EAA 1218 Fly In/Camp Out

This past weekend was our EAA chapter’s third annual Fly-In/Camp Out in Willow Springs. The weather forecast was a little dissapointing, especially on Friday with rain showers, low clouds and humidity that could choke you.

I took Friday off to get the camper ready, buy any groceries we might need, and get camp set up. I had our camp sight setup and ready around mid-day and headed back home to collect Erica and the dogs.

We got back to the campsite and joined the rest of the chapter for an excellent meal of hamburgers and fixings, followed by a jam session with local musicians in the hangar.

One of my goals for the weekend was to snag one of the local instructors and get some time in the Citabria and get started on my tailwheel endorsements. Ron Hook was eager and willing to help me out and had just gotten current in the Citabria the day before, so we were all set. (See post: Tailwheel Training)

After the music, we went back to our camper and hung out with my friend Joe, with another friend, John, joining us occasionally. It’s the times like this, that cause me to love this fly-in, and other fly-in’s in general. The comraderie of pilots is an incredible thing. We love to share stories, support each other, and I never detect competitiveness, just a shared love of aviation and a desire to be around others that share it.

On Saturday, the weather was much improved. There were some low lying clouds, but it was great VFR weather, with winds right down the runway. We had breakfast, and I got a (exercise) lesson in the Citabria. After landing for that, we grabbed lunch, and I made sure to give a few rids to each member of a family from our local chapter that were excited to get any flights they could.

In the afternoon, we did another Citabria lesson, then I got to take my other friend John’s wife and kids for rides in the 172. The clouds were beautiful, and well lit late in the afternoon, so it was a fun flight with light winds.

After an excellent BBQ dinner, we went back to the camp site to enjoy a wonderful evening. Erica and I went up for a flight to watch the sunset from the air.

The next morning, we were up earlier to get to breakfast on time. Ron was eager to get back in the Citabria and head over to a nearby airport where the cross winds would make for some excellent learning opportunities. After that flight, I went back to camp to help Erica pack up and head to the house. I elected to stay and break camp later in the day so that I could take advantage of Ron’s willingness to help me out in the Citabria.

Afdter my last flight in the Citabria, I visited with the gang at the chapter hanger for a bit, and my friend Joe stuck around to help me put airplanes away and break down the camp site.

It was an exhausting, but awesome weekend. There are a lot of reasons why I have been looking forward to this event since the day after last years event, So today, I start anticipating, and planning for the fourth annual event next year!