By Pete Zaccagnino
Competing at the National Championship Air Races in Reno against many of the world’s most talented pilots is a privilege, one that requires putting forth an immense amount of effort to ensure safety and optimize performance.
Our team has been fortunate to have won four championships at the Reno Air Races, including three Jet Gold Championships and one Sport Class Championship.
Pete celebrating his 2015 victory.
Without a doubt, these victories have been true team performances. As my Jet Crew Chief Mark Standish says, “We’ve done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing and get it done yesterday.”
And believe me, they get it done.
Every one of the volunteers – from the mechanics to the technicians to the cleaners to those who keep us fed and hydrated – play a part in landing that elusive checkered flag.
It takes a team to win at Reno.
But one thing’s for sure, even with the talented and selfless people volunteering on our team, winning in the Jet Class at Reno is no easy feat. A large amount of preparation is needed to compete, much less win, covering everything from finding the right tools to improving engine performance to finding avenues to strip unnecessary weight to test flying to budgeting an appropriate amount of money for your jet (and these jets need to be fed).
If everything falls into place, you may just end up with a victory against a group of men and women who are equally dedicated to this sport.
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