Rough River 2019

I wasn’t sure if I was going to have the time to make it to this year’s Rough River, Kentucky fly-in — or to be quite honest, the transportation there since I wasn’t sure of Marco’s plans until a few weeks out. I did know that I was definitely not going to drive there!

I got into my home area from my west coast trip but stayed the night at a hotel in New Bern since it was too late for my friend to come pick me up. The next morning I got a ride back to my house, picked up the few things I could scavenge (Delta lost my luggage) and then got on the road to Chesapeake Regional airport to rendezvous with Marco and Chris Cleaver.

Since Chris was flying solo in his Mike Toomey-built Long-EZ (Mike being a good friend and at the same airport as Terry Lamp, the guy who built Marco’s Long-EZ) he was nice enough to let Marco and I load some bags in his back seat.

We then took off in a flight of two for our Rough River adventure!

Here we are just a few miles north of the North Carolina border in western Virginia. About 15 min later we crossed over into West Virginia (sorry for the pic quality, the curved canopy sometimes tricks the focus).

Below is about 10 min before arriving Rough River, Kentucky. Marco grabbed a nice selfie with Chris off our wing in the background.

This shot is just minutes after we landed, with Terry Lamp –again, the builder of this phenomenal Long-EZ– in the background. Here Marco is getting ready to fire ‘er back up to taxi to the other side of the tarmac.

While Chris Cleaver quickly met up with Mike Toomey, the builder of his stunning Long-EZ.

Within the next hour we of course had to take a group selfie of the gang: From L to R is me, Marco, Terry Lamp, Dennis, Chris Cleaver and Mike Toomey.

That night we hooked up with Terry Schubert and Jim Price [holder of the experimental airplane altitude record: FL340+ (IIRC) in a Long-EZ!] for dinner.

This was a unique RR in regards to acquiring any building tips & tricks. I guess since I’m nearing the end of my build (yeah, yeah . . . it doesn’t SEEM like it!!) I have most things figured out.

I did pick up a few ideas though. Below is a good idea on how to create the antenna backplane for the ELT. Mike Beasley stumbled across this and shared it with the gang.

I also got some great intel from James Redmon both on heat resistant dark paint and refilling the small Oxygen bottles at home (vs spending a fortune doing it by other means).

Next morning —the official start of Rough River— we all had a great breakfast cooked by the venerable Mike Beasley (call sign “BizMan”)!!

Here’s a shot of the Ohio gang’s (Mike Toomey and Terry Lamp) offspring: Mike Toomey’s yellow Cozy (ironically he didn’t build it but got it for A STEAL!!), Marco’s Terry Lamp-built Long-EZ, and Chris’s Mike Toomey-built Long-EZ.

After walking around in the heat looking at airplanes for a few hours, we all took a bit of a respite mid-day to hang out.

Again, this RR was more of a social one for me since I didn’t have much in the way of build tips that I was looking for… although I did decide after the first day that rather than flying sans Hershey Kiss spinner for a while after I got the plane flying, that I want to install a spinner as soon as practicable. I noted that the canards without a spinner just seemed to be lacking something and that the spinner really finished off the aft side of the plane… IMO. I then had quite a good discussion with Mike Toomey on the whole spinner deal.

Sunday morning we took off rather early. I had found out while on the west coast that my airport was going to have the old hangars demolished and were going to build new ones due to the tornado damage. The rebuild being primarily the decision by the insurance company. Regardless, it meant that the leases on the hangars were being cancelled as of 30 Sep and I had to get all my crap out… thus I needed to return ASAP to get back to what I love doing: moving stuff!

Here Marco and I are over the middle of Virginia, about an hour out from landing back at Chesapeake.

Marco borrowed my phone to take these shots of his panel… a lot of info for such a small panel, eh?!

Here we’re at 11,500 ft. to get over some clouds that were hanging out over the mountains. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful flight back (the guys heading north and west out of RR didn’t get the same nice treatment from mother nature as we did . . .)

Back at the ranch! Another successful RR in the bag… thanks a million to my good friend and brother in arms, Marco!!!

Until next year … where I’m really hoping to be showing you selfies of me flying in my own bird!

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