Tulelake pilot wins during
Reno Air Races
By Diana Wunderle
Tulelake Tri-County Courier
also Siskiyou Daily News
|posted on KBC Oct
||photo by Pat
RENO, Nev. — Tulelake’s Nick Macy succeeded in
his bid for the world
championship at the 40th Annual Reno Air Races
Sunday, delighting his
cheering family and a crowd of about 25,000
This is the third world championship for Macy, as he
won back to back in
1999 and 2000.
In 2001, the races were cancelled in the wake of the
attack on America.
In 2002, Macy took second in the gold race.
An annual migration for the Macy family and the
ground crew for Macy’s
plane, “Six Cat,” this year’s triumph was
Macy races in the T-6 class, where the aircraft are
strictly limited in
the modifications that can be made.
This has served to keep the class extremely
competitive, and people who
have been to Reno will tell you the very best racing
can be seen in the
Macy, who began racing at the Reno Air Races in
1986, is second
generation pilot. He first attended the races when
he was “10 or 12,” he
told an interviewer in 2000.
This year, Macy upset the AT-6 field by excellent
In a heat race Saturday, Macy was able to pass two
incredible feat in the evenly-matched T-6 Class, and
was able to gain
the coveted pole position for Sunday’s final.
The AT-6, a WWII-era fighter trainer, is a
classification. With such a level playing field,
precision and pilot expertise separates winners from
Favorites in this class are generally determined
early, in qualification
runs, with few surprises in race results.
This year, Macy’s qualifying speed on Monday was
overshadowed by rival pilot Mary Dilda in the “Two
On Wednesday, Dilda set a new world record with a
speed of 239.27 mph.
Macy attempted to re-qualify, but managed a slower
233, which placed the
Six Cat third in the starting line up for the first
heat race on Friday.
Thus was set a fierce battle between friendly
In Friday’s heat race, Macy managed the incredible
feat, passing the
first and second place competitors in a single race.
Friday’s race wasn’t the only heat Macy took.
A challenge to Macy’s Six Cat was filed, and before
Macy had returned to
his pit officials flagged him down and began
inspecting the Six Cat for
Macy’s crew chief, Ace Bigby, was unconcerned.
“We are so clean it hurts,” Bigby said.
After almost 20 minutes, race officials cleared the
Saturday’s heat brought another upset, as Macy took
the lead from the
favored “Two of Hearts” in the first lap, and
expanded his lead through
the third and fourth laps.
At Lap No. 4, Dilda was forced to retire due to
Macy and the Six Cat had won the pole in Sunday’s
final, and rode the
Six Cat to the world championship.
When asked about his accomplishments and efforts of
the week, the
unassuming Macy would say little, and quickly began
directing credit to
the people behind him.
“Yeah, I had some pretty good runs,” the world
champion said. “I’ve got
a great crew, here. Most of them are volunteers and
they come out here
every year, you know, basically to help me chase
this dream. They
deserve credit for outstanding effort.”
For Macy, the big dream is not the purse of $80,000.
He’s after the
title and the satisfaction. His focus and motivation
is his family and
“Without corporate sponsorship, the purse makes it
possible to continue
to compete, and just almost covers expenses,” said
Macy’s wife Beth.