Monday, May 26, 2014

The Silo Memorial Classic

The barn; where refueling (food) happens.
Ginger and I had great fun attending the Silo Field Fly-In this weekend.  The sky was blue, the temperature was perfect, and there was very little wind.  Combine those conditions with a beautiful setting and great people and you have a memorable weekend.
Hence the name...
As usual, the planes were great but the people were even better.  I've often wondered how much of our passion for flying is a conditioned response.  Imagine a researcher, let's call him Pavlov.  In his hand he has a bell.  Every time a friend steps from plane, Pavlov rings the bell. Before long, whenever you see those planes, you associate good feelings with them.  I'm sure that plays a big part.
Yes I know the light isn't great but I was just documenting
with a camera phone, not working for Pulitzer.  If I were, I would
have photoshopped it like all the other photos in the world.
Freedom though is what most people associate with flying.  I've often commented that the easiest way to identify a person who truly values freedom is to ask them if they love flying.* Aviation represents freedom in so many ways that people even refer to it when an old warplane flies over; "the sound of freedom", they say.  My only quarrel with the statement is that it isn't used for every airplane.  Even the whispering wind rush of a sailplane conveys freedom from all that which is below.
Because of this, I think it was appropriate that Ginger and I spent a big part of the weekend flying. Soldiers don't fight to give us things, they fight, and often times die, to secure freedom. Those I know I respect greatly.  Those I have known who have died I miss.  And those soldiers who know me know that.  I'm pretty sure they also know that when I am out flying, although it may appear frivolous, it is not.  It merely means I am enjoying one of the greatest freedoms known to man and that I am hugely thankful for their part in that.
I thought this Jag was a restoration.  Turns out it was untouched since new!
People enjoying the sights and sounds of freedom.
I really like how fly-ins are becoming more and more aircraft diverse.  And look,
there's Myles working as Air Boss.
The Pattersons' Waco.  This flying machine is no hangar queen.
This boat was incredible.  I love these things.  Would love to take it for a ride.
Among all the old vehicles was this electrified vintage truck.
In terms of man hours, the Hoover Dam comes in first, with the polish
jobs on these birds coming in at a close second.
Remember when cars were simple and fun?
The view from perimeter road.

I look at the two photos above and I see hours spent mowing.
Old cars came and went all day, as did the planes.
One of the best values in aviation today and yet largely overlooked.  Stinson 10A
Last plane to leave.

* - Likewise, when you find someone who does not like aviation, who is trying to restrict it, wants it more regulated and safer, you have found someone who does not value freedom.   Remember that.

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