WAMM Fly-In, June 2012

A report and photos from the June 7 - 12 Fly-In

Michael Harms' hangar was our home base, but since the Porterville Air Faire was happening, most of us hung out in front of the terminal and camping area near the show line. The Faire organizers were kind enough to designate a tie-down area called "Mooney Street" on the tarmac for our exclusive use. The Mooney Ambassadors joined the Mites there and filled it to overflowing.

Attendees report:

Thursday Early Birds: Ed Mandibles arrived early (08:00) in N325M from Lompoc, CA.. Locals Michael Harms, N4181 and Don Deaton, N120C had already moved their Mites to Mooney Street. David Favrholdt (Richmond, BC) and Dave Rutherford (Abbotsford, BC) arrived late-afternoon by rental car from LAX after flying down via WestJet from Vancouver.

Friday: Doug Triplat came early (07:42) in his Big Mooney, N78882, from Rosamond, CA; Local Ben Favrholdt's N66MX was spiffed up by Michael and Ed, and taxied over to Mooney Street in the morning. Once again, Mike Madrid, N616CB and Brian Stevens, arrived from Lompoc in their Air Camper and C-172H, respectively. As always, we were pleased to see some Mites from out of town; regulars Scott Lewis, N4096 from Santa Monica, and Dave Mazzola, N380A from Lake Elsinore, CA. It was good to see Craig Ortet, N386A again, even though he arrived Mite-less from San Luis Obispo for just a short visit. We welcomed two new WAMM members, Jolie Lucas, N6619U and J.R. Smith, N4768V who both flew in from Oceano, CA.

Saturday: There were no further arrivals.

Dining schedule:

Thursday evening: La Fuente Mexican on Main St. This is a place we have been to many times. It was busier than usual.

Friday: breakfast - Airway Cafe at PTV; lunch - at a new place on Olive behind what used to be Randy's Steak and Pizza - need help with the name; dinner - Quatacker's banquet.

Saturday: breakfast - at a new place (to us), the Lunch Box Diner; lunch - most members did without lunch, while two of us ate at Jenny Lynn's; dinner - great food and service at El Tapatio which was just jammed with people.

Sunday: breakfast - Perko's Koffee Kup on Henderson, as always.

Weather conditions: The weather was perfect, with cool morning temperatures rising to the mid 80's in the afternoon under cloudless skies.

Special Events:

The Air Faire banquet, hosted by Mike Quatacker, was particularly well-run this time. The idea of serving pre-loaded plates of food rather than buffet-style meant that the lineup was fast-moving and everyone sat down to eat much sooner than last year. WAMM member, Don Deaton can take credit for the delicious slow-cooked roast beef which was the centerpiece of the meal.

There were many static and flying displays to be seen, keeping the crowd of moms, pops, and kids well entertained. Two of particular interest were biplane rides in JR's yellow Stearman and demonstration of Eddie Andreini's P51 Mustang.

Attendance: We have thirteen signatures on the sign-in sheet, with one missing due to oversight. Six Mites made it to the show line on Mooney Avenue.

We discussed the location our our next Fly-In and decided that it will be held on the coast at Lompoc, California, although the exact date has not been set. Ed Mandibles, who has a lot of experience with the Piper Cub group, will be hosting. Since two of the Mites based in Porterville will not be flown to Lompoc, it would be nice to have some others take their place. So if you have not come to a WAMM gathering for a while, or have never quite gotten around to putting in an appearance, we'd sure like to see you there.

Special thanks to Michael Harms for providing his hangar, refreshments, and a room at his house.

Our Mooney Mites plus Big Mooneys from The Mooney Ambassadors were given our own display area.

Ed Mandibles and Michael Harms wipe the hangar dust off Ben Favrholdt's N66MX which Ed later taxied over to the show line.

Scott Lewis took this photo of Pyramid Lake and Interstate 5 while on his way to Porterville
from Santa Monica in N4096 on Friday morning.

Dave Mazzzola's N380A, a 1949 M-18L.

This photo shows the beautiful lines of a Mite.

Ed Mandibles' tent was one of many that were pitched in the shade beside the terminal building.

Mooney Street was overflowing with fine looking aircraft, large and small.

The weather for the WAMM Fly-In/Air Faire was flawless.

Dave Mazzola, Doug Triplat and David Favrholdt in Michael Harms' hangar.

Ed Mandibles and N325M. Due to his consistent early (Thursday) arrivals, Ed is now a "Hard Core" member.

Most of the WAMM gang are caught in Quatacker's hangar before the food was served.

Early Saturday morning was takeoff time for the hot air balloons. Dave Mazzola was there, as he had stayed in Ben Favrholdt's hangar overnight. He departed for Skylark Field at Lake Elsinore, CA soon afterwards.

Mooney Ambassadors head honcho, Jolie Lucas, with David Favrholdt moments before she departed for Oceano in her Big Mooney, N6619U, on Sunday morning.

J.R. Smith prepares his Stearman for departure to Oceano while Michael Harms looks on.

Having eaten a meal with the Gang, Jolie and J.R. are now full-fledged members of WAMM. We expect to see both of them at our next Fly-In in Lompoc, CA.

The two Canadian members, Dave Rutherford and David Favrholdt just before "bon voyage" on Sunday morning.

Photos by Dave Rutherford, David Favrholdt and Scott Lewis.