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2006 - Columbia Fly-In - Day 2

Date: May 6, 2006

Continued from Part 1:

So it must have been a 24 flu thing, because my temperature regulation machinery was working again, my stomach felt mostly OK, and the joint pains and headache were gone.  Yay - I had promised folks some rides, and I couldn't give them if I was flat on my back in a tent :-).

We ate some breakfast and headed over to the plane parking area around 9 or 9:30 AM - it's a 5 minute walk from the campground.  By then, another 5-10 canards had arrived (either the night before, like Keith Spreuer in his Subaru powered COZY, or Don Herzstein with his new, beautiful "AeroComposite" CS propeller on his very pretty COZY, who had both flown up with Stan Maleski in his V.E. from Compton), or others that had arrived in the morning.  I spent a bunch of time yakking with folks, looking at their cool mods, and after an hour or so Deanie went back to the tent to hang out - there's only so much airplane stuff she can take :-).  I gave a ride to a couple of prospective canard builders - didn't get their names - but they had flown in in a C-150, having heard that the gathering was taking place, and wanting to learn about the aircraft.  We headed south, away from the airport, went up to 5K ft, and I did my standard dance - cruise around, let them fly and do some turns, and let them do some stalls and stalled turns.  Always a non-event, and always impressive.  "What?  That's all it does?  Can we spin it?".  Nope - can't stall, so can't spin.

After I got back from that ride, a bunch more canard had come in - Bill Oertel with "Stiletto", which is a modified Aerocanard with Infinity Gear, bench seating, Vernier throttle/mixture controls, and downdraft cooling.  Bill had brought a couple of folks with him for the day.  Also arrived was Lynn Erickson with his "Evolution EZE" - a combination COZY III, L.E., and E-Racer, with a bunch of homebrewed mods as well - Berkut/E-racer style retracts, forward/rear hinged canopies, downdraft cooling, 4-1 exhaust with an eductor, longer nose strut, and much more.  Although Lynn is still flying in primer after 2.5 years, it's still a very pretty plane - very well done, well thought out, and interesting.  Lynn and I had a on-line spat a few months back on one of the canard related fora, and while Lynn had threatened me with bodily harm :-), I introduced myself and we quickly made up - determining that not being able to see a person's face and judge their intent while online made a huge difference in how these types of arguments achieve their denouement.  We talked for a long time and determined that we were both actually pretty reasonable folk :-).

Late in the morning a few larger prospective builders asked to sit in the plane, and we discussed simple modifications to armrests, seatbacks, rudder pedals, front seats (thanks Dennis Passey!) and cushions to make the aircraft more amenable to larger folks without any structural or aerodynamic mods.  I would have given them some rides, but one had to leave quickly and the other was too shy.

A couple of co-workers from Scaled had flown up in the Grumman Tiger late in the morning, so around 12:30 they, Deanie and I, Ron Springer, Charles Furnweger and (oh, crap, I can't remember the name of the 7th person - sorry! :-( ) walked into town (about a mile) to the State Park section, where they don't allow cars and they make believe it's still the late 1800's and ate lunch in a restaurant.  My stomach still wasn't perfect, so I just had some clam chowder (maybe not the best choice, but it worked out OK).  They don't charge late 1800's prices though - somehow THAT made it to the 21st century.

We hiked back to the airport and I yakked for a while with other folks, poking and prodding at their aircraft.  A L.E. builder named Ian Ayton had put on some interesting looking wing/winglet intersection fairings, as well as a internal belhorn/pushrod rudder actuation system, not unlike the one n Alan Yarmey's COZY III, but turned vertical rather than horizontal.  I've got some pics here:

Ian's Vertical cable belcrank pushrod system

Ian's Vertical cable belcrank pushrod system

Ian's wing/winglet fairing - NO LOWER WINGLET


Lynn Erickson had some similar intersection fairings on the Evolution EZE.

Later that afternoon, I gave a ride to Jon Dembs (in the front) and Charles Furnweger (in the back), again with the standard dance.  I can't say that anyone has ever NOT liked their ride :-).

Around 5 PM I put the plane away and wandered over to the campground, as the Cinco de Mayo mexican dinner was to start at 6, after an hour of margaritas (and not withstanding Simon Ramirez's statement regarding mayonnaise, there was no mayonnaise in the margaritas).  I got Deanie from the tent and we hung out at one of the tables, talking to COZY and L.E. builders and flyers.

The organizers, Don Denhard, Tim LoDolce, and David Orr made some announcements that no-one could hear since they did so after allowing folks to drink margaritas for an hour, held some sort of raffle for CSA subscriptions and something else (which they make Craig Catto's 14 year old daughter pick the $1 bills out of the basket for), and then David bravely volunteered me (and himself, to give credit where it's due) to give rides to "shy" canard builders.  Dave gave a STACK of rides over the course of the fly-in - a great service for canard builders.

Anyway, dinner was great, and most folks stood around either inside or outside the meeting house at the campground for a few hours telling stories.  I met Craig Catto and his family (he was trying to deliver a propeller to L.E. builder Kelsey Jewett, and was having a hard time finding him), and later spent about 2 hours talking with a bunch of folks, most of whom I didn't know, but eventually intuited that the one just to my left was Dave Ronnenberg of Berkut/Renaissance Composites fame, who had done an aerobatic routine earlier that afternoon in his BerkutTim LoDolce decided that my wife was shy and introduced her to everyone and their mother. She then spent at least an hour talking Audi TT's and California visiting places with Tim Sullivan (who has a TT similar to hers). Everyone had a great time (some folks a bit TOO great of a time), and around 10:30 PM things broke up and I hit the sack in the tent, feeling FAR better than the night before.

To be continued.....

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