Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Beginning of Biplane Racing at Reno

The first Air Races in Reno started in 1964. Most of you know the story of Bill Stead and his dream to recreate the Cleveland Air Races in the high desert. But, not many of you know how the Biplanes became part of the project.

Legend has it that Bill Stead went to the Merced Antique Fly-In in 1964 and met up with Sandy Sanders. Sandy was there announcing for several of the Air Show Acts. Bill was there to promote the upcoming Races and to look over some of the acts with an eye on booking them for the Races. Bill told Sandy about the event and asked him to come up and assist with the announcing duties.

Clyde Parsons was also at the Air Show. Bill talked Clyde into bringing his Knight Twister Biplane up to race it in the inaugural Sport Biplane Race. At the time, it was called the Midget Biplanes because the Races also had Stearman Races – and compared to a Stearman.. we are Midgets!

The Knight Twister is a Homebuilt Sport Biplane designed by Vernon Payne. Clyde was heard saying that the bathtub in his home was bigger than the Biplane – and it probably was.

Clyde Parsons went on to win the first Biplane Race at Reno. He flew his Knight Twister at a speed of just under 145 mph in the Gold Final. Clyde finished second in 1965 and was the first President of the Professional Race Pilots Association – Biplane Division.

The Knight Twister dominated that first year at Reno with the top three finishers. By 1966, the Twister in its basic configuration was outlawed based on the new rule for wing area. Interesting fact, of the planes which flew in that first race, none of them were Pitts, which now dominate the class.

The competitive nature of racers made it essential for rules to be established. Paul Poberezny, then President of the EAA, assisted the Class in developing the Rules. The wing area minimum was 75 square feet, as it is today. Fixed pitch props, fixed gear, and maximum of 290 cubic inches are all the same; these rules are close to the way they are today, except our engines are now up to 360 cubic inches.

The Class was intended to serve the purpose of being a relatively inexpensive way to go racing. Our speeds have increased over 100 mph in the 47 years since that first race. The size of the engines, the closed canopies, and several safety features have also changed. But, we should probably thank Clyde Parsons and the other four competitors that first year, for going racing.

Aviation Calendar

Ruby Red Racing Calendars are available this year. We put together a collection of our favorite Air Racing Photographs over the last year or so and created a wonderful first edition Calendar. Buy one for your favorite aviator and one for yourself – here…

Thank you and have a great Holiday Season. We’ll be back next year with more. Until then, be good to each other, and don’t forget to fly low, fly fast and turn left.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Don't forget to order your 2011 Reno Air Racing Calendars!

Click Here.

All your Air Racing Favorites -- including Voodoo, 232, Strega, Rare Bear, FW190, Tigercat, Ruby, and the Ghost...

Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reno Recap - Part 2

Reno Recap - Close Racing 2010

Last month we looked at some of the highlights and lowlights of the 2010 National Championship Air Races in Reno, NV. This month, I wanted to look at some of the lesser known stories and answer some of the questions being asked by the fans.

There was some amazing racing going on, but not always for the Gold. How many of you were able to catch some of these epic races hidden away in the background.

Sport Class

In the Sport Class Silver, there was a three way race for third which was nothing short of amazing. Bob Jeffrey had 1st place all wrapped up with Scott Nelson nipping at his heels. Did you see the race for third? This was between Dave Morss, Earl Hibler and Pete Zaccagnino. The final results had them crossing the finish line in less than 2 seconds between them. The race was close, but not the closest of the week.

Dave Morss was flying his personal aircraft because his project for Team Driven was unavailable in time for the races. While we anxiously await the new ride, we appreciate the fact that Dave made this year’s races VERY close – in more than one class.

I should also mention two of my favorites in this race. Rick Vandam flew my friend’s Glasair. Rob Monaghan has been announcing for the Sport and Super Sport Classes for several years now. He has built two Glaisairs and is an integral member of the Sport Class. Unfortunately, for professional reasons is not able to race, but his aircraft is not under such restrictions. He had long time Reno Racer, Rick Vandam flying his plane for him this year.

My other favorite in this race is Dick Ogg in his Glasair. Dick is finishing up his tenure with this aircraft and preparing his Lancair Legacy to race in the future. While not currently finishing up front, his plans are to be more competitive in his new aircraft. More on this as it gets closer to completion.


Credit: Tim Adams
Caption: Some of the best racing comes out of this hangar

Jets - Silver

The Gold Jet Race was all about Curt Brown in the front and Mike Mangold trailing closely behind. But, if you saw the Jets Silver Race, you would have seen a gaggle of L29s mixing it up the entire race. In fact, during the first race of the series, the Jet Provost came out of nowhere to pass them all. But, on the final race on Sunday, it was three L29s flying aggressively to the finish.

Thom Richard was far ahead in his Iskra, Cliff Magee in a close 2nd place in his L-39 and then Heather Penney, daughter of John Penney, finished ahead of John Kopkshoom and Greg McNutt – even with a cut pylon. Thom bumped to the Jet Gold, so Cliff was given the win. However, the racing in this class between these relatively stock L29s was a whole lot of fun to watch.


Credit: Bruce Croft
Caption: L29s providing close racing in the Jet Class Silver

Biplane Bronze

Last month, I mentioned the Biplane Bronze as some of the best racing out there. Since we are talking about close races, I wanted to make sure I brought it up again. The picture below shows four of the six aircraft crossing the finish within half a second. This was some outstanding flying and some very exciting racing.


Credit: Tim O’Brien
Caption: Some of the best racing was in the Biplane Class

T6 Silver

It always seems the great race is for third. This time, in the T6 Silver there was Chris Rushing in Honesty Entry followed closely by Ken Gottschall and Chip Woods. Chip and Ken finished within .16 second, which means they were likely elbow to elbow crossing the line.

T6 racing is always close because of the nature of the class. Relatively stock aircraft – so similar in speeds and set up make for some interesting finishes.


Credit: Matty Ratliff
Caption: Historically the T-6 Class has provided very close racing

Unlimited Silver – the Battle of the Mustangs

This year, the Unlimited Silver race became the Battle of the Mustangs. We had Rob Patterson in Lady Jo, Brant Seghetti in Sparky, Mark Watt in Geraldine, Dave Morss in Jerry Gabe’s Polar Bear, Rob Gordon in Speedball Alice and Dan Martin in Sal Rubino’s Grim Reaper. This was a close race and so much fun to watch.
Rob Patterson bumped to Gold and John-Curtiss Paul finished behind the Mustangs in his P-40N, Parrothead followed by Doug Matthews in his gorgeous Corsair.

