Around the Airport

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Last Sinful Sunday of 2017 - "Slider Sunday"



The final Sinful Sunday of 2017, August 13th, will be unlike any we've ever hosted. Looking for something unique, Ginger hit on the idea last year. It involves a big, white, self-contained fortress of food.



Appreciated by everyone with a passion for life, and a craving for adventure, it is sure to please.  But, it does come with a warning.  If you eat salads everywhere, prefer dry celery as a snack, and are generally no fun at food parties, you'll have to munch on some freshly cut grass, or bring your own head of lettuce.

What is it?  It's the White Castle Crave Mobile.

Here's the menu.  You'll notice that, in addition to the tasty sliders and fries, the only dessert is "cheesecake on a stick." Currently that's the only dessert planned, but hey, it's CHEESECAKE ON A STICK.


We hope you can make it to Slider Sunday.  Remember, the next one will be nine months away.

NOTE: If any of you are members of car clubs or riding groups, please let them know this would be a unique drive day for their club and that they are welcome.  Maybe one of them would want to host a Sinful Sunday next year.


Friday, July 14, 2017

What You May Have Missed About the New Sinful Sundays


When we decided to restart Sinful Sundays, it was agreed other groups would volunteer to run them or they would not happen.  Ginger and I need to be able to do some other things, and possibly not even be here, yet have them go off without a hitch.  Furthermore, having decided to save Lee Bottom for future generations, it only made sense that everyone play a part.  So far, it's working out nice.

But, there are a few things you may have missed, or maybe we forgot to tell.  First of all, as I just mentioned, different groups will be hosting the events.  Yet, the big change is what's served at the events.  Years ago Ginger and I, plus a select few volunteers, offered the same thing every Sinful Sunday.  Sundaes, Milkshakes, and BBQ.  That is no longer the menu.  Actually, it will change each time depending on what each group wishes to offer.


The menu may vary, but will always be similar.  The first Sinful Sunday was Ehrler's Ice Cream from a truck, the second one was Bernoulli Small Batch served by volunteers, and the food, grilled by another volunteer, has been hamburgers and hot dogs.  Something entirely unique will be on hand for the third, on August 13th.

Other things you may have forgotten, or never known, are that 1) the events run from 12-3PM or until we are out of ice cream and food.  2) There are generally accepted arrival procedures for events at Lee Bottom and they can be found under fly-in arrivals at our old Lee Bottom page. 3) These events, due to most of them using food trucks or vendors to deliver the ice cream, will go on even if the weather isn't perfect. Unless you see it has been called off (on our facebook page or blog), we really hope you'll drive when you cannot fly. This will help keep groups from losing money on the setup.  Remember, it costs money to host these things, even if nobody shows.

Please show your support as these events are here as a way to support the Lee Bottom Aviation Refuge, and the future of the field.


Another Successful Sinful Sunday



July’s Sinful Sunday was another great success. Thanks to the Bluegrass Chapter of Women in Aviation, the 99s, Mike Grecco and Mike Korff, the event was a hit. Behind it all, doing the brunt of the organizing, was Crystal Korff.  A sincere thanks to all of them.



When Sinful Sundays restarted, we decided other groups would run them or the fly-ins would not happen. The Women in Aviation and the 99s were among the groups who stepped up to volunteer. When they did, I had no idea how it would go. My interaction with either group is so insignificant, their commitment to such events was an unknown. Then they showed up in full force and did a wonderful job.



That recognition is normally where I would end. This time there’s more to tell.
July’s Sinful Sunday was fun to me in many ways. As usual, it was great to see all the planes and the people on the field. Yet, among this crowd was a unique group of attendees I was surprised and happy to see. 



There was the lady I flew with at Atlas who, during cruise, wanted to talk taildraggers instead of the next Irish bar. Several other women in aviation were past co-workers of mine. They included ladies who had gone on to great jobs at the airlines, one who was about to give it all up when she got the call, and another who is chasing the dream. Other women brought their taildraggers. Among them was one special lady, the daughter of Bob Dalzell. He was a long time attendee of Lee Bottom events, and to have her here carrying on the aviation tradition was a real treat. Others had worked as schedulers, dispatchers, corporate pilots, and more. The list goes on.



Ultimately though, their attendance made me realize something. I’ve always been a big supporter of the ladies who were into aviation. However, I never considered how many there really were. Seeing so many of them on the field, and hearing their aviation stories, made the day a little more special. Thanks again to all of them.



A special note about the ice cream served at July's Sinful Sunday.  Bernoulli Small Batch Ice Cream is local to Louisville an has an obvious tie to aviation.  Their unique flavors are available at select locations around town.  I'm still waiting to try the Maple Bacon.  It's always sold out. Maybe they'll be back next year with a pint for me. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Later, Man.

