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North Carolina CFO Flyin


They came, the saw, they had a great time. July 8th marked the date of most organized CFO fly-in to date, thanks to the hard work and planning of our CFO hosts Guy and Staci Maher, shown to the right.

Guy and Staci planned a full weekend of Cardinal fun that attracted over 30 airplanes and 50 people to Salsbury, North Carolina.

Our weekend started with a ride to our home for the weekend under this welcoming sign. The Holiday Inn was a pleasant hotel just a few minutes from the airport. With a restaurant, pool, hot tub and large comfortable reception lounge, it supported the many small groups and conversations that came up with easy grace.

For instance, Rick and Michelle arrived a little late the first night, no doubt due to their hard labors to complete the CFO polo shirts that were delivered at the flyin. Their deepest longing upon arrival was for a pizza, so a few minutes later a delivery driver brought more pizza than the assembled group could consume. We did our best.

Our high visibility as 'The Cardinal Flyers' had a side effect: more than one member was asked "how our team was doing." One answered "We're doing great, we beat the Skyhawks 32 to zero."

For many folks, the weekend started with flight and ground school from Guy. I'll share Jim Honeycutt's comments, since his long career at Delta make him uniquely qualified to assess Guy's instruction:

The Salisbury Fly-in was great. Guy was the greatest host/instructor that we've seen. The instruction was good and I must say that after flying professionally for over 40 years, that I learned a lot. In the instruction material was a lot about the FAR's and also a Cardinal quiz that I would have probably flunked if I didn't have the POH with me! Jimmy and Sandy Honeycutt '76 RG N177BS

Early Saturday morning we met at the front door for a ride to the airport. Guy had the agenda laid out and he followed it closely, with frequent announcements about 'what's going to happen next' and 'this is where you need to be headed for the next event.' I got several comments that the clear focus was extremely helpful: no one was wandering around wondering when the next thing would happen.

The highlight of our time at the airport was the walkaround, where each person had the chance to talk about their airplane and describe their modifications, enhancements and any issues they were working on. A large crowd followed around on this tour, moving from plane to plane on a 4 minute schedule. Again Guy's gentle proddings kept things on track and on schedule.

At one point we all got an insight into the joke that had been cooking since the ground school the night before. John Lawson had evidently appointed himself the head heckler, and continued, in a good natured way, to make his presence known in the group.

When Guy started to recipicate in kind, he learned something about the mobility and agility that can be acheived by an experienced hook operator.

In this picture, taken in front of John's airplane, Guy is evidently 'getting the hook' for trying to steal the schene, and the heckler role, from John. We'll all have to come back next year to see where this saga goes..

Speaking of John's airplane, John has one of the two airplanes with a 200 HP IO-0360 engine in a '68 Fixed Gear. This particular engine is from a Mooney. If you are familiar with the installation of either the O-360 in the fixed gear or the IO-360 in the RG this picture will speak volumes. There are a number of items located in unusual places, not the least of which is the oil cooler.

John really enjoys his airplane and told the story of his recent education on it's idiosyncracies. I'd tell you all about it, but it will make a great quiz later. :-)

And speaking of hooks, Jimmy Honeycutt proved himself to be a master of the hook in his own right. Here he is modeling the latest in Cardinal accessories: a collapsable hook for use in gear emergencies.

There is at least one failure mode in which the main gear can end up dangling in trail, and a long hook can be used to pull them forward and locked. Jimmy's design uses a collapsable pole and a bicycle hook to provide the required tool for this operation in a compact package.

Guy's organization and planning showed themselves again as lunchtime arrived. Our tour just happened to reach the end of one line of Cardinals at about the time that the growling of stomachs was starting to drown out the speakers.

Guy led us around the corner of a hanger to the local EAA hanger, where the chapter had spent the morning creating a great lunch of burgers, hot dogs, chicken and other excellent foods.

With plenty of tables and chairs, we sat in the cool shade and discussed the morning's sightings as our feet recovered from standing the whole time. The food was really excellent, the people serving were airplane people, the meal was an excellent value and we helped out the EAA chapter. A great success in all respects!

Speaking for myself, I really appreciated the time we had to just wander around the airport and look at airplanes. There were many interesting things to see, and a great deal of interesting talk.

It was really nice to have this airport focus in the event, since for most of us that's what it's all about, seeing and discussing the things we have all done to our aircraft over the years. There were many interesting sights to see, and it was great to have the time to wander around while everyone was there and see what people have done.

Here's another comment from Jimmy and Sandy Honeycutt, who said it well:

...the flight line tour was excellent. I can see why everyone is proud of their Cardinals. Everyone has put in a lot of work. Sandy and I made a list of things to do to our plane, based on what we saw from other Cardinals. Nothing like a fly-in to get tips and to humble us... there were some beautiful planes there! Jimmy and Sandy

The afternoon wrapped up the flight line tour and quickly transported the group back to the hotel, where Guy had a room and a pair of presentations prepared for us.

The first was Larry Lambert, our friend from the FAA, who really did turn out to be a nice guy and full of information about the problem of runway incusions. He shared some of the common errors with us and answered a number of questions about ground clearances and options for solving the problems.

He ended his discussion with a request to keep the dialog going. "Someone out there has a good idea that will solve this runway incursion problem, and we really want to hear from that person."

Although we sometimes cringe when we think of hearing from the FAA, Larry was a breath of fresh air and clearly engaged the room. We finally had to shut the questions down and get on to the next program item.

