Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NORDO News - Wood Fabric and Tailwheels Fly In 9/26





This edition of NORDO News will be dedicated to the fly-in so please read it thoroughly if you plan to attend. PLEASE PASS IT AROUND to other pilots to insure everyone gets and reads it. If you won't be making it, please read it anyway as there are several good morsels of aviation scattered about and a follow up to last month's edition of NORDO News.


Every fly-in in existence tells everyone how great this year's event will be but we will not do that. We would love to tell you about all the neat planes that have committed to show, but again, we will not do that. Nor will we tell you how much fun this one will be for anyone attending. Nope, we are now tired of that stuff also. Instead, we are going to leave this fly-in the great little secret it is and allow those in the know to come enjoy the event they helped create. If they want to let others in on it, they are free to do so.



Please note,

if you are one of those people who want to share this great little secret,


this fly-in has a few hard-core rules.


1. No A-holes allowed – if your friend is one don't invite them.

2. Arrive with a good attitude and plan to have fun. Otherwise, please visit Oshkosh

3. Be safe – if you want to impress all your buddies with aerobatics, please visit P-56 instead.

4. We reserve the right to boot anyone off the field.

5.  This is our home and backyard, treat it like it is yours.

6. All aircraft and most people welcome. (see rule #1)

We look forward to seeing you, all of our friends, here at the fly-in.



If you are a regular, you'll find the following things are new, improved, or changed this year:

  • We are trying hard to move the showers to the North East side of the field (along the corn in the yard of the red brick house).  Over $12,000 is being spent to have a well dug and an electrical panel installed.  The work for this will continue over the next week and a half.  The overhead diagram shows the new location and the old location.  In the event the showers are re-located, we will leave one shower at the old location for those in the auto camping section.
  • During daylight hours, there will be NO unauthorized pedestrian traffic crossing the runway!  This is HUGE!  Don't spoil the fun for everyone else by thinking you know better and can therefore walk across the runway.  It sets a bad example!
  • Bags of ice will be for sale during limited timeframes.  Pay at the Lee Bottom Store anytime and pick-up by the brick house during limited timesframes posted in the store.
  • Lunch will be for sale on Friday afternoon from 11AM until 2PM.
  • Auto campers (RV's, motorhomes, campers, and cars with tents) have been limited to 30 places. To ensure that you have a spot prior to arrival, we ask that you reserve your spot by pre-purchasing your camping pass.  Note:  As of 9/13, only 10 spots remained.
  • 50 /50 Drawing: As part of the airport's fundraising efforts, we will be holding a drawing where each entered ticket has a chance to win half of the money collected through ticket sales during the event. If you see a couple wearing propeller hats circulating throughout the crowd, be sure to buy a ticket from them. You might win and also help the airport.
  • New Standard biplane rides will be available – check the schedule for more information as it becomes available.
  • Rental cars will be delivered to and picked up at our airport for your convenience.
  • High School kids from the Shawnee Aviation Program will be selling ice cream treats as a fund raiser for the Lee Bottom Flying Field Operation Fund.  Stop by the vendor area and get an ice cream dessert and talk to the kids about flying.  You'll be helping the airport and the next generation of aviation at the same time.
  • Hangar wall movie on both Friday and Saturday night.
  • If landing and departing to the South, there will be spotters to help with blind spots caused by the corn.
  • When crossing on foot at the North end of the runway, look for flaggers and cross only when you have a green flag.
  • There will be 2 trams (hay rides) running.  One on the East side of the field and one on the West side of the field.
  • A short devotional service will be held Sunday morning at 9:30AM in the Big Tent
  • There will be 2 rows allocated to aircraft camping.
  • No unauthorized vehicles, golf carts, mopeds, or ATV's allowed on the airport grounds.
  • The ATM machine will NOT be here this year.  For those of you who aren't used to using cash, you might want to prepurchase your meals, admission tickets, and camping passes ahead of time through our website.  Online sales good through midnite Tuesday 9/22 (CLICK HERE)



Things to Keep in Mind

  • Must register online for Friday BBQ DINNER by 9/22 (CLICK HERE) and/or buy a ticket (Click Here)
  • Must register online for the Saturday Pizza Pie Partyby 9/22  (CLICK HERE) and/or buy a ticket (CLICK HERE)
  • If you need a shuttle ride to/from The Comfort Inn or Riverboat Inn register online by 9/22 (CLICK HERE)
  • There will NOT be an ATM on the field.  If you don't want to carry a lot of cash, you can prepurchase your ticket. (CLICK HERE)
  • Bring something to sit on
  • If camping, "don't forget to bring a towel"
  • Tie downs - don't forget them
  • Download suggested arrival and operating procedures. (CLICK HERE)
  • Download a copy of the grounds layout.  (CLICK HERE)
  • This is an ALL CASH operation and credit cards are only taken for gas (by the vendor)
  • If you would prefer to pay via credit card, several items are available to purchase online until midnite Tuesday 9/22
  • If you are arriving via car, there are a limited number of tickets available.  It is advisable to purchase them online so you are assured of having a ticket. CLICK HERE to prepurchase an admission ticket
  • There are no aircraft departures between 10AM and 1PM on Saturday
  • This is our home and our back yard - please act the way you would at home (that is if you are normally civilized)
  • If you prepurchased dinner tickets, they will be at the Pilot Registration Tent.  Remember to pick them up!
  • If you prepurchased admission tickets:  Pilots will find them at Registratoin Tent. . . Drive-In's will find them at the Main Entrance Gate.
  • Read all of this newsletter to get all pertinent information
  • You are responsible for your own safety



