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CFO 2003 East Coast Fly-In

Lancaster, PA

September 27, 2003, October 4, 2003, October 11, 2003,

October 18, 2003

After three postponements, the Lancaster fly-in finally took place.

Friday's 1800z Terminal Forecast was calling for light rain in the evening followed by a beautiful VFR Saturday. Was I surprised when I awoke at 5:30am to 1 mile visibility in ground fog and mist. NY FSS painted a very bleak picture of the weather for my route of flight - White Plains, NY (HPN) to Lancaster. The forecast was for low visibilities with ground fog and mist, freezing levels 2,000' to 4,000' with light to moderate Rime icing in clouds. The forecast continued through early afternoon all the way to Boston.

It was a beautiful star-filled dawn but looking across the field I could see the top of the hangars but not their doors. I began to wonder whether Al and I had made the right decision. We began discussing the situation by 6:30am. He told me that the weather at LNS was about the same as White Plains. Al said the weather looked better to the east than the west and that he could see no clouds - just a 15,000' to 20,000' ceiling. I decided to file IFR and take a look-see to determine how bad the weather really was.

By the time I completed my pre-flight and taxied to the runway, the visibility had improved though the field was still IFR. I was above the undercast by 200' and the visibility had to be greater than 10 miles. Climbing to 4,000' direct Huguenot VOR, the air was smooth and there was little chatter on the radio. Ah, this is why we fly!

The ground fog surrendered some pretty interesting scenery on the way. I passed the monument that marks the border of NY, NJ and PA poking up through the fog. I also passed a nuclear power plant whose cooling towers poked through the fog as well.

When I arrived at Lancaster the visibility was up to about 4 miles. Having the airport in sight I cancelled IFR and proceeded VFR inbound. It was a really interesting approach entering the crosswind for runway 26 at 4000'. Flaps and gear did the trick and I was down on the first third of the runway.

Al greeted me with the Cardinal-red Carpet
and the fly-in was officially underway - or was it?

As I landed I was encouraged when I heard two other Cardinals in the pattern. Al and my enthusiasm started turning to doubt when by 9:00am there were only five planes on the ground. Did we make the right decision not to postpone? Well, by 10:00am there were 20 planes with more taxiing in.
At 11:00am there were 33 planes and by Noon we had more than 40. WE HAD A FLY-IN!

The plane that landed after me was that of Tom Saxon, who immediately volunteered to do any task. Tom became the official "signer-upper" working the sign-up desk
. Thanks Tom, your help was greatly appreciated.

Al proceeded to greet every plane with the Cardinal-red Carpet.
Members were directed to the sign-up desk where they received their pre-printed nametag and prop sign and a welcome brochure containing fly-in information along with a discount coupon for the on-field pilot shop and a discount coupon from Sensenich for a dynamic prop balance.

Our first raffle drawing for the free Dynamic Prop Balancing took place at 11:00am. Jeff Vinson was the winner, but since he had just had his prop balanced he graciously accepted a gift certificate from the pilot shop and allowed us to re-draw for this prize. Congratulations to the new winner, Robert Kertesz. The balancing was performed on the Sensenich ramp as other members watched and asked questions.

Our buffet lunch took place in the main terminal around noon. The members feasted on Penne with meatballs, Penne Prima Vera (garlic and vegetables) and Crepe Manicotti. Salad, bread and beverages rounded out the excellent meal.

At 1:00 the second raffles took place. Congratulation to the winners: Free Dynamic Prop Balancing - John Baitinger (second winner. See photo. John is center, facing the camera.) PROP BALANCE 2.JPG. There is also a picture of the device used for the balancing bolted to the engine
Free VFR Transponder Check (courtesy of Lancaster Avionics): Dick Dagle and Chandler Harben. AirWays Pilot Shop Gift Certificate: Rich Koons and Tom Saxon. After lunch members walked the ramp reviewing all of the planes and asking many questions. An interesting mod? was noticed on Jerry Jarrett's '68 FG. It was the only plane on the ramp with this heavy-duty tail tie-down. Was this original? [Webmaster's note: All '68 Cardinals have this extra heavy looking tail tiedown. Keith]

Member Harry Rosenstein had questions regarding the installation of Rosen visors. It seems the mounting bracket would hit the windscreen if not filed down. Surprisingly, my '75 has Rosen visors, the bracket is not filed down and yes, it is hitting the windscreen. The will be modified post-haste!

People began departing mid-afternoon. Those of us still on the ground were treated to the sweet sounds of 150hp, 180hp and 200hp Cardinals departing from runway 31. We also had a great view of the RG retraction cycle.

After a slow start with questionable weather we ended up with a really outstanding event. Lot's of great people, great food and, of course, great airplanes.

My thanks go to my co-host Al who had the original idea for "lunch" at Lancaster. Al was responsible for the coordination of the Tower, Ramp, Restaurant, Pilot Shop discount, Sensenich Prop Balancing and Transponder checks. He also provided us with drinks on the ramp.

Al and I will be coordinating this again next year. We are thinking about a June time frame to "kick off" the summer. Thanks for all of your support. We could not have done it without all of you. See you again soon.

Safe Flying.

Norman Freed '75RG
Al Hubler '75 FG

Thanks go to Dan Herschler who volunteered to take photos of all of the aircraft (Dan was so involved that he forgot to include one of his own plane). Our apologies go to anyone that may have been missed.

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