Well I guess I'm the only one who failed to make the party. editors note: actually a total of 9 pilots (out of 64) who planned to come, weren't able to make it for one reason or another.
I decided to leave Tuesday in hopes of getting to Clinton early and getting a little rest before volunteering to see if they needed any help Friday . Took off from KLEW Maine late because of weather and when I did get off I flew at 4000 TO 4500 Just under the clouds to GFL NY . From there to N03 NY where I sweated out whether I was going to be able to use the self serve pump . Sure enough just as Wayne experienced the directions were a little confusing but fortunately I got a little help . From N03 to JHW was uneventful but VERY hazy . I decided to stay overnight and fly out the following morning and if lucky meet up with Kirk in Galion Ohio . The following morning I took off for Galion OH. It was still very hazy !!! Got about 8 miles out , contacted approach , glanced over at the ammeter and it was DISCHARGING . Immediately told approach I was turning around back to JHW because of electrical problems . He gave me a quick set of vectors and asked If I needed any equipment . I politely declined . He asked me to contact him on landing . On the ground at JHW they were great . They thought the problem was the Voltage Regulator and ordered a new one . The next morning they installed a new one , we tested it out and I took off again only to have the new one start discharging as well ! !!
Well now it was decision time so to make a long story short I decided to get the plane back to KLEW . God knows how long I would have been delayed and how much I would have spent finding the trouble . The Battery was on a full charge so I flew all the way back to KLEW with an overnight at N03 for weather . Turned off the master switch except when close to an airport and ran on my GPS batteries and the plane battery at a minimum, saving it for engine start and flaps. All worked out . Sorry I missed the fun but was relieved to hear the bad weather missed most of Clinton...It didn't look good on the weather channel . Maybe next year.
From Headquarters: Due to our out of pocket expense, we can't offer cash refunds for preregistered pilots who weren't able to make it. However, we will credit all registration fees towards membership dues, club merchandise, or best of all, Next year's Registration! Hope you can make it in 2003 Ken.
Kent Washburn N150EW