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   Winter Haven 2011

Winter Haven National Flyin

It was a memorable year at Winter Haven for a number of reasons, not the least of which was our overall survival. Mother Nature tossed a couple of high hard ones at us, but the group found the path to a good time in spite of it all.

I'll let the pictures tell the story with a few notes. Thanks to Debbie and Peter Carter who both took a number of very nice photos.

The event started on Saturday evening with our usual social gathering at Faye and Palmer's house. A good crowd arrived and enjoyed the outstanding appetizers from Chef Todd which we have become accustomed to over the years. Evidently no one brought a camera, as I didn't get any pictures from this event, but it was a very nice evening to be out on the back porch enjoying a conversation about Cardinals.

Click on any image to load a larger version.

Our day trip this year was to the Kennedy Space Center, which was preparing for a shuttle launch. With the shuttle program shutting down and funding uncertain for NASA, there are a lot of changes expected in the near future, so this seemed like the perfect time to go visit.

The day started with an early morning bus at our hotel. The fog was heavy and the windows wet, but we had high hopes for a warm and sunny day.

As you can see, Palmer was hoping for a hot day to make his shorts the right choice. I guess when you live in Florida you know how the day will unfold.


The bus is loading and folks seem awake. It was a 90 minute drive over, during which we watch the first half of the movie "Amelia". Of course stopping in mid playback left a lot of suspense about how it would end...

Our tour started with a morning at the space center visitor center. Most folks walked around the rocket park, rode in the Shuttle simulator or enjoyed the various exhibits on a range of subjects.




At lunchtime we were scheduled for "lunch with an astronaut". The following pictures show the folks who attended as they sat down for lunch.

The astronaut we lunched with was Barbara Morgan, who told a number of interesting stories about becoming and being an astronaut, and how they all remain part of the program for all missions.

Lunch was excellent, as was the company!

The report continues below.

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After lunch the private bus tour (guided by a pilot, by the way) took us to a number of viewing locations around the grounds, past some of the logistics and training areas and past several launch pads.

Eventually we arrived at this viewing platform from which the shuttle being prepared for launch was clearly visible. Here the whole group poses with the shuttle in the background.

Our tour ended at the Saturn V5 rocket, the largest rocket ever used, and the one that took us to the moon. It and the exhibits around it were a perfect end to our visit to Kennedy.


And Palmer was right... it did turn into a a warm day!

Afterward we all met up at the Outback which sits in front of our hotels to enjoy dinner and some conversation. A few folks had arrived during the day so we all got connected up here.


Monday was flyin day, where we spend the day at the airport, dawned with a problem: rain. Lots of rain. More rain coming. By breakfast time there was a pause, but there were reasons for continued concern.

There is nothing to do but give it a go, though, so we bundled up in our rain gear and headed for the field.


Luckily we found that the weather was really quite good! We had a cool but dry morning with light breezes, and plenty of time to look over the Cardinals in attendance.

As usual the quality of the attending aircraft had gone up again this year, with several very nice examples on display. We also had a good showing from past award winners, who are allowed to park up front.


We kept an eye on the weather as the morning unfolded, and from time to time a little shower crept in.

This picture was taken from the registration table about half way through the walk-around, when we were all reminded again why we appreciate having high wing airplanes.

These little showers only lasted a few minutes and we moved on to the next airplane down the row.

Eventually, however, the serious rain came. Here a row of Cardinals find they they have beach-front view on what we started calling the Gilbert Field River... a fairly substantial flow of water down the taxiway. wh11a3_river.jpg

Of course where there's a river there is often a lake, and many of our birds found their feet wet within a few minutes.

Luckily the ground has good drainage, being mostly sand, so the water never got very high and didn't stay around very long. In some parts of the country this much water would mean you're not moving for a week.



Palmer must have said a little prayer that morning, because just as the rains arrived he was getting word of a hangar that we could use. The airport manager, Debbie Murphy, was able to get this hangar on very short notice.

Most people were able to get to the hangar without getting too wet, and those with cars circled the area picking up folks who were stranded in various hangars.

Within a few minutes were we all inside. Parking was, of course, at a premium.


