Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Triple Tree Fly-In 2009

This was my first trip to Triple Tree. What a place!

I didn't know if this was a travel trailer and motorhome park ...

A fishing hole ... (they were biting - catch and release)

An airport ....

A manicured golf course ...

... or a family park (kids and pets welcome if they're managed).

The answer is, it's all these things (well, maybe not the golf part) and quite an accomplishment for the owners.

Take a look at their web site: www.tripletreeflyin.com

Now, if the weather would only cooperate. The fly-in runs from Wednesday through Sunday; I was there on Friday and that turned out to be the only decent day - it rained cats and dogs all the rest of the time. Same thing happened last year.

This is a must-do next year.

Fly safely ...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One door closes - Another door opens

First off ... farewell to Champ! I really enjoyed the airplane during this past year. When I bought Champ (see May 2008 post) I was going through an awful case of taildragger withdrawal, having sold the Cub to friends at Bayport Aerodrome on Long Island. It would have been along way to commute to fly a share of the Cub so I bought Champ to retire to the NC mountains. Then I got bitten by an open cockpit bug. Dadgum bugs, they just seem to keep biting!

Champ Taxis out on one of its last flights at Hendersonville NC ...

There was a fellow at Hendersonville back in the day named Jesse Anglin who, it turned out, designed some really nifty airplanes. He was in good company. A couple of other Hendersonville residents were well known airplane people in their own right - Matty Laird, Leighton Collins, Oscar Meyer (not the hot dog guy) ... Anyway, the story goes, Jesse took a ride with my friend Chet in his PT-19, enjoyed it immensely, and set out to design a homebuilt airplane with the same wind-in-your-hair feeling he had in the PT-19. The result was the Spacewalker. It was a single seat airplane that was built with toughness in mind. A friend in the model airplane business - again, it is said - asked Jesse about a 2-seat version and the Spacewalker II was born

Voila! The Spacewalker II !

Cory and I talked back and forth for several months - he had to quell a family insurrection ... the kids didn't want to see the Spacewalker go! I can imagine. This is an airplane designed for fun .

Unfortunately, it wasn't designed for my long legs. The airplane is just terrific but when I went to get inside I was all squnched up ... by wiggling around I could get in - barely - but couldn't get my feet to work the rudder pedals properly and heels far enough back to use the brakes. I sat in that airplane and was so disappointed. (Cory said he wasn't heartbroken and wrote later that he'd put over an hour on the airplane a couple of days after I left.)

So I keep looking. There is another airplane out there with my name on it.

P.S. If you're ever in south Louisiana near Lake Charles, go to D.I.'s Cajun Restaurant. The food and family are just wonderful.