Because the Unlimited Gold was unable to run due to the weather, this was the race to watch – and what a race it was.


Credit: Bruce Croft
Caption: The Battle of the Mustangs, Polar Bear and Geraldine

Unlimited Bronze

I know you are going to think I’m crazy, but the race between the Wildcat, “Air Biscuit” and the T-28, “The Bear” was some of the best of the weekend. Again we see Dave Morss battling it out, this time for second place, with long time air racer, Brian Sanders in Tom Camp’s Wildcat. I’ve spoken to several people about this race and have to say, if you missed it – you must have been sleeping. They were wingtip to wingtip nearly the entire race. It looked like fun from the ground; I bet it was even more fun in the air.

The race was won by Jim McKinstry in the Yak 3 known as Shiska Su’ka. Chuck Greenhill in his stock Mustang, Lou IV and John Maloney in the FW190 finished behind Dave and Brian. There will be more in an upcoming column about the FW190. Stay tuned – because you don’t want to miss this.

Questions and Answers

Before the races, we have “silly season” when rumors are flying and stories are told. After the races, we have a different type of season – this is more along the lines, “did you hear…”. I want to answer some of the questions which came up after the races were over and clear up as much as I can.

Yes, John Penney and Dave Cornell have both retired from the Rare Bear team. This was not really news – because before the races started, both had said this would be their last year. No drama, no screaming matches as the rumor mill would like you to believe. It was handled professionally and with great forethought.

Next year, the Rare Bear will have a new pilot. The front runner for that seat is Stewart Dawson, but nothing official has been announced. Dawson has been listed as the Alternate Pilot for several years and is quite capable of the job. He also attended PRS last year in Rare Bear.

Lots of questions were also running around about Darryl Greenamyer. Darryl did not make it for 2010, but that is because of engine trouble on the race plane which could not be repaired in time to make the races. The team intends to make 2011 – so don’t fret.

As of now, 2011 is looking great. We have new racers being built or modified in nearly every class. All of the Unlimited Gold contenders were ready to race on Sunday, which means they should all be ready for 2011. The Super Sport has another year to make things happen, and I know they will.

Until next month, don’t forget to Fly Low, Fly Fast and Turn Left.

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reno Recap 2010

Gone with the Wind…

Have you ever looked forward to something, a once in a lifetime vacation perhaps – and when you can just about see the brass ring, you blink and it’s gone. Anticipation followed merely by disappointment is hard to reconcile.

That is how I felt after the Reno Air Races of 2010 came to a close. Mother Nature took the wind out of our sails and threw it back at us, with a vengeance. All of the preparation and handwringing ended, not with a crescendo – but with a whimper and a sigh.

The flags tell the story – a horrendous windstorm changes history
Credit: Joanne Murray

The Records

Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of good. Four classes set new qualifying records. The Biplane’s Tom Aberle set another record with his amazing racer, Phantom. This time he was just over 260 mph. He managed yet another victory. And his crew told me that he still has more. How much more? I don’t know – but I can’t wait to find out.

The T6 Class also had a qualifying record. Nick Macy in Six-Cat went nearly 245 mph. As we look at those two records, did you ever think a Biplane would be 15 mph faster than the fastest T6? I bet Tom Aberle did. He is like a modern day mad scientist with his racer.

Sport Class set a new record also with Jeff LaVelle going over 362 mph. Best thing to happen to the Sport Class in a long time. More on this below.

The other class to set a qualifying record was the Jet Class. Now, I know we’ve discussed this before, but wasn’t there a speed limit on the Jet course? At first, I remember it being around 500 mph, then 515, then 525 – then 535 … well Curt Brown set another record – this time at nearly 545 mph. Holy cow that was fast. It looked fast sitting in the stands, it looked fast in the Valley of Speed – and I have a funny feeling there is more zoom left in that aircraft also.


The Formula Class has been experiencing some adjustments over the last couple years. However, this year I saw several shining moments. A few former and current racers shared with me their plans for ultra-cool-new-designs which will liven up the Class. I’ll share more on these in the coming months.

Endeavor took the Gold this year. The third time overall and the second time with the current owner. It appears Steve Senegal has finally dialed-in himself and his racer to the right station. Philip Goforth was poised to make the Gold an exciting race, but Mother Nature intervened and he headed off the runway during the wretched windswept start on Sunday. Vito Wypraechtiger took Phil’s place to finish second and Jethro Bodine in Miss Demeanor (also owned by Senegal) took third. I’m still scratching my head with that one – because Miss De was in the Bronze a short time ago.


Maybe I’m biased, but some of the best racing this year was definitely in the Biplane Class. For us, a full field is 24 competitors. We only had 19 this year – which resulted in three racers competing for the Bronze and six volunteers in a “demo race”. The only rules were – don’t hit each other and stay behind the first three. Not an easy feat - believe me.

Some of the closest racing in years – four Biplanes crossing the Finish
Credit = Tim O’Brien

Sport and Super Sport Class

For a class that is usually bullet-proof, they had twice their share of troubles this year. First Kevin Eldredge had an overspeed and the prop basically exploded while on the course. The oil filter housing seemed to have broken from the engine – the oil pressure dropped, the governor had no oil, the prop went into overspeed and departed the aircraft and the engine seized. That was the good news – now, without a prop, he had to figure out how to land it. Think of the CG issues you would have if you lost 20-50 pounds of prop!?

Kevin’s Prop – after the overspeed
Credit: Jason Fisher

In an incredible act of pilotage, Kevin brought her down safely on 14 and the CFR team was there in seconds – to put out the resultant fire. The crowds were treated with a view of the carnage in the Pits all week. An engine with a giant gaping hole, a prop hub with three stubs where blades used to be and a cowl with a section missing.

The GP-5, which was met with such fan fair, made metal half way through the week and was a scratch. Poky was out with metal and the Super Sport started to look rather sparse. Then there was the Thunder Mustangs. John Parker put a nice size hole in the case of his first engine earlier in the week and put on his old engine which he set records with earlier this year. And dear George Giboney’s Rapid Travel won the Super Sport Heat on Saturday fell victim to a Mayday and a wind deterred deadstick to runway 26 on Sunday. The saddest part of the week was watching George try to make the runway, fall short and tumble through the sage brush – parts flying everywhere.