Weather Delays

The fly-in will not be put off due to fog, winds, or scattered showers. When there is fog, it is gone by 10am, winds (unless extreme) are something you should be trained to handle, and scattered showers are just that. Yet, if some kind of weather pops up that will delay the big day to Sunday, we will post it on  the main page of our website www.LeeBottom.com by 10PM on Friday.

NOTE: If you suspect this is the case, don't forget to refresh you browser occasionally to get the latest updates.



You Can Fly to Lee Bottom in a DC-3

This year, barring maintenance issues, there will be two DC-3's on the field.  We really hope they both can make it as it should be a really neat site here at this airport in the middle of nowhere.  The two scheduled to appear are the Yankee Air Museum's C-47 and Ron Alexander's early model DC-3.  The Y.A.M. will be bringing a full boat of campers and will even have some museum items for sale.  Be sure to visit with them as this is a great organization. 


Ron Alexander, has been kind enough to share his DC-3 with us before and plans to do so again.   But this year he is going above and beyond the call of duty by letting us know he has more room on the plane and that if we wanted to put out the word, anyone willing to pay their share of the gas can ride to and from the event with him and his other passengers.  Your share of the gas is likely far less that you would guess and if you've ever wanted to travel in a DC-3, then here's your chance.  He will be leaving out of the Atlanta area on Friday the 25th for Lee Bottom and departing back to the Atlanta area on that Sunday.  If this is something you would like to do, and I can't imagine that there aren't at least of few of you out there, contact Ron at ronalexander@mindspring.com   Don't wait too long and miss this chance of a lifetime.





If you're like me, you get tired of reading about safety. The other day I struggled through two such magazine articles about formation flying and professionalism in the cockpit. These were the typical "procedures saves everyone" and "a professional attitude saves everyone" pieces you've seen a hundred times and I sincerely thought of using them as toilet paper.


The truth is, procedures can help make things safer, as can professionalism. But the people who live by these ideas also die by these ideas and they are among the small group of people who are capable of sucking the sweet out of candy, the smell out of roses, and the fun out of flying. Ultimately, true aviators have a working knowledge of these things and are able to use them to make their flying more fun and safe, not procedurally perfect and miserable.


Humans did not take to the air to be uptight "by the book" robots. Instead they went airborne to have fun. So, here's the deal on safety at the fly-in.


The following are our suggested procedures to help make things safer, but ultimately you are in charge of your own safety. Should something not work for you, get out of the system or do whatever it takes to make things safer and then get back in. Keep an overall picture in your mind of what's going on, think of how your actions affect others, stay calm, be on the ball, and you'll find that safety happens.






Please print off, study, and keep with you the fly-in arrival and rules package.


After you arrive, do not forget to bring your completed and legible registration card to the PILOT REGISTRATION TENT in front of the white house. This is where you will receive your "Official 2009 Fly In T Shirt". These cards will also be used to let us know who was in attendance so we can send you one of our highly sought after and limited edition calendars. So, don't forget!



Words do not make airplanes fly. Therefore, keep yours to a minimum when you are near or in the pattern. Drop the N# and use only the color and construction of your aircraft if you want to see and be seen. Think about it, nobody ever says I'll be in the car with license plate number CYZ-345. No, they say I'll be out front in the black convertible. So take this tip to heart and instead say something like yellow biplane or red Fleet entering downwind.


To further enhance safety, you also do not need to say this every time you change positions. The person who reports long downwind, medium downwind, turning base, base, turning final, long final, short final, and touching down does nothing but clog the airwaves with worthless chatter. Make it known where you are, what make and color you are, and most likely your downwind or base call will be the last you or anyone else has to make. This allows you and others to look and listen for other aircraft. Note: last year somebody told me that by FCC rules you have to announce your N# when you use the radio. You do what you want but I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that we are more knowledgeable about being safe in the air than the FCC and that is all I am concerned with.




This year the farm north of us is growing a great crop of corn. This means that you must be extra vigilant in looking for aircraft at the far north end of the runway. When landing to the South (over the corn), the approaching planes cannot see planes parked up against the corn. Additionaly planes awaiting departure to the South can not see the approaching planes. Therefore, we will be asking everyone to start their departures at the displaced threshold (that's where you see 3 cones) instead of the very end to help alleviate this situation. Remember, keep your eyes outside. We will also be placing spotters on the north end to serve as a second set of eyes so keep yours open for them and your radio on.




