Air Show Day

Saturday dawned with mid-forties temperatures and a brisk bone-chilling wind. Even with an uncomfortable
start, the day would become an exciting one. I requested and was given permission to display my AirBike
next to the Young Eagles admission area. During non-air show times a steady stream of Young Eagles
visited my plane, most of them sat in the cockpit and under my supervision, manipulated the controls to
understand how it flew. About fifty kids sat in the cockpit, each was strapped in with the shoulder harness
and had my silk scarf draped around their neck. Meanwhile parents took photos, some even accepted my
invitation to sit in the cockpit. We all had a good time and I made some more friends.
Liberal, Kansas Flight---Page 2
Young Eagle in AirBike cockpit
Paul Fiebich talking with visitors
EAA Chapter 377 hosted a luncheon in  the main hangar. Here Mary Shortridge introduced me to several
of their members. I found them to be just like our EAA chapter members: friendly, outgoing, and enjoyed
being associated with aircraft activities.

A cute little Porsche 914 that Mary had spearheaded the restoration of, was displayed with other cars in
that part of the show.  The aerial performers thrilled the crowd with what can only be described as
outstanding demonstrations of flying skill, choreography and application of brute horsepower of the Waco
and Pitts. I met Bob Baker, owner of two P-51s, Little Rebel and Sweet & Lovely. He made several high
speed passes down the flight line in Little Rebel, adding to the visual and audio aspect of what
horsepower can do.
Later that evening,  as Kyle and Amanda were disassembling their Waco for transport to the next air show I
asked Amanda for her "Bombshell" poster. She cordially responded and addressed it to "AirBike Ace!".  I
thanked both performers for their act and interacting with the crowd.  Even though I had seen them the
previous weekend at the Wichita Flight Festival, it was a thrill to watch them perform again.
Paul Fiebich (a.k.a. AirBike  Ace)
& Mary Shortridge
Mary's restored  Porsche 914
named "Buttercup"
Bob Baker, owner/pilot, exiting
his P-51 Mustang; Little Rebel
Kyle &  Amanda Franklin please the
crowd by signing  autographs
Kyle, the pilot, and Amanda, the wingwalker exit their Waco following
their act and walk towards the crowd of appreciative spectators.
Check out their website!  
http://www.franklinairshow.com/
Homeward bound, Meade Airport (FBO  Closed)

Sunday morning my phone alarm buzzed me awake at 6:30 AM.  The plan was to be airborne for home by
8:00 AM.  Looking outside, I saw a light rain falling. I went back to bed for another hour. Trying again at 7:30
AM, it was still raining and the sky was overcast. Bob Baker and I examined the computer weather in the
pilot planning room, I called Flight Service. Net result was to wait a couple of hours or so to let the bad
weather with imbedded thunderstorms between us and our destinations blow away. I took the courtesy car
to get breakfast.

Returning to the airport, Bob was taxiing out while I loaded my plane. Because I would again have no phone
service at either outbound airports, I would go home another way. I could not risk failing to call Flight Service
to close my flight plan. Calling Meade (MEJ) airport I left a voice mail on the agricultural flight service's
answering machine. Being Sunday, I assumed the office was closed but at least they did have a land line.
Off I went to my first fuel stop with the next one at Pratt (KPTT).

At 1000' AGL it was forty-eight degrees, combining that with a damp wind chill; I was cold.  This in spite of
wearing long johns, jeans (which were tucked into my socks), a heavy shirt, leather jacket and scarf,
stocking cap under my helmet and doubled-up gloves.  Mary had commented earlier that I am the most
passionate pilot she knows, I told her: "I love this flying stuff."
Landing at desolate Meade Airport, it looked more forlorn than any mining ghost town!  A call to the ag
service revealed he went out of business last month. However, he said he would come out and sell me fuel
from his tanker truck. Fine, I only needed four gallons. Even though AirNav.com listed this as a viable airport
with service, and the FBO at Liberal recommended it as a fuel stop, things can change quickly. Problems
like this make the fuel stop take longer than the flight leg. An hour and a half later I was fueled and on the
ninety-five mile leg to Pratt, Kansas.  Below are the Greensburg wind powered electrical generators.
Even though the AG Flight service was closed, the owner came out from his home to
refuel me from his tanker truck.  I took on four gallons then tipped  the owner for his
thoughtfulness.  He could have just said: "Tough Luck Mister", but in the spirit of
helpfulness he didn't.  That is Kansas hospitality!  Whew!  Saved my tail!
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