Winning Woman

At the Reno Air Races, the winner of each race gets a ride in front of the grandstands in this vintage fire truck so that everyone can cheer and wave at them.   With so few women competing, it is always heartening to see one not only compete, but win.  This is Vicky Benzing.

An Adventure Like No Other

I’ve been wanting to share this gallery for a couple of days. Last Friday night Sweetie and I headed out to Stead airport for the Reno Air Races Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. We’d not been back since the crash of September 16th and it’s been a rough nine months for those of us who were there. Still, being there, seeing our friends and  sharing how we’d all been dealing with  the “after,”  was really nice. Really.  But there was more to this evening than just food and friends.

When we all checked in at this table each volunteer received a raffle ticket.

People lined up for food . . .

And then the first and best prize was announced: A ride in a T-6. And not just any ride, but a fly-over the Reno Rodeo. That night. Right then. And guess who won? My husband!  That he won this ride, this night,  after all that he’d been through made it all the more sweet.

When they called the winning number I thought everyone at our table was going to lose their mind when we realized it was one of our own. Much screaming ensued. Sweetie had to head right out to the T-6 hangar for preflight prep, so I grabbed my camera and went with him. What follows are just a few of my photos, but I have a full gallery over at SmugMug.  Check it out for a more coherent narrative.

First there was the “I promise I won’t sue if we crash” agreement.

There were four T-6s involved in the flyover.  Each plane carried a passenger, but only one carried an Air Races volunteer.

Brad walked out to the plane with Michael, the pilot.

Sweetie tried to act nonchalant, but I know he could hardly contain himself.

Parachute  – dorky looking, but necessary!

There are many more shots between the one above that the ones below, so please check out the gallery.

Sweetie looking very suave.

The planes taxied out to the runway and took off.

They then got into a diamond formation that they maintained all the way to the rodeo. Sweetie has some awesome photos from the air.

When they returned the guys put on a little show for us.

Awesome!

This is my favorite shot. Sweetie was in the plane with the smoke.

Seriously, check out the gallery to see all of the photos.