It was the perfect vantage point from which to watch some of the natural wonders of Florida... spontaneous water falls.

But Debbie Murphy had more tricks up her sleeve. It seems she also knew of a set of tables and chairs which were already in a trailer and ready for use. With a phone call they were on their way.

Once the trailer arrived, the Flyers attacked the project as if they all knew what to do. Within a few minutes the tables and chairs were unloaded and set up in a workable pattern in the hangar.

Our boom box even had a place to sit on the shelf.


The whole thing was set up before the food was ready, and we fed 80 people without anyone having to eat standing up.

It was an impressive show of the can-do attitude of the Cardinal Flyers, and a fine example of making things work out at that last minute.

Thanks to all who pitched in and helped to make this part of the event not only memorable but also successful!


Here's Debbie Murphy, who had even more lined up for us than we knew! She had collected some door prizes from local merchants, and we drew numbers to hand them out.

There were gift certificates from local businesses, discount coupons and even a substantial donation of fuel from the FBO, all handed out to lucky Cardinal Flyers.

This was Debbie's first year as airport manager, and we found her to be outstandingly helpful and good to work with. We're already looking forward to next year!


With a good lunch behind us it was time to hear from our sponsors.

Darren Tillman from Powerflow started us off with an update on their exhaust system and company news. We learned that over 20% of the fixed gear Cardinal fleet now has a Powerflow, and the RG market is well on its way to a similar number.

There was some talk about the annual maintenance requirement and projects on other aircraft which Powerflow has in their shop.


Craig Barnett from Scheme Designers was next up. Rather than talking again about how his services work (he says he's told us that story too many times already) he talked about what to look for in a paint shop.

It was an interesting discussion and helped us see how his services blend nicely with those offered by a good shop to bring you the outstanding paint job you are hoping for.

We also discussed the difference between a fully designed and documented paint job and the kind of job you get when a shop just steals a design from someone else.


Then it was time for a big rollout... the first viewing of the LoPresti Speed Merchants Cardinal Cowl.

Arjay from LoPresti walked us through the history of the cowl and explained how they had worked with the Cardinal community to come up with not only the requirements for the cowl, but the measurements and some of the solutions.

Then it was time for the grand unveiling!


And here it is, the design for the Cardinal cowl. Arjay explained that it is a modular system, to allow for use on both RG and FG, with and without the turbo.

Testing and work toward completing this product continues, but it was very exciting to see a full sized example of the cowl in the flesh. It was very pretty, very pretty indeed.

In this picture the people involved in the design, including several CFO sponsors, are pictured with the cowl in this pre-announcement showing.


After cleaning up and drying off (thanks again to everyone for the help) we were off to a new destination for dinner. The Sundown Southern Eatery Restaurant was an excellent location for our event, with room for expansion.

As usual, we had a few awards for deserving members in attendance:

Mark Thompson received the 'Flew Furthest' award for his flight from the Seattle area.

Vernon Morris and his wife got the award for 'Came Furthest' for their long trip from New Zealand. They picked up a motor home in California and timed their drive around the country just right to attend our event. wh11b2_camefurthest.jpg
Palmer won the 'Most Cardinal Time' award this year. And his jacket lit up the room! But he was a perfect match for Faye's outfit. wh11b3_mostcardtime.jpg
Charles Rush was the recipient of the "Fledgling" aware, as the most recent purchaser of a Cardinal. wh11b4_fledgling.jpg
Jon Baxter was our newest member to receive a Pilot's license, and he pointed out that he purchased his Cardinal before he had his license. Smart guy! wh11b5_newpilot.jpg
Michael Craren received our newest award, the 'Broad Wings' award, given to the member who most recently increased their certifications or ratings. He recently obtained his commercial rating. wh11b6_broadenwings.jpg
Richard Kingston was the lucky person to receive the "Wet Wings" award for being the most recent person to get an Instrument rating. wh11b7_wetwings.jpg
Here's a rare moment... Debbie stepped in to explain something to us. I don't recall what it was about but Peter got a picture! wh11b7a_debtalks.jpg
The 'Hark Luck' award was presented to Dick Zuley, who was flying his Cardinal to his very first Winter Haven with an airplane, but could not get past southern Illinois due to weather. He turned around, got a Southwest airlines ticket and arrived in time to join the fun! wh11b8_hardluck.jpg
And finally, the Big Prize, the 'People's Choice Best Cardinal of Show' was won by the partnership of Don Imhoff and Ted Mooney in N2131Q. wh11b9_choice.jpg

To the right and below are a few pictures of the award winning airplane and the owners. It was a beauty in all respects, well appointed and nicely equipped.