This year there will once again be fuel onsite for the event. Our fuel provider travels a difficult path to offer fuel here and therefore it is never the cheapest fuel in the area but it is convenient. The provider, Honaker Aviation, does the fly-in a great service by putting out the effort to be here and help us out.


Avgas was first offered here two years ago and with each passing year the process has been refined. Keeping with this trend, this year they will be on site both Friday and Saturday. Anyone arriving Friday who might want fuel should get it that day. The Saturday crowd can cause a rush on the truck and your early fueling will help you later.




Safety is relative, subjective, and non-existent. If you want a guarantee of safety, build yourself a bunker and it was nice knowing you. With that said, I find pilots to be a funny lot. Take away weather, traffic, the FAA, and maintenance issues and only one thing is left, an up front parking spot. Yeah, it's true. Really, it is. In fact, I swear pilots are the only folks who would ask for front row floor seats to a gun fight.


If you don't know what I am getting at by now, let me fill you in. Every year we do everything we can to make things safer or as safe as possible during the fly-in. One of these things is to park back to front so to leave as much open area near the runway as we can for as long as we can. The reality is that you could put a mile between parking and the runway and somebody would figure out a way to ground loop a mile into those machines that were "safe". But the chances do get slimmer the farther planes are from the runway and thus this is why we park this way. We will not deviate from this.


Also please note that many rows are parked with planes tailed in between one another. If you end up in a row that is pushed into place, our ground crew will point you to a place to shut down and then you will direct and help them push your plane into place unless you wish to do it yourself.




cub beachedAnyone flying a straight floatplane to the fly-in should contact us in advance so that we can make sure everything is in place for your arrival. The river shore directly in front of the house and hangar has been looking good but we want to make sure everything is great when you get here. To tie up, you will need plenty of rope. The shore is silty in most places and firms up quickly only a few feet from the water line.



One of our regulars recently suggested we ask people visiting the fly-in to bring flags from their country, state, or other place of origin.  These would be hung around the airport during the fly-in for decoration and after thinking it through we decided it was a great idea.  In the past we've had visitors from nearly every continent and many countries from around the world and we think this would be a great way to recognize those who have made the trek to our corner of the world.  If you wish to donate one of your flags to the airport for this purpose, we hope you will make it a flag that is either 3 feet by 5 feet or 4 feet by six feet in size.  This will keep them somewhat standard in appearance.  Bring one with you or if you've been here before mail us one and we'll put it up next year.


NO Landing Fees

Our donation letter that went out with the calendars last year played on a carbon credit theme. Most thought it very funny but we recently heard of a few people who thought it meant you had to pay to use Lee Bottom during the year. If you misunderstood, we're sorry you missed the joke. But the misunderstanding got us thinking.


Our dream for the fly-in has long been to make it an airport fundraiser. Unfortunately though it has only been a success in raising funds for everyone but the airport. Then came the day I was sitting outside watching planes land and pondering this issue. To my disbelief, I sat there and watched a 172 touch down at the 3400' mark. This meant they had only 600' left. Thankfully they got stopped but in doing so they reminded me of all the planes that do similar things during the fly-in. And that's when it hit me; User Fees based on how much runway you use for landing might solve some problems.


Here's how it would work. The first thousand feet would be free and then it would be five dollars for every 100' used beyond that. People would be encouraged to learn to fly their airplanes again, runway maintenance costs would decrease to a focus on the first thousand feet, and I wouldn't have to suffer through another Champ using more than 600' of runway to land. What do you think? Maybe next year.

tails of planes





If you donated to our Carbon Credit's Fund Raising Campaign, be sure to pick up your special keepsake item at the Pilot Registration Tent.





Be sure to look for some great aviation memorabilia items near the registration tent that will be going up for sale in silent auction form.  Most of these items have been donated by some of our wonderful airport supporters thinking they would help our fundraising efforts. 





Look for our 50/50 tickets sellers, Ken and Terri Bittner.  They will be walking around with the propeller hats looking for people who might want to contribute and get a chance to win some cash.  If you win, you'll get half the take and your very own propeller cap like they are wearing.  Here's the description:

"Fun in the Wind!  Fun indoors too!

Try one on!  Take a test flight!  Go for a spin!  Ideal for cycling, skating, skiing, scoring, sailing, jogging, disco, golf, baseball, soccer, rugby, juggling or just being yourself!  Whatever you do, do it in a beany cap!  They are guaranteed to keep you warm,, get you high and keep you cool, all at the same time!  You'll get that extra lift, rise above the crowd, conquer the fear of flying for good!  Find the true meaning of enlightenment with the most uplifting hat in the world today!  For that distinctive look that people notice!  For that "certain someone" on your gift shopping list, give the gift that keeps right on spinning. Up, up and away from Interstellar Propeller, the company that is changing the way America  flies!"






