Thoughts of Christmas 2002-2009 PAGE 324. 

December 25, 2009: Here are more highlights of my RV airplane experiences from 2002 to 2009.

In August 2008, I installed foam weather stripping on the roll bar to prevent rain water from dripping inside the cabin on those rare occasions when I am out in light rain and on the ground for fuel as it happened in July 2008.
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My friend Monte and his wife Darlene visited me in November 2008.  I had a chance to show them around this area before all the fall colors disappeared.  We traveled by land and by air during the two days of November 15-16, 2008.
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Monte was without a hat in this chilly weather and proceeded to buy one in the gift shop at Ocoee River location seen above.  Here is a photo taken when we returned to Chattanooga that afternoon showing that hat when we stopped at the Chattanooga National Cemetery to see the final resting place of some of the Andrew's Raiders from "The Great Locomotive Chase" in 1862 Civil War action.  They were union soldiers who volunteered for a covert mission to infiltrate the south in April 1862 to sabotage the Western & Atlantic Railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga.  The idea was to disrupt the Confederate supply lines to their army in Tennessee fighting against the Union troops near Shiloh, TN.  That bronze locomotive and tender on the monument is a model of the "General", stolen that day and taken 87 miles north toward Chattanooga on the raid that failed due to the rainy weather.  The raiders were not successful in burning the old wooden railroad bridges across the rivers on that route.  The men buried here were hanged as spies since they were not wearing uniforms during the raid.   These soldiers and the others who survived the POW camps or were traded to the Union for Southern POWs -- ALL received the very FIRST Congressional Medals of Honor awarded to American soldiers.
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The aerial tour the next day had Monte in the back of Wendell's RV-8 and Darlene flying in the right seat with me in my RV-9A.
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My Garmin SL-30 NAV/COM radio had given me trouble once before and it was "repaired" and was in service for about 20 flight hours over the past year.   On the day pictured above, it failed again.  When I sent it to Garmin expecting another out-of-warranty repair, I sent them the paper work from my previous repair, explaining the failure then and the symtoms now.  When the radio was returned, there was no charge.  Here is what the unit looked like inside before I shipped it off for what turned out to be a major circuit board replacement.
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It has been over a year since the SL-30 was returned to me and it has not faltered once in the flights I have made since then.

On Christmas Day 2008, I had hoped to fly with my older son again when he was in Atlanta again.  Bad weather prevented that flight.  On New Year's Day I did get a chance to pick up my younest son Marshall at McCollum field near Kennesaw, Georgia and fly down to Peachtree City Airport to meet up with my older son Edward for lunch nearby.  We had a nice long lunch with exchanges of stories about recent events in everyone's lives.  Marshall and Edward exchanged emails and phone numbers since they have some similar interests.  One topic of interest was their choice of phones with enhanced features, etc.  Back at the airport, the required family photos in front of the air terminal were made.  My grandson Ian did not want to look up due to the bright sunshine.
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Of all the flights I have made since June 9, 2005, I had never taken a photo on final approach to Folks Field.  I managed to get a good shot on January 31, 2009 when Wendell and I had taken both airplanes over to McMinnville, Tennessee to buy cheap AVGAS.   Here is the view looking NORTH on final approach to runway ONE at Folks Field at about 75 MPH.  There is 2,500 feet of runway ahead from the location where you see the black car parked along the right side of the runway.  There are two white five-gallon paint cans marking the runway threshold just beyond the car.  It doesn't look like nearly half a mile of runway ahead from this approach angle.  If you look closely, you can see Wendell's YELLOW RV-8 and my Pearl White Cadillac on the right side of the runway near the north end of the field.
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In 2008, I had my first flight in the back seat of Wendell's RV-8.   Sunday, March 22, 2009 brought clear weather, although somewhat bumpy at altitude across the Cumberland Plateau.  I went over to the hangar expecting to get out the "Enterprise" and get in a short flight to nowhere.  Wendell suggested that I ride along in his RV-8 to get fuel at the McMinnville / Warren County Airport (KRNC).   The price for 100LL AVGAS is only $2.41 per gallon over there and worth the ride!

Since this is my first ride in his airplane, I started taking photos on the ramp just after engine start.  The engine monitor tells it all as the oil temperature is still at the ambient temperature of 71 degrees F with the engine running at just over 1000 RPM.  I took this photo by putting the camera over Wendell's left shoulder and pointing in what I thought was the proper direction.  Even the GPS 396 is still booting up.
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