2019 Fly-Ins
Alamos dancers2On Friday, November 1, seven airplanes and 21 people arrived in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for a relaxing fun and sun filled long weekend. All entered the country officially in Guaymas, then upon arrival at Alamos, we got the party started with margaritas and snacks in the huge 12 plane hangar. The weather was warm but nice with evenings quite pleasant. The weekend included delicious dining choices at several dining locations where no one went hungry....or thirsty for that matter!

The group was entertained nightly by a variety of authentic Mexican musicians, including the vibrant Ballet Folklorico (dancers, singers and musicians, 60 people in all) from the nearby town of Navojoa. For the early risers, on three mornings we had the option of taking a guided walking tour through various parts of town, plus we were treated to an Alamos history talk one late morning. Those interesting walks and talks were led by Hacienda de los Santos owner Jim Swickard or his son-in-law Ramon Alcantar. The Sonoran Cooking Class and the Tequila Class were well attended by eager learners! Hiking, horseback riding and bicycling were popular options too as was lounging and swimming at the numerous pools. A dozen folks boarded a tram to visit the local cemetery where the Day of the Dead (October 31 – November 2 each year) traditions were taking place which included prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have passed way. It was a memorable experience not to be forgotten! The Swickard/Alcantar families and staff at the Hacienda de Los Santos were quite attentive to the needs of the group, tending to every little detail!

After Alamos, two planes took off for more adventures, one to El Fuerte to catch the train up the mountain to visit Mexico’s Copper Canyon (larger and deeper than our Grand Canyon), and another headed to San Carlos for beach and sailing fun! Travelling to Mexico often includes additional challenges for pilots….and this trip was no exception! However, those challenges were resolved and all planes that travelled returned safely.

Thank you to Patti and Tom LaGrelius for organizing such a memorable trip.
October 12th 2019 was the Del Amo Flyer's annual Mystery Fly-in
We had 6 Teams which ended up being 11.5 contestants.
The test was composed of 27 questions for a total of 205 points.
It was a timed quiz, so in addition to answering questions correctly, points are awarded or deducted according to the total time used to take the quiz.

First, a little review of a couple of questions:

What is this?
DAF Jim Gerlach Trophy
a. DAF First Mystery Fly-in Award
b. Young Eagles Excellence Award
c. DAF Jim Gerlach Memorial Air Rally Trophy
d. None of the above

Extra Credit – Used in a tie breaker
Which Fly-in this year had the greatest attendance? ____________

And a scrambler, shame shame shame...
LAEDLSEYMOFR __________________________

After the tests were in, teams had to unscramble to determine where they where headed.

A scrambler works well for this:
RNLFLYEACHVE __________________________

Everyone headed out once they turned in their destinations.

It ended up being a wonderful weather day, we all met up at the restaurant in French Valley for a great lunch and ended up with 13.5 people.

Now on to the answers:

What is this?
c. DAF Jim Gerlach Memorial Air Rally Trophy

Extra Credit – Used in a tie breaker
Answer: Bermuda Dunes had the greatest attendance of 45 people
The scramble... LAEDLSEYMOFR Answer: Del Amo Flyers

On to the results:

We had:
6 Teams
11.5 contestants
2 committee
27 questions

Perfect score would be 205
High Score 155
Low 45

And the winner was: Mitch Taylor

SAC bikersOn the last weekend in September, 15 DAFers assembled in Sacramento for our September Fly-In.  The marine layer in Torrance forced some later-than-planned departures, but everyone was able to make the Friday night Happy Hour.  Our group then wandered over to the annual Farm-to-Fork street fair that was happening just a block from our hotel.  Getting hungry, most of our group met up for an impromptu dinner at the nearby Il Fornaio where we were seated in our own private dining room.

On Saturday morning, Steve Sappington made arrangements for everyone in the group to rent bikes and tour along the American River trail.  The cool, partly cloudy weather was perfect for the bike ride.  Everyone completed the 20 mile ride unscathed except for a couple of minor falls (although your author was seriously contemplating heading to the hospital after the ride for an emergency butt replacement).

During Happy Hour on Saturday night, just about everyone received an emergency blast on their phones.  It wasn't an Amber Alert, but an alert from the National Weather Service issuing a tornado warning.  That's right - a tornado alert in Sacramento!  Although advised to seek shelter, the DAFers did what DAFers do - run outside to see what was happening.  One part of the sky had a glowing green hue, the other part was black (except when lit up by the frequent lightning).  We all walked to the nearby restaurant for our planned group dinner and seated in a covered patio right overlooking the river.  Normally this would have been a perfect spot on a late September evening, but the wind and rain forced us to move to a more sheltered table (the restaurant staff was very accommodating).  Following a great dinner, we went back to the hotel and enjoyed a well-deserved nightcap.

The weather on Sunday morning couldn't have been more different - a crisp but sunny fall day.   Many in the group walked over to the California Railroad Museum (a great attraction), while some went over to the State Capitol and toured the grounds. And then everyone flew or drove home under sunny skies.

Thanks to Larry and Jodie for hosting the fly-in, and to Steve for arranging the bike ride.