Through the years we've done some amazing things thanks to the donations of our extended airport family.  This year we hope to do the same.


drill set upWe have been trying to get the showers moved to the hill side of the runway for several years now.  This year, we finally made the first step in that direction.  This week a check for $7700 dollars (the down payment Rich had set aside for a new used car as his has 300,000 plus miles on it) was handed over to a well driller for the installation of a new high output well.  Due to the layout and geography of the field, the well is being placed at the north end of the field on the road side of the airport.   The design of the well will allow for the expansion and running of water to the hill and down the hill side to finally get the showers where our campers have long wanted them.  But trenching and running of water to that area will cost over $7000 dollars as it will be a higher capacity line and will offer several points for water retrieval.


Next, we will finally be starting the expansion of aircraft parking into the last remaining open property that would handle aircraft.  This effort will increase the parking area by another ten to twelve acres and should free us from some of the headaches associated with handling as many as 400 plus aircraft.  The field will be plowed after the fly-in and  allowed to sit over winter and then in Spring a disc will be run over it, it will be leveled and drained, grass will be sewn, and straw scattered to keep run off down.  During the same time, a right hand turn off taxi way will be added to help with high traffic loads when landing South.  As you can imagine, this too will cost a pretty penny. 


And finally, one of the other improvements we wish to make next year is the addition of a new coke machine.  Our old one died this year and having long been one of only three services we offer, restrooms, a cold coke, and conversation, we would very much like to get a new one.  We need to get a new machine with a dollar bill changer and one that is a little more economical to operate than the last one.


Therefore, with all these things mentioned and more, we will once again be raising funds to accomplish them.  Look for the "gas gauge" sign near the registration tent to see how far we've come toward meeting our goal and perhaps donate to the cause.


In thirteen years of holding this fly-in, we've never once made money but we've sure had fun.  We hope the fun you have here is enough to warrant your contributions.




Remember when the fly-in was lunch and lasted for 2 hours on a Saturday?  


Now, we have made arrangements for 6 meals to be provided onsite and the fly-in has consumed our home for the weekend plus the preparations that last all month long. 


We use caterers and restaurants to provide these meals to those of you arriving early and staying later. This has worked out great but requires a little more accurate planning as some require us to provide guarantee amounts. Therefore, we need you to RSVP for the FRIDAY and SATURDAY DINNERS.


Important: If you do not see a meal listed on the schedule, you will not find food available at the airport and should plan accordingly.  It is at least a 20 minute  drive to the nearest town.






Lunch - on demand for volunteers around noon



Lunch - will be available from 11-2 on site.

Chelsea General Store Deli will offer sandwiches, chips, and drinks for sale.


Dinner - 6:30 with The Rascals of Ragtyme Dixieland Band starting at 6PM

Cost is $15 per person

If you plan to attend the BBQ on Friday night, we have to get an RSVP from you by 9/22. You can also pre-purchase a ticket online.  The dinner costs us around $3000 up front and we need to know an accurate count of how many people will be here. Kingsley's Caterer's will be onsite grilling and the menu will include:

* Country Style Ribs,

* Grilled Citrus Chicken,

* Cole Slaw,

* Corn on the Cob,

* Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole,

* Smokey Beans,

* Hash Brown Casserole,

* Rolls,

* Dessert, and

* Drinks (diet coke, coke, sprite, iced tea, coffee, and water)

A cash bar will also be available for premium mixed drinks, wine, and beer.



Breakfast – 8-10 with coffee starting at 7am 

Menu includes:

Sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit and granola bars, orange juice, and coffee.

Sold by the Hanover College catering department


Lunch – starts at 11 and will include:

Chili, hot dogs, pulled pork BBQ, cookies, chips, fruit, drinks, and snacks.

Sold by the Hanover College catering department


Dinner – starts at 6:30 and cost is $10 per person. 

Menu:  salad, pizza, pumpkin pie, and drinks

An RSVP is required for this dinner by 9/22 and tickets are available online to pre-purchase



Breakfast – around 8AM coffee and pastries will be set out with a donations jug to cover costs


Again, if a meal is not listed here for a time or day you would like to eat, you are on your own and should plan accordingly.


Other food related questions or notes:

Each year people ask us about making their own food during the event. And each year we tell people it is not a problem as long as there are no open flames. Sometimes our answer brings looks of disbelief and if that is you, we are sorry. But, that's the rule.


To further explain, although it is not a problem for you to whip up your own meals, we like to do everything we can to make sure our food vendors at least break even. When it becomes a loosing proposition for them they will no longer attend. You see, it is very difficult to get food vendors to attend an event in the middle of nowhere with no services available for food preparation, and no idea of how many people are going to show up.


In order to keep your costs minimized, we do not ask our food vendors or caterers for any percentages of food sales and do not charge them a set-up fee. Therefore, we hope you will help us support these great people that show up every year to make the event special.








Very few reserved rooms are left in Madison with shuttle service to/from the motels. CLICK HERE to see the most up-to-date information on our website.  Any reserved rooms not claimed by 8AM on 9/21 will be lost.  So, get yours now!


If you missed one of our reserved rooms this year . . .here are some options you can try in Scottsburg, IN.


Note that you will probably want to obtain a rental car as our shuttle bus does not go to Scottsburg. These are approximately 20 to 25 miles from our airport.

