This post is All About Airplanes, thus All About Don. Forgive my bad pun in the title, but it cracks me up.
First up, the long-awaited pictures of the airplane hanger in my backyard. Remember the airplane crash last summer? (Trust me, we haven't forgotten . . . ). The picture of that curly propeller was just sad, wasn't it? Don decided we should keep it, and I talked him into mounting it on the outside of the airplane hanger. This is what you see when you come up the driveway.
I figure it gives everyone a warning about what resides within.On the inside, we have a special epoxy floor that is really cool, lots and lots (and more lots) of tools. We just had the landscaping done, so the ultra-green is the netting they put down to cover the grass seed. We already have green fuzz coming up through the netting, so by next spring it should be all filled in.
No airplane kit yet, but hold for an announcement any day. Our aim is to coordinate high school graduation with airplane completion. I'm thinking 2009 will be a red letter year!
Moving on to actual flight experiences, the Air and Water Show is in Chicago this weekend. One of the headliners is Team Oracle and Shawn Tucker, the pilot of the Oracle plane. Shawn does some wild things in a really cool little red plane, and we've seen him perform before at the EAA show at OshKosh.
I got an invitation from Oracle to attend the Air & Water show as their guest, and meet Shawn Tucker. Be still, my heart! I responded, but I was too late and they were full up. I met with the Oracle account rep last week, and he knew that I had tried to get in and couldn't. I told him not to worry, we'd do it next year, and that I knew I didn't respond quickly enough. Then I told him that Don was a pilot, and how much he would enjoy it, etc.
The next day he called and told me that they got us in to the airshow. Then he called again and asked "Would Don like to go for a flight with Team Oracle, and would he like to be a pole-holder to open the air show?" Well, you can guess the response to that! On Thursday, Don flew himself down to the Gary, Indiana airport and spent an hour flying with Shawn Tucker's son, Eric Tucker, and hanging out with Shawn and Eric. He got a flight lesson, and did loops, barrel rolls, and various other things in one of their planes. I'm sure they were thrilled to see Don instead of some VIP who doesn't know anything about flying, and who is going to puke in the seat after one roll. They were really nice to Don, and to me when I showed up. We got a video, and Don is trying to figure out how to get snips of it on-line so you can see the sky swap places with the ground. It's pretty cool.
Don saw Shawn do his warm-up before he flies, which involves him wearing a headset and walking out the pattern of what he's going to do as he flies. Here is a picture of him doing it.
Then Don was a pole-holder, which means he held up a pole with a rope at the top that stretches across the runway. Shawn flies under the rope, then comes back and cuts it with the airplane propeller. I missed it, but Don says it's really something to see that plane coming right at you going a bazillion miles an hour. I bet! I missed it, and Don isn't as shutter-happy as I am, so no pictures of that.
Then I joined Don, and we were guests at the Mayor's Reception and private airshow, which kicks off the Air & Water Show. I didn't even know there was such a thing, it's certainly not advertised. We were with about 250 people watching a private air show with all the fighter jets, Thunderbirds, Golden Knights parachuting team, Team Oracle, and many more. I don't even want to think about how much jet fuel was consumed entertaining the big-wigs, and Don and I.
It was great.
It was over at 9, and Don flew us back to Lake in the Hills airport. Gary is south of Chicago along the lake, so we went along the lakeshore and looked at the skyline from the air. It was really beautiful, and the flight was 30 minutes rather than a 2 hour drive. Niiiiiiiice.
We were invited to the air show today, but it's really bad weather so we're going to stay home. We're headed out to the new Bourne movie, but after that I'm going to post a few other things - one bragging about my sister, and the other to show the start of Cross Country season.