Blasted cold that is… It was really cold on Thursday and Friday with wind chill near freezing. The wind was blowing 30-40 knots and we got wind burned those two days. It’s amazing that the race pilots can fly the course at nearly 500 mph in such gusty and bumpy air.
Upon arrival we met up with a friend I met when we collected CFS4 source material at Fantasy of Flight in Florida. He is the crew chief (I think) for an F-51 Mustang named Cloud Dancer. The pilot of Cloud Dancer and is very well known having raced for something like 31 years. It is kind of a family affair in the Cloud Dancer pit and I met his son and grandson. It turns out they are FS fans and it was fun talking to both of them about Flight Sim.
As usual we witnessed several mayday landings, and thankfully all of them were successful with no complications. Earlier in the week there had been several blown engines where massive quantities of oil departed the aircraft and made for more difficult and dangerous emergency landings. But even those ended well (although I heard they had to close the runway for awhile to clean up all the oil). I took a picture of one of the engines that detonated with a broken pushrod which created a huge hole on both sides of the engine case. Nothing like a $300,000 race engine with a hole all the way through it. I really felt bad for the team and they are trying to raise money to get the plane fixed up. To add on top of the bad luck one of the oxygen bottles exploded when it was being filled and badly damaged the aft portion of the fuselage.
On Saturday and Sunday the weather was beautiful for racing and for fans. We enjoyed watching the real-world equivalence of the FSX missions “Jet Truck Drag Race” and “Loopy Larry.” I think we did a good job capturing the feeling of the real thing in those missions. I also spent some time taking reference photos of a couple of aircraft that could come in handy in the future.
We also found the president/CEO of PMDG in the T6 pits. Robert owns a beautiful racing T6 and he was there as the owner of the T6 with a hired gun to do the flying. We talked with Robert for a half hour or so about the races and FSX.
Overall it was a great trip!