"I'm not having fun"
Nov 23 1999-
Sad news for race fans: Citing personal reasons, as well as dissatisfaction with actions by the Air Race Committee at this year's event, Bob Hannah has decided to hang up his nomex flight suit and call it quits. Known to race fans as "Hurricane" Bob Hannah, and just "Buckwheat" to his friends, Hannah has been a colorful figure in motor racing for a number of years.
Anyone listening to a scanner during Sunday's racing at Reno '99 knows that Bob Hannah was not a happy camper. Confusion between the Air Race Committee and Hannah, led to the frustrated pilot being called back in after taxi-out and a heated "discussion" with air race officials on the race control frequency. The entire week was one of frustration and close calls for the veteran race pilot. Beginning with a very close call after a prop governor failure during the Monday qualifying sessions and ending with the call-back, being told by race officials at the beginning of the Silver final event that he had been disqualified for the entire weekend. Only to be sent back out to catch the pack and race after all. Hannah tells us.. "I'm not going back..if it's not fun. I do it for fun, I don't do it for money".
In addition to airplanes, Hannah has raced several types of vehicles during his career, including cars, boats and motorcycles. His motorcycle racing netting him seven Supercross championships.
Hannah will continue his involvement in aviation, acting as an aircraft broker and flying his two personal airplanes.
Recently, we had the opportunity to talk at great length with Bob. About his involvement in the sport, his experiences flying Voodoo and his many close calls with her. His own words will best explain his decision to leave this sport. It was not an easy decision for him. This interview offers great insight into what it takes to be an air race pilot and what it takes to walk away from it as well. As soon as we can process the tapes for publication, AAFO.COM will feature much of this conversation with one of air racing's finest pilots.
Photos Copyright © 1999 D. Thirot
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