September 1st, 2011 thru September 5th - The Second Annual Middle Finger Fly-In
I had hoped that the oppressive heat would have abated when I set the dates for the fly-in back in early June. The first MF Fly-In was held in the first weekend of October. I thought that we’d try to have it a month earlier over the Labor Day weekend. I figured that the temperatures would start to drop off from the 100 degree mark by the time that September rolled around.
Boy, was I wrong!
The temps averaged 105 degrees for the whole weekend and there was actually some heavy winds forecasted for Monday, September 5th (Labor Day). The temperatures in the Dallas area would end up breaking the record for the most 100+ degree days in a single year. We also broke records for the most consecutive 100+ degree days. It was a scorcher of a summer.
We set up the tents and started making our final preparations. We were actually ahead of schedule for our prep work and, by the weekend before the fly-in, we were completely ready! All we had left to do was put up the tents.
One of the biggest changes that we made was in the food preparation department. In all of our previous events, Rachael had done ALL of the cooking and meal preparation. We had provided all of the meals for everyone. This time, our neighbor Glen Farley (who lives just up the road from the airport) offered to help. He would get his local Boy Scout troop to handle one of our meals and the Trestle Lodge (which is the charity organization for the Bole’s Home orphanage) would be responsible for cooking a few more meals. They would charge a reasonable rate per plate and would (hopefully) make some money for their respective charities.
Rachael was ecstatic! She wouldn’t have to spend her whole weekend in the kitchen and could actually enjoy it a little more. The only meal that we were going to have to prepare was Thursday night’s meal. We made that a “pot luck” affair and everyone contributed a food dish. It turned out well.
The first day of the fly-in was officially on Thursday, September 1st. Some of our friends started showing up much earlier, however. Bill Holmes pulled in with his RV and trailer on the prior weekend and got the choice of parking spots. He took the only extra 30 amp power hookup and made himself at home. We were happy to see him.
Others started arriving on Wednesday and the shaded camping area that I had worked so hard to create started filling up quickly. Everyone was trying their best to find a shady spot for their RV’s and campers. I was happy that we were able to keep almost everyone out of the worst of the heat.
On Thursday night, we had a “group birthday party” for all of the September birthdays. September 1st was my birthday. Since there were quite a few other pilots who were born in my month, we decided to have a “September group birthday party”. After supper, all of the people born in September were brought up front where we were forced to “sing for our cake”. I won’t scare anyone with the details, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. :-)
Here are some pics from the first day of the Second Annual Middle Finger Fly-In!
September 3rd thru 5th - “The Rest of the Fly-In”
On Saturday morning, the skies were again dead calm and all of the powered parachute group headed up into the air. GA arrivals started to pick up. They would continue to come and go all day. I believe that the heat kept away many of the people who had contacted me and inquired about the event, but we still had a good gathering.
The boy scouts got busy cooking breakfast while we were up flying the PPCs. I came back in, landed and offered to take up any scout that could get permission from his father. Since there were quite a few fathers there, I ended up taking 10 or 12 scouts up for a quick flight around the area. After that, I took up a number of fathers, also. Everyone who wanted to fly in a powered parachute had the opportunity to see the airport from the air.
As the mercury began to climb in the thermometer, we all headed back towards the pool to try and stay cool. Once again, the ladies borrowed my car and went back into the city to shop, leaving us guys to fend for ourselves.
It was another successful fly-in. During the day, we stayed in the pool. During the evenings, the PPCs went flying. I took up my Comanche and “showed off” on Saturday, making high speed passes over the runway to the delight of the attendees. A few lucky passengers got to go along with me.
Although we officially ended the fly-in on Monday, many of our friends hung around until Tuesday before packing up and driving home.