More than a dozen members and guests braved the rainy morning to check out Brice Bowman's RV-9A and Bill Carr's Sonex progress. The tour generated lots of good discussion and interest in future Builders Tours. Thanks, Brice and Bill!
Photos by Tom McNutt
Comments by Richard M. Hixson
The sun rose on a gorgeous day on Saturday, August 12 in Indianapolis, IN. The promised patchy fog and possible 800 foot broken ceiling failed to make an appearance. Instead we enjoyed nearly CAVU conditions. The AWOS at Mt. Comfort reported visibility of 10 miles (although that may simply be its upper reporting limit) and a breeze of 4-6 out of 060. Perfect for Runway 7. Humidity was low. Iím not sure that the temperature made it to 80 degrees on Saturday. Quite an unusual day for August in the Midwest. A perfect day for a Young Eagles event.
The pilots safety meeting was scheduled for 7:15AM with the Young Eagles event scheduled to start at 8:00AM. Some of our pilots arrived a few minutes later. However, many boys and girls from two youth groups in Noblesville, IN, and their parents were already at the airport. It wasnít very hard to tell that there were some excited kids (and parents).
Rick Hixson provided a brief safety presentation. Brian Crull took the first student up in his beautifully restored PA-12. Phil Brown took up a student up in his Piper Comanche, an aircraft that he has owned for 21 years. It was by far the fastest aircraft at the event. Phil was a real workhorse for the group. A number of dads had some interest in riding in the back seat with their child at the controls. Philís aircraft was the only aircraft at the event that could take more than one passenger.
The remainder of the twelve students that participated in the event participated in a very thorough preflight of an aircraft led by Jack Vandeventer. Indy Aero was kind enough to provide the use of a brand new Cessna 206, complete with de-icing and the new Garmin-1000 package. This writer would have loved to have the time to participate in Jackís preflight and sit in the cockpit of this incredible aircraft. The 206 was plugged into a charger unit to power the G-1000 for the extended walk around.
By the time that Brian and Phil were ready for their next students Dan Hixson joined the event in his 1970 Cessna 150 Aerobat (his 1/15 share anyway). The Aerobat has been in the same flying club in Indianapolis for 31 years. It received a complete engine overhaul in 2004 and was completely repainted, with new interior upholstery this past winter. The Aerobat is not quite show quality yet but wears her age very well. Not very many 150s look this good.
Dan Hixson is in the third year in the Aviation Technology Program at Purdue University and a member of Air Force ROTC. Dan prepared the safety materials for the event. He is also the son of this very proud writer.
One father was quite apprehensive about his sonís ride in a small plane. In a role reversal it was his wife that convinced the father to let the boy participate. The father wanted to know if the activity was safe. This writer simply referred to the Young Eagles safety record: three fatalities in over 1,200,000 Young Eagles flown over the past 11 years. The dangerous part would be when the father and son got in their car to head home. Needless to say the student was very excited when he returned from his flight with Phil Brown. By that time the father was quite interested in the walk around of the Cessna 206.
It took a short while to get all twelve students in the air. Actually most students were up and flying by 10:00AM. However the wait seemed longer for the students. As mentioned most of the students knew each other from two youth groups. There were also two older students that responded to the Chapterís flyers about the event. One student, Kyle Pond, did not know the other students and sat by himself patiently waiting his turn.
Kyleís luck changed for the better. He would be one of the later students to fly. This gave Larry Jacobi, long-time Chapter 67 member, professional pilot and flight instructor, time to complete an early morning check ride for a student and fly to Mt. Comfort airport in his beautifully restored Boeing PT-17 Stearman. Kyle got the first ride. Kyle may still be smiling today.
After completing the walk around Jack Vandeventer also had an opportunity to take two students up in his Piper Super Cub. The students loved the Super Cub.
The event was wrapped up by 11:00 AM. Thirteen students (and at least five dads) were taken for a flight. The weather was perfect. The Chapter would like to thank its pilots:
Phil Brown and his Piper Comanche
Brian Crull and his PA-12
Dan Hixson and the Cessna Aerobat
Larry Jacobi in his PT-17
John Vandeventer and his Super Cub.
The Chapter also owes a debt of gratitude to Indy Aero, Inc for the use of their facilities and the use of the Cessna 206.
Submitted by: Richard M. Hixson.
More pictures from Tom McNutt