It Was a Cold Morning and Snow Covered the Ground

by Duane Barrett

The morning was cold and snow covered the ground and the runway at the flying field. But first let's talk about the first flight of 2017.

There was no way anyone was going to beat Mike McIntyre to the first flight of the new year. He was waiting at the field, his airplane staged and ready when Robert Westcot showed up at three minutes before midnight with his helicopter. While Robert was getting his light-equipped heli ready to fly, midnight hit and Mike was off the ground. Robert did however make the first helicopter flight of 2017. Good show guys!

Frosty Fingers field event 9:00 AM: I showed up at 9:10 and found two other crazy RC nuts already at the field. Mike McIntyre and Charlie were already there, sitting in their vehicles talking. We had about 3/4 to an inch of snow on the ground and the runway - Fresh, no tracks in it yet and a nippy 27 degrees with a slight wind out of the north.

While Charlie and Mike talked, I got out my trusty pylon T-28 and popped in a battery. The taxi to the runway didn't go well as the heavy damp snow kept making the plane nose over. After a carry to the runway I pointed her into the wind with a little up elevator, expecting a quick take off. Instead she lumbered down the runway almost to the end before staggering into the air, wet snow clinging from the landing gear.

I flew around until the battery was almost gone and then set up for a landing. I had already determined it would be a very short roll-out so I landed close. She rolled about 3 feet and my tires were at least twice their normal size when I picked up the plane. No taxi in either; she wouldn't roll without nosing over.

Shortly after I finished, Charlie put his T-28 up and flew a good flight without mishap. His landing roll was also very short and when he tried to taxi he complained that the plane wouldn't turn!

Mike finally got out his foamy, tail-dragger Artisan and took a flight. Pretty much the same as ours except he seemed to get off the ground easier/quicker.

About 10:00 Charlie decide he'd had enough of the cold and said good-bye. As Charlie was leaving, Terry Hubbard showed up. Terry didn't waste any time getting his T-28 into the air. Right after take-off, Terry rolled inverted and proceeded to fly the pylon course inverted for 2 laps, about 30 feet off the ground. Then he landed and preceeded to do donuts on the runway.(Show Off!)

Frosty Fingers 2017

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About 10:10 Mike Miller showed up with a large low wing four-stroke he called a 4-Star. However he had problems getting it to run and set it aside for a while. In the mean time Greg Tinius pulled in and got out the "Little Field Sheriff", another four stroker. Greg fueled up and immediately took to the air. He did complain however that it was cold. Greg then helped Mike Miller get his four stroker started and Mike took to the air.

About 11:15 Mike McIntyre left; something about being cold and sleepy. KC pulled in right as Mike was leaving; however, he didn't bring anything to fly. He just made some comment about seeing who all the crazy fylers were.

Greg Wiren showed up at the same time as KC and had a ROS (Rise Off the Snow) non-wheeled sea plane that took off easily from the snow and flew well.

Terry also flew one of his indoor foamies a couple of flights.

By now the sun was out, the sky was clearing, the runway was melting off and the wind was up to about 10 mph with higher gusts.

Terry left about 11:30 and Greg T. and Mike Miller were packing up to go as I left about 11:50.

Time for some hot soup and coffee at the house. This year's Frosty Fingers was over. At least for some of us.