It was a hot one! But steady winds made it bearable. Low ceilings that morning prevented early arrivals. Fortunately, the local Pecan Plantation airplane and area classic car owners filled the field with plenty of eye candy for our drive-in visitors. Ceilings started lifting late morning and the arrivals commenced for the next hour. Tom Woodward was on the portable directing traffic throughout the day.
The RV formation team flew an impressive 7 ship and 4/3 ship culminating the national anthem with a perfectly timed, missing man aerial salute – Cougar Flight #3 Brook “Hack” Hammond doing the honors. The team was lead by group and 4 ship flight lead Marty “Thumbs” Parrish and 3 ship flight lead Mike “Speed” Brake.
Following the formation team recovery Young Eagles flights finally got going with a long line of eagerly awaiting youngsters. 23 Young Eagles and 3 Eagles were flown in addition to Dick Keyt giving rides in the PT-22 through the same time period. Thanks to John Bowen and his volunteers (Larry Hale, Karen Woodward, Sue Cole, Pat Hockett, Bob Pastusek, and Pat Wallace) for working ground crew and paperwork. Young Eagle pilots (Ed Askins, Dave Moore, Jordan Normark, Brad Peden, Paul Siedschlag, and Sid Tucker) flew continuous sorties for about 2 hours.
Airplane parking went pretty smoothly with an estimated dozen planes fly-in – the rest were locals. Keith Brown along with three all-day volunteers (Charlie Kearns, John Mann and John Theis) kept airplanes flowing in and out of field parking safely. Kudos to them!!!
Jimmy De La Garza did an excellent job emceeing the entire event and keeping everyone aware of what was going on throughout the day. Also, thanks to Eric De La Garza for audio technical support.
Unlike previous Fly-ins AnnElise Bennett arranged for Food Trucks (Smokin’ Cactus Southwestern Cuisine, Hedary’s Mediterranean, and Pokey O’s Cookies and Ice Cream) to provide food service and offload the chapter members from the substantial prep effort. In addition to the three food trucks, pizza-by-the-slice was served by AnnElise, Tracy Mann, MaryJo Bloomquist, and Deanna Thibault. All the attendees seemed pleased with the variety of food offerings. We want to thank Colby, manager of the Village Bistro, for donating ice and supplying all the delicious pizza in a short period of time.
Car parking was directed away from Plane view park to the Nutcracker clubhouse parking lot. A more efficient shuttle was devised with the one of a kind “PewMobile”. (A flat bed trailer outfitted with donated church pews). Special thanks to Dave Smith and Steve Thomas for spending the entire Fly-in working security at the road entrance to Plane View Park.
The Classic Car portion of the Fly-in, started by Konnie Sasser five years ago, were unburdened by the low ceilings with 50-60 cars/motorcycles participating and only a few spots remaining. Roping off the car area helped the ingress and egress as well as protecting private property. As always, Ron Bernier and his group did an outstanding job. Also special thanks to Sassy and Randall Papasan for their help.
Despite not having a dedicated Fly-In lead, EAA 983 Chapter Members jumped in with full volunteer spirit to make sure all the bases were covered. Special thanks to Tom Woodward for coordinating the efforts with each area lead. The Fall Fly-in is scheduled for September 24th. We look forward to another great chapter event!
Additional Fly-in photos – Link in Future Update