Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Tribute to My Little Friend

Winding down the hill along a loose gravel road with a kitten in my lap is not what I initially planned for the night. Ahead of me had been my own bed bearing a supply of desperately needed sleep. Oddly though, in anticipation of Ginger’s reaction, I was wide awake. Only days earlier, to my surprise, she had mentioned that maybe we needed a cat for the hangar. Having never had one and possessing a great indifference toward the species in general, I could not believe she had suggested it. Her timing was perfect.

Almost home from a few days at work, I stopped briefly by the road to chat with a friend when out of the darkness appeared a lost kitten. Surrounded by yelping coyotes, and bearing a reference from the farmer who thought he was special, I decided the little guy was the self loading mousetrap Ginger had mentioned. So, I picked him up, rubbed his cheeks, and away we went.

Arriving at home, I introduced Ginger to the new judge, jury, and executioner of Mouseville. Her reaction was positive but not one of great joy. Within minutes though, she was tossing out names. Finding a big black spot on his white belly, we finally settled on “Meatball.” It’s what our guys in WWII called the round insignias on Japanese aircraft. Ginger held him up; we looked at his belly, looked at each other, and said the name in a question “Meatball?” It fit.

Like a new parent with their first child, Ginger asked “What now”. I went to the hangar, put some sand in a shoebox and brought it to the house. Instead of diapers, we would be changing litter. Fortunately Meatball, looking less than eight weeks old, had a mind that was ahead of his body. Ginger gently sat him in the sand and to my amazement he immediately did was a cat is supposed to do. Inside I thought, “Good job little guy, you just sealed the deal.” Yet in reality, he was ours from the moment he was plucked from the field.

The next day Ginger was already concerned about our new family member. She had wanted a hangar cat and yet in ten short hours she was concerned if we let him out he might wander away. My suggestion was that we’d let him out, open the door in one hour, and if he was still around he’d be staying so. Finally agreeing to my plan, Ginger sat him outside and closed the door. Half an hour later Ginger opened the door and called “MEATBAAAALL.” Unbelievably, he came charging around the corner having recognized his name or a voice that was already attached. Whatever the case, he had found a place in our hearts and, in large part, in the house.

On our way to his first vet visit, Ginger and I both remember him howling like mad. Having never had cats, Ginger’s motherly reaction was to take him out and hold him. As she turned to get him, I insisted that if she did he would immediately find his way under the pedals or worse and that she was in not to let him out. Midstream of my dissertation on why she shouldn’t open that carrier, Meatball walked out and curled up in her arms.

Introducing him to Ace was almost as easy. Ace snarled twice, we said “NO”, and from that point on they were best of friends. We called them “The Originals”. They liked being near each other, they were colored alike, expressed similar personalities, and when one didn’t feel well you would often find the other keeping him company. Introductions complete, life went on.

Soon, everyone knew Meatball. It is hard to describe but some animals, just like people, have “it”. Whatever “it” is, it is something more that most others have and Meatball definitely came so equipped. He loved people and most loved him. Given a choice, Meatball would always be where the people were. When Ginger and I would go on a walk, Ace in trail, we’d turn around to see Meatball doing the same. Occasionally though, we’d be half a mile from the house and hear a faint meow. Having somehow left without his permission, he could be heard requesting we hold our position. We’d stop, he’d catch up, and we’d all continue on our walk together. If you ever camped in a tent or spent the night here in the cabin, you know what I am talking about. He insisted on saying hello to everyone.

Early on, we couldn’t help but notice Meatball’s passion for airplanes. If there ever were an argument for reincarnation, Meatball was it; he was a barnstormer. He loved planes and pilots. Anytime we had visitors, he would find his way to them to practice turns on pylons between their legs. If those people were in a plane, he always found his way onto it. Deep in the digital caverns of our hard drives are many photos that serve as evidence. His two favorite places were the wingtip and the cockpit; we never really were sure which one. More than once he tried to stow away for a flight and often he slept on the rear shelf of the Cub. His love of planes and pilots was so acute in fact that we once considered selling shirts that said “I got a cat scan at Lee Bottom.” If you’ve been here, you’ve had one.

