West Coast Fly-In 6/30 --- report

Many thanks to all who attended Saturday’s Cirrus Fly-In in Santa Barbara (SBA). It was quite an event!
Despite a lingering overcast that kept the field on the ragged edge between VFR and IFR until mid-afternoon, we had a superb turnout of four SR20s (in alphabetical order, Cirrus sales rep Tom Bergeron in N174CD, Walt Conley from Monterey in N415WM, Bill Graham from San Diego in N163CD, and Steve Schulteis and his colleague Alex from Orange County in N1645S).
Also flying in were SR20 position holders David Raab in his Cheetah and Dan “Rowdy” Yates in his Cherokee, each of whom brought an enthusiastic guest. (Kudos to Dan for having recently passed his instrument checkride… his ride down the ILS at Santa Barbara was his first “for real” instrument approach since getting the ticket.)
Arriving via wheeled transport were position holders Gordon Feingold and the all-singing, all-dancing team of Glenn Beltz and Danielle Swiontek, as well as me and my child bride Caroline Robillard. A special guest was UC Santa Barbara engineering professor Keith Kedward, who has worked with NASA on certification issues for composite airframes (including Cirrus and Lancair).
Much aircraft-gawking and story-swapping ensued, both at the airport and at the Beachside Cafe on nearby Goleta Beach. Steve, David, and Danielle won door prizes of Cirrus apparel, courtesy of Tom Bergeron. Thanks, Tom, for your generosity and for answering so many of our questions!
Both Glenn Beltz and I were treated to demo rides in N174CD by Tom. It was the first time in an SR20 both for me and for my charming wife Caroline, and all we can say is “ohhhh maaaan…” Can’t wait until we get ours! Danielle Swiontek also became America’s happiest student pilot when Walt graciously offered her the controls of N415WM on a quick flight to Camarillo (CMA), where 100LL is a lot cheaper than at SBA.

Sorely missed on Saturday were Jim Fallows, who was unavoidably detained by family business, and Chris Blake from Santa Monica, who wisely diverted due to the weather to Santa Ynez (IZA). (The good news is that 100LL is cheaper there, and there’s a winery with picnic grounds within walking distance of the field. Hey, there’s an idea for the next West Coast Fly-In…) We missed seeing you guys, and hope that all the ducks line up for you next time!

Roger Freedman

for the People’s Revolutionary Cirrus Fly-In Committee

Roger neglected to tell you about the wet T-shirt contest, which I won handily when the waitress dumped a tray of drinks down my back. Fortunately, I was the only contestant!

Thanks go to Roger and Glenn for organizing the fly-in.