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Thread: I?m gonna be that guy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    386

    Default I?m gonna be that guy?

    I had a 6.5 hour drive home yesterday evening/night and my head was going a million different directions running a million different scenarios.

    With that said, I?ve been going to the races since 2004; a relative newcomer when it comes to air racing. In that time, I?ve seen people die doing what they love. We all know they don?t race for the money, but they race for the pure competitive nature of racing. I?m a first responder and I witness all aspects of death every week, so there?s a good chance it doesn?t affect me like it used to/should.

    Racing, in all aspects, has an inherent risk to it. Grave bodily injury and/or death. I played division one college football and every year we had to sign a waiver stating we could be seriously injured and/or killed playing the sport we loved. Not a single person paused when we were handed those waivers; we all signed them cause we got to play the sport we loved.

    All aspects of motor sports are no different! Every single competitor knows the risks they take when they push the envelope of their sport. Just a few weeks ago, a great racer was killed while competing in an Ultra4 race in Crandon, WI. No one thinks they will die when they compete, but every single one of them knows it can happen. Competitors in all aspects of motor sports have perished through the years, and this year is no different than any other year of competition.

    It?s sad and horrible and tragic but damnit, this competitor went out doing what he loved!!! He didn?t die in a bed he?s been confined to for months! He went out there to compete and on this day, it got the best of him. I could only dream of goin out in this fashion!!!

    As for the future of the air races. This isn?t the first, nor is it the last death we will experience. It?s horrible knowing that but that?s the fact of air racing. He didn?t put it into a crowd of people or take out another racer. The air races will live on!!! They survived the Ghost incident and they will survive this one. They need our upmost support during this time and the ho-hums need to get on board.

    This was a tragic incident, without a doubt. It?s horrible. But these racers/pilots put it all on the line for themselves and for the fans and every one of them know the consequences if it doesn?t work out.

    It?s time to rally together as a community and support the one and only air racing venue in the world!!!

    Ban me, ignore me, or disagree with me; this is how I feel right now.

    Having witnessed my fair share of traumatic incidents, I promise you, we all process them differently. And ANY reaction/feeling you have to this horrible incident, is normal.

    I could be wrong, could be looking at this through the wrong lens, or could just be wrong. But this is how I see it.

    Flame away!
    "CHARLIE DON'T SURF!!!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    8,715

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    Someone correct my addled old brain if I'm wrong, but I see absolutely nothing delete-able or ban-able about the previous post?

    I think we are all still in shock today. I keep replaying the action leading up to the eventual crash and the movements are almost baffling.. Someone else said it' not time to discuss this part of things and I agree but... we're all in shock, I do not see anything wrong with your post?

    by edit shortly after posting:

    In fact, hearing from a first responder helps in some way.. do not know why but if you're able to process this... so can I and hopefully others..
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    Wayne, I?ve seen some stuff in my career; things that haunt me everyday. I?ve been elbows deep in body parts and have done CPR on people in single digit ages. We process things differently, plain and simple. I?m a member of our agency?s peer support team and I?ve been through extensive critical incident stress management training. Life sucks and throws us curveballs that challenge our pure existence.

    I could be jaded and I could be numb to it all. Racing any motor sort has its inherent dangers and even more so when it comes to racing airplanes.

    RARA and air racing in general need our support, now more than ever. My hats off to these competitors and the willing to hang it all out. Yesterday was a sad day for us, but damnit people, it?s time to rally!
    "CHARLIE DON'T SURF!!!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    And Wayne, thank you for providing an outlet for us. This has been on my mind since I left the field yesterday and I owe you for providing us with a place to share our thoughts and feelings!!
    "CHARLIE DON'T SURF!!!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Boise, ID
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    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    I thought this was also worth mentioning; any response YOU have to a traumatic event, is completely normal. Everyone responds to trauma differently. Please, please, please, reach out to someone, anyone, if you?re struggling. We can get through anything together!
    "CHARLIE DON'T SURF!!!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    Matt, you nailed it. There is nothing to delete here. I 100% agree with what you said. I saw the incident, and yeah its tragic, but like you said, that is part of racing, and Aaron went out doing what he loved to do. There are far worse ways to lose one's life. Thankfully the incident happened in the best area on the course for it to happen. A long way from anything or really anyone (aside from the P5 Pylon Judges.)

