Interview with Casey Erickson, Pilot Race 8 Biplane

September 17, 2010 Reno Air Races
Interview with Casey Erickson, Pilot Race 8, “The Batplane” Pitts S-1S

What a delight Casey Erickson is to interview. Usually shy, give Casey the opportunity to talk about her passion for flying and she comes to life! A true testament to the entertainer just waiting to burst out! A must-have quality for a showman as Casey plans a future in aerobatic performances. With only three aerobatic flight instructions to her credit, Casey has an instinctive ability for aerobatics and is self taught with a repertoire of aerobatic figures that most can only hope to one day attain. Her Super Decathlon has clocked more than 300 hours of aerobatic instruction this last year alone.

This week Casey out flew a faster bi-plane competitor (a rookie) with her experience, skill and keen eye for the flight line at 184 mph. With 14 races under her belt in the last three years of competition at Reno (an equivalent to 5 years of competition), Casey takes every opportunity to get a race in – even if it’s just to fill a vacancy in a slower class heat.

“This year there aren’t enough competitors in the Bronze Class competition”, says Erickson, “we were given strict guidelines to not pass any of the four Bronze competitors. I called it a ‘hostile formation flight’ a sort of WW1 Dog Fight! A wild race and from what I’ve heard a blast to watch…really more scary! It was crazy fun and I’m glad to be safe on the ground!”

Look for Casey Erickson Air Shows – she’ll be performing in the Southwest region of California over the next two years under the call sign “Batgirl.” In the meantime, watch her interview here!

Thanks Casey! Good Luck and God’s Speed!

Interview with Steve Hinton Jr. – Pilot of Strega, Race 7

Reno National Championship Air Races
Thursday September 16, 2010

It’s a great day at the races! The weather is beautiful, a sunny 83 degrees and the sky has a few clouds for all the photographers. The crowds are gathering and the races have begun officially.

The morning started with Formula 1 and Bi-Planes running two heats each and was followed by my favorites, the T6 Silver Heat. All six of the T-6 Silver racers finished, with only Race 90 – Pilot Lee Oman flying Undecided beating his posted qualification speed (222.021 mph) by mph 0.233 mph. They may be holding back to keep the engines in shape for the races to come this weekend.

The T-6 Gold race, Heat 1 had the leading contender Pilot Nick Macy flying Six Cat post a DNF. Nick called a mayday and landed safely on runway 14 with a possible oil leak and power failure. Hard to determine the severity of the mechanical challenge with Nick’s easy going personality…

I had the privilege of interviewing Steve Hinton Jr. today, Pilot of Race 7 Strega. He looked great, had lots to say and is really looking forward to the big race on Sunday. His piercing blue – green eyes are stunning – they reflect an old soul in contrast to his 23 year old body.

What grace and poise this man possesses – he’s smart, quiet and confident and has a something beyond a gift for flying. He’s had the stewardship of many great flyers, like his father Steve Hinton Sr., who has a race history at Reno and now flies the Pace Plane for the Unlimited Class. Over the last few years Stevo’s worked his way up the ranks under Owner Tiger Destefani’s tutelage and has a comprehensive understanding of the beautiful P-51D. This truly is a man who was born to race and a man who will inspire many generations of aviation devotees.