Fall 2023 Fly-In – Another Hot One!

Calling it a Fall event is a misnomer!  But steady winds made it bearable.  The severe clear VFR conditions allowed anyone to attend who had the desire.  The Air Boss was on the portable directing traffic throughout the day.  Around noon the RV formation team flew an impressive 4 ship with several overhead passes.

Airplane parking went pretty smoothly with an estimated 50 planes fly-in.  Noteworthy was the 1954 Model 50 Twin Bonanza – oldest one still flying.  There was a beautiful purple Glastar on floats.  A flight of 3 gyroplanes made their entry with impressive short landing rollouts.  Among the many RVs on the field was Danny King’s Beautiful Doll RV-8, a Tuskegee Airmen-themed RV-6, and the 2020 AOPA Sweepstakes RV-10 owned by Mike and Becky Meehan.  Vintage and Classic aircraft were represented by a couple Cessna 195s, J-3 Cub, Stearman, among many others, Aircraft parking crew kept airplanes flowing in and out of the field parking safely. Kudos to them!!!

Despite several no shows the Young Eagles flights finally got in gear and flew a total of 45 kids.  The flight simulator and Bell 206 helicopter kept the kids consumed while they were waiting for their flight.   The hot and windy conditions put a halt to the flying in the afternoon as it would not have left a favorable impression on the future aviators.   Thanks to the ground crew and pilots for making this such a special day for youth.

The Classic Car portion of the Fly-in, started six years ago, was well attended with 70 cars/motorcycles filling the Northeast corner of the parking area.  The “gearhead” talents from Pecan and surrounding Granbury area was amazing with cars, trucks and motorcycles from the 30’s up until current time.  It was so hard to pick out a favorite with such an impressive lineup!

The Fly In auction was stocked with lots of high valued goodies spread around the chapter hanger.  We even had a propellor blade from a C-130!  There was a brand new EMag Electronic Ignition donated by the manufacturer in Azle.  There were gift baskets and gift certificates for both aviation and non-aviation related businesses.  A unique donation was four passenger flights during an RV formation – an up close experience!

The Fly In food was a return to prior years as the chapter members did much of the food prep and all of the service.  Tasty pulled pork sandwiches were the primary menu item along with hotdogs grilled on the side.  The iced down cold drinks, chips, and the traditional homemade cookies and brownies rounded out the meal.  There was a steady stream through the food line starting at 11:00 and continuing through 1:00.

Two new additions to the event were the RC airplanes from WAMS (Western Area Modeling Society) and the local Pecan music group who kept the Planeview Park pavilion and golf cart commuters entertained.  Many aviators will tell you they got their start doing model airplanes. It is an affordable way to get your feet into aviation.  The electric motor driven models and larger scale models have come a long way since those ornery Cox .049  models of yesteryear.

Car parking was successfully directed away from Plane view park to the Nutcracker club despite a concurrent golf tournament.  Last year’s “PewMobile” (A flat bed trailer outfitted with donated church pews) was left in the barn this year as it was a challenge to maneuver with all the golf car traffic.  There was a steady stream of golf carts carrying those attendees who arrived in ground-based vehicles. Many of the Pecan residents brought out their 4 and 6 passenger golf carts to provide a friendly ride to the event.   Special thanks to PPOA for providing security at the road entrance to Plane View Park.  This allowed for a smooth flow of golf carts for drop off/pickup shuttle and parking in the golf cart corral.

With a subcommittee from the chapter formed in January, the advanced planning paid off with all the bases well covered.  Our dedicated chapter members came in force for Friday setup, the Fly In, and the takedown after a long, hot day.   The next Fly-in will likely be scheduled for the late September 2024.  Let’s hope for cooler weather and another great chapter event!

Additional Fly-in photos – https://photos.app.goo.gl/UxD1H17qzoq3RRkN7

About Walkergp

Retired Lockheed Martin Engineering Senior Manager