Weekend Travels Involving Sand by Doug Reeves and Tobin Basford
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5/23/04 - Ross Burgess, Danny King (with wife Marthajane) and I flew from N.W. Regional (52F) down to Mustang Island on 5/22/04 for 'brunch' (314 n.m. each way). The same weekend Jay Pratt, Rich Rudolph and Mike Reddick flew from Hicks (T67) to visit the Navy Air Museum in Pensacola. They stayed with RV-7 builder/owner Tobin Basford. I took pics on our trip and Tobin took some also (and wrote some words) so I thought I'd combine the two on one page so you could get an idea of how you can have a fun weekend in your RV by hardly trying....
Dallas, TX to Mustang, Island (2R8 -
...text and pictures by Doug Reeves
Dallas, TX to Pensacola, FL (550+ n.m.)
...text and pictures by Tobin Basford (basfordt at bellsouth.net)
I had initially planned on trying to get out to Pensacola on this weekend
with Jay and friends, but had some family commitments to attend to on
Sunday. I thought a nice 'plan B' would be a quick trip down to
Mustang Island (2R8) for food and a little sand. Ross Burgess and Danny/Marthajane
King were also a go so we launched at 6:45am for 2R8. The President
was in Waco, but the
controllers gave our flight of (3) a unique transponder code and provided
an almost direct flight path. We did fly through the expanded TFR,
and it was not much trouble at all - the only down side was that we
couldn't yak to each other on the radio like we sometimes do.
Forecast headwinds kept us from flying low, but they swung around 90 degrees to our course line at 11,500' so that's where we flew. A groundspeed of 163kts got us there in 2hrs 15min.
While refueling ($2.17 per gallon) a gentleman by the name of Jim Martin stopped his truck in front of us and asked if we needed a ride (he described himself as an 'airport bum'). You can almost always find someone to lend a helping hand at a small airport. I wish more people were like that in the 'real world'. We had planned to use the trolley, but this was a nicer offer.
Jim said he was on his way into town for breakfast (9:45am), so we changed our plans on the spot and went to eat with him.
Everyone ate well. I think Ross had crab omelets, I had a slice of Key Lime pie with my breakfast. We paid for Jim's food (against his wishes) and he drove us back to the beach where we sat for an hour or so enjoying the breeze and atmosphere. The kelp had been blown up and was in big piles on the shore, so there wasn't much walking in the surf looking for shells. Danny and MJ fed the seagulls.
We began our walk back to the airport when a truck drove by and offered us a ride...turns out he was a retired air traffic controller. What's that line from that movie? "I've always relied on the kindness of strangers."
We launched, gave the people on the beach a couple of passes in formation and then turned north enjoying a 30kt tailwind at 6,500'. I led the flight back and did the communicating with ATC since Danny and Ross said I needed the practice. I think they just didn't want to lead (more work).
Back at 52F by 2pm with sand in my shoes. Not bad for a 628 nm trip.
Our next door neighbor was over in the afternoon looking at a ceiling fan I hung for Susie and noticed me looking at the images I took on the TV (the camera has a cable that plugs into it so you can preview your take using the TV as a monitor). She asked what vacation trip the pictures were taken on, and I replied......'breakfast'.
I love this hobby.
Funniest shot of the day
More shots from the trip down to Mustang Island:
"Man, I wish you could have come out here this weekend. Jay told me
you wanted to real bad but had other commitments. Jay Pratt, Mike Reddick,
and Rich Rudolph showed up Friday around noon. They had to land at P-cola
regional instead of Milton (where my plane is based) due to Wx.
Friday we visited the National Naval Aviation museum for a about an hour, then went to eat, then to the beach. Saturday morning after breakfast we returned to the museum (lots to see in one day) and then flew our planes to Gulf Shores (Jack Edwards) for a late lunch at Lulu's (Jimmy Buffet's sisters place).
After that I gave the three of them an aerial tour of Pensacola. I'm not in any of the pics because I was taking them, although you see my plane in a few. Two are of the P-cola beach, including one inflight. The helicopter is the one I flew in Guam for 3 1/2yrs (H-46D), some various museum pics, including the one with Jay grinning next to the F-8 Bearcat (Jay absolutely loves that plane), and one of Rich sitting in the cockpit of an A-7 Corsair. There is a pic of our four planes sitting on the ramp at Gulf Shores, and the final pic is NAS Whiting Field which is broken into north and south field, north being Navy T-34C's and south being Navy Jetranger helos.
There is an incredible coincidence in the photo of Jay, Mike, and Rich with the Blue Angel A-4's in the background (at right). On the right side of the pic you can just see the top and bottom wing of a yellow Stearman. Now, at the bottom of the pic, between Jay's and Mike's legs, you can see the nose of an S-3 Viking sitting outside. The Stearman is one of the actual planes flown by Bush Sr when he was a student Naval Aviator (his logbook is below the Stearman in a glass case, showing the date he flew it and the serial # of that very plane), and the S-3 sitting outside is the very S-3 Bush Jr flew onto the carrier last year off the coast of San Diego. I think Mike may have got better pics of those two planes.
Anyway, hopefully you can use some or all of these pics, hopefully you can make it out here next time.
Tobin (basfordt at bellsouth.net)
Jay Pratt's comments:
Dallas, TX to Pensacola, FL (550+ n.m.)
...text and pictures by Reddick, Michael R [michael.r.reddick at lmco.com]
On Friday, May 21st, Jay Pratt, Rich Rudolph, and myself departed for Florida. We were slightly delayed due to low ceilings around DFW. We finally departed around 8:45 for our first fuel stop, McComb/Pike County Airport (MCB) at McComb, MS. It was there that we got our first taste of $3.10 a gallon avgas.
About 5 miles from our destination, we decided not to fly into the huge thunderstorm that was pounding Milton. We diverted south to land at Pensacola Regional. When we got there we caught up with a group of 5 RVís out of Hooks. We had the option of buying gas for $3.50 a gallon or paying a $7 ramp fee. We all topped off our tanks.
We made our first trip to the National Museum of Naval Aviation as soon as our host, Tobin Basford, arrived to pick us up. The two pictures from inside the museum show Jay, Rich, and Tobin looking over the huge NC-4 seaplane and a pristinely restored F3H.
I believe all of us were in awe of the great job the museum workers have done in restoring all the naval aircraft. You could really spend an entire day or more checking all of them out. There were at least two planes that Bush, Sr, flew, an Avenger and a beautiful Stearman. The Yellow Perilís display had his logbook opened to the page to show he logged time in the Stearman on June 12, 1942.
Tobin already mentioned the S3A that Bush, Jr, flew in and landed on the carrier, Abraham Lincoln, to announce the end of the conflict in Iraq. It was positioned outside to the left of his Dadís Stearman.
When we departed Milton on Sunday, May 23rd, Tobin joined us for the first leg back to McComb, MS, for fuel and food this time. We really had a great time staying at Tobinís and are thankful for his hospitality. Weíve gotta do it again Ė Jay wants to get back to Luluís! Maybe next time weíll have more BCíers in the formation.