week began early this year, we flew the airplane quite a bit this off
season, so any airplane issues we had were worked out well before
September. Actually, our last issue was fixed while we were at PRS, we
just polished our work up a bit once we got home.
After the qualification run, we
had no issues. We spent our extra time double checking our spray bar flows
and ADI flows. We started dawn-patrol flights Thursday, and began
tweaking our engine a little. After Friday's race, we went through our
routine of checking screens, plugs, and valves. It was all simply perfect. Many
people probably thought we had problems because we were out so late, but
it was all routine work. We've got a small crew, so while Dago's
crew may be able
to leave earlier, it's because they've got more people. Four people working on the
engine; we may have one or two at most. It just takes us a bit
We came out Monday, pulled the screens and plugs, and looked at the valve train. Everything was good. We launched Tiger out around 2pm with Dago and Chech Mate, and began loading our trailer with everything. We left Stead about 7:30 that evening. We were the last ones on the ramp - no one else in sight. We wondered if we were indeed the champions. It seemed we had this same song and dance last year. But for us, it finally sank in on the drive home. It is ours for the next 364 days.
Story by Steven Hinton for Warbird Aero Press. Photos by Scott Germain. Copyright 2008. All Right Reserved.