The best part of the week was watching George get out of his once beautiful racer and wave to the crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see someone. I never found out what happened to the engine. I guess it doesn’t matter now. George, if you read this – I’m so happy you’re okay!

The Regular Sport Class was equally jinxed. Vickie Benzing flying Vicki Cruse’s Glasair had another overspeed after winning the Silver the day before. Several of the Sport Classes had to move up to the Super to make it work.

Oh, and Mike Dacey won the Super Sport in the Questair Venture. Proving he was right, that aircraft was worth sticking with and the naysayers were wrong.
Congrats, Mike!

Jeff LaVelle is my new hero getting his Glasair III to go over 362 in qualifying. That was faster than any of the Super Sport Qualifiers.

The beautiful Rapid Travel before her final Mayday
Credit Tim O’Brien


This I know for sure, Jimmy Leeward is a showman. He brought his renewed racer in on Sunday and probably did 47 low passes to the delight of anyone on the field. Anyone on the field who wasn’t in a pilot brief like I was. Sigh. But alas – the crowd loved it.

For whatever reason, Jimmy failed to qualify during any of the sessions available to him, which meant he had to start at the back of the Medallion and race his way up to the Gold by winning each heat; which he did – easily.

Voodoo qualified well, but during Heat 3A on Saturday – Will called a Mayday when the engine “just shut off”. The Voodoo Crew spent the next 23.5 hours thrashing to get ready for the Gold.

Strega qualified at the top and seemed to be coasting along having a great week. Tiger seemed happy, content, and relaxed.

Rare Bear hid in the Cave all week, but when she appeared, Mr. Penney knew what to do. John finished 2nd in the Gold Heat 3A and didn’t seem to sweat a thing. Brent Hisey in Miss America was back in the Gold, John Maloney brought Steadfast in with a fourth place finish on Saturday and Stewart Dawson and Rod Lewis flew the two beautiful Tigercats on both sides of Bill Eberhardt in Merlin’s Magic.

So, Saturday’s Gold Heat 3A ended just like that – Strega, Rare Bear, Miss America, Steadfast, Here Kitty Kitty, Merlin’s Magic and El Jefe -- With Will Whiteside in Voodoo as a DNF. Galloping Ghost would have joined them in the Gold on Sunday and Robbie Patterson would be there too in Lady Jo.

Now, why is she telling us so much about what happened on Saturday? Well, because Sunday never happened. The old saying about it’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground – well that was Sunday.

I raced on Sunday and it was AWFUL. The F1s and the Bipes started on 32 and we worked with a quartering tailwind which sent two F1s off the runway and nearly tossed at least two Bipes. Looking back, I wish we hadn’t flown that morning. It was ghastly out there and wasn’t fun.

The T6 Gold and the Unlimited made the right decision. I know for the fans, it was a major disappointment. But it was the right decision. We now know that we have 8 racers ready to rock and roll and this makes 2011 look great already!

More next month … until then..

Fly Low, Fly Fast and Turn Left.

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

Jimmy Leeward, the Showman
Credit: Bruce Croft

Rod Lewis changed Big Mr. Bossman to El Jefe – love the noseart
Credit: Bruce Croft

Ruby wore her new shoes in honor of Al Goss and Warlock
Credit = Anthony Taylor

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reno Updates

Qualifications have begun.

Ruby and I qualified yesterday - at first, we thought the # was 183.55 - and we were THRILLED. Now it seems they have changed our number online to 176.xx -- we are still thrilled.


Credit: Anthony Taylor

Gotta run - pilot brief.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reno Update

Galloping Ghost with Jimmy Leeward


GP5 to be flown by Lee Behel


More coming...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reno On-Site Reporting

On the field as of last night...

Wildcat - Brian Sanders
Dreadnaught - Matt Jackson
Geraldine - Mark Watt
Lou iv - Chuck Greenhill
El Jefe (aka Bossman) - Rod Lewis
Here Kitty Kitty - Stu Dawson
FW190 - John Maloney
Miss America - Dr. Hisey
And of course..
Rare Bear - John Penney/Stu Dawson

That is all - but .. it's still early.

Credit: Anthony Taylor

Credit: Anthony Taylor

Credit: Ken Linde

Credit: Ken Linde

Ruby News
40% of the Ruby Crew is on site. Finished Tech. Working out kinks. Will likely fly later today.

All is well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are you ready for some Reno?

As I write this, we have just a few weeks to go before the racers, crews, friends, family and fans migrate to the desert to watch the 47th National Championship Air Races at Reno, NV. Since we covered the entries in detail last month, I wanted to share with you a few points of interest for this year, some guesses and a bit of trivia for the long time fans.

What to look for in 2010 - Galloping Ghost

This historic racer has been racing off and on since 1946 when Bruce Raymond and Steve Beville bought her from Army Surplus. The aircraft was named The Galloping Ghost in honor of the University of Illinois and Chicago Bears football star Harold "Red" Grange.

She has raced under several names since then including Miss Candace Jeannie, Spectre and Leeward Air Ranch Special. This year, she will be back as the Galloping Ghost with long time racer, Jimmy Leeward in the pilot seat. Her long awaited return has the fans chomping at the bit. She should be fast, she should be sleek and she should be beautiful! Good luck to Jimmy!

How many names/aircraft has Jimmy flown at Reno? (Trivia Answers at the end of the article)


How many pilots have raced Voodoo (or Voodoo Chile) at the Reno Air Races? And, can you name them?

This year, we will see Will Whiteside back in the driver’s seat. Last year’s late arrival of veteran warbird guru, Bill Kerchenfaut had some success, but a last minute engine issue caused Voodoo to pull out of the Gold Race on Sunday. This year Kerch has had more time to go over the air frame and to use his magic wand, er wrench – to make magic happen. Let’s see what they can do this year.

What was the best finish for Voodoo over the years – at Reno – in the Gold Sunday Final? And, who was the pilot?

Rare Bear

Caption: Rare Bear has her new racing engine – is that enough to be Strega?
Credit: Rob “Phred” Miller

The long awaited Cornell Racing Engine has arrived and the new crew is getting Rare Bear ready for action. This year, John Penney will share flying duties with Stu Dawson.

This is the first year Rod Lewis will have his engine program, his pilot program and his crew program all working together on the Rare Bear. Does this mean it’s Rare Bear’s year? Time will tell.

How many pilots have raced Rare Bear and can you name them?

