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2006 - Columbia Fly-In - Day 3

Date: May 7, 2006

Continued from Part #2:

This morning (Sunday) we woke around 8 AM.  I had made arrangements the night before to give a COZY ride to a L.E. builder at 9 AM (crap - another person who's name I can't remember - I SUCK at names...).  I ate a banana and headed over to the airplanes.  Deanie took her art stuff, went down to the end of the grass runway, and painted for a few hours.

After a preflight, the builder showed up, we loaded up, and headed south.  I turned over the stick at 5K ft., and he had no problem controlling the plane (being an ex military pilot with who knows how many hours in fixed wing and helicopters).  He did some turns, we did some stalls and 30 degree bank turning stalls, and he asked if he could do a wingover - I had never done one, but I figures what the hell.  We did an easy one, from 140 mph to 100 mph, with a 500 ft. altitude gain.  Hey - I can learn something from the riders, too.

We headed back and landed, and I spent the next 1.5 hours yakking with Keith Spreuer and Don Herzstein, while they confused me with questions about static, dynamic, and total pressure.  We watched a bunch of folks load up and head for home.  I watched Don Denhard forget to take the soft rubber balls out of his exhaust pipe before starting his engine, and watched as they shot 50 ft. backwards through his prop and onto the taxiway in front of Gai Caldwells's COZY III.  I retrieved them for him, and he was properly embarrassed.

After the runway cleared a bit, I taxied over to the campground on the grass runway (no problem at all) and started putting away the tent and loading up.  I'll have some pictures of all the nonsense that we were able to cram in the back seats up on the web at some point soon. It actually is VERY impressive the amount of stuff you can put in the back of a COZY MKIV (as long as there's no people back there).

While loading up, I talked to a couple of folks with a dead stock Bellanca Viking parked next to me at the campground - apparently the pair of them had purchased the plane brand new in 1967, and only put about 1600 hours on in in the intervening 39 years.  It was in GREAT shape, and looked beautiful.

We ate some lunch, finished packing, and then crammed the junk into the plane.  We loaded up, taxied back, did our runup, and took off heading southeast for home.  We climbed to 7500 ft, tuned in Oakland approach, but couldn't get a word in edgewise as the controller spit out instructions to 15 different aircraft.  Eventually, after about 15 minutes, he picked us up for Flight Following, about 5 minutes before turning us over to Fresno.  Visibility was a LOT better than the two days before, and we could easily see the peaks of the Sierra Nevadas to our left, even though the valley was hazy with 20 mile visibility to our right.  Deanie asked to fly again!! :-), and not only did she hold altitude, but played with the GPS on a semi regular basis to figure out how long it was going to take us to get home :-).  She never strayed off altitude more than 50 ft or so - even with the calm air, that's not trivial in a COZY.  It's not magic, but it does take some work.  I was just thrilled that she was interested in flying, and although she didn't want me to turn the Navaid off, she did say that she wanted to learn one thing at a time.  Good news :-).

Anyway, without a headwind, we made it the 198 NM from Columbia to Tehachapi in about 1 hour and 10 minutes, landing at Tehachapi airport around 2:30 PM.

Perfect flights, perfect rides, great people, about 40 canard aircraft, a good dinner and party (and margaritas), and a wife that's getting more interested in flying.  I can't ask for more than that.

Don, Tim and Dave did a GREAT job - the fly-in was definitely a big success, and they should get a LOT of credit for pulling off such a terrific feat. I am quite sure that I've left out 90% of the interesting stuff, mangled and forgotten folks names, and pissed of someone with what I've written (or forgot to write).  I hope that someone will fill in  anything that I've missed.  Thanks to everyone that contributed!


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