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Q-talk 65 - Sep/Oct 1997 - index

SEP/OCT 1997



by Jim Masal

It was big times in a small town ... at least after an opening day disappointment which I'll mention in a moment! Some 22 Q's and DFlys appeared on the Ottawa blacktop during Labor Day weekend along with a typical crowd of just over a hundred. Most folks experienced good flying/driving weather and were already in position Friday evening.

To limber everybody up, we traditionally gather on Friday after sundown at the Sirloin Stockade across the street from all the motels. We chow down in a back meeting room and get a weekend preview briefing. This year Jon Finley did a brief on the performance evaluation flight that he organized. There was a collective groan as he specified the launch time: 7 a.m. Saturday (What wuz this, a mission to Bremen?). We tried to break up early to get some ZZZZZZ's but everybody was excited and the hangar talk just wouldn't be stilled.

I bunked with Spud some 30 minutes north in Olathe, so it was early to rise for me ... except that even before the clock dinged, I was awakened by a loud boom and a flash of lightning. Never mind that the weatherman didn't see that coming the night before. When I got to the airport about 8, there were some soggy and disappointed pilots shuffling around. But not for long. The moody weather gave everyone time for a nice cup of coffee and some modest breakfast fare from a couple that brings their mobile "canteen" to our site. Their food is simple (doughnuts, burgers, doggies, drinks, cookies, chips, etc.) priced nicely and VERY convenient ... available at the first sign of a pang.



By 9:30 the Q forum was underway with the occasional fly-by going on in the distance. This was followed by the Dragonfly forum and then a special guest, Bob Nuckolls, who did an outstanding presentation on common sense planning and wiring of a small aircraft electrical system. If I don't get the Ottawa 97 videotape for anything else, I'll get it for this. (I have been advised via E-mail that Nuckolls has a $42 book for sale that is well worth the money and deals specifically with sportplane electrics.)

The forums lasted until 1:30 after which a Performance Evaluation Flight briefing was held. All of a sudden there was an eruption of commotion to get aircraft to the starting grid in a guesstimated order of fastest to lastest (we knew Terry Crouch in his Q-1 would be lastest). A couple pilots were lollygagging so the second half of the grid got a bit out of sequence. But SAFETY was the watchword and all aircraft were safely launched. Flight Boss Jon Finley should report the finish results, but from the ground it was fun to watch the launch and then 20 minutes later listen for a distant growl from the east as the first and following planes bore down on the field. Bob Malechek's hopped-up Q-200 was back fastest with a speed from the standing start of 188 mph. Many returning pilots were very enthused about the flight and rarin' to go again next year. Several point rode with passengers giving a more real life performance result.

Lotsa rides were given this year as the weather was perfect for it. Spud organized a sign up sheet to prioritize rides (i.e. first rides go to guys who expect to finish an airplane before next Ottawa). That seemed a fair way to do it but it took far too much effort and too many did it their own way. Next year, we will return to the usual free-for-all. After all, these aren't our airplanes and a pilot can choose to ride whoever he will. If you are a shrinking violet and are in deathly fear of asking for a ride, then you just won't get one. It takes plenty of energy to organize this fly-in just for starters and Spud doesn't need to spend energy screwing around with this part of it. If anyone has a better solution, please step up to the volunteer desk.

Now it is no revelation that the focus of this weekend is airplanes, flying and pilots. But this year, just off center stage Debbie Stewart was implementing a very effectively planned series of activities. This reporter didn't sit in on those activities, but I could tell from the smiles on the ladies faces that they were really enjoying themselves ... and then they would disappear again. We're delighted Debbie took on this piece of the Ottawa action and will ask her for a report (if it doesn't show up already).

Along about sundown everyone shuffled off to the motels for a cleanup or straight to the University where the banquet would take place. Wonder of wonders, the county voted to allow liquor this year so a couple of us brewskied up to prepare for the long and rigorous alcohol-free banquet/award festivities. About 90 faces showed up for the banquet and as usual, the University fed us well. But we weren't there just for the food.


Spud works for an auto performance parts seller and this year he strong-armed some vendors to donate a boatload of door prizes. I mean it. We eventually had a prize for everyone at the banquet with a few left over! And for the bigger awards, we had the following:

BEST OVERALL 2 PLACE - Ernest Martin, Arden, NC

BEST OVERALL 1 PLACE - Terry Crouch, Bettendorf, IA

BEST INTERIOR - Paul Fisher, Taylor Ridge, IL


HIGHEST TIME AIRCRAFT - Bob Malechek, Q-200, 900 hrs, Texas


Don Stewart taped the banquet again along with his helper Matt Gunsch. And, it should be said that he rolled gobs of tape on the entire event as well. But Don and Debbie can't resist bestowing some "joke" awards of their own each year. This is an occasion for great hilarity, catcalls and unsolicited editorial comments from the assembled minions. You can imagine.

And then we had the Grand Finale Prize. In order to entice pilots to bring their Q or Dfly aircraft we "raffled" off a state of the art Garmin GPS. This would go just to pilots who brought their aircraft. Tickets to win were handed out based on the distance flown to get to Ottawa. The longer the distance, the more raffle tickets in the hat. And there was an extra surprise. It only takes one ticket to win, right? This time the guy who flew the longest distance and had the best chance of winning actually DID win: Kimbull McAndrew, flying a modified Q-200 from Canada. Now the surprise: We couldn't get cooperation from Garmin to actually purchase a GPS in time so Kimbull unwrapped 4 crisp $100 bills. Bet he had a nice ride home.

Sunday was pretty unstructured except that more rides were given and Don Stewart launched a photo plane so some of the guys could give him some in flight passes for the video. He tells me he got some good stuff. And then everyone lazily drifted off for home.

Once again we had a safe and very enjoyable event. This year we had a couple of new twists to add to the fun, but really the most fun is being with each other, laughing, talking and learning. It's an annual reunion that can't be beat! And I'm convinced it gets airplanes in the air.




Tom Moore - June 1, 1997

Jerry Marstall - June 21, 1997

Paul Spackman - July 4, 1997

Al Kittleson - August 22, 1997

I'm planning on getting the stories of these guys first flights and will have them in the next few issues.



The special Gals' Session at Ottawa this year was a HUGE success. The women in attendance had a chance to get to know each other and share stories. For those of you who wanted to make it this year but couldn't, we look forward to seeing you next time.

Guys - if you have a significant other who is not really interested in going to the fly-in and/or is not happy with your involvement in flying, please let her know that the women have formed somewhat of a support network and would love to have her join us in Kansas next year. If she sends me her name, address & phone, I'll add her to my roster.

Debbie Stewart

P. O. Box 11929

Prescott, AZ 86304

Other Articles In This Issue

OTTAWA PIX - by Tom Moore
CLASSIFIEDS - by Tom Moore


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