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  • Originally posted by Bigger Al View Post
    Let's see if I can get Smugmug to help out...


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    Nice Mojave jacket Lyle! I still have Dad's right behind me in my closet.

    And yes, John, Lyle was indeed the FBDoRB.

    I'll find some pics of him to post soon. One thing any of you who ever spoke with Lyle will remember was his way of speaking. He had a slight Texas drawl that would become more pronounced at certain times. I always thought it was cool. And most of the time, even when things might not have been going swimmingly, if you asked him how he or the airplane were - let's say our Dad was asking - he'd say...

    "Well John... ah... real good.." And then continue with details. Eric and I would go around the pits repeating the phrase... "Well... ah... real good"

    One of the most memorable, fun times I had with Lyle was doing an article on his exploits as a Navy Skyraider driver for Flight Journal. We talked for hours about his experiences and all the butt-buster eight-hour-or-so missions he'd fly (often at pretty low altitude) over the water. We also talked about the hijinks he and his squadron-mates would get up to on deployment. But those are stories for another day.
    Jan

    http://www.AirRace.info = http://www.airrace.de

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    • Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post

      Neal,

      He was magnetic, however there was also the group that was equally attracted by the presence of the two beasts.

      The Bearcat was the ultimate bad dog beast, The Bear's package was a very small brutal package that taught the fear of God into everyone that flew the beast, Hell everyone that ran the beast. It wasn't a "fun" deal just running it with the stick all the way back at a certain point you could feel the tail come unstuck from the ground

      Beast number two was Lyle, his personality started to change as he was strapping in to the airplane, he started concentrating on the task at hand and didn't like anything distracting his train of thought. Usually this was the time we discussed any intel regarding the other planes that was verified, not made up junk verified.
      Reno 1980...





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      • A sight to see and hear, when everything was working.




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        • Originally posted by wingman View Post
          A sight to see and hear, when everything was working.




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          Oh! 1989!
          What a high Lyle was on, everything was going his way for the most part, we had set the 3Km record in August and we had expected Tsunami to break the record before the Reno race date, well that didn't happen.

          Lyle and Dave Cornell had their huge divorce as owner/pilot and Crew Chief. In addition Cornell was contractual required to be in Bill Rheinschilds pit area to support the mods he had done for them. When DC and Lyle split company Dave claimed ownership of the trick adjustable water injection system that had taken a couple of years to science out, Dave took it and destroyed it, leaving our systems in peril for the 3Km and upcoming Reno. DC had thrown some other bricks into the path along the way creating havoc we had to deal with as the year moved on. So mid week Lyle planned a "calibration" test flight where the Bear was to go to the same density altitude that we had been at in Las Vegas New Mexico and make roughly a 3 Km pass in each direction secretly and specifically to drive home the point that we did it without him. During the "calibration" test flight we simulated the exact flight (Nitrous Oxide, Nitro Methane in the ADI, [that's another one of those secrets, Neal] Lyle's airspeed was around 546 MPH on that flight....why couldn't we have had that number in August?

          Anyway it was a great show for all of those on the ground after the days events were finished. Lyle flew over us and the sound was unreal and indescribable. I had never and have never heard that sound again the engine and airplane sounded like a Banshee was screaming in a low mid tone, you could feel the vibration on the ground and it put a chill up my back.

          In addition we were just going fastester..my word, than anyone else could even think about going Yes 1989 was a good year for Lyle Shelton.
          John Slack

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          • Originally posted by wingman View Post

            Reno 1980...





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            Just like yesterday, I can remember some smoke coming out of the cowling and Lyle wanted to get in there to see what was going on. 1980 not a great year for us. We were staying at the Mapes hotel and we were truly "Credit Card Air Racing" by Sunday evening. We had burned up our first Narco Mk12 radio due to cockpit heat on Wednesday, we burned up the second one on Friday, third one which we had borrowed from Carl Schutte's Bonanza parked over at Reno Cannon. Saturday night we were throwing the dead radios out of a hotel room window into the Truckee River. But that was okay we had Carl's second radio (how is he getting home) and believe it or not a hand held radio to race with on Sunday, oh, did I mention that we were getting bronze in the screens? Never good. There were several people friends, crew members, etc. that were paying race week expenses on their own credit cards. Carl included for gas in addition to his radios. As a side note on Sunday evening we all went out and Lyle was buying dinner for the team, everyone else was ordering as cheaply as possible and I ordered the shrimp and had cheesecake for desert, Lyle didn't say anything at all. One of the other crew members when we got into the elevator slapped me in the back of the head, and said "You ordered the most expensive thing on the menu, what the hell man?" I said nobody said order the cheapest thing on the menu, why did you go cheap?" He then said"do you know what this week cost your Dad?!" I said well we used my credit card for dinner. He just looked at me and said "You bought dinner? I should have ordered a steak!"

