Late September in the Seattle area provides some wonderful flying opportunities. The air is cool and stable, visibility is usually very clear, and the colors are amazing! Last weekend, I was finishing up some minor maintenance on my RV-7 and looking for a good excuse to go flying.
I found a small fly in was scheduled at Shady Acres
, a tiny airstrip located south of Seattle. Attractions included a salmon bbq, flour dropping contest, and spot landing contest. It looked good enough for me - an excuse to fly and bbq salmon!
The approach to Shady Acres is... well... shady! Numerous tall trees directly in the flight path on final, and a busy country road just a few feet from the threshold to the 20' x 1800' runway.
Once the meal and socializing started winding down, it was time to show off some flying skills. First event was the flour bombing contest. Initially, I didn't have any intention to participate. After all, how can I drop flour bombs out of my RV-7 with out cutting an extra hole in the canopy
(shamelessly stolen from Subwaybob
But then the competitive side of me kicked in. I couldn't let all of those Cessna drivers have all of the fun. So I confiscated a bomb bay full of flour bombs and began modifying them.
I concluded that my RV has a small gap between the slider and the side of the fuselage. If I could create a handle that could slip through that gap, I could take off with the flour bombs primed and ready to drop!
After recruiting some local talent to act as my bombedier, we loaded up and prepared for our bomb run. The canopy was slid shut and bombs snugged up tight against the side of the plane. My bombedier kept a tight hold on the leashes of the three bombs.
After takeoff, I had to limit my speed to 90mph due to the ordinance hanging out in the wind. I didn't want premature ejection to ruin my attempt. We made three passes to drop the three bombs. Each pass was made with full flaps at about 75mph. Rules of the game said we had to be no less than 400 agl for the drop.
Our best attempt (3rd pass) was our closest to the target. This was 106' away from the mattress placed on the side of the runway. With the low wing and the inexperience of the bomber pilot, we didn't win the prize, but we sure had a great time. The winner landed a hit only 33' away from the target!
Finally, the good news for the RV community... There were three Cessnas and one RV (me) in the spot landing contest. Guess who took home the Blue Ribbon? Yep! Chalk one up for the RV!