Some of the bundled-up fliers at Oregon Flying Fun No. 1 in Portland on Jan. 1. Barbara White photo.

Jan. 1 fun fly blows in the 2016 season in Oregon

Jim Walker Memorial Control-Line Flying Field, Portland, Ore., Jan. 1, 2016

By Barbara White

The new year started out clear and cold, perfect except for the wind.  Fun Fly No. 1 at Delta Park, hosted by The Northwest Fireballs, registered sustained winds of at least 7 mph and gusts in excess of 15 mph, all day long.  Factor in the wind chill effect and it was easy to see why everyone had hats on and hoods up all day.

The event started at 10 a.m. with the first flight, put up by Dave Royer with Alice Cotton-Royer’s Brodak version of the Sterling profile Mustang with an O.S. 25.  It was beautifully finished Sig silkspan and Randolph butyrate dope finish and, like the rest of the day’s flights, survived the wind unscathed.

Altogether, 17 intrepid souls attended the fun fly.  Thirteen were Fireballs members; the long distance award went, as usual, to Mike Hazel from Mehama, Ore. Mike put up the second flight of the day (this one with figures!), with his famous “Mr. Stubby” original design with K&B .28 engine.  Mike also brought a biplane, but increasing gusts saw it safely back in the vehicle for the trip home.  Always glad to see Mike on New Year’s Day.

Coffee and pastries were served.  Not as warming as a wind break, but welcome.

The last flights of the day were flown over the grass by Jim Cameron with a plane that has seen many miles and (apparently) more than a few rough landings.

Following the day’s flights, raffle tickets were drawn for each flight.  The prize table, aside from one gallon of purchased fuel, consisted of items donated by Andi Christianson from items left by her husband, Geoff Christianson, on his death almost three years ago.  Andi left this life last fall and we remembered the pair of them, both active members.

In recognition of the endurance shown by all who attended, a second round of raffle tickets was distributed as “door prizes” and each flyer was able to select an item or items from the table (the hood of a car, the table remaining safely inside).

The fun fly concluded around 1 p.m.  We all had a great time and look forward to warmer get togethers as the year progresses.  Good thing we weren’t planning to fly on Jan. 3, with several inches of snow and accidents on all the major roads.

Attending, in alphabetical order: Ron Anderson and his visiting cousin; Terence Bardue, Darrin Bishop and his son, Eli; Tom Brightbill; Jim Cameron; Pat Chewning; Richard Entwhistle; Jim Harper; Mike Hazel; Bill Lee; Doug Powers; Dave Royer; Tim Wescott and his wife, Robin Gearn; Barbara White.

New Year's Eve midnight fly

The night before the fun fly, Jim Cameron, Ron Anderson, and Pat Chewning attached lights to their planes and flew in the new year at Delta Park at midnight. The weather was cold, windy, and blustery (not so much as the next day).  Pat Chewning reported:

First up was Ron Anderson.  Unfortunately, just after release his airplane snagged a broken branch lying on the ground.  This turned the plane in towards the center of the circle.  Once the plane bisected the circle and the lines became tight again, the force whipped the plane violently and snapped the fuselage in two.

Next up was Jim Cameron, flying a biplane with an LED-lit streamer.  This was supposed to be the last flight of the year and then Pat was supposed to have the first flight of 2016.  But it took quite a while to get the engine going, so Jim had the last take-off of 2015, and the first landing of 2016.   It was very impressive to see the "fireball" trailing the airplane around the circle at night.   Jim would give it rapid up/down to make the fireball dance.

Finally up was Pat flying his Akromaster with Red/White/Blue LED light strips.  The first takeoff of 2016, the first loops of 2016 and a safe landing.  The multitude of lights made the plane very easy to see in the dark and the wind was not quite as much of a problem as anticipated.

What a great way to ring in the new year!  

Oregon Flying Fun No. 1 photo gallery

Dave Royer puts up the first flight of the day. Barbara White photo.

Mike Hazel flies while Dave Royer checks the wind speed. Barbara White photo.

LED lights decorate the planes flown in the New Year's Eve flying session. Pat Chewning photo.

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This page was upated Jan. 4, 2016