The Santa Barbara fly-in was a real kick for those who made it. Thanks are due, at a minimum, to:
Kevin Moore, who made the restaurant arrangements. I’m grateful to him, too, for picking me up at CCR, then taking me to SBA, with an en route stop to pick up Kevin’s dependents at PAO.
Our Olympics correspondent, Clyde, who provided the excuse for the event by arriving from Down Under.
Glenn Beltz and his wife Danielle(?), heads of Local Host Committee.
Tom Bergeron and Ian Bentley, representing Cirrus, with Ian handling about 40 minutes’ worth of questions. Chris Baker and another Wings Aloft/Cirrus CFI, who do New Owner training, also came in with a new plane.
All other Cirrusites in the area – I heard there were 8 planes there, most ever in one place outside Duluth, but I thought there may have been one more.
– Trip was a reminder of the value of the instrument rating. Blue skies and spectacular views on the way down from the north, until about 10 miles outside the SBA airport, when the marine layer settled in and Kevin M had to get an instrument clearance through the cloud layer. (A few coming from the south apparently made it under the clouds VFR.)
– Only organizational tragedy: it wasn’t possible to park the Cirri near each other, so no impressive massed-fleet picture of them. I think there was no massed-fleet pic of the attendees, either.
– I hadn’t seen a plane with a cloth interior before. Got a quick look at one of them (didn’t have a camera)-- it looked fine. I will, myself, go with leather, on the “what the hell” principle, but the cloth looked fine.
– Chris Blake’s plane is the only Cirrus that is TOTALLY WHITE, like a Popemobile. No lines or decals. Has its own stark and impressive beauty.
– Ian B answered all the “easy” questions – SR22 performance – and the hard ones (useful load, FADEC, diesel engine, etc) with an air of being as specific as he could but not more so. Eg, all other projects for the last few months have taken a back seat to (a) ramping up produciton and (b) SR22 preparations. That has delayed Sr20 useful load increase. But many findings in the SR22 project will apply on SR20 load questions. They’ll announce, when they’re sure, how much of the increase is a simple “paper” change and how much requires actual physical work, like new brakes.
– Ian B also made clear that Cirrus was putting as much pressure on ARNAV as possible.
– Got to fly in the historic First Production Cirrus back up the coast, with Walt and Marianne Conley. Beautiful views all the way; minor flurry at MRY airport when we thought (in error) that we’d heard Clint Eastwood radioing in to land his helicopter. N415WM flew very nicely, despite its LATEST failed vacuum pump. This too was discussed with Ian – Ian making clear that Cirrus was chagrined that Walt’s plane kept losing vacuums, but that this hadn’t been a fleetwide plague. (Walt took me to PAO, and then Kevin M made the last leg of the angel flight up to CCR – thanks to both.)
– Kevin M’s Peterson 260se (the 182 modified for 260hp and STOL, with a little canard wing up front) is a very nice-handling craft. Got to see the crowd-pleasing “Peterson takeoff” twice from PAO. That is the one where the plane rotates at about 40kts, goes straight up, and then does a hard right turn when it’s about 600 feet down the runway.
OK, all you other folk who were there, chime in please!