Chapter 790

Lake In The Hills Airport (3CK), Lake In The Hills IL.

Winds Aloft Blog

Janesville or Bust

Posted by Nancy Blazyk on February 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM

(Ghost-written by Shane Stolarik, who allegedly wasn't there! The names are real, but the conversation has been changed to protect the innocent. Nancy made me add this!)

About a week and a half ago, I received an email from The Landings Breakfast Club that a trip to Palmyra, WI had been cancelled for the weekend of February 12th due to what we veteran pilots technically call, "skuzzy weather." Disappointed, I eagerly watched the weather reports for the upcoming weekend to see if we would finally get "wheels up" and enjoy some fine airport cuisine. The weather for the upcoming weekend seemed promising, so I contacted the Breakfast Club and a few EAA 790members and proposed a breakfast fly-out to the exotic location called Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (or as we veteran pilots like to call it - Janesville),on Saturday, February 18th. With a little discussion about the details, we settled on a 9AM arrival time.

The clouds were broken at 2000 feet and the winds were out of the north at about 10knots, so I turned the controls over to my husband, Larry, and son Bryan, and retired to the piano lounge in the back of our Cessna 182 that is just out of annual and still sporting that new-plane smell. Six other airplanes joined us as we flew a tight, 12-mile formation for the brief trek to Janesville.

The members of our crack, precision flying team included Ole Sinberg, his daughter Annette and her friend Bjarne in the ever-impressive, Prescott Pusher launched from LITH airport; Dennis Frett and his wife Peggy departing from Aurora slid into the formation, as did Jerry and Gary Grimmonpre flying the straight-tail Cessna 172 straight from the Landings; Steve Haupert and John Sobieszczyk, also from the Landings, joined the team in their spit-shined,Cessna 172; Tom Nicol, swooping in from Dupage, took some very nice photos of the outing; while flying anchor for 'Team Breakfast' was Tom Solar and Rob Nelson, arriving with a greased landing in the Cessna 150 from Olsen airport.Nice landing, boys!

The cafe filled with introductions and chatter as we met new friends and reconnected with old. The orders were taken by the wait-staff and we worked on our bottomless cups of coffee with wild abandon. (Well, the coffee was good, anyway.)

During our little, airport soirée, I had the opportunity to meet Ole's daughter Annette and her good friend, Bjarne. In between discussions of how fantastic our formations must have look from the ground, I learned that Bjarne was working on restoring a Thorpe T-18 -- a beautiful, one-man, homebuilt design.

By the way on an interesting note, a Thorp T-18 was the first homebuilt aircraft to fly around the world, departing from none other than the Mecca of Homebuilding,Oshkosh, WI,back in 1976 (now you know!). So, I adeptly navigated the conversation to Bjarne, asking him...

"That's fascinating that your building a Thorp, Bjarne. Did you know that a Thorp T-18 was the first homebuilt aircraft to ever circumnavigate the world?" I said.

"Why, yes. Actually, I had heard that--" He replied.

Hmm, I thought, know-it-all. So, I continued without losing a beat...

"Well, did you know that that flight originated right from Oshkosh, WI, where they hold the world-famous, EAA AirVenture airshow? Have you ever been to AirVenture, Bjarne?" I had him right where I wanted him--

" Well actually, Nancy. I'm a member of the Liberty Parachute Team. We open the AirVenture airshow each year with our skydiving exhibition. I'm one of the skydivers."

He stood there quietly for a moment, being the nice, polite, humble guy that he is. I blinked my eyes. Then, I blinked them, again. As I started to blink my eyes a third time, I thought, Are those crickets chirping.

So, being the quick-witted, articulate, conversationalist that I am, well-honed at the art of repartee, I quickly turned to Ole Sindberg and said, "So, Ole. What'd you do with the propeller on that Prescott of yours?"

Score: Nancy 1, Mister Fancy-Pants 0

One of the nicest people you would ever care to meet, Bjarne was interesting to talk to and is exciting to watch each year at AirVenture. Be sure to visit with him in Oshkosh this year and don't forget to tell him Nancy sent you!

Join us for our next adventure, there's never a dull moment when EAA Chapter 790 members shows up. See you next time.

To see the photos of the fly-out, check the Photos section of the website.
For more information on the Liberty Parachute team, check here.

Categories: Debriefing, Fly-Ins/Fly-Outs, Fun Things to Do

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1 Comment

Reply Mike Perkins
7:22 PM on February 23, 2012 
Great article, Nancy. Hope it's one of many - think Nancy's Column. . . . Shane, are you listening? This lady can write.
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