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Eastern CFO Convention, North Carolina

It was another great gathering, a smaller group than some recently flyins but all with the spirit that we have come to enjoy amoung the Cardinal Flyers. We were welcomed back by Guy and Staci Maher, sharing their home airport with us with outstanding hospitality.

By most counts 43 Cardinals graced the ramp at Salisbury at some point over the weekend of July 7th, 2001.

For those who wondered if they were in the right place, the ubiquitus CFO banner waved from the airport sign. The staff at Salisbury were as welcoming as last year, including the special fuel price for CFO aircraft.

I was the designated driver for the evening, giving Staci a break from her full-time role last year. Of course this required that I hang around the airport in the evening, the ideal fate. It was a beautiful evening, with the southern sun setting through the normal summertime humidity. A nice start for those arriving at that hour.

Here Donna and Dennis Wilt arrived from their extended trip around the south-east. They had interesting stories to tell about their flights to scenic places. This nice evening was just one in a series for them.

Meanwhile Guy and the Ground School group were getting serious about what makes our Cardinals tick. Guy had new material for this clinic, and really put people through the paces.

Deb was working too, preparing for the surge of registrations when the class was over. This is all a little new for us, but Deb is an expert at building accounting systems and is getting pretty good at being prepared for the rush when it comes.

After inhaling a couple of pizzas and getting a good nights sleep, it was time to head to the airport to check out the fleet.

As we have done in the past, each pilot got a few minutes to talk about his or her aircraft and tell us what was great and what needed help.

As usual, I was impressed by the time and energy folks are putting into their airplanes. As a result here are some very nice Cardinals there... nice enough to make me feel a little bad about mine. Perhaps I should let the web pages go for a while and put some time into the airplane!

After lunch at the EAA hangar we continued with our airport discussions, diving into some of the more subtle and, to some, more interesting aspects of Cardinal ownership and maintenance while Guy took the Cardinal Companions for a session dedicated to understanding how we Cardinal Flyers tick.

That session might have been interesting to sit in on..

A little later we all retired to the cooler environment offered by the hotel, taking good advantage of the larger room and better equipment that came with our new convention format. There was plenty of room for the group to sit in comfort and see what was going on.

The survival expert, Doug Underwood, regaled us with tales of people who had survived with skill and relative comfort by simply being prepared. It turns out he does a lot of this, even taking trips into the woods to try out the concepts he was teaching us.

Perhaps best of all, his presentation, projected from his computer, included a large number of Cardinal pictures. Many in the room experienced a momentary and relative fame as their aircraft flashed across the screen.

Between Doug and Guy there was quite an array of survival material to observe. Guy shared the contents of his survival pack with us, and talked about where to get all the items it contains.

In time the conversation evolved to details of using some of the gear. Here Doug explains to Staci just how to aim the mirror. I think she's getting it.. left elbow just a bit higher..

We did spend a little time on technical talk, with the panel of Paul, Keith and Guy available for questions and conversation. Paul told us some of the background of the Gami system, and shared his knowledge and experiences with detonation.

We covered a few other subjects as well, but this in-depth discussion was eye-opening for most. I think a few of us watched our instrumentation with renewed interest on the way home.

After enough time for a shower we sat down to enjoy supper together. The buffet was excellent, the service superb, and the entertainment provided by various videos (even Guy's special compantion video) supported the conversations at each table. There were no holdouts in enjoying this time together.

As part of a more offical part of the banquet, we shared a few door prizes that had been donated by various CFO sponsors and suppliers. f

Roy Sobchuk donated a set of fiberglas stabilator tips, won by Janie & Chuck Bretanus of Claremore, OK. They came a long way, the longest of anyone, and were rewarded for their efforts with some good luck!

Checkmate aviation donated a pair of checklists. Since they have several Cardinal checklists two lucky winners received certificates good for the checklist of their choice.

CFO donated a piece of Cardinal jewelery as a prize. We have been working with a number of suppliers to create jewelerly with a real Cardinal, not a modified 182 or upside down Mooney. They came out very well, and Sandy Honeycutt was the lucky first lady to be drawn by our excellent name picker, Cari Peterson.

Finally, Palmer donated a can of Plexiglas cleaner to each and every aircraft that flew in. We'll all be seeing better once we get a chance to us that donation!

Thanks to all the donors, and to the CFO members who helped make it an entertaining evening.

Morning dawned grey and rainy, at least for those of us who were not first out of bed. By 10:00 it was raining, and as reported in the digest, a few people had to wait for the weather to clear before they could get out VFR.

We grabbed an IFR clearance and got out just ahead of the main thunder. But the Strikefinder image to the right was the story of our trip home. We slipped between and along lines of thunderstorms with agility, finally getting behind the front for a smooth ride home.

Just as we had the home 'drome in site we came to this obstical in our path.. square in the VFR corredore between O'Hare and Midway. It was great fun to end out flight with a very short formation flight with the Goodyear Blimp.

In all, an excellent first convention. We are developing plans for future conventions already, and expect to have another good time somewhere in the eastern part of the country next year.

In the meantime, after a short visit to Belgium, we're looking forward to seeing the Califonia crowd in October. See you there!

Keith Peterson
CFO Webmaster

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The following aircraft were still at the airport at mid-afternoon on Saturday. Click on each image to open a larger picture.

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