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Hank Murrow · 1562

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Offline Hank Murrow

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on: September 14, 2023, 12:55:49 PM
Wondering if the tropical storm that rode up the Coast to Los Angeles came further north to spoil the fun at Bonneville Salt Flats?

Cheers! to Dan & Crew anyway, Hank in Eugene



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #1 on: September 14, 2023, 07:18:46 PM
Yes, the event was cancelled for the second year in a row due to flooding.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
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Offline robertod

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Reply #2 on: September 18, 2023, 07:40:52 AM
oh man, what a shame.

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Offline 2wo

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Reply #3 on: September 19, 2023, 07:37:45 PM
I am just back from the Reno Air races. This is the last year and we were having a great time.

Unfortunately it ended on a sad note. After the gold T6 race the first and second place pilots  collided while landing and were killed. The rest of the races were canceled...John

John S.


Offline Mucker

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Reply #4 on: September 19, 2023, 08:01:32 PM
The end of the races this year was indeed very sad. However, I don't think it tarnishes its' legacy at all. RARA put on one hell of a show every year! Completely unique, it's hard to imagine replicating anything like it going forward, wherever it ends up if it survives.

I was fortunate to attend a half dozen of the events and have wonderful memories of being there. Especially watching my favorite pilot on multiple occasions, Bob Hoover. I did witness a few fatalities and it always leaves an aching pit in your stomach when seeing pilots go down. These guys loved what they did and were well aware of the risks involved when climbing into those T-6 beasts. Consummate professionals, the best in the business. May their souls rest in peace!



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #5 on: September 20, 2023, 05:14:38 AM
It is shocking when someone gets hurt or killed at an event. Our community is a very tight knit family and I'm sure the air racing community is too. Luckily fatalities are rare in my sport, considering the risk (You go as fast as you can? On a motorcycle? You are insane) and the number of entrants at an event. One advantage to LSR is that you are on the course by yourself and thus are solely responsible for your screwups.

The members of a high risk sport community do indeed understand the risk, and accept it. Those pilots hopefully went pretty quickly and died doing something they loved. You always have an ending and maybe that wasn't the worst kind. I can tell you that this kind of grim discussion does not make me want to get back to racing any less. Crazy? I won't argue against it.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline 2wo

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Reply #6 on: September 20, 2023, 06:33:29 PM
I agree with everything said, anyone who  participates in this sort of activity understands the risk and that one day,  you may not make it, but certainly want your 
colleagues to continue on

The kick in the gut for me is, the race was over. the landing should have been just routine.
Just shows you can't let your guard down.

Forgive me if this seems selfish...John

John S.


Offline Hank Murrow

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Reply #7 on: September 30, 2023, 07:08:27 AM
I remember Jim Wright, who made a faithful copy of the Hughes racer, and took it to Oshkosh, where the perfection of the plane and its flight performance thrilled a huge crowd. On the way home over Yellowstone, he lost his engine and was looking to make a landing near the mudflats there, but at the last minute with no power, saw a group of tourists and pulled, up and then crashed, destroying the plane and dying. A true pilot, doing all he could to protect those folks on the ground. I watched his test flights from the airport in Cottage Grove, and always he was eager to relate how it went with the flight during the hanger interviews after. He was so careful with that restoration, that the plane was give the same registration # except for #2, instead of #1 by the FAA. Anyway, a grand pilot and gentleman. I was drawn to his project because my father was the aeronautical engineer for the famous Spruce Goose during its development, on loan from Douglas, where he was the a.e. for the Skyrocket D 558-ll.

Cheers to those who try, Hank in Eugene
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 07:17:32 AM by Hank Murrow »



Offline Mucker

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Reply #8 on: September 30, 2023, 09:33:12 AM
Awesome story Hank! I was at Reno and saw that Hugh's replica, flying as well as on the ground up close. Stunning aircraft, the sound of it flying was incredible. And, I learned of the crash the day it happened. Always a bummer to see great people pass.

I fly RC where I live and one of the older ex military guys I befriended scratch built a large Hugh's racer model. I almost fell over when I walked into his shop and saw it. It is faithful to the real deal. He has others that are mind blowing also, most recently a Vulcan bomber. Seriously great modeler.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 03:59:36 PM by Mucker »



Offline Deluk

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Reply #9 on: October 02, 2023, 03:46:40 AM
Looks like some of the brave and maybe foolhardy souls hung around until Tuesday and managed to get in a few runs. I guess Doc cut his losses. The salt looked waterlogged and awful. This popped up in my YT feed this morning. Actually of his crash on the third run, but these are his first 2. He'd never ridden the bike before and it wasn't his.

Better luck next year Doc.



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #10 on: October 02, 2023, 08:02:26 AM
I didn't cut my losses. I run at a different, motorcycles only event three weeks later, that was cancelled. That speed wobble though. Broken elbow at 75mph. One thing you are told out there is crank your steering damper up as tight as it will go. Not saying he didn't. Looks like a bad combination of rough course and inherently wobbly bike.


Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.


Offline Deluk

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Reply #11 on: October 02, 2023, 11:15:47 AM
I'm an ex-motorcyclist now but tight dampers can loose you your self steering. Don't take it too far. Maybe a small hydraulic one would have helped. I've just run this video and in the comments he said they ran a damper. A oil tube one is quite benign as it only acts when needed but a friction one that acts via a rod down through the headstock bearings is on all the time.



Offline Doc B.

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Reply #12 on: October 02, 2023, 12:28:32 PM
I hear you. The experience developed over the years on the salt tends to indicate that stiffer damper setting helps avoid problems with crosswinds and ruts. Crosswind can be a real bear out there.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.