2017 Fly-ins

October saw another successful DAF Fly in with 19 participants, 8 aircraft, and 14 lunch participants. This year included the second annual malevolent mystery mishap by the voltage-sucking battery vampire preventing one plane (not two like last year) from participating. Of those that flew to Brackett, it is worth noting that the first plane to arrive at the destination was Kel Vanderlip in his Cessna 150. A bit of a coup considering horsepower and cruising airspeed of the later arrivals! The lunch bunch enjoyed a sunny, if fire-induced hazy, view of the San Gabriel Mountains and the airfield traffic. The group was unexpectedly treated to the Brackett Antique Aircraft Display/Car Show which is normally held the third Sunday but for some reason was Saturday (contrary to their website and published media). A hardy few walked over to view the Puddingstone Reservoir before heading back to home base.
 Ye-Haw!  We had a wonderful time in Prescott, Arizona last month as 17 of us wandered our way around the historical town. Did you know Prescott was the first capital of the Arizona Territory?  Me neither, but now I do!  Between having beautiful weather, something for everyone to do, staying at a hotel of the 1927 era, and of course the fun of being together as DAFers, it was a great weekend!  Friday night included the “Art walk” on Whiskey Row, and dinner together. The Hassayampa Hotel was a delight, including an elevator from the 20’s, and the Peacock Dining Room gave us our own room for dinner on Saturday night.  Hmmm….did our reputation for loudness precede us??  During the day, folks went wine tasting, hiking around interesting and beautiful Watson Lake (do you know what a “granite dell” is?), checking out the little shops in town, and/or/maybe a rumor I heard about something involving guns? Happy hours were “cozy” but the company was great, and we had time to get to know new friends, and catch up with folks we hadn’t seen for awhile.
August is usually fly-in free, but this year we had a special treat. Steve and Nancy arranged a trip to Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Lassen Volcanic National Park. 23 DAFers flew (or drove) to Chester, CA, and then headed into the park for the weekend. The scenery was gorgeous, and there were plenty of places to hike or ride to. Eric Kinder and Roger Hoh even caught fish, if their version of things is to be believed. No photographic evidence was produced, so anything could have happened!
Some people went horseback riding, and the pool got a lot of use afterward. Dusty trails were the rule, so a good rinse was essential! At night, the pool provided a great location for stargazing, as the area is truly dark at night. No light pollution up here. The nightly campfire provided a great place for S'mores, nightcaps and a chance for everyone to share their adventures. 
The food was excellent, and the service was ideal. The staff at Drakesbad were all friendly and helpful, and right there when you needed anything. They made everyone feel right at home. 
A fantastic trip, with great weather to boot! Thanks to Steve and Nancy for setting this up.
The annual Flaming Brisket Fly-in went off without a hitch this year, aside from the temperature. However, a nice breeze and lots of shade kept things comfortable, and plenty of brisket and sides made it all worthwhile. 15 aircraft and around 35 DAFers made the trek, and the arrival at L70 was smooth sailing. The airport manager was very helpful, and got out umbrellas for the tables that weren't under the trees as well as unlocking the facilities. Eric showed off his new camera drone, which has truly impressive capabilities. The re-entry to Torrance wasn't quite as smooth, with some quick go-arounds and runway swaps. All in all, a great flight and a fun day!

The weather was just about perfect in the Santa Ynez valley as 13 DAFers descended into the Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton for the June 9-11 weekend. Six DAFers stayed in fully-tricked-out Safari Tents, Mitch and Jan stayed in a vintage Airstream trailer, and the remaining DAFers pitched their own tents at the resort's campground.

There seemed to be a contest as to how many wineries could be visited during the weekend. As far as this reporter could tell, it was a neck-to-neck race between Team Frugal Campers (the pitch-your-own tent people) and Team Sedey/Sappington. The Campers went straight from landing at KIZA and drove to a couple of local wineries (not even taking time to set up camp - something they may have regretted later). Team Sedey/Sappington also visited a tasting room or two before getting to their Safari Tents (their only regret was missing the daily Safari Tent turn-down service).

