Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Sam Burgess Memorial Junket 2008


If you read Sport Aviation this month, perhaps you saw the story of J.W. (James) French, in the "Chapter Hopping" article (as long as we're onto EAA pet peeves, why not make the whole magazine available digitally, as long as you're making all of the archives available to members?). He's set out on the Sam Burgess Memorial Junket 2008. He is stopping at EAA chapters along the way. He's not presently scheduled to be in the St. Paul area, but I sent him a note anyway to let him know that I have a hangar available to him -- as well as company and a spare room -- if circumstances should change.

I was also interested because he's going to end up in my hometown -- Fitchburg, Massachusetts -- at some point.

He's been sending me (and I presume others) e-mail updates and I'll be posting them here. The latest one is at the top.

Wednesday 5 p.m.
I landed at Flying Tiger's Field of Dreams (81D) south of Houston, TX about 11:00 AM today. Freya Shiller, who has been my contact for this RON landed several hours later. She had flown here two children in her Mooney to the Bahamas for a vacation. What a treat to be in the land of Texas hospitality. Freya is an airline pilot for Continental.

I am being hosted in grand style by Kathy who was her training pilot when she started with Continental. Kathy and her husband have beautiful horse farm with a nice grass strip not far from FTFOD's. The guest quarters are magnificent. Bruce Bohannon, who owns FTFOD's, kept talking about having choir practice tonight, and whether of it would be held in his hanger or someplace else. I was beginning to think this was not my kind of crowd , if their ideas of showing me a good time was to take me to choir practice.

Fortunately, Freya explained to me that "choir practice", is Bruce's code word for the boys to get together and drink beer, tell lies and talk flying. Now I am looking forward to this evenings festivities. Turns out that Freya, Bruce and I have several mutual friends we have made through our flying activities.

Bruce has a fellow who is going to trying to find the little electrical gremlin that has bugged me the last two days. If all goes well I will be meeting the Waco EAA Thursday at noon and then proceed to San Marcos, TX to RON for several days and visit with three generations of family I have there.

Monday 7:24 p.m.

Landed safely at Pineville, LA 2L0, and will RON with Jim and Patsy Hidalgo. Jim was a long time friend of Sam's and was one of the group that helped look after Sam at the end. Will overnight here and prospects look good for meeting the EAA group in Lufkin, TX for lunch and the on to Liberty, TX for an RON with the newest EAA Chapter.

The XM weather was indispensable again today. Two large thunderstorms in progress between McComb, MS and Pineville, LA but a large 20 mile wide opening between them made for a pleasant flight. A lot of turbulence on landing, but the wind was right down the runway. I still haven't discovered any shortfield qualities in the Acro Sport. Under 90 mph it has all the aerodynamic qualities of a number two grain scoop thrown from a hay mow. Wheel landings are fine but it doesn't like full stall three point landings.

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