Years ago, on a particularly rough approach, turbulence tossed the plane. Inside the cockpit, I fought back. Working the ram’s horns through their range of motion, staying somewhere near the flight director was my goal. Any worse and we were going around. That’s when it happened – the one thing that makes me remember the moment.
“Ride it, man, Ride it!  Don’t fall off!” Those were the words of an unforgettable man.
Recently new to the job, Will Pevahouse was sitting right seat. Although a highly skilled pilot, his greatest strength was the ability to make everything feel ok. That’s what he was doing that day. Under no circumstances would he allow me to get tense enough to prohibit me flying the approach. I chuckled, it smoothed out, and we landed without excitement.
Of course, it went the other way also. If someone in “the system” did something stupid or caused a problem, Will would not stand for it. He wouldn’t yell, or call names. The sound of his stern booming voice was like that of a Grizzly. If you heard it, you were done playing games. A few choice words, and a “We cool?” is all it took to solve anything.
I’ll never forget learning that Will had quit the company where we worked together. When everyone we knew was sacrificing everything to climb the 121 ladder, he walked away to spend time with his family. I admired him greatly for that. Yet, there was a downside. Our different directions meant we didn’t run into each other as much. On the other hand, that’s when you learn who your friends are.
No matter how much time passed, when we talked it was as if we had hung up the phone yesterday. Often we’d laugh for the better part of an hour. Bumping up against to-do lists, we’d express the typical “Later man,” and hang up.  More than half the time, one of us would call back within the next five minutes to tell another story we forgot. Laughing again, we’d get off the phone knowing it would keep going if we didn’t.
Tonight, only an hour ago, sitting far away in a hotel room, I learned Will had died of a heart attack.
During the past year and a half, with each of us beginning to glimpse the backside of our lives, we talked more often. Only three days ago, before I left on this trip, I went to call him, received another call, became distracted, and left without dialing. It had been longer than usual and I wanted to see how life was treating him. As so many others feel, tonight, I regret that distraction.
When the news reached me, I had no idea what to do; I looked at my schedule to see if I could get there for the funeral; I considered flowers for the family; then I thought about our conversations. Scanning back through our texts made me remember the calls. The calls made me remember the laughs. And, the laughs made me realize I had to tell you about Will.

He was a good-hearted man who loved his family above all. If you asked me to write down the twenty best guys I’ve ever known, he would be in it. In fact, he’d be in the top ten. Some people are amazing in one area, a walking disaster in others. Will, on the other hand, he was good across the board.

Oddly, if someone had walked up to either of us, during the daily grind of our lives, and asked who our friends were, we may not have named the other. Proximity does that to friendships. However, if the same person had tasked each of us with going through our contacts and naming the people we could call in the absolute worst of times, we would have made it on each other’s list. I'm proud of that. If Will Pevahouse considered you a reliable friend, it was an honor.
Ultimately though, for me, knowing he is no longer there to answer the phone makes the world a little less enjoyable.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What You Many Not Have Heard About Lee Bottom

If you didn't get one of our annual calendars, you also did not get the letter that accompanied them. The letter described the new direction we're taking the airport. It is the final tangent of my twenty years with the field. We are going into the future.

Have you noticed the name, the Lee Bottom Aviation Refuge, Ltd? That's the non-profit leading the charge. The group also has its own web page under the URL of www.AviationRefuge.org.

The organization's goal is to save the airport, and keep it open, by protecting the land around it. With your help, it will be a recreational area with an airport as its foundation.

Look for more in the near future.

-RD






Going to Oshkosh?


 
Heading to Oshkosh this year? I am. If I’m lucky, Ginger is coming with me. We’ll be parking in Warbirds, talking to friends in Vintage, Oohing and Ahhhing over the Experimentals, wishing for floats at the seaplane base, and feeling nothing but the utmost respect for everyone who flies to the show.

Why are you going? How are you going? Where are you going to stay? What do you hope to see? What do you expect to get from it? There are so many questions to ask. However, do you ever give them more than a passing thought?

Me, I like to research EAA’s standing before heading to the event. Years ago it was a group that held a fly-in. Today, it is a week-long airshow supported by a group. Sure, there’s more to it. Nevertheless, when boiled down, take away the show and the group withers on the vine. Therefore, many things fall into the shadow of “Oshkosh.”

 
When was the last time you took thirty minutes to research (Google) all the people running for the EAA Board? Have you ever? Do they represent the little guy?  Do they even have a clue how the little guy lives and flies?

I see Jon Goldenbaum is a new director at Vintage.  This gives me hope. Yet, have you paid attention to other folks in the running for the Vintage Board? Why does Vintage never change? Why is it always the same people running the show? That says as much about the members as it does the leadership.

