Around the Airport

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Offer

Monday August 31, 2015

Hello.
"Hello, this is ___. Is this Rich Davidson?"

Yes it is. How are you?
"I'm doing O K. Do you have time to talk?" 

Sure, whatcha need? 
"I've been reading your blog - don't really like that term - I think it downplays what's there - I'm sorry, I digress. I like your material." 

Ok. 
 "Do you mind if I ask where do you come up with your ideas?" 

I write what I'd like to read in your magazine. 
"Oh so you know I'm with Flying?" 

Yes, I occasionally look at the management page to see who's responsible for the mess.
"The mess?" 

Yes. 
 "What about it do you believe is a mess?"  

It's a disaster. You have two maybe three acceptable writers who actually fly and the rest have been on autopilot for the past twenty years. They don't love flying and in fact, I think some of them hate it. It's kind of the same way the Republicans hate people who are actually conservative. Like that. Do you know what I'm say'n? 
 "I might. But do you think that's a fair assessment?" 

Hey you asked and to be honest I went easy. 
"So, maybe I should tell you why I'm calling." 

Alright; do you want to sponsor the fly-in? 
"No, I'm curious if you would like to write for us?" 

Your shit'n me? OK, who is this? Is that you Phil? 
"No, this is _____ from Flying and I'm serious; would you like to write for us?" 
Of course I would. Who wouldn't? But you don't want me. 
 
"No, I'm pretty sure we do." 
No. NO YOU DON'T. 

"Why is that?" 
Because I'm going to make your magazine something people want to read but you're going to lose ten percent of your readers in the process. 
"Why do you say that?" 

I thought you said you read my blog? 
 "Yes, I read it and I think it will be five." 

And that's acceptable? 
"Yes." 

Can I write about the politics of aviation, religion, and philosophy? 
 "As long as it's relevant (long hesitation), yes."  
So how exactly do we ge.... 

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK - and I am awakened from a hilarious dream. My sim partner says, "What's so funny?" as I open the door.


Poly-Fiber is Back Again to Sponsor Fly-In

Years ago, the folks at Consolidated Aircraft Coatings became one of our first sponsors.  Known more commonly by the individual names Poly-Fiber, Randolph, and Ceconite, their ongoing support of grass roots aviation made them a natural supporter.  Today, as testimony to their belief in general aviation, they continue to do so.


Dave and Jeanne Allen's 1934 Waco YKC
Walk around any event attended by aircraft covered in fabric and you'll see one or all of these on display.  Award winning airplanes around the world are wrapped with fabric from Ceconite and colored with paints from Poly-Fiber or Randolph.  Restore an old plane or build something that needs covered and you're going to look their way.  Yet, there's more to a plane than the tangible.
The people of Consolidated Aircraft Coatings are committed to supporting the purest forms of aviation.  They make it a point to do anything they can to promote the future of our sport, often go out of their way to help groups creating the pilots, builders, and mechanics of tomorrow, and always offer the most sincere personal interest in the goals of others.  This, in addition to their great products, makes them the hands down choice of many of the best builders in aviation.
We're excited to have them once again as a sponsor.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Desser Tire & Rubber Sponsors Champs vs Cubs

Please welcome the newest Champs vs Cubs sponsor, Desser Tire & Rubber.  We're excited to have them on board.  When you need aircraft tires, Desser always comes to mind.
Originally founded in Los Angeles, California in 1920, Desser Tire & Rubber went on to be involved in all aspects of the tire industry.  Eventually though, the company began to withdraw from other areas in order to focus on aviation.  The strategy must have worked.  Today they are one of the leaders in the arena of aircraft tires.
Keep reading.
When we contacted "Desser" (how most people refer to them) about sponsoring The Aviation Migration and Champs vs Cubs, they immediately thought it was a great idea.  Of course, being a strong company we were sure they knew their market and that attendees of our event sit squarely in it.  Because of this, we all decided the best way for them to become a sponsor was to supply a set of tires to be given away during the fly-in.
Look for more information on how you can win these tires in the upcoming weeks.  Thanks again to Desser for being an active part of the event.
These tires, contributed by Desser, will be
given away at the fly-in in September.
By the way, on their facebook page, Desser has some great vintage photos of tires through the years.  Check them out by clicking here.

