Five planes from Dunn aimed southwest towards Winter Haven to their annual fly in. Jerry in Tripe 66D, Steve Miller and his son in his C152, Ben and the Baby Ace, Jim Garrison and Patti in his Bonanza, and Fancy with Loretta and me. When we taxied Fancy out to 33 and turned off one of her magnetos she said, “uh, uh I ain’t feeling that good when you do that and she turned the tachometer down over 300 revs. I radioed Ben and said that we were not going to make it because of this and he said they’d miss us. Fancy took us back to the hangar and we pulled the spark plugs thinking one of these would be fouled. None were fouled but the insulator was broken in one of them. I installed a spare plug that I happened to have and did another run up. This time there was less than 100rpm drop on either magneto. Great, we can still get there so off we went and after a nice 46 minute flight, we slid into the pattern with a bunch of other planes. We were met at our parking spot by Jerry and Ben asking what had been wrong. We were there in plenty of time to get a nice lunch and look at some of the airplanes and stuff. About 1:00pm we decided to see if we could find our way back to Dunn. After propping Ben’s Baby Ace we jumped no, climbed into Fancy and fired up the engine and then the GPS and proceeded to the active runway. Good runup again! When our turn came we lined up on the runway with the GPS displaying the route home. Our airspace is very complex around here and having the GPS receiver helps keep you (ME) out of trouble. We caught up with and passed Ben in the Ace near the tall tower just northeast of Lake X airport. (he’s the only one we can ever catch!) Fifty minutes of listening to Fancy’s rhythm Dunn Airpark came into view and we set up for a landing on runway 4. Wind 350 at 7 favoring runway 33. Fancy and I prefer the turf and she doesn’t mind a little cross wind so we landed on the grass. Minutes later, Jerry landed, then Ben, and then Steve. Jim and Patti were in the gear up go fast Bonanza and have been back for twenty minutes. Debriefing is in my hangar so we sat around my hangar for a while and talked about our arrivals and departures at Winter Haven. Life is good!
The next weekend Loretta and I decided to fly to Valkaria for their monthly breakfast. The day was perfect with just a whisper of wind out of the North. Before we left Ben Charvet showed up and said something about working all day but maybe he’d do a local flight in the Baby Ace. He said his wife, Carol, is at home painting a room and she doesn’t like the mess he makes when he paints anyway. Great reasoning! Loretta and I left in Fancy and flew to Valkaria. We were kind of late getting there and were the last to have breakfast there. After breakfast we looked around a little and were walking out to the plane when I spotted N39D, Ben’s Baby Ace. He landed on runway 9 and came taxiing in with a big grin on his face. We told him that breakfast was over and he said OK I’m just going to head back. I told him that we would probably catch up with him before he got back to Dunn. (Fancy is a high speed machine ya know!) We caught up with him when we were about abeam to Merritt Island Airport. He saw us long before we caught him so we couldn’t surprise him by blowing by him. He told me the Baby Ace is like a fighter plane and you can see planes behind you. We flew up along side and Loretta took a couple of pictures and he shot a couple of us. We slowed Fancy to about 75 mph and we kind of flew back in formation. As usual after we landed we had to get together and discuss the flight. Fun!