“The Meat”, one of his best nicknames, had another side that few ever saw. He was a master hunter and vicious fighter. So good in fact was The Meat, we never stepped outside without checking the door mat for critter guts. More than once he faced down nasty dogs and came out the winner. And on one occasion he even drug home a live Red Tailed Hawk. Our best guess was that the raptor mistook Meatball for lunch and got a surprise when he tried to claim it.

Unfortunately, some fights can’t be won. Earlier in the year, Meatball came down with a cold. Every spring and fall, he had always sneezed for a few weeks and then got better. This time he didn’t. The sneezing got worse and vet visits became routine. Early on the diagnosed was asthma and the treatments seemed to help. But, as time went on, his sneezing got worse and back to the vet we went; once by plane; Meatballs only flight. Numerous things were tried, and multiple referrals later, the diagnosis was narrowed down; Cancer.

I’ll never forget how I found out. Ginger was on the phone, I was lost on my computer, and at some point I looked up to see Ginger standing there trembling, tears pouring down her face. That’s when I knew my little Meatball was done for. My mind though wouldn’t accept it. Neither would Ginger’s.

After a day on the computer looking for something, anything that might work, she located experimental trials for chemotherapy on cats; biopsies were considered, and anything else that might do the trick. Then, sensing our desperation when I asked for his honest opinion, the vet confirmed my inner thoughts. Every option remaining could be closer to torture and Meatball would be better off if he were asleep. Then he asked if I would like him to go ahead with it.

The only reason I didn’t cry at that moment was due to disbelief. Apparently, some people actually make a call to have the vet put their pet down and never bother to go say goodbye. For us that was not an option and we drove silently to the place where our little Meat had received care for the last three days.

Escorted over creaky wood floors into a room at the end of the vintage home, we waited in silence to see our little guy. My mind raced wondering how I would handle seeing him and how Ginger would react. When one of the assistants carried him in wrapped in a blanket and set him on the table I was ok. Seeing his thinning body and hearing his cry, still didn’t get me. But when Ginger picked him up and turned him upside down in her arms like a baby, the memories came through.

Ginger had never been a cat person but Meatball had made her one. He loved to lay with her to watch TV and always found time to help with her computer work. When she would get too focused he would knock the trash over by her desk, and when she needed to laugh he would dance with her around the house. At night he slept on her shoulder. Every day he brought a smile to her face. He was her baby and now she was saying goodbye. Nose to nose they swayed bringing one last smile to each other’s face. She then offered him to me.

Not wanting to reveal how much I was hurting I suggested she hold him longer, instead she put him on the table near me. She’s a smart that Ginger because I couldn’t leave him there on the table and hesitantly reached to pick him up. That’s when all my memories let loose.

Feeling his weak body in my arms, I had to let him know everything was going to be ok. Over and over I whispered through tears “it’s going to be ok, it’s ok little Meat, you’re going to be ok”. With each word passed a memory and a question.

What would I do with a furless overnight bag; one of his favorite beds. Who was going to greet me when I came home? What would I do with the chair where he laid in my lap, sleeping for hours as I typed? And who would weed out the good people from the bad? Watching him rub against those that didn’t like cats was a special treat to me and I’m sure he knew it. All of these questions had answers but one; how could anyone replace that little kitten I found in the farmers field?

Just then the vet walked in to give him a sedative.

Five minutes later, after another shot and one painful minute, he was gone.

God bless the vet who has to see this every day. I don’t know how one does it. Fortunately, with all the sympathetic discomfort he must have felt, just before we walked out the door, this guy thought to bring me Meatball’s collar because he was sure we’d want it. He was right.

