2008 Fly-in Weekend
I'm not a pilot and this fly-in originated and remains primarily a pilot event, but it has become a major tourist attraction here in Greenville extending the summer tourist season by one week. Fly-in weekend is always the weekend after Labor Day come rain or shine, come doggy summer heat or chilly Arctic cold, come hurricane too. This year it's Gustav and Hanna whose effects are supposed to blow by later tonight, or tomorrow. But the weather was good yesterday for flying in and is supposed to be good today for the fun.
There was a stiff southwesterly wind yesterday. I came into town around 2:00 PM to check on a few things and had a treat from the top of Indian Hill. I'd just come out of the credit union and was about to get back in my car when I heard a roar in the distance from the direction of the Junction Cove. I looked westward just as a very large Grumman Albatross rose up above the tree line on what appeared must have been a southerly take-off run. Its engines were roaring and continued to roar as the pilot sharply banked the huge plane eastward, still in his bank as he went just south of me at maybe 600 feet above the ground. Not fighting gravity the pilot let his nose drift level and then begin to drop as the plane turned northward and dropped out of sight below the tree line heading up the lake over the East Cove. Where is that camera when you need it!!
This is also air show weekend down at the Brunswick Naval Air Station but do they have a crafts fair down there? Sure they have the Blue Angels but do they have a bomb drop contest like ours? Do they compete to see which canoeist/pilot team is the fastest to get out to a dock, strap the canoe to the plane's floats, fast taxi around a pylon, and get that canoe back to land right in front of the crowd who are still trying to dry off from the spray the airplane kicked up when it blasted its way out into the lake? And all this is just the side show. The main event is having all those beautiful airplanes and all their rigging filling the Fish and Game's Stobie Hanger, the East Cove, the municipal airport, and the air all around Moosehead Lake.
I wonder if anybody blogs these fly-ins. Someone really should.