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Old Farts
LaBelle (X14) Recap

from Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Old Farts...

South Florida weather could not have been nicer for yesterday’s Old Fart outing to LaBelle Municipal Airport (X14). I left Aero Acres in my little 1946 Ercoupe, sometime after 8:00 a.m. It is a 60 nm flight to LaBelle. My route took me along the west shore of Lake Okeechobee. With cool, smooth morning air, I was cruising along… top down. At 1,500 feet the sun was gaining altitude in the east. It’s reflection glimmered from the surface of the big lake. It was one of those moments when a pilot simply has to stop and be thankful!!! I whipped out my phone and took the photo above. 

I think I count 53 aircraft in my “meet ‘n greet” ramp photos from yesterday. Our perpetual “Early Bird” Ed Crouse was taking off as I entered the pattern at X14, a little after nine. That’s at least one I missed in my photo count. There are likely a few more. 

Our host at “Shortcakes Restaraunt” was Ashleigh Short. She is at the right in the above photo, along with some of her staff. I spent most of of my time out on the ramp… but my glimpses of food made my mouth water. I skipped breakfast and was plenty hungry when finally settling into a late lunch. It was very good!!! These restaurants, located at airports, are little treasures for general aviation pilots. I hope Old Farts can help by spreading the word and visiting regularly. 

As you scan my photos, you’ll note the usual variety. It never ceases to amaze me, how many types of aircraft frequent our gatherings. At the small end were an antique Cubs, a Taylorcraft and a couple Ercoupes. Throw in some modern light sport aircraft and that covers the under 1,320 pound GW crowd. At the other end, are big twins like a Baron and Aerostar. Then, there is everything in between… Cirrus’s, RV’s, Cessnas, Bonanzas, Cherokees, etc. It’s fun to simply check out the planes… the characters we have in our Old Farts gang, are just an added bonus! 

I am forever being thanked for the work I put into this thing. To me, it’s not “work”, because I enjoy it so. I’ve included a photo from this date, back 2016. It was an Old Farts gathering at Airglades Airport. We had sandwiches catered in, and perhaps a dozen aircraft showed up. As I look closely at the photo… several of the Old Farts were at yesterday’s gathering. They have become friends over the years… along with hundreds of other Old Farts! I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world!!! My thanks to all of YOU! 

Somewhere in the bottom collage, you see an out of place photo of a snow covered guy in a fur hat. That’s a recent selfie from my son, Casey. He has the thankless job of managing our little home airport in Lowell, Michigan. Apparently, part of the job description is blowing snow from around the hangars. I threw that one in, just to make you all feel good about being in Florida for the winter! 

I’m working on a destination for next Thursday, January 13. Look for an invite, with details, on Sunday or Monday. I can announce that we are visiting Homestead General Aviation (X51) on Thursday, January 20th. 

That’s about a wrap for this week! 

Keep the Shiny Side Up! 

Old Fart Roger 

This photo is from January 7, 2016… six years ago, at Airglades Airport. Several in this photo were at LaBelle yesterday! Old Farts never gets “Old”! 
I pegged this 1946 Navion as my favorite of the week when it taxied in. For one thing, it is new to our group. The owner and pilot, Brian Reilly, brought it down from Kalamazoo, Michigan for the winter. The paint is stunning! The engine has been upgraded to an IO540 and it sports a three blade prop. I didn’t crawl in for a look at things, but Brian says there is a new glass panel, new autopilot system and lots of other mods. My guess us, the interior upholstery looks as nice as the paint. What a BEAUTY!!! Thanks for bringing it Brian! 
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