Hampton Inn 1-812-752-1999

Holiday Inn Express 1-812-752-0000





If you want to camp in the AUTO CAMPING section (RV's, campers, motorhomes, or cars with tents) there are 30 spaces reserved for you in the auto parking field(no hookups available). These are going fast and must be claimed online by purchasing your camping pass in advance to ensure that you have a spot. (CLICK HERE) For those traveling with "big rigs", please read about the approach roads, conditions of the field, etc. before reserving your spot. These spots will be available starting at Noon on Friday and your pass is good until Noon on Sunday.






We look forward to seeing you here with a tent under the wing of your plane. There is no advance notice needed for this. However, for your convenience, you can pre-puchase your camping pass ahead of time. The camping pass is per airplane and good for the entire weekend (Fri – Sun). Please limit the number of tents per plane to 2 (one per wing).








For those pilots and their guests staying at the Comfort Inn or the Riverboat Inn in Madison, we'll be running a shuttle bus to/from the motels.  The shuttle only runs once per day to the airport and once per day to the motel.  Check the current schedule to see times of operation.  Cost is $5 per person for a round trip and an RSVP is required.









Enterprise will be offering a special "Pick of the Lot Program"

$70.99 +tax for a 2 day rental

$90.99+ tax for a 3 day rental

 What is the "Pick of the Lot Program"?

Prior reservations required

Cars delivered and returned to Lee Bottom Flying Field's car lot

1st ones that arrive will have 1st choice

All cars will accommodate a minimum of 4 passengers with 4 doors

Reservations must be made through Madison's office (812) 265-6260








Most of you don't realize that you are visiting our home and backyard.  Others don't realize that there it is a husband and wife team that do all the planning and cover the majority of the expenses for this event.  But, when it comes time for the event, it is our volunteers that become our heroes.  They are the ones that allow us to continually increase the size and quality of the event so that your general aviation event is the best of its kind. 


This year, we will have more volunteers than there were attendees at the first event.  Many of our volunteers were the attendees 13 years ago.  Many of the volunteers are new to the airport.  Whatever the case, please remember we are all doing our best to ensure that you have a successful and fun event.  So, take time to thank them for their efforts and time.


In the past, we have had a hard time finding volunteers to work in the auto parking, auto camping, and general admission gate.  Everyone wanted to be around the airplanes but who could blame them?   Every year, more and more of our effort, time, and money is being spent on the drive in traffic.  It has been a new set of issues and problems that many of you can't even fathom and it was taking away from our real focus and the event's mission - the planes.  It was getting so bad that we even considered eliminating the drive in admission. 


After last years event, we were approached by a volunteer group called KRM (Ketucky Raceway Ministries). Traditionally they are involved with running campgrounds at NASCAR racetracks and providing ministry through their low key servant philosophy.  This year, we look forward to having this wonderful group of people join our airport family. They will be handling our auto parking and camping areas as well as the main entrance gate and assisting our aircraft Meet & Greet folks.  Please make them feel welcome.  Maybe some of you will want to volunteer to help them at a race track next year. http://www.go2krm.com/


Thanks again to all our volunteers!



This year will bring new challenges for us as we have an abundance of volunteers.  Getting volunteers is one thing, using them efficiently and in the best manner is another.   So, if you are volunteering this year, please read the rest of this carefully.


There are always several areas of concerns with volunteers.   Among these are making sure you don't feel over-used, making sure you don't feel unused, making sure you are taken care of, making sure you are able to take care of others, making sure you are fully aware of what you need to do, and making sure you are able to do what you need to do.  Furthermore, there's the scheduling of volunteers and the ongoing attempt to achieve a constant level of service.


So here is a rundown of what we are up against.  This year we actually have a few more people signed up to volunteer than we might actually need but most of them are signed up for Saturday afternoon; we need fewer on Saturday and more on Friday starting at noon and Saturday morning starting at 7:30AM. 


The over abundance of aircraft parking volunteers is great but the number of people who are trained or experienced with our operation enough to lead a team of parkers is short.  Therefore, some volunteers may be asked to work with more experienced volunteers in order to learn the ropes and thus we hope you don't feel like a third wheel as you are being trained for future years.  Some volunteers may be given jobs that feel very insignificant but that may be the among the most important.  Please understand that we do our best to not waste a volunteer and any job we give is something we think needs to be done to offer the best, safest, and most professional experience to those visiting. 


If you find that you are on the "reserve list" you will be asked to check in around 10, 12, and 2 to see if you are needed somewhere and if not, then you still served a purpose.   


Those that are signed up to volunteer can look forward to getting a rough draft of a schedule within the next few days and most will receive more information about their specific areas the following week. 


For those that would like to help with set-up during the week prior to the event, we can always use help laying out lines, putting the showers back together, setting up tents, putting on table clothes, stringing lights, putting up signs, and all the other last minute stuff that needs to happen. Depending on the weather, we hope to have everything ready by Thursday evening.  It would be best if you emailed us to let us know that you are coming so we can plan accordingly. 