Kathy Kenyon and Eric Barfield joined us from Hope Aviation Insurance Inc. They opened with a few comments about recent trends in insurance, but soon they were fielding questions from the audience.

Most of us were surprised to hear the inside story about how aviation insurance is really quoted. They explained that that every quote is a unique event. There are not enough airplanes to make anything normal, instead each pilot and aircraft is assessed for their level of risk, and quoted accordingly.

Since they work with the same people every day, the agent becomes an important part of the equation. They can 'make your case' to the underwriters, or find ways to sweeten the deal. For instance a little recurrent training might make a big difference for some pilots, or might let them get a smooth policy rather than the normal per-seat policy.

It was an interesting discussion, far too much to cover here.

The event wrapped up with the handing around of a few broken airplane parts. I brought a box of things from my hangar, and we talked about the kinds of things we need to be looking for in our birds.

Guy joined me up front and handled the operational considerations, fielding a few questions about normal and emergency procedures.

We wrapped up with a discussion of the event itself and CFO, asking the group how they felt about certain aspects of the event and discussing future plans. It was a good conversation for us and leads us to a number of ideas and improvements for next time.

The event concluded with supper at a local restaurant, just walking distance down the road. We were able to take over a back room and have an area all to ourselves. The food was good, the value excellent and as can be seen in these pictures folks had a good time talking Cardinals.

Many stayed the evening and flew out in the morning, although a few headed to the airport after supper. Those that stayed, hot tubbed and swam in the pool said a few prayers for those flying, as a substantial rainstorm floated through at a bad time.

But it appears that all was well, the only story we heard about the flight home was from Don Kuhn, although that was quite a story!

I'll close with the following note from Guy, flanked by a few pictures from the supper and one of Guy in his more hands-on role loading the van.

At the end of this report is a picture of each airplane that was at the event. Each airplane picture can be clicked to load a larger picture.

Thanks again to Guy and Staci, we all had a great time!

From: Guy Maher
Subject: NC Fly-in 2001

Greetings and hope you all made it home without any problems. The NC Fly-in 2000 is all over but the final report and whatever Keith has under his sleeve for all of the digital photos he shot.

For the final report: We had 32 Cardinals represented, 31 on the ramp. Members Krause wisely chose to drive so as to be on time due to the weather at their departure point being IMC. Weather made it interesting for many of the attendees inbound (and maybe outbound?) trips. I was able to perform 5 BFR's, the other two were canceled due to weather delaying the arrivals of the students.

I had 17 in my general subjects groundschool. The room was equally packed for the Saturday afternoon safety seminar. We had 35 for the Saturday evening dinner, and overall, 58 people were here associated with the 32 Cardinals represented.

I want to say a special thanks to Salisbury Air Service, who worked very hard to make everyone feel welcome and let us have the run of their entire facility.

It was a lot of work, but Staci and I had a great time. I had the opportunity to fly 5 nice Cardinals as part of the type specific training I was providing. John Lawson added a whole new meaning to the phrase of "sinking your hooks into your airplane"! It was amazing to watch him operate with not one, but a hook for hands on BOTH of his arms.

It was a great bunch of people that made the effort very worthwhile. At the end of the safety seminar, Keith and I lead a discussion about future fly-ins and how they might be run. More on that later. But there was an overwhelming yes to a repeat for next year so CFOers, mark your calendars for Saturday, July 7, 2001. "Cause Staci and I are ready to do it again.

The program is in the works, but it will offer aircraft specific training on the two days prior to the event, a Friday evening groundschool as was done this year but modified to include scenario based flight and performance planning for both FG and RG Cardinals, and some type of program for Saturday TBD. Feedback will help drive what type of program we might consider for Saturday afternoon.

One thing Staci and I noticed about this year's fly-in was the number of wives who should have been here, but weren't. Some members did bring the wives and kids and they seemed to have a good time and the kids were impressively well behaved. We have a couple of ideas on the boards for next year and would like feedback on them for planning.

One idea I have is to develop an afternoon training program on the Cardinal, JUST FOR WIVES. I am thinking of a course that might run for a couple of hours that would be on the order of "what wives need to know about their Cardinals." It would be in plain language, and cover all the basic, but important aspects of a flight in the Cardinal from preflight to touchdown so that they have a better understanding of what's going on, and why we men are so anal about our planes.

It would also give them an opportunity to get their questions and concerns answered in a HUSBAND FREE environment where they can be free from embarrassment or fear of asking any question. (In my opinion, the only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked)

There would be quite a lot of work put behind this, (most likely including a handout book and the use of a video presentation in the classroom) which would require a charge like my regular groundschool. So I need to know; Is this something enough of you would like to see? If so, I'll start working on the syllabus. If not, then it won't hurt my feelings and Staci and I will come up with something else for the wives.

The two most asked questions asked at this event to either Staci or myself were:

(1) Would I be available for type specific training outside of the fly-in environment if any CFOer wanted to travel back here to do it? The answer is yes. You can either email me or call to set this up, or get more information. A few of you have already started the ball rolling on this.

(2) Where did Staci and I get the shirts with our actual Cardinal and N number sewn on? Beagle Aviation, Boca Raton, FL, 561-368-0800.

In any case, a final thanks to all who came and made it a real fun weekend for Staci and myself. CFO is comprised of a great bunch of people and this weekend just proved it one more time.

So for now, the email address of ncflyin@yahoo.com is signing off. You can all reach me through my regular email address.

Fly safe!

Guy and Staci Maher (In ready to take a nap mode)

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