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Air Race News
Reno Air Races
Sunday Practice Update

Reno Air Racing Update
Sept. 07, 2003

By Wayne Sagar

Photo Gallery Below

The Reno National Championship Air Races opened the first day of practice today to windy and cloudy conditions. Normally not windy until later in the day, the early flight sessions of the IF1 and Biplane divisions were forced to cope with the higher than usual winds.

An incident marred the IF1 session when one racer overran the runway on landing causing damage to the airplane and, reportedly, a broken ankle for the pilot. (We will get the name of the pilot and update this story tomorrow)

Later in the day, an incident occurred during the T-6 practice session that reportedly has the winner for the annual "Dirty Dagger Award" already chosen. We will leave the description of the event and the name of the pilot out of this report, for now..

Several Unlimited airplanes took the course today, including two returning crowd favorites, Howard Pardu in his Bearcat and the Sanders Brothers Dreadnought. Both airplanes will be a welcome sight to the many fans who will pour into this airport over the next several days.

Rare Bear Air Racing Team had a problem on startup for their afternoon practice run, a t-fitting in the fuel supply caused a leak. Quickly fixed, John Penny fired up again and lifted off, only to have the crew see that the tailwheel doors had not completely closed. This forced John to stay high while they sorted out the cause, he did not enter the course for practice. The source of the problem was found to be an adjustment nut that had been overtightend during the tech inspection yesterday. The crew found and fixed the problem quickly. John took the airplane up again after the practice session with no reported squawks.

Skip Holm took the course with Dago Red, the airplane looked and sounded great but Skip appeared to only be putting hours on the new engine, rather than flexing any "Mouse Merlin" muscle.

Furias is looking very good this year, very clean after two runs today, one by Bud Granlee, who finished his pilot qualifications as reserve pilot for the airplane. Followed by Gary Hubler who got in a few practice laps in his new "ride" for Reno. Keep an eye on this team. The airplane simply looks much better than ever, is running very clean and sounding, well… just more aggressive!

Dreadnought is back! Looking good, sounding good and one fast pass just before landing has this airplane firmly on the watch list for qualifications, which begin on Monday, September, 8.

Miss America is on the field, with an unfinished paint job. Time ran out for this race team and a decision between installing the new "Ricky Motor" and finishing the paint had to be made. The new engine is in, reportedly with 15 hours on the tach. The airplane did not fly today in the practice session.

For further enjoyment, we offer the selection of images seen below, click on the small images to enlarge them.

Reno Air Races Sunday Practice Session Photos
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