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Old Farts 
Winter Haven (KGIF) Recap

from Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Old Farts...

The weather could not have been more cooperative for our most recent Old Fart outing! On Thursday, December 2nd we literally “invaded” Winter Haven Municipal Airport (KGIF). You’ll see 67 aircraft in my photos. I know of at least four others that I did not get a photo of, and there are likely more.

A couple problems did arise. Kal, the new owner of the Flightline Cafe told me that their main cook quit, the morning of our invasion. With more than seventy aircraft, I’d estimate that we hit Kal and his staff with close to 150 people to feed. Many of you/us did experience slow service. For the most part, I didn’t hear many complaints about the quality of the food. Kal apologizes for any bad experience, and promises to do better next time. The airfield location, two runways, ramp and services are exceptional, so we will continue to visit KGIF. 

Another problem arose when one of our Old Farts made the passage from “Those who will” to “Those who have”. I’m of course speaking of the well worn pilot’s adage about Gear-Ups and Ground-Loops. The active runway had been 05 all morning. Late in the morning, at about peak arrival time, a Bonanza skidded to a stop on runway 05. Of course, that meant all Ops had to shift runways, and 29 became active. Old Farts seemed to take it in stride, and a steady stream of arrivals kept me hopping with my “meet and greet” and photos. I’m told there were three onboard and thankfully, there were no injuries. By mid afternoon, the Bonanza had been jacked, the gear swung and it was towed to a shop on the field. Another Old Fart, traveling with the Bonanza flew his plane back to Manatee to get an airplane large enough to haul the Bonanza folks home. Old Fart camaraderie! 

When it came time to put this recap together, I realized that I had not taken any photos at Waldo Wright’s Flying Service. I did finally get down there late in the afternoon. I immediately became so busy talking with old friends Rob and Jill, that I completely forgot about the camera. Duh! At any rate, several of you did make the trip to Waldo’s for a peek at the vintage aircraft skunk works. Thanks to Rob and Jill for taking the time to show a few Old Farts around! 

I am going to somehow find time today to find a place for us to visit next Thursday. I have an idea in mind… just have to implement it! look for an invite Sunday or Monday. We also have tentative plans coming together for Thursday, December 16. I’m thinking that may be our last one before the holidays. We will see how things shake out. 

In closing… WOW!… this Old Farts thing has really turned into something special. I am continually being thanked for all my efforts. Trust me, the effort comes back to me ten fold! You are a wonderful group of people, and my life has become much richer because of you all! Thank You! 

Keep the Shiny Side Up! 

Old Fart Roger
This Week’s Favorite was an easy choice. Nancy Walters has been to a few of our outings. To my knowledge, she had not previously displayed the elaborate prop banners on her V-Tail Bonanza. The banners prompted some inquiries from me, as I staged a photo with Nancy, her husband Ron and a passenger.

Turns out, Nancy has owned the Bonanza since 1988 and has been just about “Everywhere” with it… logging about 5,000 hours!!! The patches sewn on her prop banners include years and years of big fly-ins such as Oshkosh and Sun N Fun, plus many, many others. There are also patches for many of the nation’s noted air museums, popular “destinations”, National Parks. etc.  Nancy and her Bonanza have participated in ten Canadian air tours and toured Alaska. Also denoted by patches are over 200 “missions” flying Young Eagles! Meeting people like Nancy is a great example of the “Rewards” I refer to in being an, “Old Fart”! Nancy and husband, Ron split their time between Pontiac, Michigan and Punta Gorda, Florida. 
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