It has been a busy and eventful couple of days for the Meyers flight to Flabob:
A long flying day was had by our crew Tuesday: 7.5 hours total airtime. Aircraft were safely hangared Monday night out of the way of thumb-sized hail and rain. Meyers OTW #80 - N34335, with Rick and Donny as pilot and crew, became disabled in Haskill, Texas, and will be unable to complete the trip.
Donny was safely sent, via commercial carrier, to visit relatives in California. Rick's partner is driving a trailer to pick up disabled bi-plane and return it home for repairs.
Jim, Chuck, and Mike continued on from Big Spring, Texas through Pecos, Van Horn, El Paso and on to Deming, New Mexico for the night. The crew is holding up well, and Chuck says he is surprising everyone (especially himself!) with his stamina.
Chuck experienced an unusual occurence leaving El Paso, on the way to Deming. He heard an engine noise, determined he could continue flying, and upon landing in Deming, discovered a spark plug in #4 cylinder had separated into two parts. Repair was effected Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday the goal was Buckeye, AZ. Approximately three miles south of a scheduled stop at Casa Grande, AZ, around 2 p.m., Chuck's plane experienced a loss of power and he landed safely on a pipeline easement, on hardpacked desert sand, on the Robertson cotton farm. No injuries to either the airplane or to Chuck. Jim had already landed at Casa Grande, and was picked up by the Robertsons and driven to Chuck's landing site. Mechanics are on hand, with Jim Jones running the repair operation. It appears, at this report, that an intake valve is stuck on #5 cylinder. It is likely that repairs can be made and the trip will continue tomorrow.
The Robertsons have graciously offered to host both Chuck and Jim for the night at their farm, have provided a car, and are planning a barbeque for their last-minute guests. Mike and Tom were already on their way to Buckeye, where they will spend the night.
The Meyers' Adventurers made the front page of the Newton, Iowa daily paper: http://www.newtondailynews.com.