Author Topic: KFLY  (Read 2882 times)

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Offline Bill James

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KFLY
« on: June 02, 2014, 09:19:40 PM »
Burrall Sander’s Canard Fly-in at KFLY near Colorado Springs has been on my calendar for some time. This first trip to KFLY turned out to be up there with the more enjoyable Canard events I have been to. This is the way I remember it.

Several important events had elbowed their way onto the weekend schedule. But early Saturday morning I decided to launch. That was the third or fourth re-decision on whether or not to go. Lots of places one needs to be. One of the main factors for going was after the 0-290 rebuild and lots of local flying to get the plane out on a real cross country. So it’s a go!

A little over three hours later, after miles and miles of miles and miles, Pike’s Peak was peeking up on the horizon. The chatter on 122.7 came alive and I found myself approaching KFLY with the returning racers. After loitering a couple of minutes I was able to land during a lull.  I wondered about doing like some Marathon runners, jumping in near the finish line and claiming to be a participant. Maybe next time.

Hello 6874 ft MSL. And the DA was higher. Zipping through touchdown I saw shark fins everywhere, both sides of the runway. As I taxied in more race finishers came zinging in on final. Berkut, Berkut, Berkut, Cozy, Velocity, Long EZ, VariEze… and a few local non-race spam cans mixed in…  What a scene. And it looked like a couple more Berkuts were already parked. Taxiing in, the view of the airport hangars spread out as far as I could see. Lots of Canards. Lots of airplanes! And Burrall’s hangar was full of spectacular works of art in progress.

Parking and getting out I see familiar N numbers, interesting looking persons, and familiar faces. Beagle of course who was at the great Texas Burnet GIG two weeks ago, James Redmon who was also at Burnet, there was Mike Mellville, and Dave Adams who was holding my motel key, and on and on, so many great-to-see-again folks. It struck me that there was a lot of history here, and history being made.

I spot Burrall and as I walk up he is managing to herd a large gaggle of cats and his consistent answer seems to be “yes, yes, over there, yes, yes…   I guess there’s not much to putting on one of these fly-ins.   :)

I see several VEzes in attendance and several guys I know to be working on VEzes. The iPhone buzzes and it is Joe Person waving at me from across the runway standing by our parked VEzes.  He was tying down after the race and was pointing to the cookout lunch at the EAA hangar. It’s great fun to try to walk through the crowd of Canard folks at these fly-ins. Happy faces everywhere, calling up flashbacks of memorable memories.

As Joe and I munched burgers and brats I realized that the fellow sitting next to me at our table was Craig Catto of Catto Propeller fame. About a decade ago at RR Craig looked at my prop and said something about epoxy fumes and someone having rolled up wet BID and smoked it, which is an exaggeration.

Craig’s propeller presentation in Burrell’s hangar that afternoon was to say the least immensely interesting and inspiring, a video of tufted prop blades from a GoPro that Craig mounted on the crush plate. And he was soon followed by BBQ and then Mike Mellville’s show and tell of he and Dick Rutan’s flight around the world in their LongEZs. Mike’s slide show began with a picture of he and Dick looking extremely young sitting in their identical nose-less LEZ canoes on sawhorses with their feet sticking out front of the canard bulkhead. It ended with a shot of Mike flying a WWI biplane, one of five aircraft of the era that he has mastered so far.
 
Walking the ramps you see an abundance of bright ideas and bright eyes. Of the many afternoon and evening side conversations, I would classify three or four of the exchanges of information and opinion and BS as classics. Besides the side conversations, I believe that often in the quieter moments, significant information, both positive and not so positive, is transmitted between old friends and also often between new friends, that lead to someone making a positive change in their aircraft or their operational routine, if the recipient listens. And that’s good.

Several times in quiet moments the thought occurred that after a quick decision the plane easily got me here in less than four hours, and that Orville and Wilbur would have very much enjoyed the flight up, as well as the camaraderie of the day. I believe they were canard drivers?

As usual, several lessons learned:
- High altitude ops are serious. You (I) need to plan, review lessons learned (before you go), and keep your wits about you, both in flight and on the ramp when trying to push the plane to the fuel pump  :)
- It was impressive to see folks flying and operating successfully at the afternoon 10K+ density altitude.
Earlier I mentioned the VEze guys at the fly-in. 
- Of course the main highlights of the weekend for me included catching up with Joe Person again and and finally seeing his VEze; and dragging out of him all of the crazy things he is doing that he will talk about, and wondering about the crazy things he is doing that he wont talk about. Hope you got to see Joe and his spectacular VEze recently on the Discovery Channel.
- And catching up with Dave Adams again, always a pleasure.
- And as we were just preparing to leave, a new VEze builder from Albuquerque had just arrived and walked up and starting asking questions. But time had flown. You know how the cadence quickens when everyone starts saddling up. I hope he contacts me as he said he would.
- Another VEze driver provided the learning highlight for me. As Dave Adams and I were starting up to depart, after I had pulled the prop through a couple of dozen times, and Dave had tried his hand at it, Dave suggested not enough fuel, and I thought it was flooded. Chris Woodard, a KFLY resident and owner of Burrell’s VEze came up and asked if he could use a particular technique for propping the engine. I told him that with the two EMags it had normally been starting right up, but there were too just many people watching. I expected him to launch into a discussion of air molecules and gas molecules and holding your tongue right but instead he just motioned for me to man the throttle and walked behind the plane. He gently but deliberately flipped the prop - three times - and after numerous attempts by me and Dave Adams to fling the prop into forced combusted submission – Chris started it on the third flip. With no thrashing.
Just started right up and purred.
As the motor started I immediately recognized and remembered the several times the motor has started for me with that same simple, quick flip through the compression arc, and the excellent sound of the effortless strong ignition bite and bark and start up, with me recognizing the difference but not realizing why or what I had done right. I also remembered years ago seeing Gary Hertzler at Kanab standing there behind his prop and seemingly almost nonchalantly flipping the prop through a couple of times, and again that excellent strong ignition bark and rumble to idle. I also remember Brad at EMag telling me that the engine would start fine with a leaner mixture.
When I thanked Chris he pointed out that Joe Person had just showed him the technique that morning. Joe had said that with the ferocious manly flings of the prop the fuel gushes more than needed. However, the quick short flips through the compression stroke inject just the right amount of fuel. I think all that is close. That simple insight is worth much more than whatever “price” I paid to get to KFLY. And the notebook has several more of those insights, and good cruise info on the 0-290 to boot.
Ah, the chance to fly creatively again.
Thanks Dave Adams, and Chris Woodard, and Burrall! Good to see everyone.

Great to see the Canards Rising
Bill James
Fort Worth VariEze


 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 02:07:09 PM by Bill James »
Bill James, Fort Worth VariEze N95BJ
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Offline Rick Hall

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Re: KFLY
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 11:19:36 PM »
Bill:

We've crossed paths at fly-ins many times, Burrall's gig was no exception, yet I still haven't been able to place a face with "your most excellent stories". Am I batting 1,000?

See ya soon! I'm the 'middle aged' guy with thin and balding salt and pepper gray hair. Wear an aviation themed ball cap too, can't miss me!

Even if we never meet, keep writing!

Rick
Cozy MK-IV, plans #1477. 90% done, 70% to go!
Currently working on the canopy, side windows just installed.
My hobby at: http://zggtr.org My plane at: http://cozy.zggtr.org/

Offline LongEZDaveA

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Re: KFLY
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 08:47:56 PM »
Great to see you again Rick and Bill!  It was a fun filled weekend.
Dave Adams, Long EZ N83DT (Race 83) Villa Ridge, MO