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George Catalano

Race # 56

Lancair Legacy – “Bad Dingo”


George began his aviation career in college where he became smitten with a poster of a P-51 on a dorm room wall. He met the son of that Mustang owner and that person became his life-long best friend and partner in “aviation crime” after providing his first T-34 aerobatic ride. It was all downhill from there. George completed all of his pilot ratings on one go and later was co-founder of a T-34 Aerobatic Team embarrassingly called the “Mentor Magicians.” These airshows, along with teaching primary flight training, and aerobatics paid for college and the T-34 that he ultimately bought.

With a large enthusiasm for warbirds and restoration work, George became involved in restoring a T-6 and wound up racing it in the Gold T-6 category in 1984 and 1985 at Reno….and that was pretty much the beginning of being hooked on racing and war birds forever. Although, sadly the T-6 had to find a new home when ‘financial realties crush aviation dreams’ like so many of us have experienced – the enthusiasm for continuing to refine his piloting skills in exotic aircraft remained and piloting excitement ensued for many years while being involved with the Tired Iron Racing Team in Casper Wy. It was there that he got to weekly fly an A-26, B-25’s, and the Mustang…it was total blessing.

In 2015, George got back into the racing scene with his Lancair 360 “Bad Dingo”. The team was named after a ferocious beast weighing all of 9 pounds; otherwise known as “the hangar dog”. George competed for two years in that aircraft before acquiring a Lancair Legacy – which was aptly renamed “Bad Dingo’ as well when the little dog ”lubricated” the nose gear whilst it was parked in the hangar”.

In 2019, “Bad Dingo” competed successfully in the Sport Silver Class, landing on the podium for the first time with a solid 3rd place. For 2020, with more improvements to the engine and a little luck, he hopes to run with the leaders in the Silver once again.

Bad Dingo Air Racing is supported by Performance One Aviation of Phoenix, AZ and Flying Eyes Optics, Stone Touch Natural Stone Care, Jones Family Vineyards and Ventana Fine Properties Real Estate of Scottsdale, AZ.