Super Sport -- GP-5

The rules were changed last year to create a larger differentiation between Sport and Super Sport. Super Sport is no longer limited to production kit airplanes and anything that has been properly tested and signed off is eligible as long as the engine is less than 1000 CID. While no new designs made it last year, this year we have an amazing new racer, the GP-5.

George Pereira, of Osprey Aircraft designed this all wood aircraft starting around 1987. This is the only one in existence. A single place retractable gear speedster, it looks very slick indeed.

Caption: The GP-5 will make her debut at Reno this year in Super Sport
Credit: Lee Behel

The prototype was sold to and completed by George Backovich who with the help of the designer George Pereira. It was finished in 2007. The aircraft was specifically built to race at the Reno Air Races in the Unlimited Division – however, the weight limitation pushed it off the radar for the Unlimiteds and the recent rule change pushed it right into the Super sport Class.

The engine is an aluminum racing version of a small block Chevy estimated to be about 600 hp.

Projected speeds are in the 350 – 375 mph range. She’s a beauty and looks fast sitting on the ground.

Lee Behel works incredibly hard to keep the Sport Class interesting and innovative. It makes sense that he would revive the GP-5 and take the pilot seat. Good luck, Lee. We can’t wait to see your new ride.

Unlimited Division

What can I say, it’s Strega’s race to win or lose. If the last two years are any indication, the reliability of the Merlin Engines has been solved. If the team falters slightly, Rare Bear and Voodoo are ready to take the Gold.

Caption: Voodoo is ready for anything this year
Credit: Rob “Phred” Miller

T6 Class

This one is another toss-up. I see Dennis Buehn as the favorite, with Nick Macy and John Zayac making his life miserable. These aircraft are so closely matched; it’s really anyone’s game.

Caption: John Zayac will be one to beat in the T-6 Class
Credit: Rob “Phred” Miller

Super Sport

While the GP-5 is an interesting story, I believe this race is between the two Thunder Mustangs, Kevin Eldredge in Relentless and Mike Dacey in Bad Intentions. I see qualifying speeds hovering around the 400 mph mark. This will be one to watch.

Sport Class

This year, I think it’s time for Lee Behel to shake his demons and win the Sport Gold in Breathless. Dave Sterling and Jeff LeVelle will make it interesting and keep him honest.


This year, more new jets will be there. The return of the Vampire and the Iskra and Provost from PRS will add color. But, they will not be in the winner’s circle. This year, I’m picking Mike Mangold to beat his nemesis Curt Brown to get his first Gold win.


This year, it’s all Invictus. Last year’s winner will be back with a new pilot, but is still the favorite to take the win.

Caption: My pick to win the IF1 Gold this year, Invictus
Credit: Rob “Phred” Miller


Tom Aberle and Jeff Lo will battle it out for the Gold in the Biplane Class. These two great competitors will make it interesting.

Reno Racing Trivia

How many names/aircraft has Jimmy Leeward flown at Reno?

Jimmy Leeward has flown Miss Florida, Cloud Dancer, Lou IV, Spectre, Precious Bear, Air Ranch Special and #24 Corsair in the Unlimiteds, as well as Speed Dancer and Fire Cat in the Jets.

How many pilots have raced Voodoo (Chile) at the Reno Air Races? And, can you name them?

Five different pilots have raced Voodoo (Chile) - they include Curt Brown, Bob Button, Matt Jackson, Bob Hannah and Sherman Smoot. In 1997 Bob Hannah qualified Voodoo Chile but was unable to continue racing her that week. Sherman Smoot stepped in and finished third in the Bronze.

What was the best finish for Voodoo over the years – at Reno – in the Gold Sunday Final? And, who was the pilot?

The best finish was in 2002 when Matt Jackson finished 3rd in the Gold on Sunday.

How many pilots have raced Rare Bear and can you name them?

Lyle Shelton and John Penney, of course. Also Ron Buccarelli and Matt Jackson raced Rare Bear. Matt Jackson was in the back of the Pace Plane a few years ago when John Penney couldn't get the gear down and many feel Matt's experience in the Bear made the difference in getting her down safely.

Special Thanks

Thanks to Rob “Phred” Miller again for the use of his photos. And thanks to Gary Williams for his research and passion for the Air Races. And thanks to Team Ruby and the friends from the World Famous Cantina for helping me make it to Reno every year. And a very special THANKS to my sponsors this year. You have all made my life easier, to say the least.

Please make an effort to stop by Ruby’s Pitts Pit to say hello.

Final Thoughts

Before he passed in 2000 Steve Beville reflected on The Galloping Ghost's accomplishments during the Cleveland racing era. "We raced in every race we could and finished every race we started. We came to the party to dance and danced with what we brung. We finished no worse than fourth and even won a couple of races along the way. Not too bad for two farm boys from Indiana."

We should all be so lucky!

See you in Reno!

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reno 2010 Preview

Welcome back to the Pylon Place. We are still waiting for the final numbers and participant lists, but let’s cover what we know now.

International Formula 1

In IF1 this year, lots of changes have taken place. Invictus, last year’s Gold Champion, will be flown by another different pilot, Phil Goforth. Second place, Scarlet Screamer will be raced by her new owner, Vito Wypraechtiger. Steve Temple should be back in Madness. That’s our top three from last year. The rest of the gold finishers are a different story. Sly Dog is for sale, Doug “Jethro” Bodine’s Yellow Peril is doubtful. But, Quadnickel and Outrageous will be back with their regular drivers. In fact, Lachie Onslow attended PRS to get some extra time on the pylons and hopefully this will bode
well for his efforts.

More about Goforth, you may remember him from last year. He was a fan favorite as a Rookie. Finishing only 7th in the Silver, he was better known for activities off the race course. He charmed the fans in Section 3, delighted a group of grade school kids by letting them polish his airplane. He is definitely a character and a fun addition to the sport. He will be bringing two racers this year. Invictus will be in the Gold and Knotty Girl, in her new memorial paint scheme, for the Silver.

Phil was so touched by Al Goss’ generosity and friendship last year; he has decided to paint Knotty Girl to match Warlock this year. Just for one year, before she goes through a major reconstruction next year.

Phil Goforth’s Knotty Girl will be dressed up in Warlock colors this year.
And a late entry, Gary Davis will be there in Miss USA. Since last year’s winner in Invictus and owner of Miss USA, Thom Richard moved to the Jet Class he really wanted someone to race his plane. Gary was able to step up and take the reins. Off season networking really makes the difference.

