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Sun & Fun
Sun & Fun
Batavia (Sporty's) Eastern Convention
Please note that there are several sections to this report... continue to scroll down to see each section.
Our host for the 2007 convention was Sporty's Pilot Shop. They did a bang-up
job in all respects, putting everything in place for the largest group they
have ever hosted.
It all starts at the top, and Hal Shevers put his full support and substantial
personal time into this event. Sporty's gets our vote for the pilot shop who
bests support at least our version of general aviation!
In particular Sporty's President and head of operations, Mike Wolf, put in
the long hours before and during the event to make sure everything was prepared
and executed to perfection. We really can't thank Mike and his team enough.
There were many others engaged in this effort... Mark and Terry and many others
at Sporty's. Thanks to all!
Of course the question everyone was asking was 'Would the Catch a Cardinal
be able to attend?' The answer came on Wednesday, when Dan Gryder landed
from the first flight in Griffin, GA.
Julie Boatman and Dan Gryder noted that the next step in breaking in the
engine was an extended flight, so they filled the tanks and headed to Batavia.
There was quite a stir around the airport when the CAC was reported to
be inbound for landing and only 10 miles out!
The Sporty's team rolled into action to guide Julie and Dan to the proper
hangar, and the CAC was tucked away for the night. It had clearly been
a long day, and the flight team was happy to lay low for a day. (Truth
be told, Dan headed to the airport to take a flight for his day job at
a major airline.)
While they recovered, the rest of us loaded onto busses and traveled
to the Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton. This impressive collection
of airplanes and all thing aviation keeps evolving over time, and is always
interesting. Several folks took the bus over to see the annex and it's
presidential aircraft, as well as another hanger of rare and exotic aircraft.
Lunch in the picnic shelter included the famous brownies we learned about
in a prior visit to Dayton, well worth bringing back return business.
the airport was continuing to fill up with Cardinals. By the end of the day there
were several rows of Cardinals in attendance.
just a few of them... and as always the quality and upkeep of these airplanes
were parked all over the airport, but there was always room for one more... we
never quite filled it up.
Things got right down to business on Friday morning with our opening presentation
by Dennis Wolter of Air Mod.
He had a series of pictures and samples to pass around which helped us
all understand the kinds of things to look for in a good interior restoration.
While there were many dozens of good hints, many people recognized that
this was just the tip of the iceberg of knowledge in this area. Clearly
the first hint is to make sure you're working with someone like Dennis
who knows the ropes.
One of the interesting discussions had to do with the longevity of various
materials that are commonly used for seats and interiors. Dennis had
several examples of good and bad choices in this area.
Another detailed discussion was about the likelihood and causes of corrosion
in our aircraft. In particular the Cardinal has a damping material glued
to the flat surfaces in our interior which tends to encourage and promote
Dennis showed several illuminating pictures and clearly demonstrated the
benefits of going into an interior project with aircraft longevity well
in mind. There is no better time to deal with some of these issues than
while working on the interior.
also heard from Scott, who runs Cincinnati Avionics, the avionics shop
at the airport. He had several comments about what to look for and ask
about in an avionics project, then gave us a tour of his spotless shop.
The biggest draw was the NC milling machine busily cutting out a new panel
in the corner.. nice tools.
At some point one needs to stop for lunch. We ate in the building where
Sporty's started, complete with many of the banners from their early days.
It was an excellent facility with plenty of room.
lunch the tours continued, starting with Dennis Wolter's personal tour
of his Aero Mod shop. This is his office area, where he showed the paperwork
and design details which go into a well completed project.
There were also several pieces of aviation art in the office, some of
which were done by Dennis. He has few hidden talents.
The tour continued into the shop area, which as can be clearly seen in this picture
was chock-a-block full of airplanes undergoing various projects.
His team were hard at work as we watched, and it was interesting to see
the level of craftsmanship which is required in this type of work.
Two past customers brought Cardinals for us to look at, and the results
of all this effort were remarkable indeed. Dennis clearly has the answer
for anyone dreaming of a top-notch interior.
