Sep 2011 Gail & Faith’s Blakesburg Adventure
My husband, Doedo, and I had to share the plane this year on our trip to Blakesburg for the Fly In held by the Antique Airplane Association. 2011marks the 40th anniversary of AAA and the Monocoupe was the featured airplane. In all about 350 airplanes were on the field, IA27. This field uses no radio frequency and operations are controlled by flagmen. Red means go away, green means do what you wish (land, fly by, take off, etc.) The runway at IA27 also has physical features not found at conventional airports; the runway is not straight, nor is it level across its length or width. It makes for some good practice.
We departed KLMO, Longmont, Colorado at 7:10 am on Thursday. Stops for fuel are needed every 2 hours. Our picks for this trip were Holyoke, CO, Hastings, NE, and Red Oak, IA. At Hastings something was odd on rollout and we discovered our tailwheel had started to go bad. It was scorching hot and the rubber was separating from the hard core. Note that this is not a stock Scott tailwheel but a little 4.5 inch hockey puck of a tail wheel that is not stocked by any aviation supply house. Two phone calls later and we had a new wheel lined up to be delivered to IA27 by our good friend Joe on Friday. The BÃ¼cker network is a great resource.
Arrival at IA27 was uneventful, except for the heat. Normally the air around the field buzzes with airplanes but we were the only ones in the pattern. It was too hot to fly with temps approaching 100 and 85% humidity at 4:00 in the afternoon. With slightly cooler weather, and a new tailwheel, Doedo, Joe and I each took our turn with the plane for an evening flight. I took a friend and airshow pilot, Erik, for a ride. I learned that with Erik ‘Would you like to fly the plane’ = ‘Yes, I’d like to do aerobatics’ and I had a lovely ride. Unfortunately the pre-flight was not fully performed for upside down and my hat and our flight log departed after a sudden stop to sustained inverted. We watched the two items flutter to the ground, one in a hay field and one in a scrubby area. Fortunately the log was in the hay field and was easily retrieved. The hat was replaced with one from ErikEdgrenAirshows.com.
Saturday morning Doedo and I took turns taking old and new friends for rides. Faith recognized me (or the Ladies Love Taildraggers shirt) and introduced herself. It was fun to have a fellow LLTD.com buddy to fly with. About noon the weather started to move in and all planes needed to be tied down.
Sunday early it was time to head home. Saturday’s bad weather was gone, as was the heat. It was darn cold in the rear cockpit for the first two legs. Strong North winds made ground handling sporty but by the time we hit the Colorado State line, surface winds were calm. We were back in our hangar by 5:30 that night.