            Lyle paid every single person back what they had paid to play Air Race hero, the only person that he didn't pay back was me, he sat down and told me, thank you for your support, but since your family you get to contribute. I understood that as a sign of respect .
            Last edited by BellCobraIV; 05-15-2024, 09:47 AM.
            John Slack

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            • Originally posted by stuntflyr View Post
              I’m still jealous you got to ride with Lefty. Did you ever get that ride with Bob Hoover, I recall your mom was mad because we got dirty wiping the Bearcat off at Torrance that time!?
              Chris…



              No, when I was finished and Bob had said to meet him by the Strike after the air show, I showed up, as you had described dirty as a pig in the mud covered with oil from the Bearcat. Bob took one look at me and told me that I was just too dirty to ride in that plane, he said if it was the Mustang maybe, but the Shrike was a demonstrator and it would just be too much of a mess. So, No, by the time Reno came around I was just too busy.


              John
              John Slack

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              • Click image for larger version

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ID:	265112 BCIV...just wanted you to know. The red engine ran great yesterday. I saw over 120 on each lap. Got a few oil seeps that we think are just 'breaking the seals in', but overall...a good day for the hot water toilet.
                Last edited by Big_Jim; 05-15-2024, 12:43 PM.

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                • Originally posted by Big_Jim View Post
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ID:	265112 BCIV...just wanted you to know. The red engine ran great yesterday. I saw over 120 on each lap. Got a few oil seeps that we think are just 'breaking the seals in', but overall...a good day for the hot water toilet.
                  Very cool Brad! Can't wait to see the video!
                  John Slack

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                  • I still like raceplanes...


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                    • Originally posted by wingman View Post
                      I still like raceplanes...


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                      Oh, I love that. Happy tears for me on the last three pictures!
                      John Slack

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                      • Race face...

                        Here are three of my favourite Reno personalities. Sandy is doing pilot introductions before the 1990 Gold Race.


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                        • Originally posted by wingman View Post
                          I still like raceplanes...


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                          Neal,
                          You have to give Brad his kudos, he was heavily involved in the restoration of the Squire Boat, in fact without him it would still be a pile of junk. Plus that is Brad driving the boat at 120 mph plus on water.


                          Go Brad!

                          Poke!
                          John Slack

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                          • Originally posted by wingman View Post
                            Race face...

                            Here are three of my favourite Reno personalities. Sandy is doing pilot introductions before the 1990 Gold Race.


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                            Skip was thinking that he was about to win the race, Lyle was already thinking about getting the lead on the release and never letting go of it. Skip was darn sure he was going to win, Lyle already knew that he was going to win, no doubts.


                            John Slack

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                            • Originally posted by BellCobraIV

                              Neal,
                              You have to give Brad his kudos, he was heavily involved in the restoration of the Squire Boat, in fact without him it would still be a pile of junk. Plus that is Brad driving the boat at 120 mph plus on water.


                              Go Brad!

                              Poke!
                              Yeah, I guess I do give Brad kudoes for this, and probably sounded more dismissive than I intended. However, I've never heard of the Squire boat here or elsewhere, and I know next to nothing about racing the fast boats anyway. I have no idea what kind of motor might be in the Squire boat. I know so little here -- I really didn't know what to be impressed with and Brad's post told me nothing...
                              Last edited by wingman; 05-17-2024, 12:44 PM.

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                              • Originally posted by BellCobraIV;

                                Skip was thinking that he was about to win the race, Lyle was already thinking about getting the lead on the release and never letting go of it. Skip was darn sure he was going to win, Lyle already knew that he was going to win, no doubts.


                                Here are a couple more data points from a bit later that afternoon...


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