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ModeliPhone 4
ISO Speed80
Focal Length4mm
Captured2013:01:18 10:06:07

The venerable Vance Breese

By Ken

Categories: Cross Country / XC, Not Trike Related

  • 48 of 86
The venerable Vance Breese

We see this guy everywhere! Had the pleasure of lunch one day at Santa Ynez (IZA). Son of a famous test pilot, and all around amazing guy with amazing stories of his own, and a history to back them up! You can read more about him here.


  • XC Triker

    From Ken's Hx on Vance:

    1981 - Raced at the Isle of Mann in and finished 38th in the classic on a Harley Davidson Sporster, but still managed to win the "Sprit of TT" while crossing the finish line with his bike in flames.

    Wanna make your hair stand on end, watch what it's like to race the Isle of Man:


    It doesn't mention that he left home at 14 to get out from the shadow of his father a world famous WWII test pilot-- tested Mustang, Lightning, etc, etc.

    This guy is great, we have a great reparte'  (I tease him that he has a WSC gyro, he teases me back).  I owe Vance a lot as he opened up my towered airport to "unusual" aircraft.  When he first came there, they tried to inform him he couldn't fly there ....     ; )

    An email thread with Vance describing the Isle of Man:

    Sent:  Oct 2011
    Subject: WOW

    Holly shit, those dudes are out of control-  I haven't seen so many people on the bleeding wobbly edge of control
    A lot of it looked like it must've been sped up
    That one dude looked like he could've died



    From: Santa Maria []
    Sent: 2011
    To: DD
    Cc: Vance Breese
    Subject: Re: Yes WOW!
    Had to watch it three times.
    Vance Breese raced at the Isle of Man.
    Yes, looked like he hit that stone fence.


    Hello Dr. XXXX,
    This e-mail that follows is from my & your new friend Vance Breese.
    I think you will enjoy reading the following. It's from a man that raced there.
    It is a continuing adventure, and I am lucky to know both of you.
    It is hard for us to picture but a racer has anywhere from 4 to 12 channels of information constantly flowing into his processor. They always walk the course to memorize the corners, then recall it's name and all the data that goes with it at speed. So that even thirty years later you know it's name.
    Read on my friend.

    ----- Forwarded Message -----
    From: Vance Breese
    To: 'Santa Maria'
    Sent:  2011
    Subject: RE: Yes WOW!

    I raced at the Isle of Mann in 1981 in the “classic” on a Harley Davidson and finished 38 out of 120.  It was not my best performance.
    This is a more recent video.  We had less power and a less developed handling.
    The curbs and stone fences are very much in evidence and the year I raced no one was killed.
    It had rained all night and the course had not dried out in the shade.  I would come around a corner on dry pavement and it would suddenly be wet under the trees.  The bike would slide until it hit the curb and the locals seemed to think that was neat.
    There are lots of places where the bike is off the ground a lot.  It is kind of bumpy.
    I had some mechanical challenges and finished with the bike on fire.
    I found it to be a wonderful adventure and after riding a true “Road Race”  everything else seemed to be just “short circuit racing.
    I broke my right handle bar completely off at Laguna Seca in turn 12 upon my return to the USA.
    I am glad it did not happen at the Isle of Mann.
    The track seems a little hard on the motorcycles.
    That was 30 years ago.
    As I watched the video I called off the names of the corners and my mouth got a little dry.
    Thank you, Vance


    To: Santa Maria
    Subject: Re: Yes - Isle of Man WOW!

    Thank you very much for forwarding that story about Vance and his comments-  How awesome.  We'll have a lot to talk about next time


    The thread actually started when a triker friend of mine, @DaleDidion, sent a cool motorcycle movie  --->  I'm impressed with the racing, forward it to pilot friends --->  my friend Vance raced it!!!

  • XC Triker

    We missed Vance by a couple hours at Sun n Fun.

    But, Henry & I did run into him and his new project Gyro (see photo) at the hangars yesterday.


    Vance & his new Gyro Frame

  • XC Triker

    Does anyone know if the peel away helmet visor lens protectors (seen in the AWESOME movie linked above at time 00:45 and 2:43) are available in a form we could stick on our trike helmet visors?  It would be great as a scratch protector and to be able to instantly peel away to a clean view

  • XC Triker

    Peel away helmet visor lens clear protective skins !!??  Anyone know about these?  MadMik, wanna research it and start a thread in "Technology & Innovation" group?

