People and planes gathered alongside Mike Hazel's backyard flying circle in Mehama, Ore., for a fun fly and picnic. Mike Hazel photo.

Backyard flying returns to the Zoot Ranch

Mehama, Ore., Sept. 4, 2016

By Mike Hazel

Several control-line pilots and several enthusiastic control-line spectators showed up at Mike & Laura Hazel’s Zoot Ranch for an enjoyable backyard fun fly and barbecue.  The weather turned out nearly perfect, temperatures in the mid to upper 60s, and a mostly cloudy but calm sky.

Most of the flying was of the casual boring-holes-in-the-sky variety.  Planes ranged in type from Floyd Carter’s tiny diesel-powered ship to Dave Shrum’s impressive spark ignition Skylark. Mike Denlis made another attempt with his monoline-control Tutor.  He got several laps into the flight before finally making a pilot error which took the plane straight into the ground.  Many other planes did not make it out onto the grass circle, but were nevertheless enjoyable to look at.

And then of course there was the food!

Grilled burgers and dogs, with plenty of desserts, salads, and other yummy munchies brought to share by the attendees.

Attending were: Barbara White and Richard Entwhistle, Tom Brightbill, Bruce Tunberg, Gene and Carole Pape, Mike Denlis, Floyd and Phyllis Carter, Don and Margaret Dotter, Dave Royer, Doug Powers, Bill Lee, Dave LaFever, Dave and Peggy Shrum, Walter Hicks and Robert Ladd.

Zoot Ranch Fun Fly photos

Doug Powers launches Floyd Carter's tiny diesel-powerd old-timer. Mike Hazel photo.

Dave LaFever launches Dave Shrum's vintage Skylark. Mike Hazel photo.

Dave Shrum at the handle Mike Hazel photo.

A flight captures the attention of all the spectators in the Zoot Ranch picnic area. Bill Lee photo.

Walter Hicks prepares for a flight. Bill Lee photo.

Mike Denlis tinkers with a small combat plane. Bill Lee photo.

Northwest Fireballs members on the sidelines, from left, Barbara White, Maggie, Richard Entwhistle, Dave Royer. Bill Lee photo.

Floyd Carter with his fleet. Bill Lee photo.

Mr. Stubby waits for pilot Mike Hazel to get to the handle, while Dave LaFever holds. Bill Lee photo.

Mike Hazel holds as Dave LaFever starts the engine on his biplane. Bill Lee photo.

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This page was upated Sept. 6, 2016