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2008 - Columbia Fly-In - Day 1

Date: May 2, 2008

On Friday, I went to Tehachapi airport (KTSP) around 9 AM with my camping gear (well, most of it - after unloading, I realized that I had forgotten my sleeping bag, and had to waste 20 minutes driving home to get it).  A co-worker and his wife who are together building a COZY MKIV (started 6 months or so ago) were coming with me, and they met me at the hangar at about 9:45 AM.  With three of us in the plane, we were just able to squeeze the camping gear, backpacks, and other paraphernalia into the fouth seat - no view for the backseater out the right side, but she didn't have to hold anything on her lap if she didn't want to, either.  Everyone's always amazed at how much crap you can jam into a COZY MKIV, even with three people in it...

By the time we pre-flighted, closed up the hangar, briefed the passengers, and taxied out, it was about 10:20 AM.  We hit a bit of turbulence coming through the pass just west of Tehachapi, but nothing terrible - nothing like what Colby and Elise Farmer hit two days before when the winds were just ripping through the Antelope Valley. We picked up flight-following and I handed the stick over to Nathan for the flight at 8500 ft. With the Sierras on our right (which Janice couldn't see from the rear seat) and the Central Valley on our left, we had an uneventful 1.4 hour cruise, intermittently talking to Flight Following for a very few traffic reports.

We arrived in the vicinity of Columbia (O22) and followed a Stearman in to land on runway 17 at around 11:45 AM. We taxied on the grass runway down to the wonderful campground and unloaded our gear. We set up my tent, got ourselves settled, and then, around 12:30 PM, taxied over to the apron to park the plane. At that time, there were about 10 canards on the field - that compares to 3 or four at the same time the year before, when the weather was not nearly as good over the whole western USA. After registering at the registration desk with Char Spencer, and paying my $20 for the dinner on Saturday night, as well as saying hello to a number of the canardians already in attendance, Nathan, Janice and I wandered into the quaint town of Columbia to find something to eat for lunch. Columbia is a State Park, and maintained in the same manner as it was in the late 1800's, so it's kind of interesting, especially on weekends when they have all sorts of demonstrations.

After wandering back to the airport (about a 1 - 1.5 mile walk), I spent the afternoon wandering around, looking at planes, talking to folks, and watching more airplanes land every few minutes. Around 5:30 PM, Charles Furnweger, Nathan, Janice, Colby and Elise Farmer, Jon ?? from the Phoenix area (I remember that he's an aircraft insurance broker - sorry about not remembering the last name :-( ) and I wandered back into town for dinner. We needed to be back by 7:45 PM or so, since I was scheduled to give a presentation that evening at 8 PM. We went to a Mexican restaurant in town after looking fruitlessly for a restaurant that turned out to be in the town of Sonora - at 4 miles, too long a walk for dinner. After waiting for a table for 20 minutes and then eating, We got back to the airport just in time for me to give my presentation on my prop loss over Desert Center. For 8 PM on the first evening, turnout was pretty good - maybe 15 or 20 folks showed up.

After some more random yakking, we hit the hay.

To be continued.....

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