The tours continued with a tour of the Sporty's operation. We got the full
internal view, one we understand has not been given to any group in the
past. It was suggested that we may be able to see our own orders being
processed, and more than a few people had taken advantage of the Sporty
discount offer to make that possible.
Hal himself took over the tour for a review of the facility via bus. There
is a growing residential airpark on the runway and many other details which
make Batavia a great place for aviation.
The tours required smaller groups, so while not on tour we spent a little time
in the upstairs public area talking about Cardinals and ownership.
This gave us the chance to introduce the team from Air Pros, who had traveled
down from Frederick to join us. John Hardin shared a few comments on what's
new in the aviation insurance marketplace. It was an interesting overview.
Supper was at the Montgomery Inn on the riverfront, were we managed to pack 85 people into a reservation
for 75! Great food, a great location, great company... it was a very nice evening.
A few people took the opportunity to walk up and down the riverside, in
a very pleasant park which follows the river in downtown Cincinnati.
Saturday morning we got to hear first hand
about the Catch a Cardinal project and get an update on how things were
Julie shared some pictures and thoughts about the project, including her
desire to make it something a little special, a little deeper
than a coat of paint and leather. Clearly they have accomplished that.
When all questions had been answered we moved on to the hands-on inspection.
We got to Julie before the crowds arrived for this picture, just the two
As anyone who has done an extensive restoration can attest, it take a
great deal of energy and passion to work though all the details and issues
Add the schedule and the pressures of many public appearances and sponsor
needs, and you can start to imagine how this has been.
We were very pleased that the project could have its first public showing
at our event, and glad to be able to make it a very warm welcome for Julie,
Dan and Julie's husband Mike.
We also enjoyed a presentation from Kathy Vesely about the
Cardinal project which she and her husband Mikey had completed. It arrived
at Batavia with only 7 flight hours.
After losing a prop on their way to a Cardinal flyin in 2000, they have
spent the last 7 years building this '68 to a level of quality that has
to be seen to be believed.
Here the group digs in and checked out Kathy and Mike's Cardinal, which
also had a place of honor in the hangar.
And there they are, our two birds of the hour. Two approaches to two absolutely
The group seemed to hate to leave... we spent quite a while just enjoying the
craftsmanship of these two fine airplanes.
But soon enough it was showtime! As most people know, Sporty's has free hot dogs
for anyone who flys in on Saturdays, all year long.
As it turned out we had flown in a pretty large group of people for lunch.
Sporty's did some figuring, and as you can see determined that just under
150,000 hot dogs had been given away. That's enough of an excuse for a
And a party has a way of attracting people! Here Keith and Debbie greet
Phil Boyer, who arrived in the AOPA jet (with the appropriate registration
number of N4GA.)
Phil invited all AOPA members to come and take a look through their jet,
and several people did.
We all lined up for a hot dog, hoping to get the luckily 150,000th dog!
As you can see CFO got a special mention in this event. We certainly did
our part to enhance the distributed dogs count!
Low and behold, when Hal's practiced eye beheld the actual 150,000th hot
dog, the next guy in line happened to be Phil Boyer. :-)
It was a fitting choice... we rarely see someone so happy to
get a hot dog!
It was be a fairly well documented event, but perhaps more importantly
everyone was having a fun time at the airport on a lovely Saturday afternoon.
Cardinal Drivers and Jet Jockeys alike, we all talked airplanes
on the ramp and enjoyed aviation the way we choose to do it.
While this picture doesn't really show the broader story, Phil and Hal
were admiring the three sweepstakes airplanes on the ramp for this event:
The Catch A Cardinal, the Twin Comanche which was a past AOPA giveaway, and
the Skyhawk which Sporty's will be giving away this year.
These gentlemen have done a lot for aviation, and continue to do so.
Paul and Keith got a chance to let Phil know what we really thought of
the CAC project. :-)
The sharp eyed among you will notice that Phil is wearing
a CFO hat... something which is not often seen.
We all bussed back to the other side of the airport after we had eaten
our fill, in anticipation of our Cardinal Walkaround in the afternoon.
But we noticed along the way that Julie was taxiing the CAC back to the
hangar, and we had time to hatch a little plot.
