I had a fun time interviewing Airline Pilot and Red Bull Racing Champion, Mark Mangold at the Reno Pylon Racing School (PRS) which is held each June prior to the official start of the Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show held in September.
I spoke with Pilot Mike Mangold about the changes made to the race course which decreased in size from 8.4 miles to 8.1 miles but increased the safety radius margins. Mike explains that another advantage of the course modification is seeing the pylons better. With jet speeds close to 500mph, pilots need to look about 1000 feet ahead to establish their flight line; with the pylons more visible, the 1-1/2 seconds it takes to fly 1000 feet becomes slightly easier… ok now, that’s fast!
You can see part of my interview with Mike Mangold starting at 1:10 of the youtube video which has commentaries and interviews of other race pilots who participated in PRS:
See Dennis Buehn, Race 43 T-6, Midnight Miss III; Mark Pracy, Jet Class Pilot, Race 66; Pete Zaccagnino, Sport & Jet Racer/Instructor for Rookies; Rob Sandberg – Rookie Pilot, Race 42, Honest Entry, SNJ-4; Mike Mangold, – Jet Racer, Race 12, Euro Burner; David Sterling – Sport Racer, Race8, flying a Lancair Legacy; Kevin Eldridge – Sport Racer, Race 42, Relentless; Lee Behel – Sport Racer, Race 5, Breathless, John Parker – Pilot, Race 352, Blue Thunder II; and Terri Adams – Pilot and T-6 Rookie (look for my video short taken after the Sunday Races – this was one happy pilot!).