Wednesday, May 23, 2007

“Celebrate Freedom”, Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC, May 19, 2007

So this is how the Thunderbirds are treated! We would have flown just for the fun of it, but our hosts at Fort Jackson’s “Celebrate Freedom” airshow pulled out all the stops and provided hotel rooms, rental cars, fuel, smoke oil, hangar space, lunch and VIP treatment wherever we went. Now this is the way to host an event! The only thing they didn’t provide was smooth air.

The call went out and RV’s arrived from as far away as Texas. Falcon brought Jarhead and Phantom from the Lone Star State. Kahuna, Speedy, and Subob represented TeamRV and Palmetto flight rounded out the top ten with Radar, Smokey, Stripes (or is it Tadpole now) and Ken Harrill (gotta screw up sometime Ken so we can hang a deserving call sign on you).

We got to open the show by circling a parachutist trailing Old Glory and red smoke. The three smokers, Kahuna, Smokey and Jarhead must have done a dozen high “G” turns around the jumper before exiting the show to recage their gyros and unwind their minds! The three then joined up with the rest of the group to perform several opposing passes of six and four-ship flights led by Falcon and Kahuna. (Ed. See 6-ship "Arrow" in photo above.)

After lunch we launched again to close the show with a ten-ship formation, led by Falcon. By now the thermals were at full strength and staying in position was an extreme effort by any standard. The airspace was not “waivered” so we were limited to 1000 feet, thus our ground observers couldn’t see how much the flight was tossing about. I’m sure we were all in perfect formation for a few nanoseconds once in a while! Hope all the pictures were snapped at those times…. (Just once, I would like to perform an airshow at the crack of dawn when the air is cool and placid.)

Our thanks to James Clark (Radar) and the entire ground support team at KCUB and Fort Jackson that made this show a “keeper”. See you next year!

Submitted by Ron “Smokey” Schreck
(Ed. More photos later.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Recently Attended Ohio Valley Formation Clinic ...

First of all, a big congratulations to Ron and Ken for getting and passing their FFI Flight Lead checkrides and to Tad for getting and passing his FFI Wingman checkride. Hard work, well earned. Additional checkrides are being sought

An excellent write-up from a "newbie" perspective ...

And a "whole bunch" of pictures here ...

An attempt at a short video clip of a unique fly-by. Our Tad ("Stripes") is "smack dab in the middle"! :-}

And if that did not work, try this link.

More later. Just wanted to get something up quickly.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TeamRV Flies at Sun-N-Fun!

TeamRV (led by Mike Stewart), flew several "circuits" in formation at Sun-N-Fun this past Friday (4/20) and Saturday (4/21). The flight positions were: Lead - "Kahuna"/Super8, (2) "Subob"/RV4, (3) James ("Vibes"???)/RV6, (4) "Smokey"/RV8, (5) Ken (???)/RV6 and (6) "Speedy"/RV6.

After a 4-ship + 2-ship departure,several formation passes were made.

The passes included: "Delta", "Arrow", "Double Vic", "E-Z", and "Cluster" formations using the six ships.

A final 2+4 pass was made with Kahuna and Subob heading home after the Saturday routine

A great time was had by all.

Our flight was in the "Nikon Best of Show Photo!! See ...

See these locations for more pictures thanks to Scott Will and Hayden Davis ... And now see video at left!

Monday, April 9, 2007

"6" Seems "Acute" and High ...

When I first saw this photo by Mike Hoover, he and I commented that "6" looked a bit high and acute. But after writing the prior submission, a different thought came to mind ...

Maybe it's just Ray,

in the ultimate RV,

"Gone West" ... :-(

"Palmetto Flight" + "TeamRV" at Palmetto RV FlyIn

This past Saturday, April 7th, a several determined souls braved forecast winds of "gusting to 32" knots on top of a "cold snap" and made their way to Columbia-Owens Downtown Airport (KCUB) for the 4th Annual Palmetto RV Fly In. Some called and canceled and several dozen decided to come by land instead. But as usual, good food and good fellowship was the order of the day, along with a chance to take a look at some nice RVs. We thank everyone who came and made it another nice get-together. Pictures of the event should be forthcoming. More pictures from the FlyIn can be seen here:

On a sad note, our first and most prolific Carolina RV builder, Ray Chaplain passed away earlier in the week. Ray had built an RV6, RV6A, RV7A and an RV8 and was visited by Van "hisself" in the early days. His deep red (burgundy) with gray stripes RV8 has been seen many times in various magazine articles about F-16 flyers who are also flying formation in RVs. Ray had recently finished a Zenith Light Sport Aircraft. I know he would have done an RV12 instead if they had been available at the time and his most memorable saying about his last project was "... it ain't no RV!...". We will miss Ray, his dry wit and his paving the way for us as builders here in the Carolinas.

We fortunate to have Mike Stewart and Danny Kight of TeamRV join us for a "Missing Man" flight for Ray and I am told that his family really appreciated it.

In the first picture, above, taken by EAA Chapter 242 newsletter editor, Mike Hoover, is a 5-ship fly-by after the flight for Ray. This was the team that did the "Missing Man" for Ray. Lead: Ken Harrill (RV6), 2: James Clark (RV6), 3: Tad Sargent (RV7A), 4: Danny Kight (RV6), 5: Mike Stewart (Super8).

