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 !!!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Excellent practice on 1/27

Excellent practice on 1/27. Tad, Reno, Aussie and
Scott Keadle at KEQY. Despite some bumps, we got a
good number of things done. Looking forward to next
one to keep the rust at bay...

(ed... I think this was from Bill)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

1/27 practice

Saturday 2 pm at EQY for those who can practice
(Bill,Tad Paul, Smokey) see you there.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Palmetto Flight Blog by E-mail

Just a notice that information can be sent to this "blog" via email as has been this note.
This should prove to be useful later on.


"Speedy's " Take on "Palmetto Flight" to KLAL

The Palmetto Wing ("Palmetto Flight" ..ed) had an outstanding trip to Lakeland for the RV fly-in this weekend!

Friday morning we ("Speedy"/Ken Alderman, Ken Harrill/Melinda, James Clark, , Len "Cover Boy" Leggett, Ron "Smokey" Schreck, and Larry Bowen) met up in Hazelhurst, GA for a top off of $2.80/gal 100LL. Smokey led the 6-ship to Cedar Key for lunch, and a short taxi ride into town had us chowing down on grouper sandwiches, shrimp sandwiches, and complimentary swamp cabbage (hearts of palm). To keep from being completely overgross on takeoff (and save the $5/head taxi ride) we walked the mile back to the airport, where James led the flight on a short hop into Brooksville to pick up his friend, Nancy.

I led the flight from Brooksville into Lakeland, and you couldn't have asked for better cooperation from the tower. As soon as I checked the flight in on tower frequency, he asked if we wanted to do any fly-bys and whether we wanted the initial for landing. Affirmative on both counts! We taxied in to the area beside the new Cessna Center and set up camp with 7 or 8 other RVs that had come in on Friday. It was really strange seeing "Sun-n-Fun" without the usual crush of planes, people, vendors, etc. It was very cool having the place to ourselves and being able to camp right beside our planes, with the bathhouse, and flush toilets all within 100 feet!

Saturday was great, with almost 100 RVs coming in to eat, socialize with old and new friends, and attend the forums. Vic Syracuse and his wife showed up in their beautiful RV-10, and Steve Coleman came up from Jax in his -4. It was good to see all of you!

Smokey had to return home, but later in the afternoon, I led a 4-ship (Speedy, James, Ken, and Cover Boy) to Zephyr Hills for fuel, and as an excuse to do a little formation flying. There was a guy there who was very excited to see the "show" and ran over to us to take our picture with his 110 Instamatic camera. Taxiing out, Cover Boy hammed it up by waving and blowing kisses to the imaginary crowd. That cinched his new call sign......

Heading back to LAL, the sun was getting low and the light was golden. Again, the tower anticipated what I wanted, and we made a perfect diamond pass (with smoke) in the butter-smooth air. Man, it doesn't get much better than that!

We all sat around a big fire Saturday night, roasting marshmallows and swapping lies. Sunday morning it was donuts and coffee, then strike the tents, saddle up and RTB. Cover Boy and Larry left first to try and beat the ice to Winston, NC (which they barely did), James took Nancy back to Brooksville, then went on to Columbia, and Ken and I made a 2-ship up the GA coastline. What a spectacular route! We wanted to have lunch in Columbia with everyone, but after a quick look at the radar, decided to beat feet back to Anderson. We landed and got the plane in the hangar just before the serious rain started!

To everyone who went, thanks for a memorable weekend of friends, fun, and flying. To those who didn't go, you really missed an outstanding weekend- put it on your calendar for next year.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Our own "Cover Shot" by our own "Cover Photographer"

Our very own Radomir "Photo-Rad" Zaric takes **THE** Van's 2007 cover shot of our now world famous and of course, very own, Len "Cover Boy" Leggette during a formation practice ... somewhere over the Carolinas.

Rumor has it that Len has been taking lessons from the Royal Court as to how to wave and blow kisses to his loyal followers and fans. :-)

And oh, that tower guy at Lakeland who made the snide remark about a nose gear being in the formation obviously did not know that WE were honored to have such a "star" in our presence! :-) Some day he will want "Cover Boy's" autograph.
Not bad for a member of a "rag-tag bunch of RV flyers who sit on the sidelines and think about flying"! :-)

Of course what makes it all work is the keen and artful photographic eye of Radomir. I would not be surprised it he ends of with multiple shots in the calendar the next time around. Way to go Rad!

Congrats to both ... doesn't get much better than this!

5-ship Practice

A "5-ship" practice somewhere near Lancaster (KLKR). Members in the formation consist of:

Lead - James
#2 - Paul
#3 - Len
#4 - Tad
#5 - Ken

Obviously #4 (with photographer) is trying to work his way back into position! :-)

From Formation Pra...

Keeping Canopies on the Horizon for Echelon

In this practice session we have and RV6 at lead (James), an RV4 at "2" (Paul), an RV8A at "3" (Len) and an RV8 at "4" (Bill with Rad taking the photo).

These turns are a lot harder to do correctly than they may look. So we just have to keep on practicing. :-)
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Welcome to our little "blog" for capturing some of the Formation Flying we do in and around the Carolinas. We all fly variations of the "RV" aircraft from Van's Aircraft.

More information about us will be included here later ...