2015 Fly-Ins

Our annual Mystery Fly-In was held on Saturday November 7. Participation was excellent - 18 people grouped into eight teams took the quiz for a chance in winning the coveted Mystery Fly-In Trophy as well as to determine our fly-in destination for the day. This year's test format was a little different. Points were awarded or deducted based on the time it took to complete the quiz, and a few "difficult to Google" questions were included. As quizzes were turned in, an additional letter of the destination airport's name was revealed in scrambled form.

The destination turned out to be Hemet-Ryan Field. Twenty-four people in eight aircraft made the trip and were treated to an excellent lunch at the Hangar One Cafe. Barbie, the owner of the cafe, came in just to make sure we were well taken care of. The food was excellent (especially the home-made pies) and you could not have asked for a nicer day to fly.

A special thanks to Peter, Wayne, Dane, Mitch, Joe and Larry for coming up with the quiz and grading the results.

Twenty-two DAFers in nine aircraft and one Lexus eventually made it up to Gold Country's Columbia Airport for a fun weekend. Because of weather in the LA basin and over Gorman, two aircraft were delayed until Saturday morning. Ten participants camped at the airport's campground, with the remaining 12 staying at a hotel in nearby Sonora.

Larry and Jodie hosted a BBQ at the airport's campground pavilion on Friday night with a Happy Hour followed by BBQ chicken and beef shortribs. A second Happy hour followed.

Saturday involved a little shopping, sightseeing and bar hopping in Sonora and the winery town of Murphys. Those camping started the day with a great group breakfast in the pavilion. The highlight on Saturday was dinner at the historical City Hotel in Columbia, which is located in a horse-drawn vehicle only area. Although we had a private dining room, DAFers were able to roam back and forth to the bar and occasionally outside. A talented street musician playing outside the hotel was convinced to setup just outside our dining room, where he serenaded us throughout the evening.

Sunday arrived with low IFR weather in Columbia which cleared by early afternoon. Many flew back IFR in order to get into the LA Basin. The VFR pilots had stories to tell.

Many thanks to Larry and Jodie for a really well organized and fun event and to those pilots who didn't give up getting to the destination.

Twenty-eight DAFers braved the hectic skies over Camarillo for a lunch fly-in at the Waypoint Cafe. The airport was incredibly busy that day (who knew?), and a few DAFers were given the opportunity to fly over (and over and over) Ventura, Point Mugu, Fillmore and points-in-between as they waited for a landing slot.

For those who were able to make it, we were treated to an excellent lunch by the very patient and accommodating staff at the cafe.

Once again, the Flaming Brisket Fly-in had a good turnout, with 40 DAFers in 17 aircraft (and one car) arriving at Agua Dulce Airpark for a BBQ brisket lunch. The weather was perfect (for a change), not too hot but clear and sunny, and there was plenty of room at the tables in the shade. There was lots of brisket for everyone, and a large assortment of sides to go with it.

A few people needed a little push to get off the grass parking (Iguess there isn't a water shortae at Agua Dulce), but there were enough volunteers to help them out. THe flight back was smooth, although the tower at Torrance was caught a little bit off guard by the sudden influx out of the corridor.

Good times, good company, good food; what more can you ask for!

For the 19 DAFers (10 airplanes) that made the trip to Taos NM, the weekend offered some big challenges. The weekend started early for 15 of the DAFers with a stop in Sedona on Thursday night. The Sedona contingent was greeted on arrival with crosswinds varying from 15 to 40 or so knots. One crew made the wise choice and landed in Cottonwood (windy but more aligned with the runway) and drove the final miles in the "classic" airport car. The author was last to arrive at Sedona and did not get to witness any of the previous arrivals. The descriptions of landings continued to get more fantastic as Thursday evening progressed and this will likely continue at future happy hours.

Friday morning arrived with new and different weather challenges. For the Sedona group, the flight to Taos was split between IFR and VFR operations with all crews making the flight relatively uneventfully. For the crews that left Torrance on Friday, the task was much more challenging. One crew flew the mission VFR under the clouds following a somewhat circuitous routing and arrived successfully. Another crew stopped in Phoenix for lunch and to review their Cirrus flight manual to confirm that they were approved for known icing and thunderstorm penetration. Upon failing to find such approval, they wisely decided that Torrance was not a bad place to be.

The May fly-in was a lunch trip to Thelma's Restaurant, near Big Bear Airport. The overcast skies kept some folks away, but 11 DAFers in 5 aircraft make the flight and had an excellent lunch. Most filed IFR, but it was a workable VFR flight as well. The weather at Big Bear was beautiful, with clear skies and warm temperatures. More pictures here.

Aprilfly-inThe April fly-in to Placerville was a victim of the weather. As Friday approached, the forecast was for rain and possible thunderstorms for the Placerville area, from Friday afternoon on through Saturday. After careful analysis of the outlook, Larry and Jodie made the call to cancel the fly-in, and put Placerville on the list for another day. 

Our March flypin was a lunch fly-in to Santa Ynez airport, with a catered BBQ. Larry and Jodie did a great job of planning and arranging, and the weather cooperated as well, although a bit sullenly. The overcast at Torrance cleared just in time to get everyone there before the food had a chance to cool, while the weather at Santa Ynez was just about perfect. 30 people made the trip, in about 12 aircraft. Good food, good company, and a great day all around.

Our February Fly-in was a complex operation, with airport transportation, a buffet lunch, and tours of the Mission Inn all combined with uncertain weather. The DAF came through with flying colors (or in some cases, driving colors), with more than 35 people arriving at the Inn on time for the buffet lunch (with some amazing desserts!). Peter did yeoman's work as chauffer, shuttling the people who made the flight from the airport to the Inn. Our tour guides were extremely knowledgable about the long and varied history of the Mission Inn, and provided an excellent perspective on the Inn and it's guests. Many thanks to Liz and Peter for all their work.

DSC02543-5895The first fly-in or rather drive-in of 2015 was a lot of fun! Good thing we did a drive-in because the weather was overcast and rainy.   We had a great turn out with about 50 DAFers going to see the movie "Unbroken" and 37 dining at the Red Onion.  The movie was really hard to watch but I think we all were glad we saw it.  There is absolutely no doubt that Louis Zamperini was a  hero.  The Mexican dinner was very good and I think we all had a great time.  Thanks for coming!  Liz and Peter