That’s the good news. The bad news is – we currently only have 13 aircraft registered for IF1 this year! It seems just a few years ago, we were turning them away at the door, now we can’t fill the seats. I’m sad to say the least, but believe that with the right programs in place, the IF1 Class will be back to its previous luster soon. Every racer I’ve spoken with has a different reason for not coming this year. Can it just be a coincidence? I hope so.

While all the classes are downsized slightly, Biplanes actually has increased their number from last year. We had such a great rookie class this year at PRS, we seem to have a great future ahead of us.

Tom Aberle and team will be back with Phantom, while Jeff Lo is bringing his speedy racer Miss Gianna back again this year. Norm Way will be there, with the World’s Fastest Pitts while Rookie, Karl Grove will be flying Dennis Vest’s old ride, Drag Racer.

Biplanes provide some great racing - you should wake up early and come to see us sometime!

Zip Andre will be there and I can’t wait to see what he has been up to in the off season. Actually – nearly everyone from the Gold last year will in attendance, including Kirk Murphy, Tony Higa, and Dave Roelofs.

The real fun will be watching the Rookies come to life and watching the battle for first in the Gold between the two purpose-built racers. Which will take the fire truck ride on Sunday? Only time will tell, or as Kerch always says – Ask me on Monday!


Look at those hard working Biplane Crews

Super Sport
Last year, in order to create a larger differentiation between Super Sport and Sport, the class edited the rules. Super Sport will no longer be limited to production, kit airplanes and anything that has been properly tested and signed off is eligible as long as the engine is less than 1000 CID.

This rule change has created some interesting entries. Team Driven is back on the potential participants list with their Suburu-powered Lancair IV. We also have the Dassault Systems sponsored Diesel NXT Racer from Big Frog Racing. This French Team will add more International Color to the races.

Both Thunder Mustangs will be there, John Parker in his Blue Thunder II and George Giboney in his highly modified Rapid Travel. John and George have put together a great group of people to make the Thunder Mustangs a great racing platform.

Kevin Eldredge will be there in Relentless. He has been quite busy in the off season becoming a test pilot and unintentional spokesperson for the Super Sport Class and the NXT. Mike Dacey should be there in Bad Intentions his Questair Venture, aka The Egg.

Kevin Eldredge's beautiful NXT, Relentless

Darryl Greenamyer will likely be back with Crew Chief, Andy Chiavetta’s help. Andy has been incredibly busy in the off-season. He completed his tenth Lancair Legacy and finished his new design, the Aerochia LT-1 , a light weight carbon fiber kit built aircraft.

Okay, now the bad news. We are short one NXT. Jon Sharp will be taking a one year hiatus. We currently have seven Super Sport participants registered. I’m very excited to see the innovation in this class and look forward to some awesome races.

Sport Class
The Sport Class is getting more exciting with Dave Sterling, Tom Reynolds and Lee Behel battling for first place in their Lancairs. Jeff Lavelle is looking to pass them all in his Glasair, without any pylon cuts.
Ernie Sutter and Vince Walker in their Lancairs, Tony Crawford in his Questair Venture and Gary Mead in his Glasair should round out the Gold Race.

Rob Monaghan is known to many race fans as “The Voice of the Sport Class”, but many fans do not know that he owns/flies a beautiful Glasair. Because of his occupation, he is unable to participate as a racer. However, his airplane is not under such constraints, so Rob’s plane will be part of the action this year. I’m hoping he choices me to fly it. Too late? Really? Maybe next year. Good luck, Rob.

Nick Macy and Dennis Buehn will be battling for the right to wear the Yellow Jacket but John Lohmar, John Zayac and Gene McNeely will be giving them a run for their money.

Scott Dockter will be racing both Deuce of Hearts and Margarita. Carter Clark is back, flying both Daring Diane and Midnight Rendezvous. Lee Oman is scheduled to fly Eros and Race 90. That’s a lot of pilots flying double duty this year. I hope they eat their Wheaties and drink plenty of Red Bull.

The Jet Provost will premiere this year at Reno
The Jet class continues to attract new racers with new and interesting aircraft, with 5 Rookies making it through PRS this year and a full roster ready to take the course in September. Curt Brown and Mike Mangold will likely be battling it out in the front again this year. A little birdie told me that Mike has done some top secret upgrades this year in the hopes of dethroning the king.

Look for some interesting aircraft in the Silver including the Jet Provost flown by Steve Picatti and the Iskra (Polish for “spark”) flown by F1 Champion, Thom Richard.

Thom Richard and the Iskra

Heather “Lucky” Penney, daughter of John Penney, will be racing #21. She is currently an F-16 pilot for the DC ANG and quite an accomplished aviator. Her team is quite supportive and should make a splash while at the races.

Yes, Strega will be back. Tiger says LD Hughes and the team have been working on “secret squirrel s#it” to make Strega go even faster. Recent college graduate, Steve Hinton, Jr will be in the pilot seat once again. They are clearly the team to beat.

Strega and Stevo Hinton will be back to take on challengers this year.

Rare Bear is ready. Last year, they were working late nights to get her flying again in time for the races. This year, they were flying in June. John Penney will be in the pilot’s seat once again. Expect to see long time Alternate Pilot, Stu Dawson, in the seat for at least a qualifying session or even a heat race. Stu spent several days working with John and has flown The Bear a few times. Both are accomplished pilots and will make it interesting in September.

Rare Bear is ready for the challenge

Dan Martin will likely be back in Ridge Runner and Hoot will be flying Riff Raff. But, what will Matt Jackson fly? Will it be Furias or Dreadnaught? Both are on the list and both are capable of Gold numbers. I guess we’ll wait and see.

Will Whiteside will be back in Voodoo. The Voodoo Team has been making some major changes to the Purple Princess. And with Bob Button as their leader and Bill Kerchenfaut watching over the mechanical bits, this will be one to watch.

Now, for some bad news, Czech Mate will not be there. They are looking to make some changes for speed and safety in the future. I hope to see her back again soon. Also, Howard Pardue apparently meant it this time when he retired. So, Howard and Nelson Ezell will both be out of the action. Also, Stu Dawson is not going to bring Spirit of Texas this year, terrible news for the Texans in the crowd.

I’ll continue the bad news by saying that Bad Attitude has been sold and Argonaut is taking the year off. And it looks like neither of the P40s from last year will make it this time.

