I have to start with a personal observation about yesterday. My route from Aero Acres (FD88) to Tampa North was about 120 nm… nearly coast to coast. I had my little 1946 Ercoupe in the air shortly after 8:00 a.m. The air was cool and crisp, not a cloud to be seen, not a bump to be had and maybe even a bit of a tailwind. It just doesn’t get much better than that. I wore a grin the entire flight!
Everybody wants to know the tail count. I think I have photos of 49 aircraft. Old Fart Craig Roser emailed and said that I missed him and Bruce Haugo… Earlybirds who had left before my 9:30 arrival. That puts us over the fifty mark. Nice turnout!!!
Other than being a bit cool, it was a near perfect day! Our hosts… Keith and Lorie Carver went all out to make our visit go smoothly. A couple line guys helped with parking, fuel and shuttling. Extra staff in the Happy Hangar Cafe kept the food coming out… and it was excellent!!! I just love this little airport. Seems like the good old days… with a family operation running the fuel, maintenance shop, flight instruction, rides and even a restaurant!
Some notable attendees include the following… Al Voss brought his dad, Al Voss, Sr… a WWII military flight instructor who flew nearly every fighter in the U.S. inventory. We really went “International” with new Old Farts, Ilona DeGroot and Robert Lugtenburg. They are Dutch, but living in Scotland and wintering in Florida! They fly a Cessna 172 based at X39. They fly a Taylorcraft in Scotland. I had the name, but lost it (sorry) of an Old Fart guest who flew AC-47 “Spooky” gunships in Vietnam… there’s a type rating you don’t see every day! Barry Holtz arrived in his magnificent Grumman Widgeon! he had just flown it down from Rochester, NY the day before… more than eight hours. The list could go on, but it was certainly another great day to be an “Old Fart”!
When I left Tampa North at a little after 2:00… the air had become pretty choppy… where I fly… down low. I made a stop at Winter Haven, where I had a long chat with Old Fart Rob Lock “Waldo Wright”. Rob managed the recent restoration of my 1941 Stearman. We have become close friends. It was around 5:00 when I cranked over the C-85 in my little Ercoupe, and headed home. The air was now smooth as glass. So ended another wonderful flight… and day… as the sun was going down off my right wing on the base leg to home. Gotta love it!!!
I am still working on a destination for next week. Put Thursday, February 24th on your calendar as the Aero Acres (FD88) event. We had an even 100 aircraft here last year. Details will be forthcoming as we draw nearer.
Keep the Shiny Side Up!
Old Fart Roger