It would have been a shame to miss the last Hartenbower fly-in of the
season. Fortunately, persistence pays off.
Despite predictions of good weather all week, the morning of the fly-in the conditions unexpectedly went south. Although Flight Services had predicted solid VFR conditions by 8:00am, as the hour approached, the conditions were still marginal with LOT reporting only 3 miles of visibility and Morris reporting 1 and ¼. Flight Services was not recommending VFR flight. Since the conditions had to improve eventually, the obvious thing to do was wait out the weather over breakfast. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding about where breakfast actually was, so Mike and I and Vance, Tim and Kevin ate at separate venues.
By 9:00am the weather was looking better although there were still patches of rain on the radar.
On this trip I was fortunate to have a friend of mine, Mike, along for the ride. We departed on runway 36 and headed toward Hartenbower. En-route, I heard Vance announce his presence on the party-line, which gave me the opportunity to relay him back weather reports. Conditions were minimally acceptable as far as Sky-Dive Chicago, at which point we encountered light rain and lost the horizon. Given the deteriorating conditions, I radioed that we were diverting back to Cushing, where Vance had already announced he was landing.
Cornfield Cow near Skydive Chicago
Safely on the ground at Cushing, we were able to recheck the weather picture, hang around, and socialize…something my life sorely lacks these days. However, just about the time we were ready to pack it in and go home, the weather improved and we decided to try again for Hartenbower. This time we had the pleasure of being joined by Larry in 109CF, who phoned ahead to make sure there would still be food.
This time the weather was less marginal, and despite some light rain, we all landed safely within minutes of each other at 2V3. Just as we piled out of our planes, the rain picked up, so Larry opened an umbrella as a gag, which made for a great photo op.
Some wet pilots at Hartenbower
Although 150 people had shown up already, Hartenbower still had plenty of food for us…awesome food.
After hanging around, chatting, and enjoying the second breakfast of the day, we departed on runway 36 and headed back for Clow. On the way home the solid ceiling broke, creating patches of sunlit ground, as well as some bumpiness. I let Mike handle the controls most of the way back, something he greatly enjoyed. Hopefully next year's flyins will be just as enjoyable.
Where To Now?
to Page One
Last Flight to Hartenbower
Oshkosh Canadian Style
Images of Rochelles Past