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In the Pits

Miss USA Logo - FINAL1 2014 Reno PITS  

A typical day in our pit. The plane in tiny piece, everyone working on something different.

Mark and my brother, Julian, working on changing the twist in the wing to stop her rolling left.
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Blade fixing the wheel pants.

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Torque building a boot for the ventral fin so that we can tow her.

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The Pits is where all the non flying work is performed. On any day you can expect to see the planes, lined up without their cowlings allowing the crews to work on the engines. After each race the crews will remove the front cowlings to allow the engine to cool and to allow for a thorough inspection of engine.   Reno Air Races 2011 283   At the Miss USA pit we have a couple of fun items that we place on Miss USA to help keep the mood light and fun for ourselves and the public that come through the pits Spanky Spanky the monkey is placed into the air intake manifold to prevent dirty and debris from being sucked in. Most teams have covers for this task.. We find that Spanky works just as well. Reno Air Races 2011 098 Miss USA Barbie doll The Miss Barbie doll is the teams mascot. She sits proudly on the nose cone supporting the team.   Reno Air Races 2011 088   Plastic Yellow banana The pit  crew have adopted a long standing Navy tradition of preventing the stick wiggler from taking his plane before it is ready for him to fly. “In the US Navy when the plane was ready for flight the Crew chief would report to his boss, the head of flight ops  “Put the Monkey in the can, Sir?”.  And when the pilot had been found and strapped into the plane and was all ready to go, the crew boss would report  “The monkey is in the can, Sir!”   Which meant that he was about to go flying and probably break something the crew would be required to fix when he returned,  As a consequence Miss USA’s crew put a plastic banana on the top of the engine cowl which means that she is buttoned up and ready to race. If you come to pits just before a race you might see the formal handover of the banana to SPH, the pilot. banana               Twisted Composite Prop The Propellers of most Forumula 1 planes are made from a composite. They are lightweight and made specially for us. You will notice that all the planes in the pits keep their props covered.This is to prevent solar UV degradation, grease from fingerprints, cuts and nicks, (otherwise known as hangar rash), which would leave the prop out of balance