groups (organizers, officials, workers, competitors, and sponsors) will keep US air racing alive for yet, another year. The significance of the 2012 races will be the recovery from last year’s tragedy with improved racing procedures and a safe race/show environment for all, especially the spectators. We will be under increased scrutiny and there will be a tighter rein on all operations to insure risks are controlled or minimized. So far, there are 15 jet racer entries, their patronage and sacrifice is greatly appreciated, considering the increase in rules and expenses. Remember, completed on-time entry paperwork is due in by Tue, 31 July; afterwards a $100 late fee may be assessed by RARA.
Numerous FAA and NTSB representatives were on-hand throughout PRS. They attended briefings and asked questions to understand first-hand what goes on at the Reno Air Races. RARA did receive “Accreditation” from the FAA Washington D.C. to hold the NCAR in September. You should know that the same representatives will be back at Stead in September to observe and provide government oversight to insure a safe event.
Three rookies achieved Certified Racer status during PRS. Larry Lee and Larry Labriola, both flying L-39’s, and Mike Stieger in a L-29. The two Larrys will race in September while Mike Stieger may be another team pilot in the Ed Noel race livery. During PRS the new course layout was flown by 7 veteran race pilots without major issues. A few multi-ship (5-7 jets) mock race heats were flown including starts down the chute. There was adequate course width for multi-ship racing around the course and the new “show-lines” were very prominent and easily identified in-fight, as were the new pylons. In September we anticipate running two heats of jets racing 4 times each on Wed-Sun.
There is an updated Racing Jets website at http://www.racingjets.com/! Phil Wood is the new RJI website guru, he has put his “Midas touch” on the project giving it a new look, with more links and traffic. Phil welcomes contributions like photos, articles, and content from our membership at email: firstname.lastname@example.org. All active race pilots should review their profile under the Pilots section and send Phil your updated information for the designated fields. Check Mike Mangold’s page for an example of a complete profile. Members can pay their dues via the website using PayPal, that in turn allows you to use any Credit Card or E-check. Remember RJI dues and Race Number Fee are due before flying on the racecourse.
Plan to have your jet at Stead Airport prior to the RARA imposed deadline of 1200 on Sat, 9 Sep. This is to facilitate a more thorough and lengthy “Compliance Inspection” before any race aircraft flies in the waviered airspace. The first on-course flying session is scheduled for Sunday afternoon; the pilot(s) must also complete check-in before flying on-course. Remember there is a new RARA requirement to fly 4 laps at qualifying speed prior to making a qualifying attempt. RJI is mandating that each aircraft have at least one crew chief or mechanic helper. Three experienced helpers from race teams that are not competing this year have offered their services for September …. Contact Mike Mangold to get hooked-up with one of these guys, their experience alone would be highly valuable to any race team.
The Grand Sierra Resort will provide discounted rooms again for the Sep race week. When booking your rooms do it under the group “Sport Class Air Races.” Reservations should be made before 8 August.
Each aircraft will be parked in a 35’ x 50’ stall in the Jet Class pit area at the far east end of the flight line (in front of Aviation Classics). For those parking large trailers or RV’s in their pit stall please advise Mike Mangold and Minh Venator so that we can best organize our pit area. A consolidated class store for merchandise sales is desired, but will not happen unless we get an experienced volunteer to organize the tent, accounting, and manning. Contact Mike Mangold if interested in taking on the task. We encourage all race teams to have a sponsor and team uniforms. Almost any type of advertising or branding is allowed inside your pit stall. Run your ideas or plans by Mike to insure they conform to the unwritten RARA rules.
There will be an open membership meeting for all RJI members during race week, most likely on an evening immediately after the RARA debrief. The President will give a status report of the organization and pertinent issues. An election will be held to appoint a new Vice President and Treasurer. Time permitting; the BOD will take proposals for action from the membership. All prospective candidates should submit their name to any BOD and be prepared to verbally address the membership before voting begins. Only current certified racers or owners will be allowed to vote. Check the RJI By-Laws for more info regarding duties and election procedures.
If more than 3 pilots are interested in getting together on 6-7 Sep for formation warm-up sorties, RJI will provide instructors and a flight lead to organize the group and daily activities. Contact Mike Mangold for more details and if interested in participating.