Get your tickets for The Aviation Migration by clicking here.
 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tickets Now on Sale for The Aviation Migration

Get'em before the scalpers do.
Tickets are now on sale for The Aviation Migration.  If you want to be part of it, and the Champs vs Cubs Challenge, you'll need them.  Buy early and you'll also get a discount.
How do you get the required tickets?  You purchase them by clicking here.   Or you can go to www.LeeBottom.com and find them under event tickets.  However you get there, you'll find the two options at the bottom of the page.  Enter how many of each you want then click the red "Get Tickets" button.
Once you reach this point, the purchase is fast and simple.  Follow the steps to work yourself through the standard online purchase.  Then when all is said and done, don't forget to bring the tickets with you to the event.  It's that easy.
Click here to buy your tickets.
 
 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cub Crafters Joins Champs vs Cubs as Fly-In Sponsor

Please welcome Cub Crafters as the latest addition to a growing list of fly-in sponsors.  How could you have Champs vs Cubs without them?  That's what we asked and they agreed.
If you consider yourself part of the sport of aviation, Cub Crafters needs no introduction.  Their forward thinking attitude toward building aircraft has created some amazing machines.  The Carbon Cub alone is already a legend.  Look at everything else they do and you'll be equally impressed.

If you've never had the opportunity to look over a Cub Crafters aircraft, you'll get your chance at The Aviation Migration.  Be sure to check it out.
Thanks again to the folks from Yakima for their interest in Champs vs Cubs.  It may be a challenge among friends but they see it as much more.  It's a story about our connection with the aircraft we love.  Cub Crafters had to be part of it.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It Has Arrived - The Point of No Return

With every outdoor event there comes a point each organizer dreads.  It has no marker, can't be sketched for identification, and arrives without warning.  It's the point of no return.  But what exactly is it?
The point of no return is that moment weeks before the event when the weather is perfect and everything is going according to schedule.  All the items are falling into place as they should be and the sky is clear.  People are making calls about attendance.  And in our case, pilots are emailing to let you know they are bringing some amazing plane to the fly-in.
Editors of magazines text to let you know they will be on hand to cover the gathering.  Local media starts to inquire about coverage, and social media buzzes with excitement.  Ahead in the distance, you see a glimmering light (name that song).  That's typically when it arrives.
When things are going well and the weather is perfect, every fly-in organizer utters these words, "What I wouldn't give to have this weather during the fly-in."   And that is the point of no return.
It's so close, you can close your eyes and see it.  A perfect day; a perfect event.   And that's when you realize you have no control over the outcome.  You've set a giant ball in motion the weather could flush into the gutter.   Everything you do from here on out may actually already be an exercise in futility.  But until the day comes you have to keep working.  People have lost their minds over lesser things.  Yet, you move forward.
If you organize such an event, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  Here's to all of you who do.  Sanity isn't for everyone.  For the rest of us, there's aviation.
The Sun-n-Fun storm of legend.
PeeEss:  Over the next month there is a string of aviation events scheduled.  We sincerely wish all of you clear skies, cool temperatures, and zero wind.

The Aviation Migration - Same Great Fly-In With a New Name

 
The airport logo.

The annual Lee Bottom Fly-In, now called The Aviation Migration, is the same great event it's always been.  Aircraft of all types, and enthusiasts of all makes and models, have long visited our corner of the world in September.  Soon they will once again converge on this location.
If you are one of those people, upon arrival you will find yourself among friends.   On hand will be grass roots aviators and a wide collection of flying machines sure to please everyone.  If you aren't one of those people - well, why wouldn't you be one of those people?  If you enjoy flying at its purest, hop in your plane and come see us.   You'll be glad you did.

Below are some random photos from past fly-ins.   They aren't even the best photos.  They're simply the photos still sitting on my hard drive.   But, I think you can see from them that there is something for everyone.









 

















 
 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Champs vs Cubs Part One Ends With Close Finish

Congratulations Team Cub.
Part One of The Aviation Migration Challenge, Champs vs Cubs, is over.  It was a close race right up to the finish.  In the end though, it was Team Cub for the win.

