No. 8649. Cassutt Sport Racer (N5003 c/n 1A) "Miss Cleveland"
Photographs via Andrea Healey and Bill Skliar

Cassutt Sport Racer

02/28/2009. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Trans World Airline Captain Tom Cassutt designed a sport racer in 1951, designated Special I, and listed as Racer number "111", it was first flown in May 1954, followed by the smaller Special II, Racer number "11", in 1959.

Nick Stanich of Cleveland, Ohio, EAA Chapter 127 member, designed the Cassutt Sport Racer based on the Cassutt Special. It had a longer span, larger tail-surfaces and a souped-up Continental O-200-A reportedly developing some 145 hp instead of the more usual 100 hp.

Of steel tube, wood, fiberglass and fabric construction the aircraft was built in four years by Stanich, assisted by two other EAA Chapter 127 members, George Larsen (left) and Jack Dianiska (right). It was first flown on March 28, 1976, registered as N5003, named "Miss Cleveland", and listed as Racer number "54".

It received its Certificate of Airworthiness on May 22, 1980. Initially owned by Nick Stanich, later Larry Minch became co-owner. The aircraft was flown by Stanich, Minch and Sal Lanese.

Following suggestions from Steve Wittman the Sport Racer was modified to improve its performance, including the redesign of the canopy by a friend working at NASA. On July 12, 1983 the aircraft was sold to Bill Skliar of Explorer Aircraft of Reno Nevada. Renamed "Gold Dust" the aircraft flew successfully for many years in several races.

Although still registered, the aircraft is no longer active, it was seen hanging from the roof in the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, and it has been on display at the Reno Air Races in September 2008.

Created February 28, 2009