Sunday, February 5

Another Florida Happening

The Flagship made a lot of new friends at a recent Ferrari event in south Florida and by virtue of a very well written article by Tony DeSantis that appeared in the Stuart newspaper last week. As a result, she took off from Stuart on Saturday morning with a full load of new members (20) headed for a fly in breakfast in Sebastian, about 40 miles to the north. In photo at left note Gene flying with window open and elbow out just like in '57 Chevy. Cockpit crew were Gene Christian and Tony DeSantis, wearing his brand new reproduction uniform. Peggy Fairchild occupied Mrs. Roosevelt's seat as cabin crew and received many compliments for her performance.
One special guest was Claude, a parrot, who entertained the pre-flight briefing by doing a dead on imitation of a cat that had everyone looking around for a feline they could not spot. He also took on duties of a pre-flight walk around to inspect flight surfaces. Then Capt. DeSantis requested his help in traffic observations, taking notes, as well as occasionally hopping down and making sure the throttle adjustments were correct.

Dr. Shawn Engebretsen, along with wife, Becky, piloted his Piper Lance with a load of tee shirts plus Judy DeSantis, in full regalia as the Hollywood starlet and Sheryl Christian, as herself. Another plane brought more set up equipment and Dennis Pugsley. Dennis has been a wonderful benefactor to the Foundation, donating a great banner to sit next to the door of the plane, full color business cards with photos on both sides, and luggage tags that we can give with memberships and sell. He also donated a great lucite donation box complete with sign attachment and printed new signs to tout our merchandise. We are looking quite professional at the moment, thanks to Dennis. And, last but by no means least, Bill and Michelle Brooks drove up with the table and yet more equipment.
It was a unique experience to be flying in a small plane and observing the Flagship. Judy, Sheryl and Becky took about a bizillion photos. Alas, the weather was overcast, but some of the shots are quite good.
This fly in happens monthly and is unlike any I have seen. They had some acrobatics by a member of the Aeroshell team (who did the awesome show at the Stuart air show in November), sky divers and several interesting presentations in the hanger including a raffle which two of our passengers won. They also had a wide array of breakfast foods available, just about anything one could imagine.
We made a lot of friends, including a new member, a life time member and an offer to do tee shirts for us for free. We sold as much merchandise as we generally do at a full air show. Some of our passengers got in the spirit by arriving in vintage dress.
After a few hours in Sebastian, the caravan of airplanes and the car headed south again to Stuart. The airplanes went on south a little further to do fly overs of Celine Dion and Tiger Wood's homes. Both were eye catching, but there were quite a few others of equal note. We delivered 20 very happy new members and the bird safely back to Stuart.

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