MISS AMERICA AT RENO 2002
Miss America arrived at Reno in a perfect condition. During the last 2 years she got a new
cooling-system, a new paint job was done, complete new hydraulic lines were installed and
she got the best maintenance. Her red Merlin proved to be dependable in all situations for
about 7 years. Then it was time for some heart-surgery. The brand new racing-engine had
just arrived from the test-stand and was ready to install. Engine-Guru Rick Shanholzer
and the MissA-crew did that job in one of those big hangars at the east-end of Stead Airfield.
Ground-tests were promising and all test-flights were really satisfying.
Unfortunately Sep. 11 became a bad day again. The qualifying run started without problems.
At the end of a 405 mph lap Brent 'Doc' Hisey had to experience what it's like, when a big V12
disintegrates at 100 inch manifold pressure. There was a big explosion and the sleek racer was
converted into some kind of a gliding brick. With lots of smoke in the cockpit, oil covering the
windshield and a huge brake (windmilling prop) on the nose, Brent was in real trouble to bring
his beauty back to the ground safely. He circled around the grandstands and managed to reach
the runway just as he ran out of airspeed. Unfortunately he could not turn far enough before
touchdown to line up perfectly with the center-line. So he did not manage to keep all tires on
the asphalt for a safe stop. Bad luck: A big hole in the dessert-ground next to the runway
caught the right main gear. The leg was ripped off and the plane did a 180 degree turn and
crashed in a big cloud of dust.
Fortunately Brent was not hurt and he got his smile back in quite a short time. Soon he and
stated, that he really had better landings before... Although Race #11 seems to be damaged all
around, she will be restored back to racing-configuration and is supposed to turn the pylons
again at Reno in 2003.