WAMM Fly-in May 2002

A collection of photos from the May, 2002 Fly-in at Porterville, CA (PTV)

Once again, the Porterville weatherman blessed us with fine flying weather on the weekend of May 3rd. The turnout was excellent -- 10 Mites and 24 Enthusiasts.

As usual, Mite owners and Porterville residents Ben Favrholdt and Bill Vandersande acted as capable and generous hosts. Tim Lucero (Lompoc),  Ernie Buenting (Upland), Michael Harms (Palo Alto), Craig Ortet (Livermore), Ted Reusch (Banning), Mal Gross and Yours truly all arrived in M-18's. Mal takes the prize for coming the farthest, all the way from Orcas Island, WA with an overnight at Medford, OR. Nathan Kröeker came down from Quincy in one of Ken Shea's Mites just ahead of Ken and son JK (John Kennon) in an amphibious Cessna 150. Visitors arriving in other aircraft included Robby Robins (Fallbrook) in his trusty Texas Tail dragger, Tony Terrigno (Chino Hills) in his Piper Pacer, and Jim Bergo (Minot, ND) in a Citabria which he was ferrying home.

Several members showed up in flightless vehicles: Buck Jewell of Dallas, TX arrived in a rental car, as did David Favrholdt and son Kai from Richmond, BC via Fresno. Long time owner Garry Gramman made the long drive up from El Cajon in his Buick, Le Selting came all the way from Cochise, AZ in his Toyota pickup, Pat Moran flew down on his Honda motorcycle from Waterford, and Dave Mazzola from Newark in his Chevy Blazer. Norm Douthit of San Bernardino and Don Deaton of Porterville made brief appearances as well, as did the brothers John and Kurt Sturr from Cupertino who showed up just to have a look at some Mites.

Back row, L to R:
Tim Lucero, Craig Ortet, Michael Harms, Mal Gross, Jim Bergo, Ted Reusch, David Favrholdt, Dave Rutherford.

Front row, L to R:
Ben Favrholdt, Ernie Buenting, Tony Terrigno, Kai Favrholdt, Robby Robins, Buck Jewell.

Tony Terrigno, Garry Gramman, Robby Robins, Mal Gross and Ted Reusch stand on the apron in front of the lineup. The refurbished airport cafe, now called Michel's, is destined to be a favourite spot for breakfast and lunch. The service, food and setting are excellent. Ted, Ben, Robby, Garry and Tim Lucero in the chat circle in Bill Vandersande's cool and well-stocked hangar. The temperature only got up to the low 80's.
Ted, Dave Mazzola, and Le Selting enjoying liquid refreshment on the other side of the circle. Kai Favrholdt is on the phone to his mom back in Canada. We were pleased that Jim Bergo was able to join us for a couple of days. He interrupted his ferry flight in a Citabria heading back to North Dakota. Kai and his great-uncle Ben stand beside Ben's C150 after a flying lesson. Kai will some day soon be the third-generation pilot of his family.
Ken Shea and his elder son, JK, with Ken's 180 hp Cessna 150. Rather than come in Mites, they lake-hopped all the way down from Quincy so JK could build up some time on floats. One of Ken's Mites did make an appearance, flown by his friend Nathan Kröeker who visited us in Porterville for the first time. Michael Harms does a pre-flight check in his latest acquisition (and third Mite), N4192. This airplane, the last Mite built at the factory, sports an 85 hp engine, with starter.
Mal and Ken watch while Nathan tries out the roomier cockpit of Mal's C-55. It must be pretty comfy, because Mal sat in it for many hours on the way down. Michael and Ben test the action of the landing gear while N4192 is up on saw-horses in Ben's hangar. The facilities at PTV are ideal. Owner Michael and Dave Rutherford pose beside N201MM, a C-55, in which Dave had the privilege of making the 2-hour flight down from Hayward.
Michael, Kai and David seem to be enjoying the long wait for food at our traditional dinner at Rustlers out at the lake on Friday night. There was plenty of time to chat over refreshments. Mal makes a point about the FAA's new Sport-aircraft proposal while Buck Jewell listens. We were pleased that Fly-In host Bill Vandersande (elbows on table), recently out of the hospital, was able to spend some time with us. That's Craig Ortet on his left, and Garry in the blue shirt.
Le, Ben and Ernie listen to Mal, our very capable representative at the EAA. Ted, Jim and Robby carry on while the very pleasant waitress takes their orders. Dave, Ken and JK pose while waiting for the order to arrive at The Oak Pit restaurant Saturday night. Good food!
Bill felt much better when he and Dave were asked to pose with this very photogenic visitor. Unfortunately, we didn't think to get her name. Two fine Mites: Ted's prize-winning L model in front and Mal's C-55 model in back. You may notice the slightly taller canopy of the red Mite. Tony removed the rear door of his Pacer so that the WATV camera man would have an unobstructed view in the air of Mites flying by.
Kurt Sturr of Cupertino and his brother John dropped in for a look at the famous M-18's. They came to the right place, because Porterville has the largest Mite gatherings in the world! Tim is in deep conversation with Pat Moran, who was able to spend more time with us this year. Yours truly owes a debt of gratitude to Mooney 201 owners, Adam and Cathy Fineberg of San Jose. They took me  from Porterville right to the front door of the terminal at SFO.
A film crew from WATV of LA spent much of Saturday filming the Fly-in for a spot in their program, "The Ride of Your Life". On the left, camera man Dan Donley helps plan the photo-flight strategy. At centre, producer Andy Smith and assistant Doug John record an interview with Mal Gross. On the right, Tony Terrigno taxis for take-off with Dan in his shooting position. We are eagerly awaiting a look at the results of their efforts.

Photo credits: David Favrholdt, Dave Rutherford, Michael Harms.

Note: Larger copies of these photos and others are available upon request.

08 May, 2002