Camp Dodge Flyover (Photo: John Holbrook)
Despite the winds blowing against us, we had a busy, busy weekend with good company. The Sokos made it over to Iowa for the weekend, and the Sawhills had just returned from a New York City holiday. On Friday, we put the final touches on our upstairs bathroom renovation (our "cabin on the airport" is now complete!).
On Saturday, the guys spent the day running time trials using Matthew's Batavus (a vintage moped), the Sokos' Trail 90, and our ATV. We had to take a commercial break to allow a deer to cross the runway and taxiways. Unfortunately, the races ended with a minor injury, and so we all commiserated with Matthew on Sunday with beer and camp chairs.
Finally, after a weekend of howling winds, Memorial Day started with absolutely perfect weather. Brian and Mike Vogt did a morning flyover of the Camp Dodge breakfast, which attracted thousands. What a wonderful event for the folks at Camp Dodge to put on. I've never had the privilege of serving in the military, but I'm incredibly grateful for those who have. After the flyover, I was there in the Tri-Champ (with Dan) to meet Brian midway to escort them back to the airport. Back at the hangar, we nourished ourselves with biscuits and gravy before heading back out for a couple more flights before the winds picked up again. And that wrapped up our holiday weekend. How was yours???
Today, Brian is working with the folks of DSM magazine to reenact the chase scene in North by Northwest. Can't wait to see how the photo/video shoot turns out!
A day at the races (from L to R: Dan Sokolowski, Matthew Sawhil, Brian Aukes)
Jeff Beckley stopped by with his Marquart Charger with a WWI paint scheme.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. May the weather (and family) be pleasant.
As for fly-ins, I know Sully is having their annual fly-in breakfast Monday morning at the school. We can't make this year since we're doing the Camp Dodge flyover. Next blog post will be Tuesday will pictures from the holiday weekend. Enjoy a weekend of flying and all-around good timing!
Clarinda's pretty new compass rose, courtesy of the Ninety-Nines: Carol, Deb, Celma, and their hubsters.
Dang it. I had a great post all written up for today, and my internet locked up and I lost the entire thing. With all this technology in the world, you'd think Microsoft could figure out how to not have Internet Explorer freeze up like a schizophrenic bum. Anyway, here's what I remember...
The winds prevented us from much flying this weekend (although Brian snuck in a Red Baron flight last night) so we took advantage of the free time to check off several items of our hangar to-do list (why do those lists always seem neverending?), including making headway on the upstairs bathroom renovation. Oh, and remember how heavy old tube TVs were? Yeah, we'd forgotten. Thank goodness the Sokolowskis stopped by to help us haul out an old 37" TV.
From an aviation perspective, this weekend was my first experience putting wings on a Luscombe. I wish I took pictures. Christian Ledet's Luscombe is simply perfection, and with its new N-number painted on the wings (courtesy of Keith Campbell at W&C Aircraft Works
, whose work simply cannot be beat), the airplane could easily grace a magazine's front cover.
The weather looks perfect today for a flight, so I'm hoping to cut out of work in time to enjoy a flight in the tri-champ. Blue skies!!
We regularly receive questions on what it takes for a boy scout or girl scout to earn an Aerospace Merit Badge. Neither Brian nor I were scouts, so we can only offer advice based on what we've learned from others. The Ninety-Nines have posted an easy checklist
of badge requirements, although scout leaders may have the most current information. Here's a quick-and-dirty summary of the requirements (a scout must complete 6):
1. Build a model glider that can fly.
2. Interview someone in aviation about either the future of aviation or flying pre-1950. (the old stuff is our specialty)
3. Watch and document a space launch (not as easy as it used to be with the shut-down of the shuttle program).
4. Visit an airport, airplane, control tower, space center, aeropace museum or planetarium and list 4 things you learned.
5. Make and fly your own kite.
6. Put on an airshow or attend an RC airplane show. Document learnings.
7. Learn more about NASA and document your learnings or list 10 aviation jobs (with details on 2 jobs).
8. Do a biography/informational display on an astronaut (men for boy scouts, women for girl scouts).
9. Design a space station or plan a menu of dehydrated food.
We can help individuals or troops complete Requirements #2 and #4 (and a bit of #7 jobs) at the our Ames (Iowa) hangar. Contact us
to schedule a troop event or for a time to bring in your scout for personal training.
Brian and Matthew adjusting the carb.
No matter how new the restoration, having an old airplane means that there's always something that needs tweaked or finessed. There's a general rule that for every hour an old plane flies, there's three hours (at least) of maintenance on the ground. Something to consider if you are in the market to give an old bird a new home.
If you work on an old plane, have band-aids handy for you will get bloody knuckles from cotter pins, safety wires, and whatever else decides to snag you while thrusting your fingers into tight quarters. I won't even go into detail the long, hot, sweaty days of cleaning oil off the belly of a radial, let alone the times you'll hit your head on the sharp end of the prop, which is sure to bring a tear to the eyes. Oh, yes, old stuff takes work. But, you know what? We wouldn't have it any other way.
Now let's fire up those radials and go fly!
Sunday was perfect outside... nary a wind for touch-and-go practice and plenty of turbulence in the air to hone skills. I logged 1.5 hours in the tri-champ, Brian logged time in both Stearmans, and Matthew logged time in the stock Stearman.
At the end of the day, trying to fit all four airplanes into a 60x60 hangar turned out to be a masterpiece jigsaw puzzle. With wings and tails overlaying one another (please God, no flat tires!), everything fits. Getting them out may be more of a challenge.
After a great weekend for flying and Mule restoration, we're back to the day jobs and planning ahead. We're thinking of hosting a Half Fast corn boil and fly-in the first Saturday in August (the 4th), pending any other fly-in conflicts. Be sure to mark your calendars, and we'll keep you posted as we work out the details. Oh, and be sure to share any ideas you have for fly-in activities!
Oh, and I learned how to sand blast this weekend. I was tricked... it is in no way a "blast" to do.
"Picking" this past winter near Lincoln, NE
Not sure it it'd get picked up, but wouldn't it be great to have a television show on aviation picking? I'd gladly volunteer to go out and find hidden coves of aviation-related treasure (maybe even a buried WWII fighter). We (along with the Sokolowskis and Sawhills) have done a bit of practice for the part already by visiting the homes of known local aviation enthusiasts to check out their private stock. Not only do we get to see some rare things, it's a great way to pass the winter months. However, I'm still in search of the barn hiding a P-51.
If you have any places you recommend we visit, please leave a comment. We're always up for a new adventure.
So, we didn't make Pella this weekend. We drove to the hangar, but the ceilings were just too low to make the breakfast. Which was okay. It gave us a chance to check out a tasty local cafe (called The Grove Cafe) with the Sawhills for breakfast. The rest of the weekend I spent cleaning on airplanes while Brian and Matthew sandblasted away at his Mule, which is undergoing a partial restoration. The winds were calm enough off and on to fit in a couple flights and the choppy air made for good touch-and-go practice. Later, Craig Sommerfeld stopped by with his immaculately restored 1935 Chevy Coupe. It's a shiny car with a hearty growl, and we may have left a few drool marks on it. Below is a picture Bsnapped of his car between Matthew's 140 and the tri-champ. Hoping for calmer winds this next weekend to get in more flying hours!
It's that time of year again. Pella has a flight breakfast tomorrow (Saturday, May 5) from 7am until 10am, at the airport. A shuttle will bring fly-ins to the Tulip Festival all day. Click here
for the details. The weather looks great, so we plan on making a day out of it. Hope to see you there!