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Straight and Level – October 2017

Straight and Levelby Susan Dusenbury, VAA President, VAA 5721, EAA 55229

Fall is here or as I call it the “last hurrah” before old man winter curtails our fun flying.  I’ve always thought that some of the best events are the Saturday gatherings in the fall at someone’s private airport.  It’s a time to fly (in deliciously smooth cool air!), meet with some of your best friends, and of course have a hot dog.  It does not get much better than that.

Vintage Chapter 3 will be holding their fall fly-in from Thursday, October 5 until Sunday, October 8 at Woodward Field in Camden, South Carolina.  This fly-in has been around since the 1960s.  It’s probably obvious that I enjoy this fly-in as I have been attending it since I was 18 years old.  We have a lot of fun starting with a ramp “party” on Thursday afternoon followed by a group dinner at a local restaurant on Thursday night.

On Friday morning we hop into our planes (or cars!) and make the 40-mile trek to Huggins Memorial Airpark in Timmonsville for the “Sonny” Huggins Memorial Fly-out.  This airport has a gorgeous grass runway (all 4000 feet of it) that was constructed in the 1940s by its namesake M. B. “Dusty” Huggins.  M. B., by the way, flew Huff DaLands for Delta before the airline came about.  At the time Delta was a crop spraying outfit headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana.

This fly-out is a real grassroots event hosted by Bette Huggins and Billy Price.  Billy always cooks his famous South Carolina Lowcountry boil for all of us. As an aside, Billy and I were classmates in A & P school and yes, we both graduated and got our A & P Certificates.  Billy now owns and operates a crop spraying business out of Timmonsville flying both a Grumman Ag Cat and a Stearman.  Interestingly, Billy’s Stearman once belonged to his dad, Bill, who was also in the crop spraying business.

Around mid-afternoon on Friday we all head back to Camden for another ramp party, pizza and more flying.  Saturday is a day for some more arrivals and some daily guests followed by a Saturday night awards banquet.  On Sunday morning it’s back to the airport for the South Carolina Breakfast Club (SCBC).

I have been attending the SCBC on and off since I was 16 years old.  I was there when we flew into the Goat Island airport (a fish camp located on the banks of Lake Marion and no longer in existence) and the winner of the bouncing ball contest (Not good! The bouncing ball was awarded to the pilot making the worst landing.  You did not want this award!!)  received a baby goat.  Anyway, you are all welcome to join in the fun.  Camping is available on the airport (Woodward Field/CDN).

Last weekend I along with VAA Directors Steve Neese and Earl Nicholas, VAA Aircraft Judge Dan Knutson and wife Mary, flew out to Tulsa, Oklahoma to honor Director Emeritus Charlie Harris and to celebrate another anniversary of his 39th birthday.

All of us at Vintage owe a great deal of gratitude to Charlie for what he has done over the years to build a strong and lasting foundation for VAA.

Believe me when I say that words cannot express his dedication and accomplishments on our behalf.  So, here’s to you, Charlie.  Thanks for everything.

Happy landings to all,

 

 

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