Thursday, December 16

Disaster Averted

After a year of planning, the Flagship's appearance at the Stuart Air Show (FL) almost came undone in the last week. This show attracts over 60,000 visitors and Tony DeSantis had been working hard to bring it about complete with advertising and newspaper articles. Then five days prior to expected arrival trouble arose.

Returning to AFW from Sky Ball at DFW the right engine would not idle less than 1050 RPM. A plea went out to membership for help in finding advice and a round engine mechanic, but it was the beginning of a weekend and days slipped by with no result. John Thatcher and Dave Buffington tried some suggested fixes to no avail. On Tuesday, some mechanics showed up, but again with no result....the clock was ticking. If it was a bad carburetor, there was no way to make the repair in time to get to the Stuart show. On Wednesday, Tony reluctantly informed the air show coordinator that we would have to cancel. We had already missed a scheduled event in Union City, TN and now would miss this great opportunity.
On Thursday, George convinced the mechanics to give it one more try and they found loose mounting bolts on the carburetor itself. They were re-torqued and the engine ran fine. Yay!! Tony immediately informed the show officials that we were back on and they were thrilled, as was the Flagship crew.
Thursday night, Bob Gross flew in from West Palm Beach to join Dave and John for the flight. They stopped in Covington, GA on the way to pick up Gene Christian. A few minutes after the fireworks display had ended during the "Dirty Flight Suit Party," and after a long day of flying, the Flagship Detoit appeared overhead at KSUA. Unfortunately, they had to endure one more delay as the runway was cleared of firework debris. While the free food was gone by the time our crew made it to the party area, the music was still going strong and drinks were being served. A few cold ones capped off a long day, and for John and Dave, a long and stressful week.

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