story and photos by Curtis Fowles
There were several maydays during the week, some of them I saw and tried to capture some shots to share.
Monday Unlimited Qualifying. Hoot Gibson took off in 232 and headed onto the course for the four laps and if everything goes well to take a time. It appeared that he bumped up the power a bit each lap and was looking and sounding very good. Then ... boom goes the radial and he pulls up and sets up for a mayday landing on runway 14. Photos are from the rail in the pits.
Tuesday Unlimited Qualifying: Thom Richard pulls up with a mayday in Precious Metal. He maneuvers steeply for runway 14. At one point as he disappeared behind Dreadnought, it was hard to tell if he was going to straighten out before getting too low. Photos are from the rail in the pits.
He was carrying a ton of speed (feathered prop) and floats 2/3 of the way but gets down and stopped safely.
They had it running later that day - blown oil line.
Sunday Sport Gold: Sport #88 Bob Wolstenholme, pulls up after crossing home pylon with flames coming out of the right stack. Photos are from Pylon 2.
He sets up for left downwind runway 14, turns base and is dropping quickly.
He never gets lined up with 14 but bounces between the runway and taxiway at about a 180-200 degree heading and holds off the speed nicely until he hits the desert floor.
After the aircraft stopped, Wolstenholme opened the canopy and exited as the emergency crews rolled in.
Unlimited Gold: Rare Bear #77 declares mayday and pulls off the course. I looked but could not see him. Then Race #114 also pulls off and declares a mayday. I spotted #114 setting up for runway 18. Photos are from Pylon 2.
I was wondering why, then I saw Rare Bear over the threshold of runway 14.
Rare sight when you have 2 currently in progress maydays and a mayday from a hour ago in the same shot.
All I could see after Argo went behind the berm was a bunch of dust! That turned out to be emergency vehicles on the dirt roads :)
Argonaut had a fluctuating oil temp gauge.