For those that would like to help with planning on next years event, it has already started. Please contact us.





The FAA Revisited

After last month's NORDO News segment on the FAA's lack of ability or intention to assist GA, a great many people wrote or even told me personally that "it was right on the mark, BUT". Many of these people then went on to tell a story of how the FAA did its job once. It seems a lot of folks felt very uncomfortable calling out the Feds and wanted me to understand that one time, some FAA person helped them. Now mind you that each of these stories were merely of an FAA person doing their job, and not some witness account of a Fed going over and above the call of duty. That's what we've come to; praising someone for merely doing their job on occasion and discomfort with insisting they do it all the time.


Many of these people also told of their friends in the FAA. Well I have, or come to think of it maybe had is now better, friends in the FAA and here's the deal. If your friend is unwilling to admit the FAA is a total disaster, then they should be considered indoctrinated FAA personel, you should not kid yourself, and you should be cautious about what you share with them.  Anyone, even a Fed, who has a brain and the ability to reason can clearly see and would be willing to admit this. If your friend at the FAA is willing to admit this, let them know they have your support and do what you can to keep them on our side and within the FAA. Furthermore, you should also encourage them to do more to support the cause of GA from the inside. If they are truly on your (our) side, then they will do just that.  It's not easy workng for an agency that is vindictive, back stabbing, and confusing to its own employees so support the good ones; they have it pretty tough.


As for me, I too have a great story about the FAA that I hope to tell someday soon in a NORDO. It is about the worst and the best of the FAA coming to a head over an issue I had with the bad. Good won out and everyone lived happily ever after but in the long run there was disappointment. A few years later, the good FAA guy and I were talking when he mentioned a pilot that was "shopping FSDO's"** for a 337 approval. Up to that point I thought very highly of the person and trusted them to the fullest. But to hear him say this, as if the person was a criminal looking to hock stolen goods, bothered to no end and left me unable to trust him. After years with the FAA, his transformation was complete. Right there on that day, I could see in his eyes that it never occurred to him nor was he even able to consider that that guy might be having to shop them to find one FSDO that had a person with the knowledge or willingness to get the job done. It was a great example of indoctrination and it can happen to anyone, friend or not.


**"Shopping FSDO's" was originally an FAA insider's term for someone who was trying to get something approved by going from one FSDO to another hoping to find one that would sign off on it. Today, it is also used by pilots when expressing the nearly impossible process of getting something approved by a FSDO.


Finally, it seems most of the really good folks at the FAA have retired in the last few years.  For the few of you that are left, I have no idea how you do it.




What would it take for you to own a Champ, a Stearman, or something else considered an antique aircraft? I ask this question because over the past few years I have noticed the antique community's unwillingness to promote the future of antique and classic aviation. The failure of the leaders of this group, many of which are legendary names in aviation, to do so has led to an amazing reduction of hours flown in such aircraft.


Therefore I am asking this question, what would it take for you to purchase and operate an antique or classic aircraft that is not of aluminum construction? Don't take that as a slight against aluminum as I am only addressing one issue here. What would it take? What is holding you back? Why are you not already in one of these planes? For my own knowledge, I would like to know. I really would like some sincere input on this.


PS: This subject has led me to write down another observation I've had during the past few years. It seems an alarming amount of people who own aircraft in the category I just mentioned, are going to events in other aircraft. This is another one that I would like to get your input on. I can't even keep track of it anymore, the number of people who've said something like this to me, "Well I own a Cub but I flew the Cirrus so I could get here quicker". The funny thing is, these people are coming in hopes of seeing flying the way it used to be. Well people, I'm here to tell you, we (all of us who own these planes) are aviation the way it used to be and if we are choosing to fly a Mooney to an old time aviation event while leaving a Porterfield at home in the hangar, then we might as well just quick kidding ourselves and cut them all up.


But please don't misunderstand this to mean we don't want aluminum here. In fact, we probably have one of the best all around samples of aviation at our event as anywhere due to our motto "all aircraft and most people welcome". It is for this reason that last year we received an email from a guy who had flown a Mooney into the fly-in.  According to him, he got so excited about vintage planes, he went out and bought himself a Spartan....now that's how you promote vintage aviation and by bringing up this subject we hope you understand that we are merely trying to gather information on why people are not flying their antiques and classics. All planes are welcome;  all of them.


But wait, there's also the group of people who own these planes and live within flying distance yet they drive. This segment has also grown at an alarming pace in the past few years. So once again, if this is you, can you help us understand the reasons why you are not flying? And this is not just for our event nor is it a combative question. We simply would like to get your sincere input on these subjects. Will you email us to help us understand?




If your goal is to have a large fly-in of everyday pilots and aviation enthusiasts then it goes without saying that rising numbers are a good thing.  But, what happens when your other goal is to never sell out your ideals and beliefs and the event grows to the point it needs more funding?   This is a tough subject for me.  If the event grows any larger or continues for the long haul, more funding will be needed. 


