|Beaumont, Kansas Breakfast Flight
|Suddenly the alarm clock buzzed me out a pleasant sleep at 5:00 AM as it did three other pilots in various local towns who the previous day had agreed to attend Beaumont's monthly fly-in breakfast. For some crazy reason, two of the pilots, Brian Fitzgerald and Chris Duncan decided we should take off from the airport at sunrise. Here in South Central Kansas, that means 6:25 AM (Official sunrise)!|
|Dutifully, we all met at the Selby Aerodrome in Haysville, KS about 6:00 and methodically went about our pre-flight routines amid some subdued conversation. During pre-flight time, our conversation is minimized to avoid interfering with the concentration needed for this important task.|
|At 6:20 the heavy metal clam shell hangar door creaked open, its electric motor whining as it turned the cable spindles. Once completely open to the rising sun, four planes were pushed out onto the grass and lined up abreast to await engine starts. Within a few minutes the dawn silence was shattered at the sound of three 2-stroke engines and one 4-stroker combining their exhaust notes into a cacophony of noise.|
|First Brian then Chris took off closely followed by Bill Bailey and myself, Paul Fiebich. Soon we were strung out in trail as we crossed the Arkansas River on a heading of 83 degrees with Beaumont about 60 miles ahead. Over the radio crackled Bill who wanted to know whose bright idea it was to go in this direction and fly into the sun? Couldn't we have found a fly-in restaurant on a 270 degree heading?
We had our fingers crossed hoping that no Huns would be diving at us out of the sun because we were blinded by it. None did, we guessed they were sleeping in this Saturday morning.
|Brian flies his Quicksilver MX Sport in point position because he was the slowest plane.|
|Flying into the sunrise is hard on the eyes.|
|Taking our positons in a diamond formation was Brian in his Quicksilver MX Sport at point, me in my AirBike was about 200 yards behind and 100 feet above him. Half way between us and 100 yards to the left was Bill in his red Mini-Max while mirroring him on the right was Chris in his yellow Mini-Max. Cruising about 40 mph at 800 feet AGL, we droned on towards breakfast with an occasional break in the radio silence to check that everyone was doing OK. We were. During our in-flight communications we used 122.75 frequency|
|Sunbeams blasted through a hole in the sky as the four of us flew Eastward beginning our flight over the Flint Hills.|
|Flying into the sun are Brian on the right and Bill in the distance. Air speed is 38 mph due to maintaining formation with the slow Quicksilver MX Sport.|
|Paul's AirBike took the lead for awhile, Chris made this a photo opportunity|