A great local gig.
Today I flew for the second year in a row at Old Congress Days, an annual event in nearby Congress, AZ. The event includes a parade, flea market, music, and other activities and draws crowds from Congress, Yarnell, Peeples Valley, Stanton, and North Ranch. There were even a few people from Wickenburg who came to the event just to fly with me.
Assisted by my very able ground crew of Darlene and Dave (who took these photos), I did 6 to 8 minute rides around Congress, AZ for $25 per person. I started flying right after the parade at about 10:45 AM and didn’t stop until 1:15 PM, when I had just enough fuel left to get home.
Here’s a photo of the landing zone as Dave loads passengers. I want to thank the Congress Fire Department for allowing me once again to use the emergency medevac helipad beside the firehouse. This helipad makes an excellent landing zone for events because it is completely surrounded by a short chain-link fence, making it very easy for my ground crew to secure. But best of all, it’s paved, level, and dust-free.
Here’s a shot of me taking off on one of the flights. I picked up from the pad, made a 90 ° turn, and took off to the northeast. My only obstacle (other than the short fence) was a set of power lines a distance away. I had no trouble clearing them on any flight. Although a train track runs right behind the helipad area, only one train came by during the entire event — and it stopped until I landed on the pad!
Darlene took this shot at the end of the day while I was cooling down the helicopter before shutting down. Do I look tired? We packed up the gear — table, chair, flags, signs, etc. — in the helicopter, then went for lunch at the Community Center, where they were serving barbeque. Afterward, I flew back to Wickenburg, where I washed the helicopter in preparation for the six-day excursion I start tomorrow.
Many thanks to the folks who organized Old Congress Days for asking me to be part of their event. It was a pleasure to fly so many people — especially so many young people — many of whom were on their very first flight.
And a special thanks to Darlene and Dave for their support at this event. I couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks for the photos, too!