Warbirds, good or bad, it always gets the most jaw time.

As for the experimentals, I’m never happy with the coverage they get. There must be a better way to highlight them, but EAA never has figured it out. For that matter, neither have I. However, I do realize a solution is needed.

What about ATC? Is EAA still paying for it? I know the answer, do you? If you don’t, why not?

 
Recently EAA, and that other group, have claimed some great victories. I’m not going to go into detail about what they really accomplished and what things other people accomplished which they took credit for. Nevertheless, I will say they supported some good measures that turned out to be ok. Therefore, they get to claim progress.

The only thing I’ve seen recently that really bothers me is a column by the head of governmental affairs. When the person in this position uses their entire allotted space to attempt to convince the group it needs to be friends with the FAA, hold hands, and sing kumbaya, that is a serious problem.

Yet, it does serve as the perfect example of how well intentioned people are pulled into the political fraternity. Before long they are preaching from the other side of the fence, all the while believing they are doing well. Members should be concerned.

I remember the person he speaks of so fondly and what he was like when he was at EAA. It also concerns me the author believes that because someone was at EAA that makes them a good guy. The last time someone was producing such sweet words about people at the FAA, he left EAA to work for the FAA, where he belonged.

What really gets me, though, is the attempt to use the founder as evidence of why we should all assume the FAA will eat us last if we feed it. When Paul was running the show, there actually were some people left in the FAA who had a knowledge of small planes and who actually wanted to see them survive. In truth, that was decades ago. Back then, Paul could find some “good people” in the FAA to work with. Today, if you believe you’ve found such a person you’ve gone mad.

You can choose to take my words on this subject to heart, or to ignore them. Whatever you do, remember that aviation exists on government paper. No government paper, no aviation. Do you really want our guy to be the one reaching across the aisle, managing the downfall instead of fighting for its survival? Not me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we have to throw bricks through windows. However, I certainly would prefer to hear from someone who isn’t trying to convince me to work with his friends at the FAA. If he feels this really needs to be said, then the members are obviously expressing otherwise. And, if that is the case, why then are you representing the FAA and not your members?

 
Back to the good stuff.

EAA has done another great job of attracting amazing aircraft. Everyone says it’s all about the people, but I wonder how many would show up if there were no A-20s, Spitfires, Hellcats, or Emigh Trojans on the field? No planes, no people.

If you’ve been reading EAA publications you’ve certainly read that many improvements are being made to the grounds. This is a great thing. To be world class you have to be up to date. I hope they keep it going, but do it with membership input.  Without it some horrible assumptions will be made.

Finally, I want to leave you with the following questions. Has EAA accomplished anything in recent years that makes aviation significantly cheaper? Has EAA accomplished anything that makes aviation much more free, as in the freedom to fly? Has EAA done anything that has led to a net increase in pilots?
 
Keeping a few people behind the stick for a few more years, making a few non-certified instruments available for use, and giving kids free rides do not fall under the category of “much.” Therefore, if you answered honestly, that leaves you with one question. Is EAA right to be managing the decline instead of shooting for a true turnaround? Many of you will not like the answer.  Most of you are afraid to consider it.

See you at Oshkosh. 

The Next Sinful Sunday - July 9th, 2017 - Don't Miss It.

 
SINFUL SUNDAYS ARE BACK!  The first Sinful Sunday in years, held on June 11th, was a great success. Obviously, everyone is glad they’re back. Don’t miss the next one -  it’s July 9th, 2017.

Remember, going forward, the goal is to have each Sinful Sunday run by an outside group. Our desire is to get all of aviation, in the area, working together to create something we can all enjoy. Sinful Sundays is perfect for that. It attracts everyone – short and tall, big and small, smart and smarter. Whatever your character or characteristic, you’ll love these events. Who doesn’t like airplanes and ice cream? 

 
Thanks to the Bluegrass Chapter of Women in Aviation, and the 99’s, for offering to host the July edition. Many of the members of these groups were on hand for the June event and I expect they’ll be doing all they can to make it the best Sinful Sunday yet. We’re all a little competitive, right?

If you want to have some aviation fun, be sure to be here July 9th. If you can’t fly, maybe you know someone with a cool car who’d like an excuse to put the top down and go for a cruise. If you don’t know anyone with a convertible, maybe you have a friend who would bring you on their motorcycle?  And, if you don’t have either of those maybe someone with a boat or a rickshaw could drop you off. Whatever the case, you don’t want to miss it.

We hope to see you here.

Oh, I should mention, the volunteers from these non-profit groups will also have hamburgers and hotdogs available.  Come and enjoy.