The drive home was over an hour long and very little was said. Lying in my lap the whole way was the special order, break-away, reflective collar with a bell Ginger insisted he wear. As a mother, she had spared no expense to make sure he would survive. Driving past the place I found him seven years earlier, I could not believe he was gone and I looked for him in the field. But then, just around the corner was the hill where all those years ago I drove with him in my lap anticipating Ginger’s reaction. As the asphalt turned to gravel and the tires rumbled over rock, a faint jingle came from his bell. There in my lap on that winding road, once again I was taking him home; only this time to live forever in my heart.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Post Oshkosh

Spending an entire week at Airventure is something most pilots would love to do. It goes to reason then that flying a rare biplane to the event would be even better. And truthfully, it is. Why then do I not miss it?
In years past it was almost sad leaving Oshkosh. This year though was different. Due to an unexpected unfolding of events, I ended up at Oshkosh with an amazing plane and no passenger. Fortunately, my brother came up late in the week and between him and a few good friends, there was enough conversation to carry me through.
When it came time to leave, I climbed in the plane and called my brother to coordinate an unlikely rendezvous. He was taking off from another runway and the mere thought we would end up anywhere near each other was laughable but we tried.  Hanging up the phone, I gave the thumbs up to the wing walker, called “CLEAR PROP”, and started the radial to talking.
Rolling towards the flight line under power, people lined my path to glimpse the mechanical pinup I was operating. Jumping onto the asphalt from the grass with a bump, I began my long taxi to the runway. Along the way people waved, gave their own thumbs up, took photos, and watched as we s-turned toward departure. Reaching the end of the runway, there was a delay for departing traffic.
Having completed five run-ups and at least thirteen traffic checks, I’m guessing ten minutes had passed when I was cleared for takeoff. A short distance later the wheels left the ground and turned from the field. I never looked back. Six miles south, I dialed up the rendezvous frequency, keyed the mic, and asked “You there?” Nothing. Amazingly though, and quick enough to be a response, I heard “You up Rich?” I was and somehow we were very near each other. Occasionally, the most laughable of plans really do fall into place and thanks to chance, my brother and I were there in the air together doing what we do best, flying old planes.

Warm sky, purple clouds.

Watching the warm sky and purple clouds drift by, I couldn’t help but wonder “how could I do this for a living?” Every aviator has asked him or herself the question at least once; most of us hundreds. There is simply nowhere we'd rather be.
Ahead, things would set to get better. Back in Oshkosh, there was this other call I had made. Whenever I fly through the area I always make it a point to stop at Poplar Grove. Owned by Steve and Tina Thomas, I always feel welcome there so I do my best to keep them in business; not that they have any problem doing so. On most occasions my stop is for gas and conversation, but today, thanks to a friendly offer, I was set to leave my steed in their barn. Being passionate antiquers, they also insisted on meeting us in the air.  Off to my right John worked the radio, “Waco you up?” Eventually they answered.
As the yellow SRE flashed below, I was drawn inside to the panel; my engine had taken ill. The instruments offered no evidence of a problem yet the sound was clearly wrong and I struggled to identify the sickness. Then it hit me; slowly turning my head to the right, I found my brother tucked in tightly in the Birddog. He was bearing a Cheshire grin.  My engine wasn't bad, I was hearing the Birddog's exhaust combined with mine, or so I thought. But then the engine began to rumble. Again, the instruments offered nothing. This time though I knew why. Turning my head smoothly to the left, there tucked in tight was the most beautiful Waco you ever saw, pilot and passengers also wearing grins. Internal combustions turned external, the 985’s rambling overwhelmed the conversation. We had agreed to this earlier and everyone was doing their part. I could only grin.
Approaching the field, Steve pointed out Tina in the pattern. She was up flying a Kinner Bird. Falling into trail, we all then landed; SRE, Stearman C3B, Birddog, and the Bird. It was a great end to a beautiful flight and I couldn’t imagine the evening getting better. Then Steve asked if I wanted to fly the SRE. The answer was “YES” but there was a problem. Taxing into the grass, we had parked the planes together and they were drawing a crowd. It’s not every day you see a lineup like that and many of the aviators at Poplar Grove had come out to take photos.
Climbing down from the Stearman, greetings were exchanged as I stretched my legs. Soon thereafter I was met with arms outstretched. Tina gives the kind of hugs that one family member gives another and in an instant I felt like I was home. Next was the handshake. Steve gives’em the way my dad taught me; strong and looking you in the eye. Again, I was home.
There is something special few airports have and you never forget them. Although there are many places on Earth that attract a lot of airplanes, there are only a handful that truly feel welcoming. Poplar Grove, to me, is one of them, and that is why I visit. They speak my language. It is also why I don’t miss Oshkosh.
Thanks to Steve and Tina, and everyone else, who took such great care of us and made us feel at home.