In the shot to the left, "2" (James) has just pitched out and "3" (Tad) is about to ... at KCUB

Lake Norman Fly-In

[Submitted much earlier by Bill ("Reno Red") ... Sorry about the delay. JEC]

Saturday March 24 turned out to be a great day for Palmetto Flight. Three of us (Stripes, Smokey, and Reno), made it to 14A, Lake Norman Airpark, to a fly-in, a special fly-in I might add. We were asked to perform a 'missing man' fly-by in honor of Andy Moscarelli, a friend and advisor to many RV builders. Andy passed away recently, and his widow attended the fly-in. Since we only had 3 players, we were honored to have Retired General (thats right) Tom Waslaw join us in his RV-4. A former F-15 jock (Smokeys FAVORITE airplane) with some considerable formation time, the flight didn't miss a beat. Smokey led w/ smoke on. Reno flew # 3 and pulled out and up w/ smoke on. Numerous 'atta boys' were offered up at landing. About 100 planes made it including SERVers Cappy, Dale Ensing, and a -6 from Anson Co. Looks like we have a new member in Genl Tom. He lives on Lake Norman and will make a great addition. after we give him plenty of grief at his first few practices. Everybody starts at the bottom. Hoping for a Great flying season, especially when CB gets back in the air. Practice scheduled for Sat. 3/31 at Lkr at noon wether permitting. Hope to see everyone there. RR.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Len's take on KLAL (w/ Cedar Key Arrival shot)

Ron Schreck, Larry Bowen and I took off around 9:30am Friday morning (as soon as the fog lifted) and joined up over RUQ for the flight down. Ron discovered he had not fueled the plane and had to land at RUQ for fuel ... Larry and I continued on knowing that Miss Izzy would have no problems catching us. And of course he didn't. You need to ask him about his join up on our two ship ... spectacular !!! Weather going down to our fuel stop at Hazelburst, Ga. was scattered and broken clouds but fairly low. We made that part of the trip at around 2000'. Ken Harrill (RV-6), James Clark (RV-6), Danny Kight (RV-6) were already on the ground waiting for us. Unfortunately .. Danny (Anderson, SC) and his passenger and new 6A owner Ken .. had no fog delays and had to spend two hours on the ground waiting for us.

We all got fuel at 2.80 per gallon !! Took off as a flight of 6 with Ron in the lead heading to Cedar Key for lunch. Ron led us on a beautiful flight over the water and landing into Cedar Key. Taxi into the village for lunch and a walk back to the airport with clear blue skies and "almost" tee shirt weather. Groups of RVs seem to always bring out crowds and they did this time too.

James led us from Cedar Key into Brooksville to pick up a passenger. Then Danny led us on into LAL as a 6 ship. It was neat when the controller ask us if we would like to do a fly by and then set up for initial ... well yes we would !! That went well and we were soon on the Sun N Fun grounds pitching tents and tiedowns. They provided dinner and we visited the museum for a presentation by a photographer who flew the Lewis and Clark Trail to the Pacific in an open cockpit taking wonderful pics. Rad ... you would have loved it !!

Cold night in the tent especially for Larry as he forgot his sleeping bag. Everyone donated sheets and blankets which according to Larry only partially worked. We awoke Saturday morning to beautiful weather and a pancake breakfast. 102 planes flew in on Saturday ... most from Florida. Several seminars were presented and lots of walking around looking at pretty RVs. The temp on Saturday was great ... somewhere in the low 70s and blue skies. Around 4:30 we took off as a flight of 4 and went to Zephyrhills for cheap fuel and a chance to come back over the SNF grounds in a diamond formation with smoke on !! By the time we returned ... lots of people had headed home. We checked wx all day making sure we could get back in today. Everything said the bad wx would reach our area around 4pm ... wrong !! Ron was called into spot whales in Wilmington and departed LAL around 3pm for home. The rest of us camped again. Bonfire and all you could eat chicken ... life is good !!

This morning we were up early .. packing tents and belongings. Our group split up for the flight home ... Ken and Danny flew the coast line home. Larry, James, and I made a stop in Brooksville to drop off a passenger, take on a little fuel and departed for the trip home with no planned stops as all the Garmin 396s and 496s were saying get home now !!! We had a nice tail wind down low and flew home at 2500' showing ground speeds in the 170s. James headed off for Columbia soon and Larry and I continued on ... with wx continuing to decline. We finally hit a wall of showers around Concord and decided to land as ice was beginning to form on our windshields.

Got a little fuel, pit stops, calls to home and we were airborne again for a try to make it home. All was going fine as we hopped our way from airport to airport toward Winston. We deviated a little west of the direct route to avoid some showers and that put us close to Twin Lakes for Larry to head to. I passed by as Larry was turning final. From Twin Lakes to INT (only 17 miles) ... my windshield completely iced over. I had zero forward visibility ... you should have seen me checking those wings for ice. I got the straight in for Runway 4 ... slipped left and right to set up for landing ... then landed looking out the side. All went well ... discovered ice was beginning to build on the wings. I had about a 6" line of ice on the wings .. very thin. Glad I had no further to fly. My first encounter with ice and I can't believe how fast it happened. Guess it took an experience for me to gain true appreciation ... but I have it now.

We all made it back home safe and sound. It was a great weekend with friends and fun planes !!!