On Friday evening, we had Happy Hour at the Safari campground fire pit followed by a great BBQ dinner, and a second Happy Hour back at the fire pit. On Saturday, most people drove into Santa Ynez to walk around the annual western-themed "Old Santa Ynez Days" street fair. The teams then formed back up and set off for an afternoon of more wine tasting. An early group dinner was held on the patio of the beautiful Vineyard House restaurant in Santa Ynez, followed by the mandatory Happy Hour meetup back at the fire pit.

It was a fun weekend attended by an enthusatic group of DAFers. Thanks to Larry and Jodie for setting everything up.

It was great weather for the Kern Valley Fly-in, which was a good thing as we had plenty of time to enjoy it! Due to scheduling confusion on the part of the organizer, the cafe was not well prepared for the onslaught of 17 DAFers showing up for lunch. The food was good once it arrived, though, and the deck was a nice place to hang out for the afternoon. Eric and Sally braved the elements and camped out Friday night, and reported that the renovated campground is very nice.

It was nice to see the lake so full, with lots of trees half underwater by the airport. The stream by the airport was going strong for the first time in years! Thanks to Jim Pavlick for setting the trip up.
IMG 7426-8195San Luis Obispo welcomed 19 DAFers with blue skies and warm weather for the April Fly-in. After some mild bumps on the way up, it was smooth going for the cocktail hour out by the pool. Complinmentary wine and beer from the hotel and our own snacks and appetizers; all a Flyer could ask for! Afterward, the group split up for dinner to try some of the many great restaruants in SLO.

Saturday, we met up at Wolff Winery for a picnic lunch and wine tasting. Clint Grubb was our knowledgable and gracious host, and provided not only information on the wines and the winery, but spoke about the Edna Valley, other local wineries, and the California wine industry. Jean-Pierre Wolff, the owner and winemaker, joined us as well, and explained their techniques of dry-farming as well as their habitat restoration and aquifer recharging programs. Clint poured a great selection of wines; all were well received by the Flyers, and some quick weight and balance recalculations were needed as the purchases added up!

After exploring the town, we met up again for dinner at Cafe Roma. Good food, good wine, good company, and at the end we were joined by our host, Marco Rizzo. A pilot and owner of a B36 Bonanza, he had just flown back from Bermuda Dunes. He joined the conversation for a while, then gave us some of his own Zinfandel Port as a gift. All in all, a lovelyt day.

After breakfast Sunday morning, the group split up for departure. Some headed up to Morro Bay for lunch, while others headed straight back to Torrance. The weather continued clear and warm, and there were even tailwinds on the way back. Special thanks to Clint Grubb at Wolff Vineyards and Marko Rizzo at Cafe Romo for their help!
The airport at Furnace Creek was filled to overflowing as the DAF arrived in force for a lunch/overnight/whatever fly-in. 32 people and around 13 aircraft showed up, some arriving Friday afternoon, some just for lunch on Saturday, and others staying until Sunday to enjoy the heat. There weren't any flowers, unfortunately, but the weather was great. The people at the Inn were very helpful, with the shuttle ferrying people back and forth, and the dining room there was quite nice. That evening, the overnight crowd had cocktails in Roger and June's room, followed by dinner at the steakhouse. Evindently there was some problem tracking down the cow, as it took quite a while for our orders to show up! Once it arrived, though, it was very good, and everyone had a great time.

Thanks to Laurice for putting things together. Another resounding success!
The February fly-in got a bit of a rocky start, with marginal VFR weather in the morning. Many of the group made the decision to file IFR for the trip, although a few decided to make it VFR. Once near Flabob, conditions were lovely, with a view of the mountains and lots of sun. About 24 DAFers made it to the restaurant, in eight aircraft and two cars. One group made the decision to stop at Fullerton for lunch instead, looking at the overcast.

The lunch at the Flabob restaurant was excellent, and the staff did a great job getting everything out quickly and to the right people. We can highly recommend a trip there if you're looking for a nearby destination. Thanks to Linda for getting things set up!
The Cable Air Show had some surprise performances by the trusty band of DAFers who made the trip. Despite mixed up tower frequencies and vague directions, six planes and a dozen DAFers successfully arrived at Cable, and parked on the show line to join the fun. We hit the food court, checked out the display aircraft and classic cars, and watched the aerobatic displays. It was a perfect day, with clear skies and warm temperatures in contrast to the previous days of rain and overcast. After the show was over, an easy departure and a smooth flight back made for a great experience.