That's me, right after flying this amazing SRE Waco.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oshkosh Review - Trends

I had wanted to put to screen, a review of our trip to Oshkosh, but available clock space and responsibilities kept getting in the way. Therefore, I am going to put that off for a bit and take this time to discuss a new trend we witnessed this year; meeting facebook friends for the first time.
Ginger and I are always on the lookout for trends at Oshkosh. What we’ve found is that marketers are really missing out on a great opportunity by not studying the event. Walk around Oshkosh for a few days and you know exactly what the country is thinking, what pilots are wearing, and how that reflects what they’re feeling.
Remember the clothing trend a few years back that had every guy wearing a camera vest, Tilley hat, and street hikers? If you don’t notice these things, this year that outfit had morphed into Under Armor shirts, synthetic fly-fishing hats, tennis shoes, and footie socks. Also noticeable was the trending down of camera gear being carried. Fewer people had cameras around their necks but the hard core photographers seemed to have doubled down to add that special something extra. And what about the word “Freedom”?

Several years ago, within a year or two of increased restrictions on freedom by our federal government, the word began showing up on everything at Oshkosh. Many of those signs are still out there but the willingness to speak up or fight these rules is waning. This is something our groups need to be keenly aware of but are they? As for us though, this year one trend stood out; meeting facebook friends for the first time.

With less than five minutes of research on the subject, look what I found.

Upon arriving at Oshkosh, Ginger and I both discussed a short list of people from facebook we wanted to meet in person. Somehow, we were sure we’d like to shake the hands of these like minded fun people. So, we set out to find them. Plan in hand on day two, we were just about to implement our strategy when one of them walked up. At first, I felt this was coincidence until he introduced us to one of his friends that he had met on facebook. Not only was this eye opening, but it was also great to see something useful finally come from the online social network.
As the week progressed, we shook many more hands from facebook. We also, more importantly, met other people who had their own facebook “must meet” lists. Being trend watchers, it quickly became evident that at some recent point, many folks had interacted online long enough, with enough different people, to know who their real potential friends might be. They in turn had also set out to find them.
Ourselves, we were forced to cut our search short when Ginger had to come home mid-week. But hey, on the upside we can continue the trend next year.

Please note:  We do consulting.

Flight Suits Send the Wrong Message

Courtesy of
Some things in this world are certain; sunshine is warm, snow is cold, and flight suits are out of style. How do I know these things? Well, because I’ve sat in the sun, been skiing in snow, and every time you question the wearing of flight suits someone pops up to offer excuses for wearing them.
Yes the warm sun is obvious, as is the cold snow, but how does an defensive T-28 driver indicate flight suits have outlived their usefulness as a status symbol? If they made sense, or they weren’t going out of style, wearers thereof would not need to argue their misguided points. Yet in all fairness to the flight suit crowd, and a few friends who just won’t quit wearing them, I have decided to take a balanced look at the argument and put an end to it once and for all. Stay with me and we’ll see where this ends up.
The flight suit issue was, I thought, recently put to rest when a little old gray haired lady (I say that affectionately Martha) essentially called the flight suit crowd a bunch of wanabe’s. Pilots got a great laugh out of her article and went on about their lives able to sleep peacefully knowing she had marshaled in the end of an aviation era; the “Nomex Nightmare”. Unfortunately even bad fashion has a way of coming back around and within months the new President of EAA offered a reactionary diatribe on why he wears flights suits. Self-respect was noticeably absent, a hint of condescension wafted, EAA members were disappointed if not embarrassed, and the old debate was revived.
To start I would like to offer an example of a typical conversation about flight suits. This is the Broadway script for an actual conversation that very recently happened when a guy overheard some friends discussing the EAA editorial that should have been titled “Aviation is scary, at any moment something could happen to cause your plane to burst into flames, that is if you are cool enough to be flying a warbird like I am, and I don’t like being laughed at so wear a flight suit to make me feel better” editorial.

