Monday, September 15, 2014

The Flying Circus

Yesterday was a beautiful flying day, so right after church, I grabbed Eric, a friend of mine from there, and we drove up to the airport for a flight. We took off and flew south for about an hour to the airport at Warrenton (HWY) because I'd heard of a small weekly "Flying Circus" type of airshow that operated just south of there. And Eric's a nice guy who, coincidentally, has never flown in a small plane before.

En route, he learned quickly not to point things out on the ground when I, without thinking about it, just threw the plane into a steep right bank so that I could look down out of his window, too. He seemed to find that a bit discomfiting. Heh.

We got to Warrenton in short order where Mark, the guy running the FBO, graciously hooked up up with a truck to drive over to the show and directions on how to get there.

The truck. One of the nice things about flying General Aviation is the number of complete strangers willing to just toss you the keys to vehicles like this when you land at their airport and need to go somewhere. It's a great community.

So we drove down a few country roads and suddenly, through the trees, we saw them--a row of vintage biplanes just getting ready to go.


Most were cherry Stearman trainers of WW2 vintage, but there were also a couple of Wacos thrown in.

The planes flew for an hour and a half, doing basic aerobatics and other ticks like trying to pop released helium balloons with their props and snagging dropped rolls of paper towel with their wingtips. They had a wing-walker, too.
Her name was Rachel Holmes, and she was mighty cute. Hafta go back and see if she's available.

And while the planes were busy in the air, there were a couple of clowns on the ground amusing the kiddies, like "The Baron" here.

Here, two of the planes are trying to hit The Baron with five-pound sacks of flour. (I'm thinking that's really gotta hurt if they actually manage to tag him.)
Nothing beats a sunny, no-wind day like sitting on bleachers and watching Stearmans fly and taxi around on a grass pasture airfield.

It was a class act all the way. Lots of great planes and flying fun, and literally something for everyone in the family...and all for $15.00 for adults, less for kids, every Sunday, May through October.


The Flying Circus Airshow

They also sell rides, and when I told one of the pilots that I was considering buying one, he said that when I come back, he'll let me try my hand at flying one of the Stearmans. Oh, YEAH!

Meantime, I'm still flying this one:
...and loving it.

The only downside to the whole day was that I mistakenly grabbed my old broken Nikon instead of the new one when I left the Lair and I didn't realize it until we got to the airport, which means that most al of my shots are camera-phone quality. Sorry about that, but then I will be back out there--count on it!

13 comments:

  1. I pass that place all the time heading for NC. Wondered if it was worth a stop.

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    1. Yes. Definitely worth a stop. Planes start flying at 2:30, done by 4.

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  2. And to fly a Stearman? Heck, YES!

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  3. There used to be a guy there who would "accidentally" take off in a plane and the ensuing show as they talked him back down was entertaining. He'd do things with the place that you'd think a plane couldn't do (without falling to the ground.) I think he retired, or passed away, a few years ago.

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  4. Nice, and I know where you'll be EVERY weekend now... :-)

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    1. Wanna join me? They say that a nearby store makes great sandwiches.

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  5. You comfortable with tail draggers? That's rare these days?

    Ready for another shipment of old paper?

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    1. I love the idea of a stick-and-rudder tail-dragger, especially one with a big radial engine. Open cockpit a bonus. I was born too late.

      And yes to the shipment question, too. That stuff is gold!

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  6. I don't care if the photos are camera phone quality! Looks like a wonderful day!

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  7. Looks like a great day! When I read your title for this post I simply thought you went flying =)

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    1. Me too. Or possibly the dogs! If Murphy only had thumbs.

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    2. Oh, and as they say. Save the last dance for the one who brung ya!. A 172 in the hand is worth several Stearman's in flight.

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  8. Sounds like a fun time

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