Endless Foot Drag 623 to 626

Britton Shaw has hosted the “Endless Foot Drag”  for many years.  One look at the field and it is easy to see why people come back over and over again.  Miles of Bermuda Sod bordering the  Mike Bennett and I had driven through heavy weather to Fort Smith Arkansas for an Instructors Clinic that Chad Bastian was giving.  I arrived Tuesday night and rather than pitch a tent on the saturated field I took advantage of Dawn’s gernerousity and asked her to book a room for us at the Hilton affiliate.  I had been looking forward to camping but a first class room is wonderful too!  We spent the day with Chad and 6 other pilots in the Hampden Inn board room.  What a group…. I think I was the only one there who wasn’t a licensed GA pilot.  Bruce and Terry had been flying for decades, Shawn was a CFI and Apache driver.  Garrett had thousands of sky dives and was a GA pilot.  It was humbling.

We were given the luxurious “Board Room” to have our clinic and spent all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning doing class work.  Chad was great keeping us on track and covering the entire syllabus.

Wednesday and Thursday we broke up at 6:00 and went out to the field.  Wednesday was great!  I got in two flights and way over 2 hours of flight time.  I even turned on the strobes and stayed up well into nautical twilight.  Thursday was at the event site and equally good. Friday afternoon I picked up Dawn and we returned to the field where the event was starting to ramp up.  Vendor booths were being assembled and pilots were arriving.  I was tickled to see so many old friends from Fly Ins past.

Just as Dawn and I were getting ready to walk the field and show off Beau, Britton came over and informed us that dogs were not allowed on the field.  The landowner was concerned because of a dog bite to a child the previous year. What a drag.  We set up the spare tent to keep Beau in but he would have none of it, jumping at the door and biting the fabric.  Dawn eventually sat in the tent and stayed with Beau while Chad walked us through some radio training.  It was too windy for any but the most skilled pilots so we watched until dark.

The next morning I got up early and was able to get in a short flight in strong and ratty air.  Kurt later told me the wind was 9 mph gusting to 17 when I landed.  It wouldn’t have been fair to leave Dawn to sit in the hotel with the dog for the rest of the weekend so I packed up the rig and said my goodbyes.
So I didn’t really get to enjoy the Famous Endless footdrag but I did get my Instructor Certification.  Perhaps we could have put Beau in Doggie Day Care but thats water under the bridge now. 

Dawn and I pulled out of Fort Smith at 1:00 pm and power drove back to Colorado.  We were in bed by 1:15 am

Thanks Britton …. You have a great Fly In … I look forward to flying with you in the future.

Bob Peloquin

Chad Bastian

Flying the single surface glider


Andy McAvin

Mike Bennett

620 & 621 VB

WOW ! busy day at the patch!   It was one of the warmest days of the year.  I got to the field a little after 6 and launched without drama.  The first touch and go was lovely but the second not so much.  I got some kind of bouncing thing going on between the left and right rear wheels.  Obviously i was using too much brake and didn’t have the lift when I needed it.  Powered up and got out of trouble.
After the touch and goes I flew by the ski lake and boated around until I was joined by Matt Heckler on his quicksilver.  We flew together for 20 minutes or so and returned to the airfield.

Good flight

618 & 619

618 & 619
The winds were higher than expected when I got to the field at 6:30.  I put up the wind sock and waited a bit .  It seemed to be cycling about every 7 or 8 minutes.
At 7:30 the crew started to arrive. Mike bennett and Tom P. came ip from Snowflake followed by Paul and Dan.  prett soon we had a good crowd.  The winds were still strong but after watching several footlaunches I decided to go for it.  I was set up by the truck with the windsock directly to my left.  I wanted to watch it and time the launch for when the wind came down.  BIG MISTAKE!  The wing came up and immediately started to ossolate, it settled down and I started to roll out.  The launch was without drama but when I looked up to check the lines, there was my windsock streaming from the port side C lines.  The wing was flying fine and I didn’t notice any tendency to pull to the left but it looked bad and so I lapped the field and landed.
The next attempt was a fiasco, the wing came up fine but collapsed during the run out.  I was able to recover it only to have it collapse again.  After getting it overhead a third time I was probably 30 degrees off the original heading and the wing was flying straight, just as I powered up to launch it folded up again so I shut it down.  The kicker was that just as the prop wound down the wing reenflated and there I was sitting in the middle of the field power off kiting the wing.  I could have probably started the motor and launched without incident but enough is enough.
While I was hauling my gear back to the truck Mike Bennett went up to demo the new Eden 5.  It’s a whole new wing,  certainly not DHV 1-2 anymore.   He pulled several impressive wing overs and one very scary looking barrel roll.  He wasn’t phased by it but I was puckered.
Finally I launched and enjoyed a little windy airtime.  The chase cam was tracking well and I was looking forward to seeing the footage from all the early morning shenanigans.  Unfortunently the data got erased forever.  I was able to see it once before i erased it and could clearly see the wing dip down and pluck my windsock off the pole and later flying from the lines off to port.  Too bad it would have made a great “dumb chute” video.
As we were packing up a fellow came by asking about the generac.  we got to chatting and i was invited to go for a ride in his EZ LONG.  It is a light sport X-perimental.  …Got a ride on a EZ L experimental craft.  WOW ….fast,  Long range,  aerobatic, tiny, and did I say cheap?   They are online used and flyable for under $40,000.  We flew out to Winter park over to Granby and Grand Lake.  Then to Estes and a couple of times around Longs Peak and back to Vance Brand.  90 minutes of airtime and he even let me fly a bit.  The first time I grabbed the stick I gripped it like it was a mountain bike on a hard downhill but once I settled down it was easy with just the lightest touch required.

dumb chute story
What a great plan….Thanks Ian