We knew this day would come, but the mix of emotions this morning was amazing. It took a lot of work to find someone who would be willing to move the airplane. I talked to a great many local towing companies and other large-duty haulers, the City, the County, the State Transportation Department, and the only really helpful suggestion came from Gene at Magnum Engines, who was sure ‘he had the number of guy around here somewhere’. Well, that guy was Roger Cummins, and his company is 3 Feathers Aviation (937-533-6111). They agree to do the move, and were very affordable, and extremely easy to work with. They handled the move with grace and confidence, and a gentleness that I could have only hoped for, but didn’t really expect. Roger and his wife are great folks, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.
But I digress. I had prepared and hoped and waited for the day, and as I awaited the truck my stomach was in knots. It was as if I was going on a job interview or a blind date or something. I was excited, yes, but nervous as well. Would the move go OK? Was I really ready for this? We were only going 7 miles, but the roads are very twisty and occasionally very small. I was like a cat in a rocking chair factory. Pins and needles doesn’t do it justice. I rounded up my usual crew of stalwart helpers, my best buddy John Trenaman and our fellow Velocity builders the Jerry and Linda Brainard. And it was expected to rain, so I taped up most of the openings available to water.
Since we have a heavily inclined driveway, Roger just backed up close to the plane and dropped his ramps. We looped a strap across the nose gear to restrain her forward motion, and placed a chock on the truck bed and let Roger play catch. The rest of us gently eased her up onto the ramps and coaxed her out of the nest. Once she was on top, she was chocked and the all-clear was given, but I couldn’t let go of my main gear leg until she was firmly strapped down. Separation anxiety, I suppose.
Once she was tied down, we caravanned the 7 miles to the airport, with Roger meticulously avoiding the street signs, and asserting his need for whatever proportion of the available roadway he felt suited the situation. Some folks just pulled off, unable to fully comprehend the site. Along the way we picked up a Porsche 911 with post-it notes all over it, and they followed us to the airport to see what the deal was, which made our convoy even more of a site (his daughter post-it-ed his car as an April Fools joke). This is quality entertainment, folks.
Posted By: Brett FerrellSaturday April 1st, 2006 at 9:05 PM