Aerobatics and the Reno Races!

Hey Twan,

Thanks for your comments about the Reno Races! 

 To answer your question, I’ve been attending the Reno National Championship Air Races for many years – off and on since around 1975 when my then very enthusiastic friend and budding aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker and his younger brother Bill Tucker (now a helicopter medi-vac pilot), took us up for a fun week of adventure, water skiing with Art Scholl (who?) in Lake Tahoe and of course the unforgettable Reno Air Races.  I was hooked!  Especially when the man with the big ski boat got in a red, white and blue plane and started to fly!  That was Art Scholl’s acro performance.  (Oh, so that’s what this guy does….Wow!) Maybe things were a bit looser back then, ….I’m just guessing, but what a breathtaking performance Art gave the crowd!! 

What is so fantastic about the races is that the same hold true today – the performers, all of them, GIVE the crowd their performances, heart and soul.

 A little about Art Scholl:  Art held four FAA certificates; he was an airline transport pilot in both land and sea aircraft with multi-engines, and had commercial privileges in single engine land and sea aircraft, helicopters and gliders and had ground and flight instructor certificates.  Art had a PhD in Aviation Management and for 18 years taught aeronautics at San Bernardino Valley College.  He also founded an aerobatic school and held air shows at Miro Field, now renamed in his honor, the “Art Scholl Memorial Field.”  His accomplishments were huge, many more than listed here.

Sadly, Art died in the filming of Top Gun when his Pitts S-2 camera plane never recovered from a flat spin and crashed in the Pacific Ocean on September 16, 1985.   Art became the standard to which most aviation aerobatic pilots aspire.  He knew so much about aviation, was so very accomplished and so very inspiring.   It’s no wonder that Sean was drawn to Art, and in turn, Art drawn to Sean.

 A lot has happened since those early days in Reno and Sean D. Tucker may have a future in aviation…..

…..Who am I kidding!?! Sean has a STELLAR CAREER in aviation!  All by his own determination and making – a true force to be reckoned with, and an amazing talent!  Paste this on your browser and watch a moment of his fancy feather work here! 

 I hope to bring an interview with the talented Sean D. Tucker to the WarBirdBabe Blog soon.  He’s a busy man with a demanding schedule!

So that’s a small portion of the story of my first air show and race in Reno.  All I can say is I love every minute of the Reno Races and Air Show and those who give so much of themselves to make it happen successfully every year.  From those who perform, those who fly, those who race, the fans, the staff members who make it all happen like a choreographed ballet, to the photographers and writers that memorialize the fantastic event faithfully every year!

 And Twan, if you’re the guy in the green fatigues, floppy hat and big camera, yes, I’ve seen you there at the races under the #7 or #8 pylon!  If you see me, be sure to say hi, …..I’ll be the one taking as much as I can from those who give so much at the races!

 Until, then, God Bless and Godspeed!

 Kimberley West, WarBirdBabe


  1. Kimberley,

    It looks that we have lots of friends in common, which is not that strange if you know that we booth are addicted to aviation since our youth.

    I was for 38 years in Belgian Air Force, of which the last 20 as the official aerial photographer and PAO for BAF. So I was involved in lots of airshow organisations, all the PR matters for our BAF display pilots and attending countless airshows in Europe and the USA to cover these for our BAF magazines. And so I came as well addicted to the Reno Air Races, as to the CAF, EAA Oshkosh, Sun ‘n Fun and so many other events.

    Through all those years, I met as well the late Art Scholl as Sean D Tucker.
    At an airshow at Andrews AFB in the early 90’s I even was one of the pole holders on the runway to take pictures while Sean was flying underneath the ribbons and cut them with his wings.

    During those events you always meet the same friends and always make new ones. And yes when you saw some one with green or blue “fatiges” -we in the Air Force call it flightsuits :-)), a floppy hat and big cameras it could have been me. So from September 13th on -my day of arrival in Reno- I’ll look out for you to say hello and talk about our common passion and friends.

    Keep ‘m Flying


  2. He Kimberley,

    Arrived yesterday (Sunday) in Reno and was looking around today to see you. However after taking my credentials I didn’t stay to long and preferred to recover still a bit from the long travels

    See you tomorrow ,


  3. Hey, Kim, I’m enjoying reading about all of the adventures at the Reno Air Show. I’ll take good care of your Daphane while you’re gone. “Mama” Anne

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