But, there are bright spots, for example – all of the fans who were hoping to see a Tigercat back on the pylons, well, get ready, because now there will be TWO Tigercats. Rod Lewis heard your pleas and will be bringing both Here Kitty Kitty and Bossman.

There is also a FW190 on the participant list. I believe it is the Planes of Fame FW190 and should attract the crowds in the Pits. Also, John Maloney will be racing Steadfast this year. I’m glad such a talented pilot/racer will be with us again this year.

Now, before you ask, YES – Galloping Ghost is on the list and there is photographical and video evidence that she is not actually a ghost. She has been seen flying through the skies near the Minden Airport. And let me just say, the fans are THRILLED! Good luck, Jimmy!

Other Information
The Canadian Snowbirds are back this year, along with David Martin. Kent Pietsch with his comedic aerobatic act will thrill the crowds again this year. Bill Braack with the Jet Car will also be there. Greg Poe will be back. This year he will be flying his Ethanol Powered Fagen MX2. Is this a nod to the green fans?

But, the star of the show will be the SIX P-38s that will assemble in the high desert in September. This will be quite an event. My understanding is every flying P-38 will be there at Reno. Now, that’s pretty exciting stuff.


I hope you can make it. As always, Ruby Red Racing is looking for sponsors to help defer the costs of participating in the National Championship Air Races. Contact me through the magazine for more information about how you can get involved.

Until next time, Fly low, Fly fast and Turn Left.

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing
Dash-Air, LLC

Pictures are courtesy of Rob "Phred" Miller and NAC/Tim Neubert

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Speed, Angels and Rookies

Pylon Racing Seminar took place in the Northern Nevada Desert around the middle of June. The attendance was higher than expected with lots of Rookies wanting to join the ranks of Air Racers. I will do a quick rundown of who, what and where in this month’s column and expand on it once the attendee lists are out for the races.  
Everything is a moving target at Reno, except the pylons, of course. So be patient and expect late breaking news – as it always happens. Today, let’s talk about the Rookies.


The IF1 rookie race pilots this year certainly underscored the word “International” in their name.  Completing training were British pilots Peter Fabish and Stephen Alexander who will be shipping their racers over later this summer.  From Spain they had Guillermo Parodi who recently purchased Brian Reberry’s highly competitive Cassutt, N-A-Rush. And finally Swiss pilot, Vito Wypraechtiger, the new owner of Race #50, Scarlet Screamer, was there getting the feel of his new ride. 

All of the new pilots were able to get course time and did exceptionally well. The returning racers continued their international theme.  Canadian Tom Watkins flew daily on the course in his Cassutt and Aussie Lachlan Onslaw took his racer, Outrageous, on to the course to prepare for this September.

The Formula 1 races this fall will be anything but predictable with three of the top four finishers from last year either changing hands, changing pilots or not being raced. Invictus, last year’s Gold winner will have a new driver, Philip Gofroth.  Last year’s second place airplane, Scarlet Screamer, will be flown by rookie racer Vito Wypraechtiger.  The third place airplane, Madness, is still in the capable hands of veteran racer Steve Temple. While Race #3, “Sly Dog,” last year’s fourth place airplane will not race this year.  


Credit Josh Martes
Caption: Lachie Onslow in Outrageous


 Six very capable Biplane Rookies attended the Pylon Racing Seminar last month. Father and son team, Jake and Mike Stewart, flew their BiListic Biplane. Both of them will see flying time this year. https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gifRobert Caster  will be racing Jeff Lo’s Miss Diane which means that we will likely see Jeff Lo’s Miss Gianna in September. Great news for Biplane Fans! Rob flies for FlexJet and has many hours flying skydivers over the years.

Karl Grove continues the international theme mentioned above. He’s from the UK and now resides in Southern California. He raced Motorcross in his youth and just purchased Drag Racer from veteran Biplane Racer, Dennis Vest. While we are sorry to see Dennis go, we wish him the best and welcome Karl to the team.

Aaron Burhoe, another California based Rookie also raced motorcycles and will be there in September for the first time with his Pitts Special. Eric Zine recently purchased Jeff Watkin’s old plane, Devil in da’ Skies, and will be there in his newly christened, “Motorboat” in the fall.

Credit Josh Martes
Caption: Aaron Burhoe in his new racer


The T6 Class had only one Rookie attending PRS this year. Ted Nixon is a FedEx pilot based in Memphis and will likely be joining the ranks in September. Several veterans joined in to hone their skills including Carter Clark, Dennis Buehn, Chris Rushing and Bruce Mayes. Jim Booth and Rick Seigfried did the instruction.

Tight racing is the way in T6, so we expect another good year from this class.

Sport Class

The international theme continued through the Sport Class with two Rookies from France joining us for the first time. Cristophe Delbos and Willy Gruhier will be flying a Diesel Powered NXT in September. They have been working with Kevin Eldredge, pilot of Relentless, to iron out their skills and get ready for Reno. There is a video of the Diesel NXT Racer on Kevin’s Slo Air, Inc. website – if you want to learn more.

Vicki Benzing and John Crow brought their Extras up to PRS to get certified. However, the Extra is not a Sport Class Aircraft. I understand they are looking for a competitive ride, now that they were bitten by the racing bug.

Returning racers working on their skills included Vince Walker, Tom Reynolds, and Dave Sterling in their Lancairs; Mike Dacey and Tony Crawford in their Questaire Ventures and George Giboney and John Parker in their Thunder Mustangs.

Wait until you see the spiffy new canopy on George Giboney’s Rapid Travel. It’s reminiscent of RotoFinish of days gone by. It looks like lots of little tweaks have been made during the off season by many teams. Can’t wait to see how this works out in September.

Credit: Ken Linde
Caption: Vince Walker, low and fast across the desert floor.


Four Rookies who are anything but Rookies in Warbirds, joined us for Unlimited PRS. Jay Consalvi was flying Doug Matthews gorgeous Corsair. Jay is no stranger to fame, being one of the stars in the movie, Speed and Angels. This is a film touted as the “real Top Gun” taking two young Navy Officers through their two and a half year journey from dogfights to their first wartime deployment. It’s a great film, I own it and have seen it several times. If you haven’t seen it – do so before September and then ask Jay for his autograph!

Credit: Ken Linde
Caption: Jay Consalvi with Rod Lewis hot on his tail

Rod Lewis, owner of Rare Bear was there in his TF-51 La Pistolero. He flew incredibly well and the hope is he and Stu Dawson will bring two Tigercats, Big Bossman and Here Kitty Kitty in September. Remember how you were hoping to see Bossman turning the sticks again? Now, you get TWO Tigercats. Thank Rod Lewis when you see him!

