A few nights ago a guy embarrassed himself by telling Donald Davidson that he drove his motorcyle onto the track at Indy after a race in the early 70s. Donald didn't remember anything about it.
I have my own "embarrassing" story: the day I landed in our TV helicopter next to the museum without permission. It was 1988 and my sports director knew that I was using a portable video camera for mounting on a Skip Barber formula ford for a story I was doing at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He said, "After you guys get done, bring me the camera to mount on an Indycar. I got us permission to land next to the museum."
When we finished at Raceway Park, we flew to IMS, landed, parked it, gave the camera to my sports director, went in to watch some practice, and then left to fly back to Dayton Ohio. Nobody said a word to us.
The following year I had the privilege of covering the 1989 Indy 500 for our station. I called IMS to get permission to land again. The first man in the media relations department basically told me I was nuts to even ask. I said, "But we landed there last year." "No you didn't." "I did, and I had permission. In fact, i'm looking at a photo of our helicopter sitting next to the museum." "No, you aren't. Nobody lands there."
Stonewalled. So I thought to call Steve Krisiloff who was a vice president and I knew him to be a personable guy. I explained my story to him. He literally started laughing on the phone. "I don't know who gave you guys talked to (in 1988), but believe me when I tell you YOU DIDN'T HAVE PERMISSION." He told me we could land at Dotlich Construction and someone would transport us into the speedway. Which is what we did.
Anyway, following is a sequence of photos from our arrival, landing and departure in 1988. WITHOUT PERMISSION.
Arriving from the north and my view from the front left seat of Chopper 7.
Losing altitude as we move down the front stretch.
Starting to turn east toward the museum.
Just 100 feet AGL as we're about to flare.
On the ground, turning over the camera to our sports director (hidden).
Looking east. A Bell JetRanger III, N207TV. The tail number stands for 7TV, or Channel 7 TV
After takeoff, flying down the backstretch and a view of T3.
Al Unser Jr goes zipping by underneath us.
The Kraco car goes by.
Hope you enjoyed the photos and my little illegal adventure.