What started last year as a whim, pitting two planes against each other in a simple good natured contest, has turned into this year's talk of the town.  Who in aviation hasn't taken part in this debate?  Its merits have been churned by writers, flung carelessly from bar stools, and sprung on boring conversations since the first Champ was built.  As far as aviation is concerned, it may be the biggest rivalry which exists.
So maybe you're wondering, how do we expect to bring it to resolution?  That's easy.  One aircraft may take in more air through the fuselage, the other may be a better flier, and each of them may be fun, but there is only one thing that can make either of them truly exceptional, the pilot.
The way we see it, it's the spirit of the owners and pilots which makes the deciding difference.  And along that line of thinking, the easiest way to identify the true winner is to see which make attracts the best pilots. 
OK, I know, now you're wondering what constitutes "the best pilots?"  That too is easy.  The pilots who do more than fly them around the pattern once a month.  Drawing that out to its logical conclusion (sounds logical to me), the best plane will therefore be the one on hand in the largest number.
Still doesn't make sense to you?  Let me spell it out.  The best plane is the one mostly commonly flown by aviators willing to fly the distance for no other reason than to have fun.  And ultimately, this means the winner will best represent the true spirit of grass roots aviation.
Congratulations Team Cub.  You were behind until the last few days.  Somehow though, you pulled it off.  I suspect Team Champ will have you in their sights for parts two and three.  But until then, enjoy the win.
Aeronca, Piper, Aeronca, Piper.
 
 
Don't miss The Aviation Migration - September 18th-20th, 2015.  It's going to be fun.
Lee Bottom, a refuge for aviators.
 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Herrick Aircraft Collection - FOR SALE (Updated 2nd Time)

2015 - The Year of the Big Sell-off
This was originally published 8/23/15. 
Greg Herrick's entire collection, The Golden Wings Flying Museum, is for sale.  Easily ranking as one of the world's largest and most impressive personal fleets of aircraft, it stands among giants.  Yet, many people outside of the aviation have never heard of it.
A mainstream collection it isn't.  Filled with aircraft of aviator fantasy, it's known mostly to enthusiasts.  Nearly everyone on the planet knows a P-51 and a Piper Cub.  Few though have ever even heard of an Paramount Cabinair, Krutzer Trimotor, or Avro Avian.  When fliers dream of finding one of these planes in a barn, they never believe it will happen.  Greg Herrick, on the other hand, has made it happen time and time again.
So incredible is his collection, and the places he found them, its mere existence is a statistical impossibility.  Plane after plane on the list is the last of its kind.  The stories of their discoveries alone could fill a book.  But, that wasn't good enough for Greg.  He turned them into a collection of airworthy flying machines.  He rescued history. 
LOOK AT THAT!
When it comes to sizeable vintage aircraft collections, the year 2015 will likely be remembered as a sell-off.  Four of the largest fleets have been separated, sold off completely, or are in the process of being divested.  And those are just the ones you know about.  Others are being negotiated behind closed doors.  This one though is there for the taking.
The following paragraph no longer applies.  Simon Brown of Platinum is now the broker:
Are you excited?  Has your mind run wild with desire for one of the planes in the collection?  Well, maybe you should calm down.  Mark Clark, of warbird sales fame, has been shopping the collection around to high stakes buyers.  Greg wants to sell the collection as a package.
Counting my pennies and waiting for Greg to call with
philanthropic intentions.  My all time favorite -
the YPT-9 "Cloudboy."
All I can say at this point is that I hope none of these great birds are permanently grounded by a well funded static museum.  Planes aren't planes unless they fly.  Sure, some may serve a purpose as displays.  But, the real benefit to society and the real value of a plane comes with its ability to fly and the action of taking it airborne.  Here's to the right person, with the right intentions, having the right amount of money, to give this collection a new beginning.
Update to the following, and first update:  The following update appears to no longer be true. Everything has a price. Each plane could have a new home. 6/18/2017
Update:  This morning I received a nice email from Greg.  In short, he is still in love with aviation and has more "barn finds" on his list to rebuild.  It sounds more like he wants to move on to stage two of his vintage aircraft life and needs room.  And although the collection is for sale to the right buyer, he does not want it broken up.  8/23/2015


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