June in always a busy month for us with the annual Pylon Racing Seminar and planning for the September races. But let me start with some sad news. Tom Aberle, a mainstay in our class passed away on June 15th. Tom’s participation in biplane racing dates all the way back to the beginning of the Reno Air Races in 1964.
If there was ever an icon in biplane racing, it was Tom. I had the fortune to not only have him around for many talks drawing from his experience, but to have raced with him back in the 1980’s and 90’s. We will miss him so very much. I’m sure he will have blue skies and tailwinds from now on. I’m also confident that he will be with us each September watching over us with other important biplaners, Stan brown, Don fairbanks, Steve Brown and more.
June 4th through the 8th, saw our annual Pylon Racing Seminar being held at Reno Stead Airport. The biplane class hosted five new rookies and two certified pilots who wanted some extra course time. Attending as one of the five rookies was (surprise!) Lt. general Robert Schmidle, USMC, Ret. Dennis Brown and I still are not sure who was training who. But, racing a biplane low level around the course ain’t the same as a gun run in Iraq in an F-18, right General? Oh well, I have to learn how to direct a three star General with respect!
During PRS, the Reno Air Racing Association arranged through their new marketing firm, Foundry, to have one of Reno’s main TV station reporters ride around the pylons with, guess, the biplane class! So Dennis Brown placed the man in the front seat of his two place Pitts and flew the course. This was shown on Reno TV the following week and if it is still available, go to http://nevadasportsnet.com/nsn-daily/pylon-racing-unique-to-reno-air-races and enjoy the interview. A great ad for the races and in a Biplane!
As of right now, June 30th, we have 21 entries in the biplane class for September. A long way up from 2017 when we had only 13. The dates for September are: racing on Wednesday the 11th through Sunday the 15th. Pilot entries must be in place and checked in by Saturday the 7th. Practice starts on Sunday the 8th, with both practice and qualifying starting on Monday the 9th. Tell your friends. Biplane class custom t-shirts will be on sale for class members and supporters on Sunday the 8th.