Selling out ideals and beliefs for money is not new to the aviation world.   It happens every day.  In fact, some people believe the biggest events grew to that size by doing just that and I believe they got their by offering what people wanted.   But whatever the case, what can we learn from them and do differently?   First of all, it doesn't hurt to have great people on your list.


Our Lee Bottom Family is very fortunate to have many people on the list who think just like we do.   Additionally, many of them have a strong desire to support the airport while upholding those ideals.   This means that we have a growing list of sponsors who wish to help the airport while not expecting us to plaster their names all over the airport and give them permission to break rules that apply to everyone else.   These people understand what the event is all about and simply want to see it continue.   If you ever need something any of these people offer, we hope you give them a chance to do business with you.  They really helped us out this year.


If you wish to be a sponsor, there are still things you could.  Just call or email.


T Shirt Premier Sponsors

Poly Fiber Aircraft Coatings

Poly-Fiber is today's premier covering and paint system for antique, classic, and homebuilt aircraft.   Take a look around any at any gathering of these aircraft and you will see what the system has to offer.   Over the years I have flown a great many planes covered with Poly-Fiber and have never seen anything but great results from the system.    A big thanks goes out to Poly-Fiber for their continued support of our kind of aviation. 



Randolph Aircraft Products

Randolph Aircraft Products nitrate and butyrate dopes are made right here in America and are still the choice for recovering jobs that require the ultimate in authenticity.   Furthermore, a lot of people out there who have shown original dope systems can be just as slick as newer processes and thankfully Randolph continues to supply these time tested products to the aviation community.   A big thanks goes out to Randolph for their continued support of our kind of aviation.



Signature Engines

Signature Engines Inc. is a well known and respected aircraft engine overhaul shop that stands behind its service.  Based at Lunken Field, Cincinatti, this shop believes so much in what they do that they have been known to take on the FAA to stop questionable methods allowed by the same.   If you want an engine you can trust, give Signature Engines a call.   They care about their customers and do what it takes to put the best product out the door.    We cannot say enough good about them.



Merstitch International, LLC

If you own a piece of clothing with our logo on it, you may have wondered what company would dare take the responsibility of stitching such a detailed, multi-color logo for people who are very picky about such things.  If so, that company is Merstitch International.  Mike Merrell, the founder, has done every piece of Lee Bottom logo embroidered clothing ever created and along the way helped with printed shirts too.  If you would like some of the same high quality work for your company, you should not hesitate to contact Mike.  He has experience with large corporate accounts, small operations like us, and everything in between.  In addition to that, he has a pilot's license. 




The Wireless Store

The Wireless Store (and [its] wholly owned subsidiary, IPCOM) is a wireless communications and mobile technology company. The company has adapted select technologies for such aviation uses as support components for the electronic flight bag (EFB), GPS / location based services, and wireless remote connectivity. Core products and services include a broad range of technology solutions targeted at the major vertical markets of Public Sector, Finance, Legal, Construction, Distribution & Logistics, and Field Services. 


The president of the company emailed us with an important note to pass along to you about his decision to sponsor the fly-in, "The company's decision to sponsor the Wood, Fabric, and Tailwheels Fly-in is not about building brand awareness, but instead is viewed as a contribution to the preservation of living aviation history and supporting an entity (Lee Bottom) which supports the passion of so many including me."


What could we say to improve on what you probably already know about Cub Crafters.  Founded by a guy, Jim Richmond, who went nuts over Super Cubs and ended up devoting his life to them, this company has been constantly improving the Super Cub design for almost 30 years.  With a tireless effort toward R&D and willingness to use innovative ideas, Cub Crafters has become a leading name in the small aircraft community.   Take a look at their website to see all the great things going on in Yakima.   Then be sure take a look at their plane on display at the fly-in.


A newly formed group whose primary mission is to preserve and display items of aviation significance from Bowmand Field in Louisville, Kentuky.  Bowman Field is rich in history as it was the first commercial airport in Kentucky and is one of the longest continually running airfields in North America.  Not only do we look forward to seeing displays and hearing more about the history of this unique airport but we look forward to working with this new organization on future aviation projects.


This airplane recently got a great write up in Sport Aviation and for good reason.  This simple, easy to build, single seat aircraft looks great, apparently flies very well, and is cheap to build.  Furthermore, a local guy, Peter Beck, has been making wing kits that I hear are the cat's meow.  Every now and then, when everyone is going all crazy over new technology, new materials, and gee whiz gimmicks, someone comes along to offer a truly inexpensive fun plane to own.  This is the CX-4.  Looks for several of these planes, including the company demonstrator, to be on hand at the fly-in.  The demo plane will be in the vendor area and the guys will be there to answer any questions.  Also, be sure to thank them for the sponsorship. 


Lucky Lindy's Flying Service is a key part of ACI, a larger organization that offers charter, flight training, aircraft management, and biplane rides from their base in Ft. Meyers, Florida.  Owned and operated by Glenn Frith, this organization reflects his passion for flying and people and that is why he ultimately decided to add biplane rides to the mix.  "We needed something that wasn't all business that would allow people to experience the raw pure pleasure of what flying is supposed to be" said Glenn when asked about the addition.   We think he accomplished his goal and highly recommend you go for a ride when you are visiting their area.  Also, look for Glenn and the Lucky Lindy's Travel Air at the fly-in.   The ACI folks are great and we feel fortunate to have them as sponsors.


