Liz Dinan, Tom Del Rey, Robert Swanland, and Barry Branin were our panelists. Liz started off the discussion by talking about the fact that flying is the fastest way to get somewhere, provided you don’t care when you arrive. She and a girlfriend flew the same Bonanza they had taken in previous years but this time it developed alternator problems. It would fly fine for 45 minutes, then the alternator light would come on. Multiple stops along the way delayed their arrival and each time the A&Ps thought they had it fixed, but each time the fix only lasted 45 minutes. Liz ended up flying commercial home and her friend continued on but had to leave the plane in Colorado and fly commercial home. The plane is back in SLO and we are awaiting word on whether it is fixed. When she arrived she met up with other 99s from around the country.
Tom and his wife flew commercial to Chicago and when he arrived the BnB had just been hit by a tornado so there were fallen trees cut and stacked on the lawn and no hot water.
Robert had an uneventful trip and Barry appears to have had the most enjoyable trip to the event in his motor home.
Burt and Dick Rutan gave a presentation that was supposed to last an hour, but lasted three hours. All of the avionics vendors were there and Robert is planning on upgrading his panel with a Garmin GNX™ 375 that will provide ADSB and GPS navigation in his limited panel space.
There was some talk at the event that new light sport rules will be coming which would allow more pilots to fly with just a driver’s license in legacy aircraft.
Drones were a big thing as well and there was a big hall with lots of drones flying around.
Everyone was impressed with the sheer number of airplanes on display and that people had flown in. There were lots of airshows and military flybys as well.
Each of the panelists enjoyed the show so much that they are planning on going again next year. Tickets for the entire week are only $120 and there are plenty of cheap accomadations, so you can probably get by with $500 plus food if you are on a budget. Each of the panelists commented on how much walking you need to do to get to all of the exhibits and talks and that there was plenty of good food to keep you energized.