After a little discussion we lined the taxiway where she would come
by with CFO Members and rehearsed our welcome...
As seen to the right, the gauntlet line delivered a mix between a wave
and the classic "we're
not worthy" bow.
I really wish we had a picture of Julie's face.. it was priceless!
After that little bit of entertainment we went back to walking the Cardinals,
hearing what each member had done and wanted to do.
We did find a couple of little technical details to discuss along the way,
but mostly just admired our member's beautiful Cardinals.
banquet was an excellent meal, and before we knew it the time had come for our
after dinner speakers.
Hal Shevers kicked things off with a few comments of appreciation for all
the effort everyone had put in.
Then he introduced our main speaker
for the evening Phil Boyer, saying a few words about their past history and
all the things which Phil has done for aviation.
Phil talked a little about AOPA and the important matters currently taking their
But he quickly moved into more of a reminiscent mode, and talked about
what the Cardinal meant to him.
Not only did he fly a Cardinal as a traffic reporter in Sacramento, it
turns out he also used that airplane for trips and flight training for
His memories of how things were in that time, and what the ability to
fly meant to him and his family were interesting and entertaining. We had
fun listening, and it was evident that Phil enjoyed the chance to talk
about good news for a while.
At the completion of Phil's talk Keith and Paul presented Phil with a desktop
photo of the Cardinal he had flown, an image that Keith came across in
his many pictures of Cardinals.
The picture was framed in a talking picture frame, who's internal player
would play a few seconds of audio of Phil doing the traffic when the button
We hope Phil finds a place in his office for this small memento in recollection
of the good times he had in a Cardinal.
At this point we took a little time to distribute door prizes from
various sponsors and benefactors. Our commercial partners have been very
generous and there were several very nice prizes this year.
The door prizes given out included:
Our thanks to these generous suppliers for their contribution to this memorable
- An FS-450 fuel flow system from JP Instruments
- An SP-200 nav-com transceiver from Sporty's
- Dennis Wolter donated a hand-drawn rendering of the winner's
- Three vacuum-system protecting filters from Aerotech Components Inc
- Wind-up LED flashlights from Plane Plastics
- A stadium chair with arms from Plane Plastics
- Several hats from Plane Plastics
- A nice windbreaker from Plane Plastics
- Three sets of Windshield renewal and restoration kits from LP Aero
- Two die-cast Nascar models from SEM paints through Plane Plastics
- Three paint cleaning and restoration kits from SEM paints through Plane Plastics
- a Rosen 'crew shade' portable sun shade from Plane Plastics
Please let these suppliers know that you appreciate their support of CFO
when you do business with them!
As always, there were a few awards to give out:
The flew furthest award went to Jack Sherlock for his flight from Castroville,
And the Cardinal Care and Feeding award for the person who has owned their
Cardinal the longest went to David Allen.
Drum roll please...
and here it is, the best Cardinal of the show, as selected
by those in attendance.
And here the owners, Mikey Fowler and Kathy Vesely, accept the award.
Our congratulations to Mikey and Kathy for their hard earned and well
And now, a final reflection on the event.
It was a time of many firsts for many people in attendance, as well as
Sporty's and those of us who worked to put on the event.
We had many kind comments, and hope to get more in the comment section
of this web page.
These things are really a lot of fun, and we hope more of you can find
a way to attend one in the future.
And when it comes to reflections, the one to the right works pretty well.
More pictures below!
The following public comments about the flyin have been
|We had a great time; thanks to all who came and were part of the fun. Keith & Debbie|
|I had a great time too. Everything went well and the venues were all first rate. It was good to have Sportyís and AOPA involved. We met some great new people and saw friendly familiar faces too. Mikeís pictures are excellent; I especially like the frog. Thatís what I would have been looking for while the old people were talking. Jim Engberg |
|My first CFO Flyin was a blast; certainly a fun and unique crowd. Sporty's certainly laid out the Red Carpet! Wally Johnson|
|We had a fantastic time! Keith & Debbie have done it again.....Many thanks to Sporty's and AOPA as well. Bill & Leanna Povilaitis N30900 |
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