Thursday, December 16

Impromptu Air Show

Gene and Sheryl Christian have longed to bring the Flagship to their home of Covington to show her off and see if they could sell a ride or two. Here was their chance! Bob Gross was getting his check ride for his type rating with a Georgia examiner. On Tuesday, Dave Buffington and Gene Christian flew the plane up from Stuart. The local press was on hand to meet the plane and both papers did great detailed articles about the Flagship and our mission in Covington. Saturday was also the day of the monthly fly-in and pancake breakfast for the local EAA group and they helped spread the word.

Gene immediately drove Dave to Hartsfield to catch a ride home and spent the next the next two day washing and spiffing the Flagship for show time. Friday afternoon, David and Tony DeSantis flew in to drop off Bob. Tony had planned to stay but was feeling poorly and the two departed soon after. That evening Bob and Gene worked on practice for the upcoming check ride. Saturday was a perfect day, but also the weekend prior to Thanksgiving and a lot of people had plans or were out of town. However, Sheryl, Bob and Gene with some help from daughter, Emily, ushered about 200 people through the plane and welcomed ten new Foundation members with a Heritage Flight that afternoon. Quite a few folks came out to see the plane fly. They love the DC-3 here, having watched a British Crew restore a derelict and then fly it to Oshkosh last summer.

On Sunday, Bob and Gene did a practice flight and studied more. Bright and early Monday they were off to Peachtree City to meet with the examiner, Bill McCure, whose father gave Gene his DC-3 check ride for his type rating back in the dark ages. When the task was successfully completed, Bob and Gene turned the nose west and headed to Alliance where the Flagship would participate in another air show and American Airlines annual Sky Ball fund raiser.

I will echo George in his latest newsletter and say: If you have not ever traveled with the Flagship or worked an air show with her, you do not know what you are missing. It is hard work but so much fun to meet the other members and to greet the public and see the delight in their eyes when they see "our" plane. The highlight of the Covington visit for me was a 2 year old boy wearing a "Flying Ace" sweatshirt and clutching the newspaper with the photo of the Flagship on the front in his chubby little hands. His father said he had not put it down since it had come out. This little fella clambored up those steps three times, he couldn't get enough of it.

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