A Chapter of California Pilots Association

Airplane Adventure Rally

In an event sanctioned by the Lake County Airmans Association at Lampson Airport, this years airplane Adventure Rally came down to an exciting finish with pilots Rick and Dee Dee Long of Kelseyville in their Beech Sun Downer airplane taking first place. Airborne crews were required to fly the correct course, find landmarks along the route, and cross the “flying finish” line at an exact time. Crews had to correctly solve puzzle questions from clues found once they were airborne to fly the correct route.

Tony D’Agosta of Middletown and Aaron Moore of Lakeport, in a Piper Cherokee, finished in second place. This was Moore’s first flight.

Finishing third was Jack Pierson who flew his RV4 homebuilt aircraft to Lakeport from Portland, Oregon, to run the Adventure Rally with local student pilot Nick Pedro.

The Rally was designed to emphasize crew communication and co-ordination. Event organizer, Damon Trimble of Lakeport, said, “Every time we go flying, private pilots, like our airline and military counterparts, must work on our communication and problem solving skills in a safe training environment.” He added, “Crews had to solve 16 unique problems in less than 95 miles, which works out to a new problem every 3 to 4 minutes?The fast-paced format forced the crew members to talk to each other!”

The aircraft departed Lampson Field one at a time with a five minute safety separation, faster aircraft first. Lee Sorenson, the event’s timing official, said “Although this is not a speed test, the average time to complete the 95 mile course was 54 minutes.”

Following the timed event, each pilot made three “spot landings” which tests piloting skills to touch down on a line drawn across the runway.

Jimmy Long with co-pilot Jack Morris, both from the American Aviation Flight School in Santa Rosa, won the spot landing contest by landing their Cessna 172 three times with an average of only 55 feet from the line. Long said that he thinks of it like trying to park a car into a tight parking place at about 60 mph.

Second Place was taken by Jim and Jeannie Dunlap of Lakeport in their Beach Bonanza. Third place in the landing competition went to Jack Pierson and Nick Pedro.

The best single spot landing of the day was made by Lakeport’s Bob and Paula Piveronas who landed their Cessna 175 just 4 feet from the line.

Explorer Scouts from local Post 151 used the event as a training exercise for airport operations. They directed aircraft traffic, measured the spot landing contest, and helped with spectator control. Officer Larry Caravario of California Highway Patrol is the Post advisor. Caravario said that his young men learned a great deal from the hands-on experience. The participating Explorer Scouts were Duaine Labno, Alejandro Serrano, Jr, Aaron Moore, and Shawn O’Day.

After the flying events, the pilots and crews met in the hanger of Bill and Louise Gettle for a pot luck dinner which featured a Chili Cook-off. A panel of judges selected the best chili in several catagories.

The award for the mildest chili went to Pat Beery. She was busy cooking while her husband, Lee Beery, flew his Varga aircraft in the Adventure Rally with co-pilot Phil Ayers.

The hottest pot of chili was cooked up by Greg Phillips of Kelseyville.

“Best Overall” honors went to Bill Gettle.