Where The Magic Happens

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Debbie Giese

The Reno Air Races have a lot of great things, but when you talk to those who’ve spent a lot of time watching all sorts of airplanes go around in circles, you’ll find that one of the greatest is the speed and accuracy of the scoring system and the reports that are generated on the web site (www.reports.airrace.org). There are times when I have watched a race in the pit grandstands, and by the time I have climbed down and walked back to a tent, the results have already been posted – often before all of the racers are back out of their airplanes (or so it seems). Yeah, those early results are unofficial, but most of the time, they stand as originally posted.

So how does all of this happen? how does RARA get the results on the web so quickly? It’s all because of the scoring team, headed by Debbie Giese. Installed in a motorhome near the Sport Class pits, Debbie commands respect from all those who enter her domain. Much like the captain of a ship (she’s a long-time airline captain), she keeps things running smoothly and does not suffer fools. In the few minutes we watched her working on results, leaders of several different racing classes visited with (respectful) requests for information, or to provide answers to questions Debbie had asked. Nothing phases her, and any problems quickly get re-assigned to the proper party – and results are expected quickly!

We’ve been using the results page for years, and expected a large team of IT professionals massaging data and pumping out pages for the general public – and while Debbie is quick to credit her team members for getting things out, it is clear that the captain sets the tone – and her tone makes the magic happen!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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