Old Farts... At “Bensen Days!”
All I can say is, “WOW!” I have to admit, that I didn’t quite know what to expect from our invite to “Bensen Days”. The welcome we received, the hospitality, the food, the exhibits and especially… the showcase demonstration… were beyond my expectations. I’d never met Scott Lewis… my contact throughout setting this up. I’d never been to the Wachula Airport. And, I certainly didn’t know much about Gyrocopters. Next year… I’ll have a better handle on this… and will be highly encouraging y’all to make an effort to get to this one!!!
Everybody always wants to know the numbers. Counting my pics, it looks like we touched the thirty aircraft mark. At one point, I had fifty on my RSVP list, but that steadily dwindled, as the cancellations came in because of the forecasted winds. I’ll say again… Old Farts is supposed to be FUN! It is certainly understandable to not want to fly a J3 Cub in thirty knot winds.
On the plus side, the Gyro Guys love wind, and can do things with it that are incredible…. as demonstrated during the “Showcase”. Two gyros performed loops, rolls, reverse flight… and steep turns that looked impossible!!! The Spanish built ELA Gyrocopters had their company demo pilot performing for us. He jets off to Peru this weekend to perform, then back to Sun N Fun for another performance. We were treated to some of the best Gyro “sticks” in the business! It was something to see!!!
Thank Yous!!! Scott Lewis tops the list. He really wanted to make this a great experience for the Old Farts. I’d say he succeeded! Scott’s son, Herbie worked the radio and a golf cart, to get us all parked. I didn’t get a name of the food vendor, but they did a great job, and a big thank you should be passed along to them. Thanks to EVERYONE at “Bensen Days”!!! I hope we will be invited back next year!!! What a great time!
In my photos, you’ll see a side-hack Ural motorcycle with a lookalike Gyro. The little tug was smaller than it looks. The rider sits on the roof and feet are on the fenders… Cute! The amphib Gyro had a clever grease pencil heads up display on the windscreen and trolling motor attached to a float rudder for docking… or maybe it’s like a JATO for extra push during takeoff 😉!
In one of the collage’s Manuel Borrero’s beautiful Cirrus Vision Jet is featured. This was its last appearance at an Old Farts event. The aircraft has been sold, and the new owner took possession as of 12:01 today. Manuel and his son, Manuel, Jr. will likely purchase a Cirrus SR-22. Staying current in the Jet was too time consuming. After three years of seeing this beautiful machine on the ramp, it is sad to see it go. As always… Thanks for sharing it with us, Manuel!
Next week is Sun N Fun. Terese and I plan to be camped with my Stearman in the Vintage area. I’m planning to have it judged, so wish me luck! Stop by… we should have some shade, a chair and a cold drink to offer. There is no Old Fart event scheduled.
I do have a handful of destinations in mind for April and perhaps early May. We are winding down for our “season”. If you have an idea for a venue you’d like to see us squeeze in… let me know. I’m thinking it’s time to visit the Valiant Air Command Museum at Titusville again. If anyone has a name for a good contact person there… please pass it along.
Oh, tomorrow is the fish fry at Arcadia. See the invite at the end of this post. Thanks again to Scott Lewis and all the great folks at “Bensen Days!”
Keep the Shiny Side Up!
Old Fart Roger