Friday, September 23

Our Nation's Capital

The Flagship is ready to roll again after having an inspection that showed a problem with a couple of cylinders on the engines. Everyone rallied to get things done before the next trip and succeeded. This mission is the Plane Pull at Dulles to be followed the next weekend by an airshow in Leesburg, VA. The Plane Pull benefits the Special Olympics and consists of teams vying to see which one can pull an Airbus 25ft the quickest. The teams each raise money for the cause. This may prove to be an easy gig as the show is from 11 to 4 and we don't sell or charge admission but can take donations for the Special Olympics.
Early on Thursday morning, Sept. 22nd, Captain John Thatcher is at the controls leaving Alliance with Dave Buffington in the right seat. Crew consists of Audry Thatcher, Lynn Buffington, Steve Jacobson, and Peggy Fairchild. First stop is Denton, TX where fuel and Zane Lemon are picked up.
Then on to Shelbyville, TN where Gene and Sheryl Christian, Kay, Kyle and George Dennis load up. Kay has supplied the crew with chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. Except for Gene, the last one to eat, opens his to find a salad topped with the odd combination of pickles and grapes. Kay then remembers another woman was in the sandwich shop getting a salad for lunch. Everyone gets a good laugh picturing her opening her lunch back at the office.
The day is dreary and most of the flight is in the clouds. Now Capt. George Dennis is in the left seat. The cabin is pretty chilly and people are hunkered down with jackets and blankets reading or napping. A rather subdued start to our journey.
We land at Dulles while observing a most beautiful sunset enhanced by silver lined clouds. A van takes us and our mountain of luggage to an FBO to acquire rental cars and we are soon off to the hotel for dinner and rest. It seems no one slept well the night before.
Friday morning at 8, Gene, Dave, George and John go out to clean the plane for Press Day. At 9 AM Zane, Audrey, Lynn and Peggy go out in their vintage uniforms to meet the press, accompanied by Steve. It is raining on and off. The press turned out to be one old guy who came by and took a photo.
After moving the plane into position for the event, the crew returned to the hotel for lunch and a clothing change before going to the National Air and Space Museum for the afternoon.

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