March 30-31, 2012: Groesbeck TX:
Although morning fog was a factor each day, we can say that the 2012 Central Texas Taylorcraft Fly-in was a resounding success. 8 gorgeous Taylorcraft airplanes, 4 other Taylorcraft owners, 8 non-taylorcraft airplanes, and several other Taylorcraft enthusiasts showed up for a really good time. Much praise and thanks go out to the folks at Fort Parker Flying Fieldand the Old Fort Parker Historic Site for an outstanding job of hospitality. Owner - Jed Keck, Field Manager - Darius Farmer, and Director, Old Fort Parker Historic Site - Sarah MacReynolds went the extra mile for this event and all the feedback I got was... it was great! What a nicely prepared lush and green airfield with God's special wildflower trimmings. The food, the hospitality, hard to find anywhere, but Texas!
|Greg & Becca House - Low Pass down the runway. Photo by Jack Fleetwood|
Thursday morning, as mentioned, started off with fog and low ceilings over most of Texas until around 9 am or 10 am. Lon and I finally got away fro Tick Hill Airfield at 10:50 in the yellow Taylorcraft BC12-D N95598... off for an hour flight to Deer Pasture Airfield to retrieve his white Taylorcraft BC-65 NC22207. We then flew together for fuel at Burnet and finally headed toward Fort Parker by 1:30 pm. To make a long story short ... we eventually both made it by 5:30 pm with only his '39 model. This came after some in-flight excitement for me as my trusty A65 developed a slight misfire. I had to set down 50 miles short due to a bad magneto. With N95598 tied down and secured for the weekend, we finally made it to the Fly-in to find there were already 3 other nice BC12-D's tied down on the field. We also heard that we had missed a Pietenpol, Kitfox, and Piper PA-12 that had already come and gone.
The Old Fort Parker Patriots were winding down their Cowboy shooting events for the day and graciously included all of us airplane folks for a really nice evening meal. I felt under-dressed as most of them were sporting their 1800's frontier attire. The ladies were especially fancied up in their nice dresses and hats. The clouds all vanished and cool breeze made for a really nice evening as one more airplane (a polished rag-wing Cessna 140) showed up in time for supper.
Saturday morning revealed more FOG. But this gave those of us in attendance a chance to visit and look over each of the airplanes. It is amazing to me how different the details are between each Taylorcraft. We concluded there must not have been any two built alike. But there is no doubt... each one there was really nicely kept and equipped. By 9:30 am the clouds began to lift and more airplanes arrived. From then on things got busy and more fun as the day went on. Some new relationships were started and some very nice taildraggers were shown. All-in-all... it's the airplanes that we have in common. But it's the people who make it worthwhile. Things really began to slow by 4 pm leaving only one sole Taylorcraft by dusk. Lon and I took the kids and some others for a few buddy rides as the sun set down.... then off to town for some real-live Tex-Mex... a sweet ending to a sweet gathering of tailwheel airplanes.
For those who missed it this year, we hope you can make it next year!
Fly-in Videos by Vic White
Here are some photos of the fly-in by some really talented photographers. CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE.
Here's the list of Taylorcrafts in attendance
1. 1946 bc12d - n96043 - s.n. 8343 - greg and becca house - richmond, tx. - blue/gray
2. 1946 bc12d - nc95312 - s.n. 9712 - mark julicher - bulverde, tx - cream/maroon
3. 1946 bc12d - nc43306 - s.n. 6965 - r.b. "doc" hecker - san antonio, tx - red/black
4. 1939 bc-65 - nc22207 - s.n. 1145 - lon & carolyn carr - moody, tx - white/red
5. 1946 bc12d - n95910 - s.n. 8210 - mike rice, greg hughes, bill stroud, jeff rockwood - austin, tx - white/orange
6. 1945 bc12d - n39241 - s.n. 6495 - richard king - houston, tx - white/blue
7. 1942 l2b - n616tp - s.n. O-4449 - tom peters - grand prairie, tx - olive drab
8. 1946 bc12d - n5031x - s.n. 6740 - ron jarrett - palestine, tx - white/tan
other taylorcraft owners in attendance (did not fly)
1. 1946 bc12d - nc43849 - s.n. 7508 - neal & miriam palmquist- grand prairie, tx - restoring/grandpa bought new
2. 1946 bc12d - n95598 - s.n. 7898 - terry & leann bowden, moody, tx - yellow/black - lost r. Mag on the way
3. 1946 bc12d - n43697 - s.n. 7356 - andrew roselle - muenster, tx - airplane down for exhaust repairs
4. 1946 bc12d - n95135 - s.n. 9535 - james e coppenger - lampasas, tx
non-taylorcraft airplanes in attendance
1. Kitfox - n73bh - pete christensen - leander, tx
2. Pietenpol air camper - nx899kp - kevin purtee - austin, tx
3. Aeronca 11ac - n86249 - jack fleetwood - austin, tx - yellow/blue
4. Piper pa-12 n2315m - rod johansen - shady shores, tx
5. Cessna 140a - n5641c - e.r. "dick" more - conroe, tx - white/red aircraft is for sale
6. North american navion - n5221k - greg young - spring, tx
7. Cessna 140 - n76887 - vic white - spring branch, tx - silver/polished
8. Cessna 140a - n80h - dean howard - san antonio, tx - black/gold - owned for 32 yrs
other attendees registered
1. Doug ratchford - brenham, tx
2. Nolan & millie bell - denton, tx
3. Richard outlaw - groesbeck, tx
4. Ron, sarah, & judy rosell - highland village, tx
5. Rodney willett, groesbeck,tx
6. Joe nix, atlanta, ga - luscombe 8a owner
N95598 sits tied down after a mag failure and precautionary landing at muddy Salado airport. Nothing to do now but wait for my wingman to come back for me.