Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Tag: PRS

Pylon Racing Seminar

Being retired has it’s advantages in that I can pretty much guarantee that I will be in town for events that I would like to attend. Sometimes the home projects even line up with the right free time.T-6 class rounding the home pylon.

I was working in my hangar the week that this year’s Pylon Racing Seminar was being conducted at the Reno-Stead Airport. If you are not familiar with the Seminar you can check out this article I wrote on PRS after the session in 2009.

There seemed to be a lot more Sport planes and jets at the Seminar this year. I heard that there were about 120 people registered for the event – including both pilots and ground crew.  I didn’t see too many unlimited racers in attendance. There was a Corsair, a couple of Mustangs a Tiger Cat, the Precious Metal racer and Rare Bear.

I had the chance to talk with some friends that I hadn’t seen since Last September. We used to live in Northern California and had the Swift based at the Nut Tree Airport (KVCB) in Vacaville. The owners of the P-51 racing as “Jelly Belly” were a couple of hangers down from us, so we got to know them – as well as some of the local airport regulars who we now see working in various race pits.

Here are some of the photos I took during the week. You can see additional photos on the new site belonging to the Stead Airport Users Association.

 

Jet Racers at the Pylon Racing Seminar

 

A couple of the planes from the jet racing class.

 

Sport Class racers at PRS 2011.

Sport Class planes attending PRS 2011.

 

Radial Rocket preparing for a practice period.

 

A Radial Rocket racer was one of this year’s PRS entrants.

 

Lancair Sport Class Racer.

 

There were several Lancairs   and RVs attending the Pylon Racing Seminar this year.

Pylon Racing School

Last week the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) conducted it’s 2009 Pylon Racing School (PRS) at Reno-Stead Airport, Reno, NV.  There are three situations that require a pilot a pilot to attend PRS. Photo courtesy of Ron Klutts (@Captain_Ron). First, if a pilot has never raced in the National Championship Air Races he or she would have to receive their race certification by graduating from the PRS course. Second, even if a pilot is certified to race in a given class of aircraft, if he or she decided to race in a different class of aircraft they must go through the course again in that new aircraft class. An example would be a pilot who is certified to race in the Biplane Class and decides to race a Sport Class aircraft. Photo courtesy of Ron Klutts (@Captain_Ron).And lastly, even if a pilot has been certified to race in a particular class in the past, if they have not raced in the previous three years, they must attend PRS and be re-certified to race again. You can find more information about signing up to attend PRS at the Reno Air Racing Association website.

This year’s class had 36 pilots in attendance. P-40 Warhawk at Reno-Stead for the 2009 PRS class. Eleven of the pilots were new certifications, nineteen were currently certified (attending to get more race practice) and six were race instructors. Each day the pilots received briefings on the race rules and procedures and were given time on the race course to practice. They were required to show proficiency  in formation flying and proficiency in various aerobatic maneuvers. Classroom time also provided the new race pilots with tips on negotiating the race course. Czech Mate Reno Unlimited Racer at the 2009 Pylon Racing SchoolSafety is a priority during the instruction and each pilot was required to perform a ‘mayday pull-up’ from the race course to a landing on one of  the  runways at Stead.  For a rookie biplane pilot’s view of the PRS course you can read about Marilyn Dash’s experiences on her site.

My wife and I were interested bystanders, standing on the edge of the ramp watching the action and taking a few photos. A jet racer at the 2009 Pylon Racing School, Reno-Stead, NV. Ron Klutts, a friend of ours who we met on Twitter as @Captain_Ron,  flew his Cessna 172 up from the San Francisco bay area to take in the day’s action. Ron was nice enough to allow me to include a couple of his photos, here. The rest of the shots that he took can be found on Ron’s photo website.

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