Wamm Fly-In, May 2007

A report and photos from the May, 2007 Fly-in at Porterville, CA (PTV)

THIS FLY-IN MARKED THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY of the founding of the Western Association of Mooney Mites by Tony Terrigno in 1977, which was also held at Porterville. Regretfully, Tony was not able to be with us, due to a medical situation. It should be noted that three of the founding members were in attendance this time. They are shown in blue.

A large number of members showed up on Thursday, the day before the official opening. Our hosts, Ben Favrholdt and Don Deaton were already there, of course, while Bill Vandersande had driven from Camarillo, CA. Bill had the hangar, chairs, cold beer and water ready for us.

As usual, Ernie Buenting, N496M was the first to fly in from out of town. We were pleased to meet for the first time Larry Minch, who flew a cross-country from Cottonwood, AZ in his new Mite, N4187 . We hope he will make many more visits. Dave Mazzola also came early from Watsonville, CA. His N380A is looking really good. Multiple Mite owner, Norm Douthit of San Bernardino, CA, dropped in for a short while in his truck on Thursday afternoon after showing Dave Rutherford his hangar full of Mite "projects" down in Shafter, CA. Dave, as usual, arrived from LAX by car after flying down from Abbotsford, British Columbia via Alaska Air. We were all seated at La Fuente for our traditional Thursday evening Mexican meal when Gil Gilbert, N4121 of Kent, WA arrived in his rental car from Fresno after flying down from Seattle on Horizon Air. We were also glad to see Glenn Bell of Hillsboro, OR arrive with Michael Harms, N201MM in Michael's Cessna 182RG. Glenn had caught a ride down from Hayward, CA after arriving on a flight from Portland. This may be the last time we will see Glenn, as he and Rosa are planning a move to Mexico.

On Friday, Doug Triplat of Rosamond, CA arrived in his Beech 36, bringing with him Bill Jennings who is a new Mite owner, having recently bought N124C as a project. Glenn Ricketson of Porterville put in the first of several appearances. Later on Friday, Fly-In regular Craig Ortet, N386A actually flew down from Livermore, CA on his Harley Davidson. We were surprised and pleased when Sydney Jones, La Jolla, CA and her son, Mark Youngson of Temecula, CA arrived in his car. Sydney was once a Mite owner and tells her story elsewhere on this Site. Scott Royall, N4172 of Salt Lake City arrived by rental car to meet us for the first time after a long-delayed flight into LAX.

On Saturday, Patrick Moran, N9AW of Waterford, CA and Michael Magnani, N4094 of Valencia, CA arrived by car for day-visits. Mite owner, Bob Katz, N4155 flew in for a brief appearance in his lovely red Mite around noon. Both he and Michael were concerned about poor visibility in the LA basin due to fog. Lastly, Mite enthusiast Jim Barnett of Camarillo came for his first visit to WAMM in his Mooney 201. It's always good to see the Mite's cousins at the Fly-In.

Those members who stayed over Saturday night were treated to Don Deaton's famous deep-pit barbecue served with frijoles and salad at the "pavilion" next to the PTV terminal. Refreshments were delivered for the occasion by cheerful Al Quatacker of Porterville in his specially designed "drink-mobile". Photographing the deep-pit cooking process earlier in the day gave us an new appreciation of the amount of effort put in by Don, on this occasion assisted by Glenn Bell.

In summary, a total of eight Mites were at the Fly-in, three from out-of-town. 23 guests are listed on the sign-in sheet, 17 from out-of-town. The weather was on the cool side for Porterville in May, in the upper 70's, but most visitors found the blue sky and warm breezes very pleasant.

Larry Minch, Bill Vandersande and Ernie Buenting at La Fuente. Glenn Bell, Glenn Ricketson, Don Deaton, Doug Triplat, Gil Gilbertson in Bill's hangar. Gil Gilbert, Dave Rutherford and Ernie Buenting near the PTV terminal/Airport Cafe building.
Scott Royall tries out the cockpit of an M-18C-55 while Mark Youngson looks on. Syd Jones sits in the cockpit of a Mite for the first time in 50 years. Syd, Mark and Scott having breakfast at Nelson's restaurant.
Dave Rutherford caught in the act. Glenn Bell going for a sentimental flight in his old favorite, N4181. Larry Minch took this shot of Glenn in 4181 from his new Mite, N4187
Patrick Moran chats with Bill during his brief visit. Waiting for the two-taco lunch at Rustler's are Gil, Michael Magnani, Michael Harms and Scott Royall. Ben Favrholdt with Big Mooney owner, Jim Barnett.
We were pleased that Bob Katz, a founding member of WAMM, dropped in for a couple of hours. Larry and Ben having breakfast at the Airport Cafe. Dave Mazzola with his 75HP M-18L, N380A.
Don Deaton with his L-model, N120C. Ernie Buenting, founding member of WAMM, has owned N496M for 40 years. He deserves a trophy. Larry Minch has owned N4187 for less than a year.
Dave Mazzola and Bill Jennings. Ben Favrholdt, N66MX is also a founding member of WAMM. He won a trophy at the first Fly-In in 1977 with his other Mite. Larry, Dave M., Ben watch Glenn change a fuel indicator tube.
Craig Ortet, N386A on his new Harley. Michael Harms with his good buddy, Kona. Kona is our first four-legged member.

Photos by Larry Minch, Michael Harms and Dave Rutherford