Chuck Greenhill, new owner of Furias brought his recently acquired P51, Lou IV (was American Beauty). Chuck wanted to see what the fuss was about, and he loved it! Mark Watt, veteran Warbird driver, pilot for Air Canada, Photographer and owner of Warbird Depot and all around great guy was a Rookie in Dreadnaught. The original idea was to have Mark fly Argonaut this year, but that may not be in the cards due to a chip light illumination. We are hoping that Mark gets to fly something in September, perhaps Chuck’s Lou IV. I’m quite sure Mark will find a ride. He flew a great line and had a terrific time at PRS.  


Credit Ken Linde
Caption: Mark “Rockstar” Watt in Dreadnaught

Stu Dawson has been listed as the Alternate Pilot for Rare Bear for years. He finally flew The Bear at PRS in June. He did great. I still give his first landing a 7 out of 10 although Stu scored himself lower. It was nice to see Rare Bear in the air. John Penney was there giving Stu tips and hints. It was a great time for everyone.


The Jet Class had more rookies than any other class. And, the new jets are interesting and fun to watch. Two Iskras were there and a Jet Provost named Spud. Thom Richards (of Sweden – keeping our International theme), last year’s IF1 Gold Champion attended in one of the Iskras. And Kiwi, John Kokshoorn, another IF1 transplant was there in his new L29. 

A very familiar name to Air Race Fans, Heather “Lucky” Penney, daughter of Bear Driver, John Penney was there in a friend’s L29. She flew a nice, tight course and will be there in September.
The Jet Provost, a fan favorite at PRS, was flown by veteran Warbird pilot, Steve Picatti. Although this is his first time at Reno as a pilot, he worked for several of the Unlimited Teams in the past, including Strega and Sumthin’ Else. 
The Jet Class will no longer be a L39 parade, there should be something for everyone in the class now. 

Credit: Ken Linde
Caption:Steve Picatti in Spud, the Jet Provost

Pilot Registration ended June 30th. Next month, we will review some of the happenings in the classes. I can’t wait. It’s really shaping up to be another exciting year.

Did you buy your tickets yet? Did you get your hotel rooms?

Until next month, fly low, fly fast and turn left!

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chino, Madera and PRS Preview

Planes of Fame Does it Again

The Planes of Fame Airshow gets better every year. Each year we turn to each other at the end and say, “That was the best ever, how will they ever outdo THAT!” But, the following year, they do.

This year was the salute to “The Greatest Generation” and it was quite a salute. Jonna Doolittle Hoppes led panel discussions with the following veterans: Maj. General John "Johnny" Alison (the 'father' of Air Force Special Operations, WWII ace, and Korean War veteran); Clarence "Bud" Anderson (P-51 'Old Crow' triple ace in WWII); Col. John Doolittle (WWII and Korean War veteran); Bill Holloman (Tuskegee Airman P-51 pilot); Huie Lamb (P-47 and P-51 pilot); Wilbur Richardson (B-17 ball turret gunner, Purple Heart recipient); William "Bill" Spengler (P-51 "Buzzin Cuzzin"). This panel discussion was broadcast over the speaker system while many of the visitors walked the Airshow grounds to see the aircraft.

Then, sixteen P-51 Mustangs took to the air to open the show. There are people in this world who have never seen a P-51, nor seen one fly. And we were treated to the sight and sound of 16 of them singing to us from the air.

Later the Horsemen did their three-ship Mustang formation aerobatic sequence. Their act is a show stopper and truly breathtaking! The way Jim Beasley leads Ed Shipley and Dan Freidkin through the routine, the closeness, the precision and the gracefulness is wonderful.

Credit: Jason Fisher
Caption: Mustangs and more Mustangs

A first for me was seeing the N9BM, more commonly known as the Northrop Flying Wing, take to the skies.

A little history lesson… In the early 1940’s Northrop Aircraft built four 1/3 scale N-9M flying wing prototypes to prove the feasibility of the YB-35 long range bomber. Once the YB-35 program was canceled, every N-9M test model was scrapped – except the final N-9MB which sat out in the Edwards Air Force Base boneyard until Ed Maloney, founder of the Planes of Fame Museum, “liberated” it.

Credit: Victor Archer
Caption: Northrop Flying Wing – the only one in the world

Ron Hackworth then led a 13 year reconstruction of the mostly wood aircraft. In April 2006, the N-9MB suffered an in-flight engine fire. The aircraft was landed safely with limited damage. Donations to the museum were solicited for its repair and the aircraft has been fully repaired. Hackworth piloted the N-9MB for the Airshow. “I've never flown it anywhere where the reaction was anything less than complete amazement,” he says.

It takes over 250 PoF volunteers and the sponsorship of the County of San Bernardino and the vision of Ed Maloney to make this show work each year. A record number of attendees, over 40,000, enjoyed the aviation history, inspirational and educational experience.

Credit: Victor Archer
Caption: Incredible Aerobatics were also on the schedule at Chino

Please visit the Planes of Fame Museum and consider making it to the Airshow next year.

Madera Returns for Year 2

Madera did it again. They are creating a whole new tradition for Warbirds over Central California. Joe Conway and his volunteers and sponsors put on a wonderful show, with A10s and F18s Demos and four B-25s in the sky. It was a terrific show.
And, for the second time in two weeks, we were entertained by Clay Lacy doing an aerobatic sequence in his Lear 24. No kidding – I’m serious! It was a very enjoyable show. Clay is still an innovator in aviation and I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next.

Credit: Mike Brewer
Caption: Clay Lacy in his Lear 24

I am thrilled that the show is continuing and growing with another record crowd for Madera. Good luck to all and let’s hope it grows bigger and better every year.

The Pylon Racing Seminar Preview

Yes, PRS is right around the corner. And with that, the phone calls begin. Who will at Reno in September, and who will be a no-show? This is the beginning of Silly Season.

The good news is we have Rookies. The latest count is five students in F1, one returning and four new. And a fan favorite aircraft is said to be returning.
The Biplanes have six rookies. This is the largest class we’ve had in years and a great sign for our division.

The Jet class has five students, including some jets you may never have seen before. Iskra, Provost and Paris Jet are all scheduled to be there.

We have one student in T-6, and four in the Sport Class. The Sport Class will likely have a Diesel Powered entry and possibly a Subaru Powered entry as well come September.

