Thursday, July 12

Play Days

At left is David Gorrell enjoying a bird's eye view of the Dayton Air Show.  Our Flagship crews work really hard working the air shows and other appearances and keeping the airplane in tip top condition.  So they look forward to the occasional day off where they can find something of interest to do, usually aviation related.  And in Dayton, home to Orville and Wilbur, there were certainly some things that fit the bill.  First they took a leisurely stroll through the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force while swapping lies and telling war stories.  Then they visited the Wright Brothers Memorial Park overlooking Huffman Prairie where the brothers did a lot of development work after Kitty Hawk.  There was a Wright Flyer simulator there and the docent told them that very few can fly it without crashing and that "real pilots" were the worst. Well, they could not let that go unchallenged! Gene and David flew it together and then Rick Smail did it solo. I hear that it definitely was not pretty, but there were no crashes.  They did not bother to tell the docent they were "real."
On Tuesday they headed toward Terre Haute IN with a lunch stop in Columbus, IN. They enjoyed a delicious lunch in the airport cafe and enjoyed talking with a bevy of admirers as is common on any stop the Flagship makes.  Here they were fortunate to meet two female aviators, CarolAnn Garrat and Nancy Warren. Nancy is an area director for UFO, United Flying Octogenarians and had flown DC-3s many years before.  CarolAnn has made three around the world flights in her Mooney M20J since 2003. These were made in honor of her mother and to benefit ALS (Lou Gerig's disease). The 2008 flight, made with Carol Foy, set a new world speed record of 8 days, 12 hours and 20 minutes. One major perk of traveling with the Flagship is meeting interesting people like these two and hearing their stories.
After beating up the pattern there in Columbus, the trip continued with Delta pilot, Rusty Richards, flying on their wing in his award winning C-195 for awhile. Later, EAA Chapter President Bill Foraker met the plane and escorted them into Hulman Field at Terre Haute. Below is a shot of the Courthouse in Terre Haute as the guys were on approach.  Bill and his group, as well as the folks at Hoosier Aviation have treated the crew well. The terminal there was built to be a two gate airline terminal just before airline service was discontinued to the city so they have a modern and comfortable building from which to operate. John Thatcher left the trip to visit his brother in Indianapolis and Zane Lemon rejoined it after a brief trip home.  There are now four.

Also on Tuesday, Rick Smail became the newest FSD co-pilot.  Rick is a retired Delta pilot living in Park City, UT and now flying for Sky West where he plays co-pilot to his son.  Word is that he passed with such  flying colors that Capt. Gene dubbed him, "Ace of the Base."
The plane will be here for a day or two hoping to do a Heritage Flight for new members.  The local media has certainly been helpful with newspaper spreads and television spots.

No comments:

Post a Comment