    Yes, the air racing community needs to rally around both the Jet class, and the races. We all need to show up next year to support both as well.

    Will

  7. Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    I saw it go in...As an engineer understanding how and why something happens is how I cope. And watching the video and discussing with the knowledgeable pilots and crew members Sunday night, and coming up with a pretty solid idea of what happened and why has really helped me. However, I do think it is probably best to keep those discussions private (or at least not public on the internet).

    So, if anyone wants to, you can send me a PM I'll give you my take (just don't quote me publicly), in the hopes that it helps us grieve, cope, learn, and be better people tomorrow.

    Sincerely,
    "Young" Thomas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Portland, Or
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    I think anyone with any experience with this sport already has a pretty good idea of what happened.

    I have been to the races 35 ish times. I have lost count but from about 1980 to now I have missed only 5 years or so. I was there each of those years from Wednesday to Sunday.

    I have witnessed nearly every ****ty thing that has happened out there. I have witnessed all the ALMOST ****ty things that have happened out there. I have witnessed all the AMAZING things that have happened out there. I have a lot of experience thinking about this and processing it.

    What happened on Sunday has happened before, and if the races continue in this form, will happen again.

    BUT

    Something that I have only very recently sort of accepted is that while we (and I have done this for decades) compare these pilots to elite athletes when discussing the "known risks" and "acceptable loss" but the fact is they are not. This is a hobby for them. They are not active duty fighter pilots. They are not paid and trained F1 drivers.

    I have a lot of dangerous hobbies. I ride the **** out of motorcycles every chance I get. But I know that I probably should not send myself over a triple jump in 4th gear or I will die. But I also know I wont create a giant fireball when I do it, or land on a house.

    Everything about the Jet class I love is everything I loved about the late 80's and early 90's of the unlimited class. Everything that made that great is also what made it dangerous and the same thing is happening with the Jets.

    In 2007 Brad Morehouse was inches from sliding through the grandstands. Sunday Hogue was inches from sliding through the red rock road housing development.

    I think the accessibility of a racing jet might be too easy. I think the opportunity to accidently pull 7 G's is too great. I think the danger of the jets is too much in the current format. I hate to say that, as I think it could have been the future, but there needs to be a higher bar to pass. the 2019 Rookie of the year in the Jet class just bought the farm in his third event. Let that sink in.
    Last edited by flyingjibus; 09-20-2022 at 11:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    sf bay area
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    We dare not criticize the races right? How about suggesting something that will make it safer for the contestants and the spectators? Are we allowed to do that? I started going to the races in 1983 and started doing video in 1985. Some of my footage is on Utube from the 1980s. I had Lefty go over my head on Cheapskate Hill in White Lightning about 15 feet up. I was filming at the rope line n the pits in front of Leewards crew and family in 2011 when Jimmy went in, saw Gary Levitz go in, saw Brickert go in, and since then lot has been done to make the races safer for everyone. No doubt the races will continue only if the FAA and the insurance companies decide that they can continue. A bigger concern is the smaller turnout, the stands were only half or less full during the week and not full on Sunday no doubt because of the weather. The warbirds are getting older, the pilots are getting older, the audience is getting older. Younger people are just not interested in what flies over their heads. Scheduling the races during the weeks after younger people are back in school is a major problem for attendance as far as making the races a family adventure. As one of my friends from the fenceline (Chrisites Crew)said yesterday if the L29 had crashed 3 seconds later they would all have been incinerated. Think about what needs to be done again to make it safer for everyone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Portland, Or
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: I?m gonna be that guy?

    Thank you for putting those videos up on youtube. Some day I will do the same with mine. everything you just said is spot on and talking about this stuff is part of the healing process.

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