Death of a Flight Suit
Scene 1
(Pilots sit in GA airport lounge discussing recent editorial about flight suits when T-28 pilot inserts self into conversation in order to beat back laughter over flight suits)

Pilots - Hahahaha ha ha hahaha

T-28 Driver - In the T-28 we wear them because if there is a fire, the exhaust on a T-28 sends the fire all around and into the cockpit.

Pilots - And?

T-28 Driver - I’m sure you heard about the T-28 where the smoke system malfunctioned and the flight suit saved the pilot?

Pilots - OK, your point is?

T-28 Driver - What, you never wear flight suits?

Pilot - Uh, no.

T-28 Driver - Well, I always wear them in bigger planes like the T-28 because of the fire hazard and when I am doing aerobatics or airshows I also wear a parachute. I even wear the gloves.
Pilot - What about the shoes?

T-28 Driver - Well, uh, weeellllll, hmmm well, uh…..I wear leather boots when they’re available.

Pilot - Exactly how many places have you been where they had fire retardant boots for pilots to wear if they didn’t have their own?

T-28 Driver - Well, what do you fly?

Pilot - Anything I can get my hands on.

T-28 Driver - Well, you’re coming from Oshkosh, what have you flown to Oshkosh?

Pilot - Everything from Twin R2800 powered WWII Patrol Bombers to DC-3’s to Cubs.

T-28 Driver - And you never wear a flight suit?

Pilot - Uh, no.

T-28 Driver - Well, I always wear mine.

Pilot - And, if you aren’t wearing fire proof boots and a parachute, and a helmet then you are just playing dress up.

T-28 Driver - (exits scene)

