After spending Thursday afternoon getting organized, flying began in earnest on Friday morning. I was fortunate to get up in four separate flights during the day. The first flight of the day was a training flight for Bill “Dozer’ Von Helmolt, who flew Gil “NAFOD’” Lipaz’s CJ-6.
I flew with Chuck “Cowboy” Crinnian, and was able to capture some video from an interesting perspective, a camera mount on the canopy of Cowboy’s CJ-6
The second flight was another two-ship. Kurt Howerton, a veteran of All Red Star, recently replaced his CJ-6 with a Navion and, for him, it was like learning formation flying all over again, He says, “The Navion is a fun plane to fly, but it is not an aerobatic plane, and I just can’t be as aggressive with it as I could with the Nanchang. Nevertheless, there is value in this sort of training. On this flight, I flew in NAFOD’s back seat. The Navion is a graceful plane, and Kurt’s plane sports an attractive color scheme.
I also got some interesting video of this training flight
After lunch, I went up in a four-ship formation of Mentors, flying as #3 with Steve Geary. Lead was flown by John “Flipper” Flippen in his yellow T-34, and Dan Mintz was in the #2 position in his “Mentor disguised as a Spitfire.” Tedd Shellenbarger flew #4 in the tan March T-34
By the time we got back on the ground, it was just about Miller Time. But not quite. I was pleasantly surprised when Dan Kirkland came up to me and asked if I wanted to take some air-to-air shots of Mark Peterson’s P-51. “When?” “Now, grab your stuff and let’s go!” Now, since I began my love affair with warbirds, I had not had an air-to-air session with the elusive “Pony”, and I jumped at this chance. Dan was actually going up on a training flight with the yellow T-6 flown by Kurt Kohler, and Mark was going to take one of the event organizers for a joy ride, so they decided that this would be a great opportunity for me to take photos of the Mustang. My arm needed no twisting!
And here was the Catch of the Weekend….
It was the perfect ending to a great day.