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View Full Version : BEAR CREW - 'Workin' On Their Night Moves'



BuckyD
03-02-2009, 02:03 AM
Every 'serious' air race team maintains an ever-changing daily- 'To-Do' List of essential tasks for their crew to work-off, in an effort to stay viable as a trophy competitor, while demonstrating safe aircraft operations- both in the air & on the ground.

The pressure to address all-important program checklist items, test various systems & remedy any & all malfunctions, repair or fabricate broken parts, provide logistics & support needs, while making every qualification & race event deadline in their respective racing class, is- 'INTENSE & IMMENSE'!!! :eek13:

Without a doubt, the most-formidable heaping challenges to be experienced by maintenance air crews exist in the radical- UNLIMITED CLASS, where men & equipment are tested to the max, while competing for coveted speed trophy purses. Round-the-clock demands tax even the most-experienced to their limits, w/multiple engine swaps sometimes included in the chore load.

Here's a mini-gallery of archive photos documenting the veteran crew of Lyle Shelton's #77 RARE BEAR burning the midnight oil on Tue. 9/13/94, working on but a few of many tasks required to ready N777L for pilot- John Penney to fly for time on the last day of qualifications Wednesday.

Photos (L-R) by row:

Top Row (1-5) / 2nd Row (1-3) - Crew members work on #77's special wheel brakes.

2nd Row (4-5) - 'Helping Hands' - John Slack & a crewmate join forces to fabricate a new replacement set of F8F-2 rudder brackets.

3rd Row (1-5) / 4th Row (1-4) - 'No Laughing Matter'-Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Injection - Crew Chief- Greg Shaw (dark shirt/sans-cap) sets-up charging & test of THE BEAR's onboard N2O Injection System.

These able & experienced team members exemplify the dedicated, hard-working team spirit required to create a winning air racing team & make it possible for pilot/owner- Lyle Shelton's #77 RARE BEAR to reign as- 'The World's Fastest!' :beerchug::thumbsup:

:cool: DBD

BuckyD
03-02-2009, 02:40 AM
A- 'P.S.' to my original posting -

On Wed. 9/14/94, Pilot- John Penney took #77 RARE BEAR out on the Stead Field race course & successfully-qualified N777L @ 471.325-mph as Top Qualifier in the Unlimited Class at Reno '94 NCAR.

Penney & THE BEAR made a clean-sweep that year by winning Friday's Heat-2A @ 462.188-av/mph (after leader-David Price in P-51D #4 Dago Red cut Pylon 1 on Laps 2 & 3); logging a clear victory in Saturday's Heat-3A @ 443.296-av/mph, ahead of Brian Sanders in Super Sea Fury #8 Dreadnought; and effortlessly-winning Sunday's pathetically anti-climactic & controversial- 'Super Gold Shoot-Out' @ 424.407-av/mph, ahead of Dennis Sanders flying #8 Dreadnought.

Here's four photos of RARE BEAR's Wednesday start-up & taxi-out for #77's qualifying-run & a final shot of the sign painter applying the crew list names onto the R/H gear leg door fairing on Thur. 9/15/94

:cool: DBD

BellCobraIV
03-02-2009, 08:44 AM
A- 'P.S.' to my original posting -

On Wed. 9/14/94, Pilot- John Penney took #77 RARE BEAR out on the Stead Field race course & successfully-qualified N777L @ 471.325-mph as Top Qualifier in the Unlimited Class at Reno '94 NCAR.

Penney & THE BEAR made a clean-sweep that year by winning Friday's Heat-2A @ 462.188-av/mph (after leader-David Price in P-51D #4 Dago Red cut Pylon 1 on Laps 2 & 3); logging a clear victory in Saturday's Heat-3A @ 443.296-av/mph, ahead of Brian Sanders in Super Sea Fury #8 Dreadnought; and effortlessly-winning Sunday's pathetically anti-climactic & controversial- 'Super Gold Shoot-Out' @ 424.407-av/mph, ahead of Dennis Sanders flying #8 Dreadnought.

Here's four photos of RARE BEAR's Wednesday start-up & taxi-out for #77's qualifying-run & a final shot of the sign painter applying the crew list names onto the R/H gear leg door fairing on Thur. 9/15/94

:cool: DBD

Don,
The last picture shows that my Dad respected talent when he saw it;

Note the tip of the hat to Carl Friend, Rick Brickert, Dave Zeuschel, and Bill Speer. When Bob Love passed away he got his own tag line that said "Bob Love, a real stick and rudder guy"

In the upper pictures they show the typical drudge of the every other day brake rebuild. The brakes on the airplane at that time were stock F8F Brakes and that rebuild was something that Mark Muldoon and Rich Donahue took to chore usually, however in those pictures it looks like Brian Harthill had help on that job at different times with different people.

On Tuesday afternoon we were set to fly and qualify, Penney got in the airplane, prior to starting the engine he went to set the rudder trim, He called over the side that the rudder trim wheel was free wheeling. A quick check of the airframe found a funny noise coming from the tail. One the gusy quick grabbed a ladder and I found the trim bracket had cracked and was unsat so the afternoon flight was off.

OK, Greg calls a meeting, lets go forward with the plan of qualifying fastest, but lets get the brakes redone a day early in case John has to set the plane down hot, next Slack, get a group together and come up with a new bracket, Lets load some squeeze tonight! Break,

To this day Greg shaw is my favorite Crew Chief I have worked with, I loved working with Kerch on the Dago program, Cornell was definately a blast on the Bear. But for understanding how to get the most from people that were spent, Greg Shaw is the most underrated.
John