Sept 9, 2007 The Sandwich
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
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.