Tuesday, October 15

How we do it

Gladys doing media flight
A lot of coordination and attention to detail goes into getting the Flagship to an air show.  Our next gig  is Wings Over North Georgia in Rome on October 12-13,less than an hour's flight from Covington where the plane has been for the past two months.  It has been cleaned and polished and inspected. Some small repairs have been accomplished.  A whole bunch of calculations have been done about fuel load as we need to arrive with enough capacity to accept the free fuel we get for coming, but with enough fuel for safety.
We are to leave mid day on Thursday. Rick Smail from Utah and Dave Buffington from Dallas have arrived the day before. As the plane is being unlocked at 9 AM, Blake Butler arrives from Tennessee in his Vee Tail Bonanza, buoyed by a wonderful tail wind. Along with instructor, Gene Christian, the men are to spend the morning practicing take offs and landings. Each pilot has to have three in the last ninety days to be current. Scott and Gladys Main are to arrive around noon in their newly purchased Cessna 150 from Ft. Lauderdale. It is good that we live in the era of cell phones as we get word that the Mains are delayed and will arrive at 1 PM,  later amended to 2 PM and finally 3PM.  At long last they arrive about 3:30, tired out from fighting  the same wind that got Blake to us so quickly...for them is was a head wind. Gladys said they watched the cars on the interstate below going faster than they were.
Newlyweds Gladys and Scott Main
No worries though,  Scott did his three take offs and landing and we headed off for Rome.Upon arrival, several air show officials were gathered  to introduce themselves and brief us on logistics of the show. One fellow on a golf cart offered us cold water which we were eager for. We were parked  off to one side and the main part of the show looked very far away, but we are assured the crowds will find us.
Our attentive hosts whisk two of the crew off to collect our two vans and information packets and soon we are off to the hotel. That night we all piled into one van and had dinner at a local brewpub.Patronizing the local eateries is on thing we like to do.
Friday morning we are out fairly early to meet the press at 10 and do a media flight. Gladys, an American Airlines flight attendant, is wearing her vintage stewardess uniform to serve on that flight.  We spend our spare time cleaning the plane inside and out and organizing our inventory. It is after 11 when they do show up and by that time Judy and Tony DeSantis have arrived in their Cirrus from Palm City, Florida. Tony served as our media spokesperson. There are only about 6 of them and we are unsure who they represent,  but they are taken for a flight. Upon return, we are able to  move our plane closer to the action and Tony's away into a hanger for protection. Then we start looking for food, although the show is not open, some of the food vendors are to serve the workers. We make a bee line for Triple D BBQ, housed a pink air stream trailer for the best lunch many have had in a while. There is also a BBQ cook off going on as part of the show.  After lunch, one carload of people then returns to the hotel and the other one does not arrive until almost dinner time.
Judy, Gladys, Blake in dinner golf cart seat
Before leaving for dinner, we paused in the lobby for a champagne reception to honor the recent marriage of Scott and Gladys. Word is that Gladys had the option of an engagement ring or the Cessna and took the latter as she is learning to fly and it is a good trainer. The show is hosting
a welcome party for participants that night, held outside. The weather is cool and thankfully dry. They have a whole pig and a low country boil. The former seemed a bit under cooked so most of us opted for the latter. The only real hang up was there were four tables set up for about seventy five people who were there and only two of them had seating. Luckily there was a row of golf carts off to one side and those became our dinner seating for the evening.
The Ladies for Liberty, a period trio, who look and sound a lot like the Andrews Sisters (if you are not at least 50, Google them) performed as well as a band.
At these events our pilots love to talk to the other pilot performers about what they fly and how they do what they do.

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