We currently have four Rookies in Unlimited and lots of returning aircraft that will make the fans very happy. I don’t want to jinx it and tell you what the excitement is all about, but suffice it to say – if things go as expected the fans will be thrilled with the line-up for September.

I’ll be headed to PRS and will report back here next month. Until then..

Fly Low, Fly Fast and Turn Left.

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

Credit: Anthony Taylor
Caption: Warbirds and Madera

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rare Bear Creator, World Record Holder and Motor Sports Hall of Famer

Lyle Shelton has Gone West

The Reno Air Races community is mourning the loss of yet another legend. Lyle Shelton died last month after a long illness.

You could say that Lyle Shelton became an air-racing champion because of a missed flight. Shelton was a Naval Aviator in 1964 when he took a month's leave intending to travel around the world via space available military transportation. But, while in California after missing his flight to Hawaii, he came across an article in a magazine saying there was going to be an Inaugural Air Race in Reno. The idea of air racing intrigued him enough to abandon his journey and hop a ride to Nevada. He must have liked what he saw, because less than a year later he flew in his first air race.


After racing both a P-51 Mustang and a Hawker Sea Fury for other owners, another air racer told Shelton of a wrecked F8F at an airport at Valparaiso, IN. Shelton found it upside down in a cornfield, missing its engine and other vital parts. He bought this wreck for about $2500 and trucked it to California. This started his long time love affair with what we came to know as the Rare Bear.

In 1969 the "Abel Cat" appeared in competition for the first time at Reno, where Shelton finished fifth in the championship race.

His first win at Reno was in 1973, after several years of troubles in the way of canopies coming off and blown tires on landing. He continued his winning ways in 1975 and again from 1988 until 1991. His final race at Reno was in 1997 when he finished third. At that time, he was a six-time gold champion.

But honestly, that was just the black and white of it all. Lyle was much more than that to the sport of Air Racing. He managed Air Races, he was the President of the Pilot’s Association and he was an icon to so many of us.

No other team has done as much with mostly volunteers. He worked with sponsors and lived everyday for the goal of going fast and turning left. His personal style, professional enthusiasm and success made him a fan favorite for years.

Shelton set the Unlimited Class speed record at Reno three times. He also set a "Time to Climb" record in 1972 which stands today. This record took him from a standing start to 10,000 feet in 91.9 seconds. On Aug. 21, 1989 he set the world's absolute propeller-driven speed record over a 3-kilometer course at Las Vegas at 528.329 mph, which is going to be difficult for anyone to beat.

In 1999, he became a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

"Lyle will be remembered always and we will miss him greatly."

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing

A Loving Tribute to a Dear Friend…

The Warbird and Air Racing Communities lost a great friend on March 17, 2010. Al Goss was flying his beloved T-6, Warlock, with his crew chief, Steve Ballard, when tragedy struck.


Alfred Fredrick Goss Jr., or “Papa Goss” or “Al”to all that knew him, was born December 16, 1941 in Shenandoah, Iowa to Alfred and Lucille Goss.

At 18, Al started flying and soon found employment as a crop duster flying for Pat Tomlinson of M & W Flying in Porterville, CA. After several years he migrated to Northern California and flew for several different organizations. Twenty-two years ago, he took a job in the Bakersfield, CA area with Old River Crop Dusting, owned by dear friend and fellow air racer, Eddie Van Fossen.

A crop duster by day, his real passion was Warlock and the people who surrounded him and supported him while he raced the pylons at Reno. He had two sons, Randy and David and a daughter, Sandra; but he adopted the rest of us and made everyone feel like family.

His Racing Story started in 1981, when Al decided to make the trek over the hills to the National Championship Air Races. Twenty-nine years later, he was the favorite of both fans and racers alike.

He finished 2nd in the Gold six times, or as he would say, “the first loser”. But, he won it all in 2004. Walking away with the title of National Champion after all those years meant so much to him. Regardless of win or lose, however, his devoted fans loved him.

The Warlock Crew would show up every year and work from dawn to dusk. They polished that airplane, mingled with the crowds and watched with great interest all of the races over the many days. Photographers were welcomed, and could always be found huddled on top of the Warlock trailer with their camera equipment trying to get the best pictures. (I always wondered how he managed to assemble such an amazing array of people. He was magnetic in that way.) Still, he always seemed to give much more than he received, although I’m sure he would disagree.

The big bash every year was the Warlock Party. It happened on Wednesday night as a way to celebrate the beginning of the races. There was always a band, dancing, singing and friendship being passed around the ramp. Everyone was there and Al knew all of them.


From a pilot’s standpoint, he did it all. He flew for a living, and lived for his flying. When an Airshow needed him, he was there. When a friend was in need, they knew they could call him anytime. He was the hardest working and the kindest man I have ever known.

I met Al in 2004, my first year racing in the Biplane Class. He was a mentor and a friend to me. After every race, I would get debriefed by him. If I did well, it was a big hug and if I made mistakes, he would shake his head and share with me his insight. I felt as though I was the luckiest pilot in the world to have this great man take such a personal interest in me and my flying. But, he did that to so many of us.

From the phone calls I have received since the news went out, everyone was touched by him. Every interaction made people feel special. He remembered wives’ and childrens' names, details of everyone’s life, and showed deep concern and compassion towards all of us.

In addition to his children and grandchildren, Al had a special friend in Anita. They were inseparable and just about the most adorable couple you’d ever meet. They would dance together at the Warlock Party and everyone would stop and watch them. As loving and amiable as Al was, Anita just multiplied the affection.


His passenger on that day was Steven Ballard, a long time friend, Fed-ex pilot and flight instructor. Steve was also a fixture at the Air Races as part of the Warlock Crew each year.

This year was to be Al’s 30th Anniversary racing at Reno. I know Team Ruby will put together a special memorial to our mentor this year and it’s likely that other teams will too.

But for many of us, without Al, Warlock, and the team, the races will simply never be the same.

A public memorial was held at Shafter Minter Field on April 10th at noon in Eddie's Hangar. The crowd was amazing and the fly-bys were a fitting tribute to a great man. Special thanks to Tiger, Eddie and Sandy Sanders for their efforts that day.


Please keep the Goss, Warlock and Reno families in your hearts. For we have all suffered a great loss.

RIP Papa Goss. I loved you and will miss you always.

Marilyn Dash
Ruby Red Racing