Fair Game

Sept 9, 2007 The Sandwich Fair

It was supposed to be a cross country PPG flight from Nick's Paradrome to the fairgrounds. Strongish winds weren't cooperating and besides, Tim wouldn't have been able to make it. But the helicopter lives in our backyard and could basically care less what the winds are doing. Plus, it would be much faster and would allow returning at night. Today was one of the year's clearest daysówe could clearly see downtown Chicago after lifting off in spite of its 30 mile distance.

I haven't been to a fair in years. The last time was when I had jury duty. The courthouse was right next to the DuPage fairgrounds so I flew the helicopter and parked there. Hey, they said on the form "parking provided." As an aside, they've since changed the form to say "parking provided in parking garage."

Back to Sandwich. There was a huge open flood overflow area that made a great helipad. Then we went to "do" the fair.

I learned a lot. We're used to two stroke and four stroke engines--did you know there is an 8-stroke engine? Yup, they had a bunch of examples running at the fair. Some people make it their hobby to restore these turn-of-the-century creations to working order and go to fairs like we go to fly-ins. It was fascinating, really, and they loved explaining how it all worked.

Talk about scary--the rides, none of which I went on, looked like they'd do my gut wrong. I was impressed with how much puke power could be packed into such a portable piece. I mean they get these things on trucks! Although no vomit was witnessed, my imagination was vivid enough to make sure we stayed clear of possible trajectories.

The flight back was fun although night flying always makes me nervous. Of course the helicopter is equipped with all the requisite lights but that won't help much to find an engine out landing site. Flying paramotors has made me more paranoid about that possibility.

Thankfully, all went well and the ride home was a nice top off to the evening.

Row One: 1) Don't forget where we parked!. 2) Flying at night sure is gorgeous as long the fan keeps spinning. 3) One of the hangar residents awaits our return. 4) The fairgrounds at dusk.

Row Two: 1) Now THIS looks scary! 2) Tim with Ellie in the background. 3) Final approach back home. After dark I approach the runway then hover-taxi to my hangar. 4) Ellie sees this spot a lot--refueling.



Modern art. Tim snapped this one while heading home and the long shutter time combined with Ellies natural vibration to create the effect.

© 2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!