Report continues below.

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The start of the Sun 'n Fun show was not the end of Cardinal news! Here the team at LoPresti shared their press release event for the rollout of the Cardinal Cowl with Keith and Paul of the Cardinal Flyers.

Arjay was looking for a cute name for this product, along the lines of their existing Boom Beams and Hubba Hubba hub caps. I made a suggestion but we're not sure if it will 'fly' just yet... will let you know!


The Care and Feeding of the Cessna Cardinal forum was indoors this year, as the forum area has moved into the new technical college building located near the old Forum site. It was a nice setting, more comfortable than the tents, and bound to be cooler as well on those hot days. wh11g2_forum.jpg

Unfortunately that was not the end of the excitement at Sun 'n Fun. Several of us were on the site when the storm rolled through on Thursday, a storm which was later determined to have been an F1 tornado.

Paul and Keith were near the museum, close to the tent which collapsed on the WASP's. They were able to duck into a building connected with the museum and watch the storm through the windows.


Debbie was walking toward Exhibit Hall A with an umbrella she had borrowed from Craig Barnett. She stopped to help some folks in a tent, but without success. She finally made it into Hall A. Craig's umbrella was turned inside out.

It was quite a shock to see how much damage had been done. As has been well reported, over 40 aircraft were damaged and many tents and exhibits were destroyed.


One Cardinal on the field had a close call, losing all of his antennas and getting some light damage from flying objects, as I recall.

Luckily most of the Cardinals were parked at Winter Haven, with no damage reported. Although at least two folks had voltage regulators go bad while parked there, which suggests that there may have been some electrical activity in our absence.


In all it was a memorable event in all respects. If you're interested in seeing some live video of the storm, you'll find excellent examples at these pages: from the media building, from the flight line, or watch the tents fly here.

Luckily all survived, and another memorable week was over. Thanks again to all who helped or participated, and we're already looking forward to next year. I promise the weather will be better! How could it be worse?

Keith Peterson


The following public comments about the flyin have been entered:


Enter your public comments here: (Please include your name)

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The following pictures are the airplanes which found their way through the storms to attend this event. There was a line of weather that swept the country, starting on Thursday evening the week before, and many airplanes could not find a way through.

We are always impressed by the number of people who find a way to attend in spite of these challenges, as well as the ones who pick their route and timing to successfully fly their airplanes in spite of difficult conditions. Thanks to all!

A few airplanes may have slipped in or away early in all the excitement this year... sorry if you were missed.

Remember to click on any image to load a larger version.

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The following people registered their plans to attend this CFO Convention:

