Monday, December 31, 2012

Truth or Consequences Fly-in

It was cold, Damn cold. But that was to be expected with a December fly-in and a bunch of nuts like me all flying open cockpit aircraft. Jim and Mitch found a warm spot in front of a propane heater located conveniently next to the coffee maker.

I was the fourth to arrive and already trailers were empty and trikes were being set up. Frank, Gary, and Mitch had a head start on me so I visited for awhile then got it in gear with my own Beast.

Dan and Danielle (who spent one entire morning zipping around on an electric scooter) were visiting but Dan did not have his trike with him this trip. Unfortunately Dan has his back to the camera.

 I took a few moments to look over the Red Devil. This is the trike that I would be taking my flight review in on Saturday. Frank has a nice machine here. I knew I was going to regret flying this thing.

The winds did not lay down on Friday at all so it was back to the motel for a few beers and some story telling. Jim came in later Friday night and set up camp at the end of the hangar row. It was not hard to find all the empty trailers. I was supposed to be there in my RV but that didn't work out so I got a room at the motel with the other guys.

 Saturday morning we were back at the field for some airtime and wondering if anyone else was going to make it down to T or C. We all got an hour or so of flying  in before we froze. Chuck and Ed did make it down from Double Eagle and landed soon after.

We all went out to Broadway BBQ for lunch and sorry for the terrible picture but it was a camera phone into the sunlight. Hey if you want better pictures hire a professional. Speaking of which we really did have a great photographer at the field. Steve Spaw, the T or C airport manager, had a great camera and was taking excellent pictures of us outlaw trikers who invaded his airport for the weekend. In fact all the rest of these pictures are from him. Thanks Steve for being so welcoming and a great photographer too.

Saturday afternoon Frank and I got ready for the flight review. We flew in his trike first and then I flew mine later.  It was an interesting comparison. His 912 engine against my 503. What a difference. 

I tie the Beast down  in front of the terminal building and jump in with Frank. I like flying different wings and different trikes to compare them against each other. The first impression usually sticks with me well enough that I can recall it much later. Frank's got a nice ride there. 

Away we go in the Red Devil. I was not wrong. I really, really, really want a 912 now. My Beast feels like a toy compared to the Red Devil. I hope that I will be fortunate to own one like it someday.

Somehow we never got any pictures of Ed or his Cobra. He was there on the ground and in the air like everyone else but never seemed to get himself in front of a camera. If anyone has a picture of Ed from the fly-in, send it to me and I will edit it in. Above is a picture of Chuck as he taxied in on Saturday afternoon in his Revo. 

And here is a picture of him taxiing out on Sunday morning for the flight home. In between he kept us laughing at his stories over dinner and was nervous about getting off early for the trip home. I haven't flown much with the ABQ group these last few years and there are so many new members I am looking forward to spending more time with them.

Gary spent some time trying to wheelie down the runway in his trike. I am not sure if it is a Maverick without the pod or exactly what it is but he flew it well. Low passes are fun especially when you have calm air to play around with. The air was not perfect but we still had a great time. It is nice having an airfield all to ourselves so we can play and not be bothered with arriving and departing traffic.

Here he is going back around for another try. There was a lot of pattern work Saturday especially because Steve was armed with a camera and who doesn't want a great picture of their trike in flight to use as a desktop background.

Mitch flew some low passes too in his red Maverick. Mitch and Gary have been friends for 50 years and the stories they can tell are hilarious. They windsurfed together, rode ATVs together, and now fly trikes together. I imagine when they both get old and start slowing down they will be playing golf together.  I have no doubt they will wind up racing their golf carts back to the club house after a round.

Here he goes around for another pass. Nice little machine. It was so cold I was wishing I had a pod and windscreen on mine too. This trip was my first time meeting Jim. He flies the Tukan below.

 Jim spent some time fiddling with his carbs in the morning then gave up and decided to fly. His is a Tukan which is a stick trike like my Beast. I know we will have a fun time camping and flying together when it gets warmer next year. Looking forward to that too.

 He has the most interesting throat warmer. It Velcros up around his visor and keeps him warm and his radio communications wind free. See I can learn cool tricks even from the noobies.

I had about a dozen landings myself this weekend. Sometimes I would round out at 70 and float for awhile before I would touchdown at 40 or so. Other times I would dead stick it in to see what kind of glide I could maintain. I also tried to fly 6 inches off the center line for half the length of the runway. It is a lot harder to do than than you would think.

The beast and I had a great weekend. I still have a few more tweaks to go but the thing is flying OK right now. We got a lot of flight time and I finished my flight review, even if it was a little cold. 

The star of the Fly-in however was Frank. He got more airtime in than anyone else. We could hardly keep that guy on the ground. Every time I looked up he was flying overhead. 

Here is a shot of Frank screaming down the runway. He was usually the first one in the air and the last one to come down. 

Coming in a little crooked here? I don't think so. I think he is just showing his skills for the camera man Steve who he bragged to that he could land the Red Devil sideways on any runway and stop before he ran off the other side.

Here is Frank again making it look easy. I have to admit if I had a trike like that I would fly way more than I do now. I would even rent a hangar to keep it in. 

The Beast sits in my garage ready for the next road trip. I am just happy that I have something to fly. Most people don't. And most of them don't even know what they are missing!


  1. Awesome aircraft. A safe and good environment is important for the student so that he can feel a good comfort in duration of his pilot training.