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CFO Regional Fly-in

Harris Ranch, California

Saturday June 17th, 2000

About a dozen airplanes and 30 people arrived as scheduled for the Harris CFO regional flyin. There was a regular Cardinal traffic jam at 11:30, and we had already started using the overflow grass area for parking.

Conversation was no problem, as people compared notes on weather, both as experienced and as observed on the way. Those of us from the Midwest are quite amazed by this marine air phonomonon that seems to swallow certain airports whole while others are basking in the sun.

Yes, there were some of us from the Midwest there. Keith and Debbie Peterson and their kids made the trip out from Illinois and told a least a few people that the main draw was the rumored steaks at Harris Ranch. A planned vacation visiting Debbie's sister in San Jose was added afterward just to fill in the week.. :-)

Other than the marine layer that impacted some flights, the weather was beautiful. Yes, it was a little warm, but after the over 100 degree weather that had plauged Califoria for the few days before this event it felt fine.

In fact when a Cardinal needed pushing back, and for one Rockwell Commander pilot who found himself half over a ridge in the sod, there were no shortage of people willing to lend a hand.

Harris Ranch is an interesting place, a combination truck stop and resort getaway. Just off a major highway, the complex included everything from a gas station to a hotel to an inviting ranch-style building with gift shops and the fine restaurant. It is clearly a worthy destination for a wide range of clientel.

The Cardinal Flyers held forth in a back room, hardly taking time between conversations to enjoy the food. Duane had a new camera that we should see some shots from soon, and conversations were heard ranging from magneto horror stories to the best fuel prices.

The following few pictures should capture most of the people at the event, although I may have missed a couple along the line...

After lunch, the group returned to the aircraft parking area and set about enjoying themselves.

A few folks set up the tent that Duane had brought, and a few others helped look into Claudia's complaint of a rough running engine.

Before long the two had gotten together, as can be seen to the right.

Tom Neale showed a real flair for inspection, finding a few small issues on several of the airplanes in attendance. In the end he pronounced the assembled aircraft 'better than normal', perhaps proof that his observations has been acted in in the past.

He even found a missing inspection panel screw on Keith's airplane... he must be slipping, spending too much time on the web page perhaps. (Later resolved from Vince's screw supply.. thanks Vince!)

Several RG drivers got the heat duct treatment once Keith found a tent stake that was suitable for cleaning out the insulation. Three or four RGs produced a handful or two of insulation, proving again that virtually all RGs need to have this checked.

This group also raised the question of whether the FG also has this duct problem, and we pondered togother how that might be addressed. It's not clear that we found the answer.

One aircraft toward the end of the line attracted our attention. It had been there when the first of the group had arrived, and an inspection told the tale. The first clue was a flattened exhaust pipe, then the Q-tipped props. Nose gear doors showed serious runway wear, but the belly and antennas were in good shape.

In the end the root cause was clear: the nose gear door link was broken, and signs of the door having jammed the front fork were appearant. The front scissor was ground down to much to know what kind of zerk had been on it, but clearly this airplane had arrived without benefit of a down-and-locked nose gear. If only they had been CFO members they might have learned to check that nose gear link.

One member who had just had that issue pointed out by Tom started asking where he could get the parts to improve his... he had been interested before but this little example was motivational for even those of us us without any rust or bending.

In the end everyone wandered off the direction they had come, most waving their wings in salute as they launched. There was some discussion by hangers-on as to the next destination, and a few ideas were tossed around. No doubt we'll get news soon once someone feels the motivation.

On the way home there was a chance to take a photo or two of Larry Wokral's airplane, this one was taken by Debbie after a several minute reminder of how hard it is to find another airplane in the big sky of California.

Thanks to Claudia for launching this flyin, and for Duane for his research and early pictures for the web site. Everyone seem to have a great time, and the only problem was that the day was over far too soon.

Pictures of most of the airplanes in attendance are below. You can click on each image to bring up a larger version of the picture in a new window.


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