The Arlington Fly-In has been going on, and roomie and I went today. She’d worked last night, and had been up since 19:30. But she wanted to go. We were to meet up with someone from a now-defunct MeetUp group I was in, and some people she was bringing. Now, the get-together at the Abbotsford Air Show last year was a bit of a Charlie-Foxtrot. At least there was no paid seating this time.
Roomie and I arrived a bit after eleven, and found ourselves walking toward a Navy Black Hawk. (I expected a Sea Hawk.) She flew Black Hawks in the Gulf War. After checking out the heli we moseyed over to the B-25. Her uncle had flown them in Italy in WWII, and she’d never been that close to one. She’d love a ride in Maid in the Shade, but I’ve just told her how much it costs. I called MeetUp Gal, and they were in the line-up at the border. They would be late.
We wandered around, looking at airplanes. Lots of nice ones. I suggested we take a helicopter ride and/or a biplane ride. She didn’t like the sound of the biplane’s engine. (Nothing wrong with it; she just thought it sounded creepy.) She thought the R44 was pretty small (after having flown UH-60s). Planes, planes, and more planes! She got a caramel apple, and I got a hand-dipped corn dog. We got T-shirts, and she got a hat. We found ourselves over by the helicopter (Funny, how that happened. ) and it looked like we would go up. But the flying portion of the day’s entertainment started and the rides were shut down while it was in progress. Damn!
I tried calling MeetUp Gal again, and she didn’t answer. We watched the flying, and then went to the beer garden. Half an hour or so after trying to call MeetUp Gal I tried again. They were at a hangar, and I asked her where. We’d come over. ‘No, that’s OK. We’ll meet you at the beer garden. We want to eat something.’ (Uh, wait a minute… You told us not to eat because you had tickets for a BBQ.) She said she’d see us in 15 or 20 minutes. We waited 20 minutes, then headed back toward the hangars. Didn’t find her. We went to sit in the car and relax a bit, and listen to the air show on the radio. Roomie was tired, having been up 20 hours and having worked a busy shift. I told her we should blow off MeetUp Gal. I thought it was inconsiderate of her not to call when she arrived, especially since she knew we were there and she said she would, and that she said she was going to get something to eat after telling us not to. Roomie agreed. Then the phone rang.
MeetUp Gal was at the beer garden (45 minutes after she said she’d be there in 15 or 20 minutes), and seemed miffed that we didn’t want to walk ‘five minutes’ to meet her there, and she had no control over being so long getting across the border. Roomie was dead on her feet. I told her we’d meet her at the next air show. Sorry, but I told you that Roomie had to work the previous night, and that we’d have to leave early. We sat and watched the B-25 and the Spitfire fly, and then took off.
So the MeetUp didn’t come off. But we had a grand day. The skies were blue, the day was warm, and there was a breeze so it wasn’t too warm. We saw a beautifully restored 1969 Cessna 172K, and a gorgeous polished aluminum-and-blue Cessna 170. Good local flying acts. There was a Helicycle on display. I think it’s nifty – and quite tempting. Roomie thought it was too small, and I’d be crazy to fly one. A '67 Beech Musketeer with a For Sale sign for $22,000. (I flew in them when I was a kid.) Roomie could smell the fresh paint. (Not a good paint job.) It was probably a bit of a dog.
On the way home we stopped at Oyster Creek Inn on Chuckanut, which was rather a fancy place, for a light dinner.
Aside from the non-rendezvous, it was a great day. But then, any day is a great one around airplanes.