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Thread: Air Show at Brown Field

  1. #1
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    Default Air Show at Brown Field



    Is this the 1000 race in 1971?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkxUewQF00s

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel View Post


    Is this the 1000 race in 1971?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkxUewQF00s
    Yes, the United States Cup.

    Man....it's still hard to watch Mike Geren go in. :-(

  3. #3

    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    Love watching those videos/films, thanks for sharing.
    What was the cause of the crash, looked like he was in a shallow descent and never pulled up.

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    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    Quote Originally Posted by supercub View Post
    Love watching those videos/films, thanks for sharing.
    What was the cause of the crash, looked like he was in a shallow descent and never pulled up.
    The #44 Bearcat had been burning excessive oil all race. Ron Reynolds told me that he and Mike discussed it when they did the pilot swap during the pit stop. It wasn't but maybe 10 laps after Mike took off that the engine caught fire. I think they determined he threw a rod or something. But the key here is that Mike tried to save the plane instead of getting out of it. The plane was on fire and the fire continued to grow so that it was trailing a very long stream of fire and smoke, but he set up for a downwind and was turning a short base when the plane nosed over and that is what you see on the video. Bearcats have magnesium nose cases....and magnesium burns very hot and very quick. The other side of that is that the firewall on a Bearcat is not very substantial, so it did not take long for the fire to burn through into the cockpit and overcome Mike. The part that you see in the video, Mike is not flying the plane anymore.

    Hindsight is always 20/20, but two years later the exact same thing happened to Bud Fountain at Mojave.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    I'm from the same town as Bud Fountain was living in. I was a very young man, but I remember talking to someone that was very much involved in the mechanical end of the his Bearcat, and according to this person, there was some problem with an oil hose and Bud was advised not to fly it till it was fixed. History tells the rest of the sad story.
    Brian

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    I was 11 and my Dad took me to Brown field for quals and to see the race. My first air race. I remember Sherm Coopers Seafury and Levitz in the P-38. My memory of the Bearcat going in is also burned into my brain and happened just as Big Jim said.

    But the key here is that Mike tried to save the plane instead of getting out of it. The plane was on fire and the fire continued to grow so that it was trailing a very long stream of fire and smoke, but he set up for a downwind and was turning a short base when the plane nosed over
    '71 S.D.1000, '85-'91,'94',95,'97-'99,'02,'04,'06,'08,'10,'13,'14 NCAR.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    Quote Originally Posted by planecrazy2 View Post
    I was 11 and my Dad took me to Brown field for quals and to see the race. My first air race. I remember Sherm Coopers Seafury and Levitz in the P-38. My memory of the Bearcat going in is also burned into my brain and happened just as Big Jim said.
    mike geren is my grandfather and I am very proud to carry his name

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    As you should be!
    I am sure nobody here means to disparage your memories. History nerds (And Big Jim IS the ultimate ) tend to be factual above all else.

    In an AC article years ago Mike Smith cites these two accidents and their cause as the reason he stopped racing his Bearcat, sold it and bought the ex-Tipsy Miss.
    Last edited by Leo; 03-04-2016 at 01:37 PM. Reason: bad name

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    0:33 seconds in. Typical air race photographer. LOL!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Air Show at Brown Field

    The skinny on Bearcats is that the wonderful firewall burns through especially fast. My understanding from those who know of these two Bearcat crashes is that the U. S. Navy trained Bearcat pilots to abandon the a/c within 5 seconds of detecting an engine fire. That is do I have a fire? Do I have altitude? Pop the canopy. Unhook and depart the cockpit all in a 5 count. A pilot of a 'cat was drilled to get out and get out yesterday. The problem has been somewhat reduced by new reinforced pressure hoses.
    When watching the Fountain video one can count to 5 from the first puff of smoke to an immediate pushover to the ground. As I recall from my little gray cell memory, the same was the same count for Mr Geren. Terrible losses.

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