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Reno Air Racing Update
Aug. 27, 2003

Fledgling Air Racing "Support" Group To Meet Again At Reno

Last year’s Air Races saw the first meeting (some might call it a brawl) of the Reno Air Race Grunts, known as "RAGS," held at the Reno Stead Airport, after hours (so nobody would notice!) The explanation given at the time for the lateness of the first meeting, which was held in an unnamed, yet to be occupied, sponsor chalet, was given by an organizer of the event, who informed us of his wishes at the time to remain anonymous as: "So nobody would notice, of course!"

click to enlargeIn a press release… ah, released on August 27, the organizers of the event… released… the schedule for this year’s event meeting. We can neither confirm nor deny that the timing of this release had anything to do with the reported release of the group’s president, Rich "Cleatus" Hillis from an unnamed "gray bar motel," somewhere in the South Eastern United States.

Describing itself as being made up of… and we quote the release here, "hard working folks who make Reno Air Race Pilots look good despite their appalling treatment" said RAGS President, Hillis. "We’re just not going to take anymore guff from these Prima Donna pilots who trod all over our butts!" Hillis said, "It’s high time we get what we deserve; that being more respect!" Hillis is the support crew chief for Mary Dilda’s Two of Hearts Air Racing Team.

click to enlargeThose interested in joining RAGS are invited to stop by the Two of Hearts Air Racing Team’s pits for an application form, where you will be separated from $2.00 of your hard earned money. Officials of the group stated that this fee was largely for the "refreshment" fund for the meeting, as well as for printing supplies for same.

"Be prepared to address your peers at the membership meeting with an account of how you’ve been abused by your respective race pilots," reminds Patricia "Radar" Mathes, the team’s Secretary. "It is tradition that members share their pain with their colleagues, which is part of the therapeutic benefit of becoming a RAGS member."

click to enlargeThe release further ask us to: Spread the word! All Reno Championship Air Race support personnel are invited to attend and join. "Remember: no Air Race Pilot is allowed to join, nor is allowed to attend our meetings; and it is up to the membership at large to physically prevent these self-impressed drivers from stealing our beer as they always seem to want to do!", states President Cleatus.

click to enlargeIn all seriousness (if that is possible with this story) the meeting last year was grand fun for all involved. Though the charter does not specifically state that fans or, downtrodden photographers, journalists, cameramen/women or otherwise… "just about anybody" can join.. the impression we received last year is that, if you have two bucks and the time and inclination to attend, you will be given a chance to plead your case for membership in front of the general body of the group.. This could well turn into one of the "must attend" events of the annual speed festival held at Reno.

click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge

Reno Air-race Grunt


Let it be known that there are countless unsung heroes who make the Reno National Championship Air Races and Airshow a success year after year. Let the world know that these hapless GRUNTS, are unceremoniously trod upon by the very organizations and pilots participating therein in spite of the FACT that if it were not for their sacrifice, these PILOTS would never stand a chance.

Be it known that the Reno Air-race Grunt Association has been formed to recognize the contributions of these poor abused pit-crews, mechanics, roadies, pylon judges, organizing staffers, wing polishers, pilot baby sitters, gophers, scapegoats, foot rests, door mats and punching bags.

Let it be known that never shall a racing pilot be allowed to be present at ANY R.A.G. function and that anytime the word PILOT is mentioned, the R.A.G. crowd present shall ceremoniously exclaim: "Boo!" Additionally, that during any R.A.G. function, the Sergeant at Arms shall enlist sufficient comrades to keep any and all pilots from infiltrating said function guarding with their very lives the cache of R.A.G. adult beverages from their clutches.

All R.A.G. meetings will be facilitated by the elected Sergeant at Arms whose decisions in matters of protocol and conduct shall be final and respected by all.

Be it known that every prospective member of R.A.G.s will be required to publicly justify in front of the membership why they should be permitted to join. They will then forever be recognized by their R.A.G. "Doggie" call sign.

Let it be known that from the membership at large, a Beer Chucker will be chosen to provide aerial delivery of beers to the membership during meetings. This will be the ONLY approved method of providing communal beer to members. (The beers are thrown by the Beer Chucker and caught by the member for consumption).

Furthermore, at the 2002 Inaugural meeting of R.A.G.s, officers will be nominated and elected from the membership ranks to serve through the next Reno Air Race Season.

All members will be required to re-apply for membership on an annual basis, submitting their membership fee and form before that year’s meeting with only new members being required to publicly justify their R.A.G. membership.

Finally, all members in good standing will proudly wear their R.A.G. identification at all times.



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