  • cburg

    Recent post from Vance:


    vance breese
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: Nipomo,California
    Posts: 9,414
    Send a message via AIM to Vance Send a message via Yahoo to Vance
    <!-- / user info -->
    <!-- message, attachments, sig --><!-- icon and title -->
    default1,200 hours as pilot in command

    <!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->
    Terry Brandt signed me off to solo 11/21/2007 and here I am with 1,200 hours as pilot in command.

    That is a little over 3,500 landings.

    719 hours of cross country and still only 11.6 hours of night flying.

    I have flown into 47 different airports and flown with 19 different CFIs.

    I have flown in ten air shows and given over 100 rides in the Predator.

    I regularly fly in class C & D airspace and have flown under LAX and SFO mode C veil.

    Fog and wind are two constant weather challenges with flying in California.

    I still get a weather briefing from Lockheed Martin before every flight even if I can see the sky over the destination airport.

    I still use a preflight inspection check list.

    I still use a preflight check list.

    I still use a post flight check list.

    I still use my radio call sheets.

    Part of my preflight is to check the FAA preliminary accident reports and the NTSB reports for all types of aircraft so I am familiar with the chain of mistakes that pilots make that lead to an NTSB report. More than once I have pulled back from poor aviation decision making because I recognized a pattern I had read about.

    I still love to just get up in the air and practice stop and goes. I feel I am still improving with practice. I thrill to a smooth accurate landing.

    I continue to be amazed at the capabilities of The Predator. It seems if I can see it I can touch it with her nose. I have yet to discover a maneuver that upsets her grace.

    I love to navigate to a strange airport by using the charts. I used to have a challenge with identifying runways but now that I have a vertical cart compass it is easy to see which direction runway 20 will be heading in relation to my magnetic heading. Managing a proper pattern entry at an uncontrolled airport and making the proper radio calls just feels good.

    My radio skills continue to improve at both towered air ports and uncontrolled airports.

    My situational awareness continues to improve.

    I love flying in air shows and I can feel my progress. I manage my energy better and put lower loads on The Predator and her controls while still entertaining the crowd. I love having an excuse to fly a chaotic path around the air box with precision.

    I find things that used to bewilder me seem natural now.

    Overconfidence continues to by my nemesis. I frequently have to rein in my exuberance.

    The joy I find in even the simplest maneuvers and experiences continues to grow.

    I often fly to San Luis Obispo on any one of about four main paths and yet each flight is a unique and precious experience for me. No two flights are remotely similar.

    I love the people I meet because of The Predator. It is rare that I stop anywhere without meeting someone interesting. The most common comment is; “that looks like a lot of fun!” My typical reply is; “more fun than I could imagine.”

    An 80 year old pilot recently asked me; “Is that difficult to fly?” I didn’t know what to say so after thinking for a while I said; “I hope not because I have to fly her back to Santa Maria.”

    I make a little progress each day on our big adventure. Sometimes is seems impossibly elusive to me and sometimes when I am flying I just want to head off across the country.

    Thank you, Vance
    <!-- / message --><!-- attachments -->



  • XC Triker

    @ MadMik, awesome, thank you for the help.     @CBurg, that's a great post by Vance, thank you.  He's a total character.  Are you going to be at the El Mirage / Ken Brock Freedom Fly-In?

  • XC Triker

    Hey @Vance,  check your SkyVector map out that I made  for you

  • cburg

    I was hoping to go but last night I cut my big toe almost off.  Over 20 stitches to get it sewed back on.  I've been meaning to grind down a sharp edge of tiling in the entryway...I slipped and it got me me good.  No flying for a couple weeks at least.

  • Vance Breese

    Thank you Dave; that is a very thoughtful gift. 


    I have added it to my favorites.


    I should point out that I did not fly The Predator from Santa Maria, California to Augusta, Kansas, Mentone, Indiana, Rochester, Indiana, or Wauchula, Florida.  That was all in other rotorcraft.


    I trailered The Predator to Buckeye, Arizona for training and then flew to Gila Bend several times for cross-countries.


    Thank you, Vance

  • XC Triker

    @Vance, the map is just a cool visual way of representing where you've been and where you've yet to go-  not necessarily how you got there.

    On my Map, I did not fly the trike from Hawaii to Mexico !! ;)  (Pretty sure I wouldn't want to-  I'd rather do the Aleutians to Russia if I was XC around the world)

  • XC Triker

    @Cburg, that sucks.  Why not drive out and meet up--  seems like too good an opportunity to have both your main pilot groups cornered in one place at one time.