Howdy campers! The first part of the fly in ended yesterday here at
the field. It was a ball. Starting Thursday night we flew and then
treated our guests to "Pizza Nite" where all of our club members bring a
pizza. The group chowed down on about three dozen pizzas and sodas and
just had fun. We had music from our band the Pilot Project
with a guest appearance or two from out-of-towners.
Friday morning brought some wind and funky air and I personally only
flew for about half an hour, but there were some hardcores who flew for
an hour or so. Friday night we got blown out so we just ate some more
and sat in the pavilion and listened to music and swapped stories.
Saturday morning was great. A cloudless skies with a little dust haze
left over from the wind the night before. What a flight! We took off to
the SW to Wild Horse Mesa for some spectacular views of high mesa bluffs
and some jagged valleys and arroyos. I flew around the little town out
there, cruised down a little remaining part of old Rt. 66 and then
climbed back up to about 7000' for the ride home. Glass air! I trimmed
it out, locked the throttle, put my feet up, caught a little tail wind
and cruised back at about 39mph. I flew around the field for a bit and
it was time to recycle the coffee so I landed to get a breakfast burrito
and a cup of gourmet cappuccino from our vendors. Mean while Eric and
Bubba were doing Rhino touch and goes. Bubba would take his 4 wheeler
down the field at about 25 or so and Eric would land on the top. All the
was on the hood of the Rhino filming the whole thing.
Then in the afternoon was the wacky competitions. We threw hatchets
at a target
and we had another round of sock golf, or scrotum bowling as wecalled
it. We took a rather long tube sock, put a bocce ball in it and tied it
around our waists hanging between our legs. (Get the picture?) Then you
race down the course trying to hit another bocce ball on the ground
using your new appendage without using your hands. Absolutely hilarious!
Saturday night was a little windy and it started to rain with just a
dose of pea sized hail. Not too much, it just cleared the air and didn't
make any mud. Saturday night was our banquet of roasted pork, corn on
the cob tortillas chilli, beans, and cake. It was
delicious. We had Franks band back from last year and he was getting
everyone to dance.
Sunday reminded me I live in postcardville. The air was just cool
enough to see an occasional breath. The sun was just comming up when we
launched into a crystal clear azure New Mexico sky. It was one of those
blue colors artists try to mix on their palet but never quiteseem to
duplicate. A group of us flew north to the rock dunes. We
swooped the cliffs and wandered up the little canyons and the arroyos.
Toby was chasing a coyote and then I saw an antelope. I wanted to see
how fast they could run. Holy crap! I was owned! I'd of run out of fuel
before this critter got tired. They are born to run. Came back to the
field for some more breakfast burritos and Eric had pancakes. Chad and
Kirk went back up later for a little thermaling. We had about 63 pilots
show up and it was a great group from the git-go. Sunday afternoon the
rest of the group left for the campout. They flew this morning but
probably got blown out tonight.
I learned some things I didn't know; Capt. Goin can fly a trike, Chad,
as well as being an excellent trike driver can rock on a guitar,
whippets haul ass when they see a rabbit, you can drop a plastic water
bottle wrapped in your riser sack to a downed pilot
without it exploding; you can land on a moving 4 wheeler, you can
collapse an Action GT if you get in a sheer, and Bud needs new shorts,
an autogyro can fly in weather we wouldn't be outside in anyway and last
but not least, you can fly 3 days with dozens of pilots and not break a
I'd like to thank Michelle, Jerry, Eric and Elizabeth for working so
hard to put this on. I know it's a lot of work. And I'd like to thank
our club for donating time for transportation, food, field safety
officers and just being some of the best friends a guy could have.
Mexico blue skies to you all!
1) Jim Doyle prepares his homebuilt machine for
launch. He let me fly his creation and I found it smooth and way
powerful. The 40hp Hirth 2702 was plenty of push under a large Escape glider.
This motor is similar to the Rotax 447.
2) For perspective, 140 pound Joe Onofrio, stands
next to Jim Doyle's machine while Jim towers over Joe's.
I flew Jim's creation and found it easy, comfortable
and very smooth. This was my first time flying anything powered by a