June 10, 2006 - The 3rd Annual Gastons Fly-In

Today (Saturday) was the main fly-in day.  My plan was to stay until after the Sunday brunch. 

The Gastons Fly-in came about through the Pilots of America web forum and Citabria Yahoo group.  People communicate over the internet and then someone suggested getting together at a relatively central location. 

What do you do at a fly-in?  Mainly, you talk to the other pilots about airplanes.  Here's a typical scene:  a bunch of pilots talking airplanes in front of that big, beautiful Cessna 195 taildragger with its radial engine. 

Ken flew this Pitts Special all the way from Jacksonville, Florida.
The main airplane parking area.
The star of the fly-in was Chip's Extra -- a world-class aerobatic airplane.  Chip was unbelievably cool about giving rides.  He gave rides continuously all day Saturday and Sunday morning.  His low-passes were awesome. 
An Arkansas-based Citabria flew in to go to the restaurant.
Because I had flown so much the day before, I didn't think I would fly today.  That lasted until just after breakfast.  I ended up flying 3 and a half hours!  I loved flying over the big Lake.  I gave a bunch of rides as well.  It was great.  If you wanted to ride in someone's airplane, all you had to do was ask. 
The weather was outstanding.  It was warm, but not excessively hot. 
The Lake reminded me of Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland, only a whole lot bigger.  Pontoon Boats were prevalent here.  The Lake was so big, you could park your Pontoon Boat in an inlet and have it all to yourself. 
I couldn't get enough of flying low around the Lake. 
Very scenic.  The boaters liked the Citabria, always waving at me. 
If you weren't flying, you were hanging out underneath these tent-things, talking flying.
Diana, unofficial leader of the Gaston's Fly-In Group, and fellow Citabria enthusiast. 
A big twin-beech with unusual painted nose and props.  This plane was for sale.  It burns something like 50+ gallons per hour; who could afford to fly it?
An RV taking off, after flying in for Sunday Brunch.
I watched this Kitfox take off.  He was off the ground in less than 100 feet!
John and I at Saturday dinner. 
The resort desk.  Although we were here for the flying, most people come here for the fishing. 
The resort main office and restaurant.
The resort has a couple of nature trails.  Here's a shot of some Arkansas art.  Notice the Bee boxes in the background.   
The White River was quite beautiful in mornings and evenings. 
The River covered in fog.  Maybe this is why they call it the White River.
Morning fog.
The resort also has this pond.
I went for a walk on the nature trail Sunday morning.  Definitely a nice walk.
The nature trail.
One of the Gaston's fishing boats that is available. 
The restaurant has some unusual decor.
That chandelier is made of deer antlers. 
I really enjoyed the Gastons Fly-In.  The people were great and so is the location.  I'd like to come here again, but probably not in the Citabria -- it's a long haul at 100 mph -- unless I can talk the Trunk Monkeys into doing it with me.  I should have the RV-7 completed in time for the 5th Annual Gastin's Fly-in though!
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