By Jim Bonnardel
Night flying for June was another great success. The sun is setting later each month, so this month we were flying right up till the fireworks. There were a handful of Multiplex Mentors (5 total), and the usual Acromasters, Piper Cub's and Slow Sticks. I had the only real crash, as on a high speed low pass I caught the weeds with a wingtip and went in with a flash of light. No real damage other than the broken motor shaft which is already repaired.
VP Tim Attaway had a bunch of batteries, so Steve Dente was given the sticks for his virgin nighttime flight, as well as giving me a battery pack to have a go at his Mentor since mine was out of commission for the night. There was not much room at the flight line due to the large spectator crowd, it is apparent that the lights in the skies brings visitors in like a moth to a flame. Flying continued with everyone getting in lots of flights. There was one close call when John G and Tim A passed within a couple of feet of each other. Where it would have been catastrophic, was that John was actually towing something from his banner/tow hook on his Mentor, and had let it go just seconds before the close call. Had he still been towing, Tim's Mentor would have surely gotten tangled up in it. The close call had the crowd gasping! Many of the pilots and visitors stuck around until the Sea World fireworks show (every night at 9:50 during the summer).
If you do not have a plane with lights, its real easy to do. I highly urge you to take a look at the LED light options at many vendors (HobbyPartZ is recommended) and see how easy and cheap night flying is. You don't necessarily need fast, acrobatic ships as the slow ones make night flying easy and fun.
The 2nd Saturday of each month, right after sunset.
Come join the fun!