Attendee NameRegistration NumberArriving fromComment
Keith & Debbie PetersonN177KP Hampshire, IL We are looking forward to a great fly-in! Come join us. 
Palmer & Faye GehringN35086 Winter Haven, FL We are looking forward to seeing everyone again this year! Todd has promised wonderful food and we\'re sure you will enjoy the new Sundown resturant. See y\'all soon! 
Robert HansonN34565 Leonardtown, MD GREAT! Looking forward to another XLNT time. Both Fun & Sun tanks have been on EMPTY since New Year! C U at hte Grove! 
Paul MillnerN177SD Oakland, CA Looking forward to a very special Winter Haven! 
Bill MaynardN8037G Winter Haven, FL  
Jimmy HoneycuttN177BS Mallards Landing Locust Grove, GA Gonna be glad to get to Florida and nice weather. Looking forward to seeing all my friends. 
Bruce HutchingsN52061 Port Orange, FL  
Bruce & Sally PostN3405F West Bend, WI  
Russell Boteilho Green Valley, AZ  
kevin collins112NC Charlotte, NC  
Jack VandeventerN52046 Indianapolis (Zionsville), IN Super; can\'t wait. Looking for smooth air and tailwinds for all. 
Richard VerdierN35114 Oriental, NC Looking forward to some Florida warmth and sunshine! 
Michael CrarenN52894 Mansfield, MA Will be there with my wife Ann and daughter Michelle. First time for my daughter. 
John BrierN74PP Plant City, FL  
Jonathan BaxterN34221 Hyannis, MA Looking forward to another great Fly-In! Arriving via SWair/rental car from Tampa Saturday PM. 
Alden LinkN2143Q Delray Beach (by car), FL  
Alden LinkN2143Q Delray Beach (by car), FL  
Alvin JungN658SR Lawton, OK Enjoyed Ada last year and look forward to seeing Cardinal friends again! 
Dick DagleN34542 Lewisburg, PA Let\'s do it again 
Peter Carter Toronto, Canada New member; first event; from Canada; looking forward to putting faces to all the names 
Denis RouthierC-GRDP Sherwood Park,   
Denis RouthierC-GRDP Edmonton; Alberta, Canada Looking forward to the trip. First ever border crossing. Also meeting fellow Cardinal flyers and our CFO keepers; Kieth;Deb;and Paul. 
Don ImhoffN2131Q Baton Rouge, LA  
Don & Mary Commer19103 Gainesville, GA  
Frank YowN10346 Ormond Beach, FL Joan and I are looking forward to seeing our friends; unfortunately cant come until Sunday; family issues 
Tom SaxonN478TC Leesburg, VA Cardinalmania at its finest! Looking forward to seeing friends and nice planes... 
Joe BrunskiC-GNVM Hamilton; Ontario, Canada Arriving via Jet Blue & rental car. First visit for my wife Anne; second time for me.  
vernon morriszk-djl auckland new zealand, CA  
Dick ZuleyN-7546V Chicago (Wheeling), IL Looking forward to this years \"spring break for pilots\" and returning to the \"scene of the crime\" (I bought 7546V at last year\'s fly in).  
Richard SommerN34030 KALN (Edwardsville), IL  
Richard SommerN34030 Maryville (ALN), IL  
Brian EstesN52944 Columbia, IL  
James ChorvatN52060 Brooksville, FL  
Kurt Emmerling Clintonville, WV Great to be back! 
John PalmerN1909Q Lewiston, ME  
Richard KingstonN13597 Epsom, NH  
Rogers Faden N177LF Chicago, IL  
Charles RushN1813Q Ocoee, FL  
William ShermanN13690 West Hartford, CT  
Mark ThompsonN30033 Arlington, WA  
Michael SchmidtN52152 Orlando, FL  
Richard SchwenkerN43Q  IA Wintering at Polk City; FL in motor home 
Curtis BerryN52543 Hagerstown, MD  
Samuel RobertsYN-IBL Leon. Nicaragua,  Now that the Tsunami scare is over I can concentrate on the upcoming flying event!. Once again via A320. 
Terry GlavesN34458 Oxford KOXC, CT  
Billy CONNERN177XC Jamestown, KY N177XC Already AT GIF Browns Seaplane Hanger 
Alden Link    
John McNamee Houston, TX  
Steve MeyerowitzN995VZ Great Barrington, MA Traveling solo via Southwest for this trip. 
Tom AginN13541 Port Orange, FL  
Tom AginN13541 Port Orange, FL  
david loosn30994 Sabastian, FL  
Jim ShaferNX10124 Philadelphia, PA  
Joseph SanfilippoN34289 Hollywood, FL  
Frank Wrightformer owner Dallas, TX We will be flying SOUTHWEST into Tampa on Monday with an arrival time of 11:00am; so I don\'t think we can arrive in time for lunch...but we would like to visit with everyone and listen to the 1:00pm afternoon presentation as well as attend the evening dinner at Sundown Eatery. 
Dollard LeBlancC-FLDF Venice, FL  
Charlie & Beverly RossN177BC Cross Plains, TX Arriving TPA on airlines. 
Eric SwilleyN52669 Harpers Ferry, WV Look forward to seeing everyone!