T Shirt Grass Roots Sponsors

My Hangar Crew - Caintuckee Field

From my "Hangar Crew" at Caintuckee Field (Jeff "Captain" Morgan, Tim Cuthbert, Brian Brotherson, Danny Bridges, Mark Works, Biz Cain, Matt Bise, Jack "Doc" Freidel, and John "Deuce" Chalfant) to yours, thank you for all that you do in the realm and experience of aviation.   Thanks also goes out to the Caintuckee Field guys for sponsoring our event.


is a local general practice law firm with extensive litigation experience, representing a diverse group of clients. One of the partners, Wil Goering, is quickly becoming one of the hardest working members of the Lee Bottom Family and has helped us in many ways. This year he offered to help raise sponsorship funds, find volunteers, be a volunteer, take photographs, drive a shuttle bus, and just about anything else. During our time with Wil, we have found him and his law firm to be well respected and are glad to have them as a sponsor.


When the National Biplane Association recently said "we're taking our ball and going home", the founder of this group stepped forward to offer a place for those who were left out in the cold.  Jed, like so many other people, offered to take over the running of the group but they weren't up for it so he took a step to the side, kept moving, and started a newer better group; my words not his.  While others are wallowing in self pitty and importance, this guy is rapidly putting together a group of younger biplane pilots who actually want to support the future of the type.  If you hated to see the National Biplane Association die from neglect, I highly recommend you check out the ABA website.  There is a future in this group.



Tram Sponsor 

Fillin' Station Liquors 

If you've ever driven across the bridge into Madison from Kentucky, you've certainly seen this business.  Owned and operated by Tom Woodburn, this well known pit stop is at the end of the bridge and it calls out to everyone who survives a trip into Kentucky.  You may have also met Tom at our fly-in as he has been into military vehicles for many years and is one of the guys who displays such equipment during the event.  Even without prompting, Tom has sponsored our event in some form or fashion for many years.  The next time you feel lucky enough have lived through Kentucky or feel you need some liquid courage before heading in, stop to say hello.


Band Sponsor

North Vernon Beverage Company, Inc

Don Miller from North Vernon Beverage Company called recently to let us know he would like to sponsor the event.  As a local wholesale distributor of beer and wine, we feel this is a great fit due to our similar goals of bringing fun and good spirits to others.  A big thanks goes out to them for their sponsorship.


The Bowman Eagles is the regions largest tailwheel flying club. It seems there isn't a day that their aircraft don't land or buzz by here several times a day and the skies just wouldn't be the same without them. If you've always dreamed of owning your own taildragger but don't have the time or money to support one for yourself, give them a call.


Other Sponsorships

This locally owned company has been providing the fly-in with John Deere Gators for over 4 years.  They carry a wide variety of equipment:  from Gators, to ATV's, to customized Honda Goldwing Trikes, to weed trimmers and mowers.  It's a family owned business dedicated to customer satisfaction and they carry the best equipment money can buy.  If you need something they have, we encourage you to give them a chance at your business.


Reed's Orchard & Farm

This locally owned farm, in the same family sense the 1800's, produces a wide range of crops but it is best known for the amazing peaches grown there.  Yet these are not the reasons they make the sponsorship list.  This family and some of their kids, have been part of the Lee Bottom Family since way back when.  A few of them have even volunteered at every fly-in to date starting when they were as young as six years old.  Whenever we need some heavy lifting or special assistance that only a group of intelligent farmers could offer, they always come to the rescue.  Be it equipment, bush hogging, manual labor, paper work, or even controlled burning, these folks have continuously offered us a great deal of sponsorship through the use of their minds and backs.  There are no words that can thank them enough.



On the airport's home page www.LeeBottom.com, you will see a yellow box on the left hand side of the screen. Click on the 3rd item listed in the yellow box:   Fly-In & Events

This will take you to the main page for the fly-in. There are little grass icons   below the black box in the center of the page. To see more detailed information, click on the grass tabs.

The yellow boxes with arrows   (located just outside the upper right hand corner of the black box) will allow you to scroll through the information provided in the black box in the center of the screen.

There is a lot of information covered in the FAQ (frequently asked question) tab. Click on the questions in this section to view the answers.


Peruse the information about the fly-in contained on the website



CLICK HERE If you are staying in a hotel and need a shuttle ride 


CLICK HERE for latest information on hotels


CLICK HERE for schedule of events

CLICK HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Their Answers



To purchase advance tickets click on the appropriate option:

   Admission for those arriving via car

   Admission for those arriving via plane

   Friday night BBQ

   Saturday night Pizza Pie Party

   Shuttle ride to Comfort Inn or Riverboat Inn

   Camping in auto parking (motorhome, RV, campers, auto/tent)

   Camping with your airplane




No comments: