Around the Airport

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lee Bottom Fly-In Review Part 1

Congratulations to J.H.
Some of you may remember my post about the guy who emailed to say he thought the fly-in registration fee of $30 for two people was, in his words, “ridiculous” and that he would not be attending because of it.  It is irrelevant that his family owns a gas supply company.  And the fact they have several extremely boring corporate aircraft should not be counted in the equation either.  But what should be considered is that no matter what language someone speaks, the sense of entitlement translates the same.  This guy probably bitches about the poor and their expectations of free “stuff” at the expense of tax payers yet he clearly is just as infected with the disease.

Oh well, what’s a society to do with people like this?  Myself, I posted everything I could find out about him online, including any dark alleys he might be found in, along with his senseless words, and in my mind that was that.  Then I received a short letter in the mail.
EJV, I owe you a beer.
Pictured here is the letter with just a little redaction for privacy purposes.  Reading it is reassuring because the words tell me I am not alone.  Out there is a man who understands and he too is tired of all this crap.  He’s being taken by the bottom and the top and being insulted by both as they reach into his pockets for money and pieces of his soul.  And yet, he holds out; one of the few remaining examples of what being American once meant.
We used to take care of each other but never expected anything in return.  Citizens hated bullies and solved the problem themselves without crying to the teacher or local police.  When a person in our life was targeted, we circled the wagons instead of throwing the target to the wolves.  And, when we saw someone putting forth an effort, we hoped with all our might for their success, not failure.  Having received this letter, I now know of another person out there who still embodies those notions.
His words are simple and straightforward yet his depth of understanding is clear.  Instead of sitting by and watching us swallow a load of crap, as a replacement he offered chocolate cake and words of encouragement.
Thank you Mr. EJV. You made my day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fly-In Pre-Party


Last night a friend sent us a message about their fly-in pre-party.  We thought it was such a great idea we decided to share it with you.  Here's how it came about.
During conversation, one person in their flying group mentioned they didn't have a printer and another said hers had just died.  That led to a discussion about printing tickets, which led to a discussion about concerts and ball games, which led to a discussion about pre-parties.  And as you might have guessed, a new reason for pre-parties was born; the fly-in pre-party.
I have to admit, it sounds like fun.  But, in this case it solves a problem a few people have had; where to print their tickets.  This offers a solution plus more.  Meet up to print your tickets, plan your trip to the fly-in, and have a party while you're at it.  I wish I had thought of it.  By the way, if you have a pre-party, please take a photo and send it to us.
As for those of you with no friends, no tickets, no credit card, and no internet (hey, it happens to everyone sooner or later), you can always show up and buy tickets from a scalper.  We heard they're already planning to be on hand.  Ask about them at the registration tents and they'll point you to them.
Trivia - In previous years we stopped pre-purchases on Wednesday and after that you could not get a ticket for food.  This year ticket sales continue through the weekend (www.leebottom.com).  If you showed up at any fly-in during the past seven years and didn't pay the registration fee, then you enjoyed the event without paying while others did.  This is not something new.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Plane Lands on Golf Course - Pilot Walks Away


Thanks to a few local businesses and a few good friends we've pushed the fly-in marketing to a new level. Several years back, the week before the event, we put a plane on display at a local bank situated on Clifty Drive.  Clifty is the main drag in town where most people drive on a daily basis.  Since that first display, we've done it every year.
Ken Jordan with his beautiful Champ on Clifty Drive
Now though, in 2014, we've put two aircraft on display.  One is at the Clifty Golf Range and one is at River Valley Financial Bank.  The Cub is sitting at the driving range just ten feet from the highway where nearly all traffic travels on its way in and out of Madison.  Ken Jordan's Champ is at the bank.  The marketing value for the event, and the businesses who have chosen to host our unique displays, would be difficult to calculate. Yet, anyone in marketing would tell you its worth its weight in gold to everyone involved.  Not only that, its great PR for aviation as a sport.
So, if you're passing through the area don't be surprised to see a beautiful vintage plane sitting by the road. It's probably just another display put on by Lee Bottom Flying Field and made possible with the help of locals who see its inherent value.
Thanks again to the Clifty Golf Range, River Valley Financial Bank, Wil Goering for coordinating this with various local entities, the local police force for blocking traffic, WKM News for covering this unique display, and Ken Jordan for flying his plane into Main Street USA.

Monday, September 15, 2014

To Do Great Things is Your Choice


When you host an event like the Lee Bottom Fly-In you can't help but think about Paul Poberezney saying that with EAA he learned more about people than he did airplanes.  What you see and hear from the masses comes from all corners.  After a while, nothing surprises you.  But, it can disappoint.
Today we received this email from a Mr. H. - "Please count me as one airplane that you are not going to have at your fly-in, thirty dollars for my wife and I to visit for the day is ridiculous".  Poor old Jim seems to think those other "free" events he attends are actually free.  I guess he doesn't realize they're paid for with federal tax dollars, local government allotments (tax dollars), or wealthy folks who are spending their money on entertainment.  Unfortunately, we don't get any funding and we certainly do not have a lot of spare pennies lying around.  But, Jim's sure we're out of bounds and instead of just not coming to the event, he wanted to make sure we knew how out of bounds he thinks we are.  I guess he hasn't looked at what the other events charge. As far as I can tell, we're the least expensive event of its type out there.  Oh well, I'm pretty sure he's one of those people who complains non-stop about aviation being in the toilet but never tries to do anything about it.
Please check one.  Choose the answer which is most correct and answer honestly.
Later in the day I received a message from a different aviator.  This one was from Mr. L.  Ralph texted me to say "Sorry to miss the fly-in this year and weekend.  Would like to claim a cone though and have you give the ticket to a local youngster.  How can we make that happen?"  It's an amazing juxtaposition isn't it?
With the beginning of each day all of us choose what to make of it.  Above is the perfect example of the two choices you have.  You can be miserable or you can do great things.  Do great things.


We Have The Best Sponsors


Through the years the Lee Bottom Fly-In has had many great sponsors.  Of course, other events have also. But there's something different about ours.
Many years ago, when we first started looking for event sponsors, we thought about it and put some pretty strict rules on who we would accept.  Yes, I said that right.  We like sponsors but we won't take money from or promote just anyone.  Our fly-in supporters have to be people and or businesses we personally know to be highly respectable, morally upstanding, and committed to aviation.  If there is any doubt about their business practices, ethics, or general demeanor as a business, we will not work with them.
Naturally, this makes it a little more difficult to find sponsorships.  But, we believe this is the right way to do business.  Therefore, when you see someone sponsor the event, you know we have vetted them to the best of our ability and that they are as upstanding a person, group, or company as you can find in aviation.  We hope you'll consider giving them your business.
Here are this year's $500 or greater sponsors:
Aeronautical Charters, Inc
Poly Fiber
Randolph Aircraft Systems
Signature Engines
Bowman Eagles
Geez Beez Honey
QAM, Inc
Vintage Pursuits LLC
Barfing Bee Honey Farm
Derrick Engineering, Inc
Gordon Farms

Rich and Ginger Davidson


Also, thanks to our "in kind" sponsors and the Claim a Cone sponsors.  This list is still growing so we'll fill you in on them in the coming days.

Inventory Reduction Sale - Everything Must Go!!!

Buy a shirt or cap at the fly-in and wear it for free as often as you like!!!
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about Lee Bottom shirts and caps so we thought we’d include a post about them here.  Each year, for many years, we made an annual purchase of airport apparel.  A few times that order was in excess of $8000.  Then, just after the last bulk buy, the tornado hit the shop where it was all stored.
After the storm, volunteers took home what could be salvaged and washed them for us.  A few months later we had “Tornado Survivor, 2012” and a Tornado embroidered on many of the shirts and caps.  Since then it has all been sitting in storage containers.  This brings us to today.
When the cops found out about our prices, they were sure we were committing a crime.
When you arrive at the fly-in, the price on each piece of our apparel is going to be reduced in hopes of selling it all.  It is time to clean out the storage containers and move this stuff on to people who would like something unique to wear to fly-ins and airshows.  Most of the designs will not be produced again so what you get will set you apart.
Ultimately, I guess what I’m trying to say is that when you arrive you should get yours early.  We’ll be doing our best to move it.
Because nobody wants to be seen at Oshkosh in some generic fly-in t-shirt.

Fly-In Food and Booze

Like this only different.
If you're planning to attend the fly-in and you are wondering how much the food will cost we do not have an exact price on everything just yet.  But as in year's past, we will do everything possible to offer food at a decent price considering it is being served way out here in the country.  It isn't dirt cheap and it isn't super expensive.  For now I would plan on the typical costs of eating out (more upscale than White Castle and below that of Ruth's Chris) and we'll post more specific prices online when we have them.  In the meantime, here is the food schedule.
As for booze, that kind of went by the wayside this year.  Like everything else, regulation and liability concerns make it difficult.  Therefore there will not be anyone on site offering spirits. So, if you're wanting a little something to take the edge off, keep you warm on a cool night, or looking for a magic elixir to make your jokes funnier, we recommend you bring it with you.

A Few Volunteers Still Needed

Due to once in a lifetime scheduling conflicts, several of our long time aircraft parking volunteers will not be able to make the event.  Therefore, we are a little short on folks experienced in parking aircraft.  If you have helped park planes before, have the strength to help push them into place, want to be in the middle of the action, and can be here to help on Friday and or Saturday, please sign up by clicking here.  We could also use a few auto-parking volunteers if you're interested.
Finally, if you are looking for another way to participate consider helping with the fly-in take-down after the event is over.

Cone Sponsorships Are Popular - Get Yours Now

Replace an old cone like this, with a new one that bears your message.
Leave your mark on Lee Bottom with a Claim A Cone Sponsorship.
Even more popular than I expected, the Claim A Cone Sponsorship Program has really taken off.  Over a third of the 48 sparkling new runway marker cones have already been claimed by people who plan to attend the fly-in, but two-thirds still remain.  Get yours now, when you purchase tickets.
For $100 you get to write a message on one of the new runway cones plus a ticket to the event. Once you've arrived at the fly-in and put what you want on the cone, it will take the place of an old runway marker and there it will stay for the duration of its life.  The current runway cones have been there almost six years.
Get yours now and join the growing number of people who plan to leave their mark on Lee Bottom.  Click here to Claim A Cone.

Time Is Running Out For Discounted Fly-In Tickets.

Have you been watching the weather?  It’s looking great for this weekend and the Lee Bottom Wood, Tailwheels, and Fabric Fly-In.  So, if you’ve been holding off buying your tickets now’s the time to get them.  Purchase your tickets before midnight on Tuesday the 16th and you’ll get a 25% discount.  Follow this link, buy your tickets, print them out, and show up for the fun.  It really is that easy.  
Why are we offering such a large discount on the tickets for early purchasers?  We’re doing this because the people in charge of offering food during the event need a good estimate of attendance.  This allows them to make more accurate food supply purchases and it therefore greatly reduces waste while also ensuring there is enough food for those on hand.  Since this is such an important part of the event, we’re giving you the discount so that everyone can benefit.  So again, follow this link, buy your tickets, print them out, and show up for the fun.  It’s that easy.
We hope to see you here this weekend.
Just in case, here again is the link for discounted tickets - click here.  And while you're at it, consider sponsoring a runway cone.  Many others already are. Add your name to the list.  It's an option when you buy.
***Some people are telling us they do not have printers.  Some suggested ideas are to forward your email to a friend who is coming and get them to print them out for you.  Maybe the FBO or someone at the airport has a printer?   Or if you are only making one or two printed sheets you can do them at work.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Important Notes For Fly-In Attendees - Please Read

Don't miss it.

If you plan on attending the fly-in at Lee Bottom, on September 18-20, 2015, please read the full content of this post and all related links.

Basic Fly-In Information:___________________________________________________
* September 18th-20th.
* 20th is a go home day and also serves as a rain day in case it rains on Saturday.
* Fly-In starts on Friday.  Food on Friday starts at 5:30PM.
* Fly-In ends at 12PM on Sunday unless it is serving as a rain day.
* Watch website for any critical last minute information
* ALL TICKETS ARE PRE-PURCHASE ONLINE.  This helps us in so many ways.  For instance, it gives us projections for food planning.
* Read all recent posts about fly-in.

Links and related information:_______________________________________________
All tickets are pre-purchase.  You can buy tickets right up to the day of and through the fly-in. You purchase them online from our website or with the direct link you can go directly to the service selling the tickets.  Either way it funnels through a secure server.  Once you have purchased the tickets you will receive an email with a PDF that you print.  That is your ticket. Bring it with you to the fly-in.   The service is extremely easy to use.
You should understand arrival procedures.  Very little has changed with the suggested arrival procedures but you should read them again to re-familiarize yourself.  The field is uncontrolled and you are responsible for your own safety.   To read download them click here.  Note:  The same page has auto arrival information.
Food will be purchased on site.  A member of our organization is offering this service and they need a good understanding of how many people will be on hand.  For this reason, if you purchase your tickets before Wednesday the 16th, you get a significant discount.  This gives our food prep crew time to order food so that we do not run out.  It also means that you eat last if you purchase your tickets late.   For more information click here.
Please follow the links supplied above to understand how the fly-in will operate and how to get the most out of it.  For other information, see our webstie, www.LeeBottom.com.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Congratulations to EAA and Jim Busha

Remember that post about the EAA editorial that seemed so out of place; the one where I predicted the organization would have to replace the Chief Editor of Sport Aviation with someone new?  I can always tell when I've hit on a hot button because the comments flow in. Other posts might get one or two but a hot one ignites the wires.  That post ignited the wires.
Jim Busha - Photo EAA
With that in mind, I have some great news. It is my understanding, effective the end of October, Jim Busha will be the new Chief Editor of Sport Aviation.  He is the perfect choice for this position and I look forward to great things coming from the publication under his leadership. Who knows, people might even start reading it again.
If you're wondering where the official EAA announcement is, to my knowledge they have yet to produce one (note: 12 hours after this post they announced it)  I heard this was happening from two different people and a third confirmed it. For that reason I feel comfortable putting it out there.  Rumors had been flying that this was going to happen but with word leaking out of Wisconsin I'm sure it's a done deal.
Congratulations to EAA for making such a positive change.  When you boil it all down you have the airshow and Sport Aviation.  Those are the signatures of your organization.  With this decision regarding the magazine, you've taken a sinking ship, righted it, given it a good captain, and plotted its course out of harm's way.  

Up next; will EAA Government Relations ever grow a set of balls?