I share this scene with you because it is real and includes nearly every illogical argument for flights suits you commonly hear. Big warbirds are fire hazards (your little plane isn’t) and I wear Nomex to save my life (I’m smarter than you). Yeah there’s only two but the arguments to back them up often lead to more and more confusing thought paths.
Let’s talk about the big warbirds are fire hazards excuse. This excuse evolved from “protect myself from fire” years ago. I say evolved because the inference that big warbirds have a much higher chance of becoming fireballs also very subtly conveys the notion a pilot must have huge balls and tons of skill to fly a plane like that. Neither of which is true but it sure does make the pilot sound like a hero doesn’t it?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. The larger the bird the larger the engine and usually the larger the fuel capacity. Therefore, one could argue that there is a risk for a physically larger fire should one break out. Fuel lines are larger and in a few larger planes more fuel lines run through or near the cockpit area of the fuselage. Keep increasing the size though and eventually planes get so large there is no fuel within ten to twenty feet of the cockpit. You might also hear about carburetors backfiring and several other issues with warbirds but unfortunately for the flight suit crew, those things also happen in small GA planes. This leaves us with the question, are you truly more likely to have a fire in a warbird? I say, in properly maintained warbirds, no. But this does bring up other points for the sake of argument.
Ask yourself, would you rather have twenty gallons of gas on fire ten feet in front of you in big iron or five gallons on fire two feet in front of you in a fabric covered airplane. I know what my vote is, the big iron with more gas. Why then doesn’t anyone wear flight suits while flying the family Champ? Do Aeronca engine fires not surround the cockpit with flames? Are these pilots cowboys throwing caution to the wind? No, of course they aren’t. They are merely being pilots who understand there are risks with everything and that flight suits take far more from the experience of flight than the insignificant safety margin they add and that’s if they are properly donned and complete.
The next time you’re at Oshkosh, check out the T-34’s. This group offers the best example of what flight suits have become. If you are around when they land or take off, you’ll likely see a lot of them wearing Nomex. At first, the flight suits might not seem out of place having just watched them fly formation in their bright military colors with smoke on. But then ask yourself, why do people not wear flight suits in Bonanzas? After all, T-34’s are merely tandem seat Bonanzas.
So again, why doesn’t anyone wear flight suits in their Bonanzas? I’ll tell you why. Flight suits have become the “members only” jackets of flying. Equivalent to a secret handshake or codeword worn on a sleeve, the flight suit of today does little but make the statement (intended or not) that you are or wish to be identified as a member of the warbird fraternity. This is the real problem with flight suits. Expressing so boldly that you belong to the warbird fraternity also consecutively expresses that you ARE NOT of member of the broader pilot group. And trust me, the broader pilot group gets it. It is also not a good message for the President of EAA to be sending out to the membership (See page 1 of August 2011 Sport Aviation).
So, what if you truly are one of the three people out there who wears a flight suit for protection from fire? Surely then you also wear a parachute right? I mean, without the chute, all you’re really doing is preserving your torso so it can be identified in the wreckage. And, if you are wearing the chute, my guess is that you either are not very sure of your equipment, at which point you should rectify the problem immediately, or you believe flying is much more dangerous than it really is. In either case, this is not a good message for the President of EAA to be sending out to the world. (See page 1 of August 2011 Sport Aviation).
Now don’t get me wrong, whatever floats your boat is fine by me. In fact, I know a few people who love to dress up in vintage clothing and fly around in old warbirds and vintage biplanes meeting with kids to educate them about the aviation of yesterday. That’s great. And maybe you are one of the people that just like wearing the flight suit because it has all the pockets and makes the choice of what to wear while flying easy. Or maybe deep down the flights suit makes you feel really cool. People need to have a positive self-image and this too is ok with me. The problem I have though, and the problem most people have with flight suits, is the wheelbarrow full of safety excuses that accompany them. If you really feel you need a flight suit in a warbird, which is again is ok by me, then you should also be wearing it any time you fly anything; no excuses.
As for those of you who only wear flight suits in a select few aircraft, I believe many of you are great people lacking one friend willing to remind you what a flight suit says; I am above you and I am part of a better group. Like it or not, if you wear one you will be kept at arms length by the broader pilot group. Fairly or not, you might even be laughed at.
Is there a time and a place for flight suits? Yes there absolutely is. Are you in that time and place? Only you can answer that question?
Oh wait, there’s one other thing; if flying is dangerous enough to wear a flight suit, why are you not wearing a helmet?

Fly-In Accommodations

If you are planning to attend the Wood, Fabric, & Tailwheels Fly-In in September and you are hoping to get hotel accommodations, you need to be making your reservations soon.  On August 18th, any unreserved rooms from the block we have at the Clifty Inn will be returned to the general pool where they will quickly disappear. Therefore, if any of you are hoping to stay at the Clifty Inn during the fly-in (the only place available), you should make your reservations soon. They will not be available much longer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First Ever Non-Governmental TFR Issued over Lee Bottom Flying Field

