Arlington Fly-in 2003

It was fly-in time in Arlington again. Hot and dry this year, with beaming sun and lots of visitors. The BD-4 bunch hung out lazy in the shadow under the wing of Jim Huber's and Steve Mahoney's gorgeous birds. The Canadians pop in for a day: Fred Hinsch and Eric Munzer, both with their BD-4s. Fred has repainted his venerable BD with a graceful paint scheme, the Canadian maple leaf in graded colors on the rudder, not unlike the Murphy Moose. Funny, to see the Canadians come in with tri gears and the Americans with tail draggers.

Steve Craigle lives in Arlington and toured interested builders to his two BD-4s in his hangers. His own project, Ford V6 powered and flying BD-4 he bought earlier this year from Tony Otto. With this there were six BD-4s at Arlington this, five of them flying. Dave Anderson and his sleek tri gear were missed. A number of builders unfinished BD-4s were there, too: Craig Evans, Gord Hudson, Mark Miller, Steve Nemeth, and others that I didn't meet. Gord brought his builder's log book with him. Unfortunately I only got to see the first half. He and a group of other builders built their BD-4s from the plans and only bought some of the parts from Bede, such as the spars. They bent the angles with a press brake they modified.

The flying BDs were are all pretty stock with more discreet modifications: auto seats, overhead switchboard and instrument panels, Steve Mahoney's up swinging doors, Jim's 100 gal tanks and all ball bearings control system. The BD-4 works pretty well with near stock configuration. Steve Mahoney lives 20 miles farther from Arlington than I do. It took me almost 4 hours to drive to Arlington. Steve got here in 1 hour and 15 min, the average GPS measured ground speed was 208 MPH - "I had a bit of tail wind".

On Saturday evening clouds darkened the sky and a few rain drops drew patterns on dusty wings. Steve Mahoney took me over to the warbirds and introduced me to the original builder of my project, N-239CP: Colin Powers. It was a special pleasure and honor to meet with the person whose excellent workmanship I admire when I repair his plane. And I believe Colin and his wife were delighted to learn that their bird found a new lover and is restored.

After the show on Friday Steve Craigle took Craig and me up for a ride into the setting sun. W&B had me sit in the back seat, which was an interesting experience. I was much surprised by the room and comfort back there. It was definitely roomier than the ride from the airport on the back seat in Steve's Mazda sedan. The following pictures are some of those I took from the back seat. When you click on an image you can view a larger one. You can also download all pictures I took in printable and full-screen format (2048x1536 pixels) in a single ZIP archive here (13.5 MB).

Studying the NOTAMs of the fly-in

Shortly after take-off. Arlington on the right.

Craig Evans in the seventh heaven.
The capt'n.
Storing the trusty bird back into it's hangar.


It was an awesome flight, thank you Steve!

Your back seat-webmaster.