Reno Air Races 1984

Image You guys have got me going back into yet more slides – I didn’t realize that I had so many – cranking up the old Nikon slide scanner (takes about a minute or so for it to scan a slide and convert to to a .jpg – anyway I thought you’d get a kick out of some of these old pics from the Reno Air Races – 1984. For over 20 years I would go up there every year. Lately I haven’t but I think I will go this year. Rather than show some more of the magnificent WW2 Unlimiteds I think I will should you some scenes from the past that aren’t coming back… Image Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington

For many years he would come up here and sell both prints and his autobiography. The 2 guys on the left are friends who came up – I knew them from my time in San Diego – don’t know who the 3rd from left fellow is, Boyington unfortunately is looking down – probably signing a book or print. I have one of his prints – “To Bill Brandt – Best Always – Pappy Boyington September 16, 1984

Awarded the Medal of Honor, he is buried at Arlington. Image

Art Scholl, stunt pilot extraordinaire

Art would amaze audiences in his Super Chipmunk with his dog, Aileron. The highlight was his flying a few hundred feet off the ground, standing up in the cockpit and waving to the audience. The following year while helping to film the movie Top Gun, he was killed while filming the flat spin sequence. Image Image

If you never saw R.A. “Bob” Hoover fly, you really missed something. It would not be an understatement calling him an aviation legend. As far as Reno is concerned, he was there at the beginning, serving as the “pace plane” in his yellow P51D “Old Yeller” . He’d be circling over the racers offering help and guidance should one have mechanical problems.

In later years, he took his twin engined Shrike Commander on an unbelievable aerobatic routine. He can explain and demonstrate it far better than my few pictures.

For some reason WordPress is acting strange  with my trying to link this but just click on this  
02-10-20 : Seven years later that link broke, but here is a video of Bob Hoover performing in his Shrike Commander at a Denver Air Show – 1986




…Bob would shut off both engines, do a loop, land (with engines off) and have a bet with his announcer how close he could taxi – without power – to the announcer – he always came within 20-30′.

He lost his Medical some years ago…

What memories.


Filed under Travel

11 responses to “Reno Air Races 1984

  1. Buck

    Ah… I DID get to see Bob Hoover in the late ’60s – early ’70s and you’re right: one HELLUVA pilot!

  2. Saw him a couple of times, always an interesting show!

  3. Busbob

    Bill, how do you get the short intro and then the “continue reading” link in your post? I tend to be wordy and would like to use that trick!
    Let me know.

    • Bill Brandt

      Busbob – I apologize for the late reply – I was looking at the “dashboard” and saw your query. I had a hard time with that too. The problem is you don’t not see it work in “preview”

      1. Position the cursor at the point you want to cut it off (usually at the end of a sentence of paragraph). I left click it to make sure it has stayed.

      2. Then go up to the icon – 3rd from left “insert more tag” and just click on that.

      Like I say it is a bit deceiving – at least for me (who seems to learn everything by hard knocks) – because you don’t see this working in preview – only when you publish. (at least my experience)

      I was a bit embarrassed having posts with 20 pictures and completely burying work others had just done.

      I’m still learning wordpress.

    • Bill Brandt

      oops as they would say in the military it is My Other Left – 3rd from the right

  4. Busbob

    As an afterthought, I have seen Bob Hoover fly the Shrike, his Mustang, and an F-86 at an air show in the early 70’s. The part that got my attention was the 17 turn spin in the F-86 with a pullout at 500′. Spins in a swept-wing jet! And predicting his pullout altitude! Later I learned he did the spin testing in the F-86 and knew more about spins than most of us knew about flying straight and level. A master aviator. One of a kind.

    • Bill Brandt

      If I remember the story right I think he escaped a German POW camp stealing a German FW190 fighter and flying it at treetop level to Holland.

      That’s just one Bob Hoover story 😉

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