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Old 04-22-2011, 06:25 PM
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Gary Ward in Jamaica

I received this from Gary, pretty neat . Hes doing an airshow there this weekend.

Hi everyone,

this is kinda long. Feel free to hit the "delete" key!

I'm back on another one of theses overwater odysseys, Jamaica this
time. Not quite the adventure of the Panama/Guatemala/Cozumel trip
back in Jan. but still quite a trip..so far.

I was in a scramble mode (as always) to get every thing done and make
the getaway. First, on Monday evening about 7 PM, I, along with Greg
Connell in his new Pitts Model 12, flew a small private airshow in
Wagener, SC in conjunction with a large sailplane competition event
sponsored by a good friend, Al Tyler. This is a weeklong event where
some of the most beautiful and high performance sailplanes in the
world come here for this event. It is almost the "masters" of
sailplane events. Great bunch of people, great food and great beer.
Greg and I have been performing for this event for several years and
it is a lot of fun.

Tuesday, scrambled to get the MX2 ready to go to Jamaica. Took off
about 3:15 PM non-stop to Key West in 3hrs/08 mins. Usually make it in
3 hrs but had some head winds. Otherwise, weather was good. RON'd in
Key West. Wed. (today at least as I am starting this report) Bill
Gordon in Christen Super Eagle (IO-540 6 cyl) and Fred Cabanas took
off at about 9:30 am to fly around East end of Cuba with stop in Great
Exuma then on to Jamaica. At 10:44 AM Fred's son Raymond, took off in
Todd Stuart's twin engine Shrike Commander along with Fred's wife,
daughter, son in law, and a child and a couple of others. I took off
about 5 minutes later. We two were able to file an instrument flight
plan which is what you have to do if you fly across Cuba which is what
we did. Fred and Bill Gordon went the long way because they couldn't
file an instrument flight plan.

The Havana Center air traffic controllers did not give us the routing
we had asked for and we had to fly probably 80 NM farther than we
planned for but all worked out ok. When I landed I still had 2 gallons
in the left wing tank and 10.5 remaining in the fuselage tank..roughly
1 hour reserve at low power setting. Total distance flown was about
550NM in 3.2 hours. Bill and Fred landed about 2 hours after we
landed. Going the long way around Cuba was for them about 250 NM
farther and it took them an extra 3 hours flying time!

Original routing would have taken us on a ESE diagonal across Cuba
but seems like the Cubans wanted us to expedite the crossing so we
first went South across then turned to the SE pretty much direct to
our destination here at Oscobel airport (MKBS), aka The Ian Flemming
International Airport Named in honor of the famous "James Bond" author
who lived in this area. We will be performing over water at the James
Bond Beach.

My MX2 is considerably faster than the the Commander and I caught them
shortly after we crossed into Cuba. We were talking back and forth and
giving our positions and I soon spotted them. I was at 9,000' and they
were above me at 11,000' as the controllers were required to
"separate" us. However, at one point, I turned off the altitude
reporting part of my transponder and snook up on and pulled alongside
the Commander before they knew it. Then back down to 9000' and no one
said a thing.

Flying over Cuba was uneventful. Not too much to see but you can tell
that things are different down there, even looking from 9,000'. There
is a long highway, 4 lane with no median, that runs almost full length
of Cuba from East to West. I have been told this was was built this
way so military jets could land on it. Almost no traffic on it.

Although this is an "International" airport, there is no commercial
airline traffic in here. It was made international so that general
aviation type aircraft can fly into here and clear customs and
immigration and avoid the hassle of going into the larger airports.

We are staying at the Golden Cove Villas just across the highway from
the airport and right on the Caribbean. I could almost throw a rock to
the waters edge from my villa. Vry beautiful place. No bar or
resturant but we bring the food in and they cook it for us. Very nice
and relaxing place. I think there are only 4 villas here, each haveing
4 bedrooms with private baths, plus nice pool and other amenities. Not
bad for a bunch of airshow "carnies".

We did a short practice Thursday. We tried a 3 ship formation with me
as lead pilot but I sucked. My plane is so much faster than the Eagle
or the Pitts but that is no excuse. We decided to leave most of the
formation stuff to Bill and Fred and let me focus on the solo stuff.
Plan is for us to do individual solo routines early then come back
later to do a "group" act, having 3 airplanes and perhaps even Roger
Buis in a helicopter for the grand finale. Roger flies an awesome
airshow routine with "OTTO", his Schweitzer 300C helicopter but here
he will be using a locally owned helicopter for the show. We will
probably do more practice or media flights today and Sat with main
show on Sunday.

Off to the airport right now.

Sorry for such a long report.

Gary
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:57 PM
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That was a long report, but gosh darn I want to read more.

I would like to read the show report and a home trip report.

The flying over cuba part was cool.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:02 PM
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Wow !! Nice report & thanks as I like to follow his plane news since I have the Redaero 50CC MX2 & all the Gary Ward decals !! A lot of guys at our little club never knew there was a real one like it untill I showed them pictures from his site. How I wish he would perform someday maybe in Cleveland, Oh. !!
Thanks again !!
John
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:16 PM
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I thought it ws very cool. Ive got 2 mx2s with his decals and sponsors also. My newest one is a EPO foam Gary Ward 55" plane. Just too cool to pass up so I bought it. Gary keeps me posted on his trips and I ask him if he could send some pics of the show this weekend. Bet that was a neat flight flying over Cuba in a bad ass MX2.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:46 PM
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Me too! Comp-ARF.

https://www.flyinggiants.com/forums/...&postcount=603

It's yellow instead of green, but that makes it easier for us old guys to see!

I sent some photos to Gary back when I built it, and he invited me down to Lumberton, we could just never get schedules matched up. I'd still like to catch up with him and get him to sign the top of my cowl. he comes to PDK every year for a show... so there's always an opportunity.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:09 PM
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I know flying over Cuba was uneventful but, I wonder if they were watching you???
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:36 PM
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I got to be ground crew for Greg Connell in his Model 12 Pitts for the airshow he flew with Gary on Monday. So, I got to watch both of them fly. Gary gets crazy with the MX2. Also got to watch them practice the day before at Barnwell in the aerobatic box.

To top it off, I flew Greg back to the sailplane contest the next day to retrieve the Pitts from the hangar. Sailplanes were everywhere and at least six tow planes were in use. We slipped into sequence with the tow planes and did a crop duster approach in my Grumman. Lots of fun.

Thanks for the update. I knew he was headed out first thing Tuesday and wondered how things went.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:54 PM
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Pics from Monday's airshow. The DirecTV blimp did a low pass on his way through the area. It was WAY cool!
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolut Yak View Post
Pics from Monday's airshow. The DirecTV blimp did a low pass on his way through the area. It was WAY cool!
That is so cool! What a great looking bunch of planes.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:28 AM
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These are a few pics from yesterdays airshow in Jamaica.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:22 PM
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Wow that is to neat. Would love to have seen it. Going to look him up his schedule and see where he is going to be.
Thanks for sharring.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:25 PM
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Any chance he will drop by NALL?
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:04 PM
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Is that Freddy in the yellow Pitts??
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:49 PM
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where's the "like" button?... thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEVZAK9 View Post
Any chance he will drop by NALL?
He told me he may be there but not his plane. They were trying to put a show together but things didnt plan out. Lets hope they worked it out.
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