The fourth Saturday of the month meant it was Chapter fly-out day, which has become a (fairly) regular outing and has encouraged some badly-needed flying activity, largely due to promotion by official DOOF Rich Czarniecki, who has kept the enthusiasm going. After the cancellation of last month's event, Flabob was once again the destination of choicefor August. Originally we had eight airplanes signed up to go, however there were three no-shows on the day, and they missed as interesting visit as we've had anywhere. Flying there were leader Rich with John Knolla and Kevin Roche along for the ride, Ben Zanin in his Cherokee with Francisco Munoz, Jim Wright from Gillespie in his 172, and Chris Puntis (Sonex) and me (RV-3) to complete the flight. There's all sorts of aviation activity at Flabob, and this was a particularly active day there, as they were preparing for their regular QB (Quiet Birdman) get-together. Many of their unique airplanes had been pulled from their hangars for display: a Roscoe Turner Meteor replica (complete with lion cub in the cockpit); a French Caudron racer, the beautifully built DeHavilland Comet and a number of others. Also there was the Flabob Express DC-3 which was giving rides, and a couple of Stearmans which were also giving rides for the cost of the gas, I believe. New member Francisco took advantage of the opportunity to fly in one of the Stearmans – if his beaming smile after the flight was anything to be judged by, he clearly enjoyed it.
Many of the hangars were open for inspection of the contents; one in particular that we visited contained a full-scale replica of the original Wright Flyer, nearly complete and ready to fly. It's been a long project, and they are naturally being very careful about preparing for the first flight. In another hangar, we met the Chapter 1 president Jan Buttermore, who gave us a run-down on the program they have where kids from all over are restoring a Stinson, under the supervision of Chapter members. Their work is being sponsored by airport owner and benefactor Tom Wathen.
Too much to see in one day!
Of course, we had a late breakfast at the Flabob Cafe, served by two charming waitresses, who were chatted up by Ben Zevin on the pretext of taking their photographs. The highlight of the meal was someone upsetting a full glass of water over Francisco and John; much merriment ensued.
Meanwhile, back at home base, it was a very slow day, even taking into account the members absent at Flabob. Fifteen or twenty diners dealt with the lasagna and etceteras served up by Richard West and Pete Grootendorst; thanks for filling in for me, guys. Plenty of left-overs for the Tuesday/Thursday crew.
Gary List departed early for Sacramento in his Super Tailwheel Colt; the weather was perfect, so it should have been a good trip.