20190615 124035-9800This year weather kept the Flaming Brisket grounded, but the food was great anyway! With an overcast in the picture the destination switched from Agua Dulce to the east Ts grass area at the east end. Chairs and tables were quickly borrowed from the Western Museum of Flying, cornhole and horseshoes were set up, and presto we had a picnic! At least forty DAFers and friends showed up to feast on Mitch's brisket and the great assortment of sides brought by the Flyers. Good conversation followed, and some who couldn't have flown were able to joint in.
20190518 115647-9676-600-450-100-c-r90On Saturday May 18th 24 DAFERS in 11 airplanes made it to the Tehachapi Airport and made the short walk over to the Red House BBQ. With the weather we had earlier in the week it was questionable if the winds and rain were going to take a break, but the skies cleared and predicted winds were supposed to arrive late afternoon. Briefing and departure were extra busy at KTOA with the preparations for Armed Forces Day, but we got a front row preview of the aircraft, military and police that were staging for parade later in the day. So those on the fly in were treated to a wonderful trip to Tehachapi, and even better was the BBQ at Red House BBQ.

Red House BBQ is a popular place with locals and draws a pretty good crowd from all over, we were rewarded by great BBQ and weather was nice enough to sit outside. They had many choices on the menu which made it hard to decide, but we all managed somehow.

On the way home a couple of people took an aerial view of the Tehachapi loop. We all beat the predicted winds and weather coming home. All in all it was a great time and the weather cooperated.
The Tehachapi Loop
On Saturday April 13 Del Amo Flyers landed at Santa Barbara Airport for a wonderful lunch at the High Sierra Restaurant, soon to be Flightline Restaurant.
The sky was blue, and the weather could not have been more perfect. There were 35 people and about 10 airplanes for the lunch fly in. The High Sierra Restaurant was tastefully decorated with aviation memorabilia. The restaurant was smart and had the DAFers separated from the main dining area. To our advantage, this allowed the DAFers to socialize with all who attended. Signature FBO was very welcoming to all the planes. They had a few combinations of discounts for the FBO landing fees with receipts from High Sierra and fuel. And, the fuel price was reasonable to start with.

Thank you to Linda Howard who made this a great lunch fly in.
Lompoc fly in crewsOne would think a winter flight to the central coast in a year dominated by clouds and rain would be gray and windswept, with opportunities to practice IFR procedures or drive wet roads and add an extra layer of warm clothes to fend off the elements. But as we all know, DAFers are resourceful and adapt to what nature throws at them. So when a dramatic change in the winter weather forced seventeen DAFers to fly VFR through bright, cloudless skies to reach Lompoc (KLPC) for our March Fly-in, they rose to the occasion.
Undaunted by temperatures in the lower 70s and light breezes in Lompoc, some drove through emerald-green hills to walk along the wide beaches at Jalama Beach, climbed to vistas at Lookout Point or visited period-dressed docents at La Purisima Mission and learned about eighteenth-century mission life. At one point on Saturday, they did retreat inside to taste wine at two wineries in the Wine Ghetto, but only to comply with laws on public drinking in an industrial park.

Weather was not the only unexpected aspect of the trip.
Unexpectedly, we were offered dinner in a private dining room Friday and again for Lunch on Saturday! The intrepid group adapted quickly to this good luck. And even though we had accidentally booked dinner Saturday at two restaurants 20 miles apart, the folks at the Italian-family-run La Botte were gracious and served us a delicious meal.
As further evidence of the agility of DAF members, a few who could not make the full weekend, flew out to join us in Lompoc. Mitch and Vince flew out for lunch Saturday and then Peter and Mitch (with copilot Jan) flew out again Sunday to have lunch with the Lompoc expedition stragglers and enjoy the continuing perfect weather. Lompoc airport

The tally was 7 planes (one twice), one car, 17 Dafers, two wineries and a lot of fun exploring the area. Thanks to all that came and showed how resourceful and adaptive DAFers are and how we strive to make the best of our opportunities.
On Saturday February 24th the Del Amo Flyers had our first actual flying event for the year: 45+ DAFERS, including a number of 99's, flew to Bermuda Dunes (KUDD). 

Over a dozen aircraft flew to Bermuda Dunes Airport and a couple of people arrived by car. The lush green vegetation and snow in the background made for a scenic flight.  

It was just a short walk/ride outside the FBO to Murph’s Gaslight Restaurant where we had lunch. The FBO and restaurant handled the large crowd superbly. We filled the entire dining room. Staff provided excellent service and smiles.

It was a great day, with perfect weather, great lunch, and wonderful company!

Thanks to Liz for arranging it all!
Our January drive-in was well attended with 34 DAFers showing up to Automobile Driving Museum in the pouring rain! It was a great day for a museum drive-in as a fly-in would not have worked out so well though it did clear up later. We learned much on our tours from docents Dick and Maurice, who were educational and quite passionate about the antique, muscle and vintage cars there. We even saw electric cars from 1922 and 1975! Who knew? This museum is a little gem in an industrial part of El Segundo and even includes an old-school ice cream parlor and event space for 300. After getting our fill of these unique cars, the group met at the nearby Proud Bird Food Bazaar and Events Center where we had lunch from the Food Bazaar, which offers many different varieties of delicious food. We dined together with a view of planes taking off rather than short final due to wind conditions. After lunch 15 of us took a docent led tour by Jacob who eagerly shared history of the restaurant, interior displays and aircraft on display outside of the restaurant. Some of us relaxed for a bit more after the tour, chatting, enjoying the view and the beautiful, but still cloudy day after the rain passed.