Some things in life just get under your skin and gnaw at you.  If you're a pilot, TFRs are likely one of those things.
The recent intercept of a 75 year old lady out enjoying the freedom of flight in her Cub is the latest point of contention. It places firmly in my “will not roll off my back” list.
Tooling along enjoying a beautiful day in her Cub, Myrtle Rose (now is that name from the greatest generation or what) was enjoying the fruits of life when out of nowhere two nice gentlemen flew along side to admire her seventy-some year old plane, or at least that’s what she thought. In fact though, she was being intercepted by highly capable F-16 pilots (like the one that went off the runway in Oshkosh) because she had allegedly pierced a 30 mile Presidential TFR.
Whatever happened, let’s be honest.  There is nothing Presidential about the Presidential TFR. This outlandish regulation restricts the freedom of citizens and with each passing year makes many of them criminals in the eyes of the government. It implies King status to the President while treating citizens like subjects. And worse, it conveys, somewhat redundantly to King Status, that the country could not survive the death of a President. But that simply is not true.
Were Air Force One and Two both to go down simultaneously full of Congressman right on up to the President, our country would come out the other side whole. The death of any President would not bring collapse nor would it bring anything but a short term change to the stock market. Yes, it would very emotional and dramatic but I believe it would ultimately reveal a country immensely capable of surviving such a perceived calamity. But that is the biggest fear of anyone in D.C. The inability to survive without your dear leader is inferred in every Presidential TFR and sadly many have bought into it. Yet behind every Presidential TFR, there is nothing more than politics and self-absorption.
My friends, the time has come for citizens to claim their proper place in the sun out from under the shadow of politics, the title of terrorist, and baseless regulations like that of the TFR. And, in doing my part, I am going to take the first daring step for everyone. On Sunday, August 14th, at 7 AM EST, Lee Bottom Flying Field will issue the first ever Non-Governmental TFR; from this point on to be known as a "Myrtle Rose TFR".
Measured outward in all directions from the center-point of Lee Bottom Flying Field, with a radius of fifteen miles, once in effect any and all unknown or unfamiliar government equipment or representatives will be restricted from entrance. Any such unknown or unfamiliar government equipment or representatives attempting to enter Myrtle Rose TFR #00001 will be perceived as a an extreme terrorist threat and treated as such.  Furthermore, government representatives operating in the area who are not approved to enter this TFR should review the NORAD rules for interception.  Pilots being joined unexpectedly by two vintage taildraggers should assume they have strayed into Myrtle Rose Airspace and that they and their dirt stained F-16s will be escorted out of the area.

NGC Number                                               #00001
Issue Date -    August 9, 2011 at 11:00 UTC
Location-    HANOVER, Indiana near NABB VORTAC (ABB)
Beginning Date and Time -    Effective August 14, 2011 11:00 UTC
Ending Date and Time -    August 15, 2011 11:00 UTC

Reason for NOTAM                 
Type -    Large Gathering of GA Pilots and Aircraft
Replaced NOTAM(s) -    N/A
Pilots May Contact -    HANOVER Center, 812-866-3211
Location -    On NABB VOR (ABB) 085 degree radial at 10.2  nautical miles.
Radius -    15 nautical miles
Altitude -    From the surface up to and including 5000 feet MSL

Unknown Government Employees and Equipment may not operate in this airspace
ARTCC -    LBA Hanover Zone
Point of Contact -    Free Flight Association
Telephone -     812-866-3211
Frequency -     122.9
Authority -    Title 14 LBFR section 91.137(a)(2)(sub-section UY)
Governing Body -    C.A.B.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PEACHES! Sinful Sunday this Sunday - Revised

Normal peach on the right.  A Reed's peach on the left.
The final Sinful Sunday of the year is this Sunday, August 14th. The flavor of the day will be peach and every ice cream treat of that flavor will be made from fresh peaches picked at Reed’s Orchard just a mile from the airport. Those of you who’ve tasted these peaches before know just how good they are. The rest of you will have to trust me when I say these things are so sweet they’re like candy from a tree.
Don’t miss the final Sinful Sunday of the 2011. It will be a full year before we have these peaches again.
Those attending are asked to park on the East side of the runway if at all possible.  Aircraft parking rows will be started by our volunteers and then pilots will be expected to continue those rows following the cones we have set out.

Also, we would like to remind all attendees that THIS IS A NO PET EVENT.  Everyone knows we love animals but our experience tells us this is not a good event for pets.  Therefore, when we say that these events are no place for any animals other than those that live here, we hope you understand we are doing what is best for everyone involved.  Please do not bring your pets.  In the past, other people's pets have caused fights, distractions, aircraft near misses, and aircraft damage.  It's nothing personal, it is simply a rule we ask that you follow.

We are expecting a large turnout for this Sinful Sunday so if anyone out there would be available to help scoop ice cream, we are running short on help and could use yours.

And one last note; the corn growing on the north end of the runway restricts pilots ability to see aircraft on final and those on final to see those on the ground when they taxi too close to it.  If traffic is landing and taking off to the south, please take extra care to stop short of the corn so that you may see and be seen.
See you here.