Saturday, September 24

The Plane Pull

Pictured at right are Lynn Buffington, Peggy Fairchild, Audrey Thatcher and Zane Lemon, our people in uniform. Peggy's is a replica of the summer uniform while Lynne and Audrey are wearing actual vintage uniforms on loan from the American Airlines museum in Dallas.
The event is a charity for the Special Olympics. Money is raised by corporations, who form teams who set a fund raising goal prior to the event. On the day of the event the teams vie to see who can pull a large plane 25 feet the fastest. There is no admission so the crowds should be large. And, the time is to be from 11-4, so we feel like we are on vacation when we all leave for the airport at 10AM. That is really late for most of our events. However, the rental car in Gene's name had a dead battery the night before and even after being jumped off and driven for 20 minutes, will not restart. We decide just to turn it in as three is enough....Zane and the Buffingtons are leaving in the morning anyway. By the time all that is settled and we are shuttled to the plane, it is just 15 minutes until the hordes descend.
We are the first plane inside the gates. Unfortunately, the plane is situated where the left wing sits where everyone entering the gates walks just by it and many want to take the opportunity to swing from it. Realizing that, unlike most of our events, these folks know little of aviation and how to treat an airplane, we post guards around the perimeter. Because there are 12 of us, we have enough to do that and cover the tour. We are not selling anything or charging admission to we do not need the table manned.
Nevertheless, this is for a good cause, there are a whole lot of cute children coming through and we are glad to be here and take part in the event. One couple with a darling baby leaves it in the stroller while they are on the plane, and it smiles and coos at us, totally unconcerned that we are strangers. We have a long line all day, even until 30 minutes after the show closing time. Most of the people seem very interested in the history of the Flagship.
The good news is that while it is overcast most of the day which keeps it fairly cool, it never rains. The air show provided us with a very good barbeque lunch, folks came by with ice for our cooler and Chick Fila came by with free sandwiches. The cow also came by and our stewardesses had their picture taken with him.
The bad news is that being down at one end of the row means that we never saw the actual plane pull or many of the other planes that were in attendance.
An early night, as we are in and out of a Longhorn by 8:10 and folks are ready to turn in for the night. The Thatchers will leave on Monday while the remaining 7 will stay for the Leesburg air show next weekend. We are free to explore the area over the days in between.

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