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The 2005 Texas Fly-in was Saturday, 11/04/05 in Brenham, TX. Several folks came early and had a great weekend in Brenham, while most of us flew in and out the same day. This was our Fourth Annual Fly-in and we have had some great locations in years past, in Lancaster, Fredericksburg & Galveston, but I believe that all of the attendees will agree that this year Brenham was the perfect location for our 2005 gathering! Finding a new airport for 2006 will be pretty tough!

In total, sixteen Cardinals flew in with beautiful Central Texas skies. We graciously allowed a couple of Fly-in visitors to park their C-172's & a C-182 in line with all of the great looking 177's.

The weather was nice with a firm southerly flow providing the folks traveling North-South on their roundtrips to have at least one quick leg! Winds on the deck were a steady 10-12mph in the morning, gusting into the mid-teens in the afternoon. The breeze made the rare, but dry, 84 degree November temps quite comfortable.

Brenham turned out to be a nice central location. The average distance traveled to the event was just over 130 miles, but more on that later. I departed early and arrived into 11R at 0830 on Saturday morning and found that three Cardinals had already beaten me into the airport. I knew then it was going to be a good day!

As each participant arrived, I was on the flight line taking pics (and visiting!) while Dee Maas and Lynda Shelton were inside the FBO setting up, registering attendees and giving away gift bags that included: an XM Radio brochure, 1 reprint of the July 2005 Plane&Pilot story '10 Most Undervalued Aircraft' (Cessna RG #1), 1 flyer from Chuck Ney Engines, 1 flyer on Alpha-Aviation Inertia Seatbelts, flyer on the Nissan Texas Titan, 2 Nissan koozies, 1 neoprene sunglass strap & of course, several 2005 Texas Cardinal Fly-In stickers.

This is the third year we have had Texas Cardinal Fly-In stickers and I get a kick out of how many requests I get for them each year. I owe a big thank you to Craig Schwarze of Diversified Promotions, as he has provided the stickers each year.

The FBO's restaurant, The Southern Flyer, opened her doors for lunch at 1100 and provided the CFO group great food and sat us all out on a beautiful screened-in porch that overlooked a pond, along with the southern runway tip.

The group had plenty of room on the veranda and immediately you could see many old friends talking shop about flying and anything else you might imagine. The 32 attendees convened at 1300 in the air conditioned pilot's lounge for a few directions on the day's activities and the presentation of a few easy to calculate awards.

  • The Shortest Flight (40.3 miles) went to N29530, a 1968 Cardinal out of Rockdale, TX owned by Jimmy Cox, Kent Givens & Jim Foster.

  • The Longest Flight (183.6 miles) was awarded to Charlie Ross and N113BC, a 1975 RG in Texas Tech regalia out of Ross Plains, TX near Abilene for traveling 183.6 miles. As for the rest of the story, later in the day John & Teresa Hopkins arrived in great looking 75 RG. During the walk-arounds it became the real long distance winners, when they said they had a 302.2 mile flight from Tallulah, LA, located near Vicksburg, MS. With the headwind they fought all morning to get there it is no wonder they arrived late!

  • The Oldest Cardinal went to N2849X and Garrie & Bonnie Morris for their 1968 177 sn177000249.

  • The Youngest Cardinal went to Charlie, N1246C, a 1978 Cardinal Classic sn17702689 owned by yours truly, Rob & Dee Maas.

From there we broke out to the flight line in a disorderly fashion to see the birds. Everyone was given ballots to choose the BEST FG, BEST RG & OVERALL FAVORITE. We saw some amazing Cardinals, and even better we heard some great comments from the owners.

Here are a few of them:

  • George Hawkins discussed a battery that broke away from the battery box during an IFR flight in N2176Q, and after the loss of power found out how well his hard wired portable COM radio worked - 140+ miles.

  • John Roberts and Skip Kilmer showed off their beautiful 1976 177B, based under DFW's Class B at Addison (ADS) airport.

  • Roger Kingberg & his son-in-law Jaimie Dixson brought their like-new 1968 177 w/ only 2300TT, and burning only 6GPH on 150HP!

  • Steve Howard brought the 1972 177B that his father owned, and it has now been in his family for 15+ years.

  • Jack Sherlock purchased N19767 before he even got his PPL and he learned to fly in her!

  • Johnny & Kat Becker's 1973 RG has an interesting logo on the right-side cowl. Seems the plane was used by the CAP and specifically involved in finding a downed aircraft, so it was awarded a military ribbon that is painted on!

  • Charlie Ross flies his '75 RG off of his grass 1800' strip in West Texas at 1800msl - everyday!

  • Marc Wiese's 1976 RG has all kind of mods - including a cool over-size center console, plus an interesting addition added onto his NACA scoop to improve oil cooler air flow.

  • Keith Watson flies N1618H, a '76 RG he calls Rudolph thanks to the bright red replacement nose cone.

  • Monte & Deanne King have N1976Q, a 1973 RG they fly out of Beaumont. Monte has been TOTALLY through his landing gear system and he had quite a crowd listening to his repair and troubleshooting stories. He also had a lot of questions on his AnywhereWX wireless, Bluetooth setup. Other popular discussions seemed to center on sources for inertia seatbelts and also on the need for a good and reasonable interior shop.

We reconvened in the FBO's Pilot's Lounge so Dee could tabulate the winners, so we continued with open comments. The merits of an S-TEC 20 vs. 30 were discussed as well as LED panel replacement bulbs, the Garmin 396, Skytec starters as topics. I brought up the -D engine prop governor issue and explained that a 200 hour governor OH had recently failed, and what the symptoms felt like (like an intermittent mag drop in flight).

We also had two drawings for the participants. The Brenham FBO donated a nice rivet-less ball cap (no button in the center) that Garrie Moore won. Marc Wiese and Lynda Shelton donated a bottle of Texas Blanco River wine that George Hawkins won. I was worried when he asked for the paper bag…just kidding. The winners of the Best in Class were:

  • The Best FG - Charlie & Sandy Corbin for N177SV - a 1970 177B with a like-new finish, excellent interior and very, very nice panel.

  • The Best RG - Close competition with Johnny & Kat Becker winning with N199Q. They won by one vote over N1521H of the Hopkins, and 2 votes over N113BC owned by Charlie Ross.

  • Overall Best 177 - Charlie & Sandy Corbin's rubbing and waxing created a true show-plane. The Holly Lake Ranch airport should be proud to have the Corbin's plane as one of its residents!

Congratulations to all of the winners. Once again we all had a great time with all of the Cardinal family. We missed not having Ben Hodge in attendance, and for those of you that couldn't attend we hope you make the 2006 Texas Cardinal Fly-In. If you have an airport recommendations for next year make sure and post it on the CFO Digest.

Let me thank Johnny Becker for his picture taking skills, Dee Maas and Lynda Shelton for assisting in the registration, and everyone for coming out. A big thank you goes out to the Keith, Debbie and Paul and all that you do for the CFO group everyday with the CFO website and Digest. All of us down here in Texas welcome y'all to coma and visit us anytime. The hangar door is always open!

Rob & Dee Maas / N1246C

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