Friday, June 28, 2013

“Strega” to return to Reno Air Races

LiveAirShowTV:  CONFIRMED: “Strega” to return to Reno Air Races with Matt Jackson flying it.
Matt Jackson, an Unlimited class pilot with more than two decades of air racing experience at Reno confirmed to LiveAirShowTV on Thursday evening he will pilot “Strega,” the three-time defending Unlimited Gold champion raceplane.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, flying with Tiger (Destefani) and the number one unlimited plane of all time,” Jackson said. “After last year’s disappointment I never thought I’d get another great opportunity like this.”

In 2012 at Reno, Jackson, an airplane mechanic at the family business, Pacific Continental Engines, qualified the Hawker Sea Fury “Furias” third fastest in the Unlimiteds. But a landing gear issue led to a hard landing that significantly damaged the airplane before it ever got to race.

“I’ve been there from the birth of the event in 1964 and now I’ll be there for the 50th anniversary so that’s going to be a pretty awesome thing,” Jackson added.

Jackson says he’ll start working on the plane shortly and will begin test flying Strega with a stock engine to become familiar with the cockpit layout and general characteristics of the plane.  The plane’s race engine was dropped off Thursday at Mike Nixon’s Vintage V-12 for overhaul and race prep.

Strega’s most recent champion pilot, Steven Hinton, will be flying a P-51 named “Voodoo” this year at Reno.

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