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Homer Bell's Fly-In

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:26 pm
by Steve Chenoweth
Is anyone planning to attend Homer Bell's fly-in (July 18-20 in Hillsboro, Ohio)? If so, will you be taking your Brantly?

I am thinking about attending, but my B-2B will probably be in the paint shop about that time.

For information about the event, contact Homer or Sharon Bell (937) 364-2047 or email .


PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 5:09 am
by Ron Spiker
Yea, Steve, I'll be there. That's the one fly-in each year I don't miss. Just over 50 helicopters showed up last year. Quite an incredible time, especially if you have your helicopter there to participate in the events, or even to just fly around actually. It's about 245 air miles from my place and I'm planning on flying my Brantly to the event. Lots of people start arriving on Thursday. Lots of flying on Friday and Saturday and most start packing up and heading out throughout the day Sunday.

Anyone Else?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:07 pm
by Steve Chenoweth
Is anyone else planning to attend Homer Bell's Fly-In?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 9:06 pm
by Ron Spiker
Steve, it was great meeting you at Homer's. Keep up the great work with the site. Hopefully some of the many people I talked with will also join the forum now. Here's my log for the trip. As pointed out in the "What's New" section, I have over 100 photos of the event posted on my web site.

Homer Bell's Helicopter Fly-In 2003

I had planned on making this trip for several months. Since I had recently completed a cross country trip more than twice this distance, I wasn't worried at all about the route planning nor how the helicopter would perform.

I planned the trip with one fuel stop near mid point, and another just about at the destination, so the helicopter would be near full upon arrival. The trip back would give us two fuel stops, figuring that I could use the breaks on the way home.

The day before the trip was to begin, I headed to the local airport for a fill-up. The fuel pump was "temporarily out of service". Luckily I had fuel cans back at the hangar with 15 gallons of fuel. This would get us about 26 gallons total, 5 gallons short of a full tank. I debated about changing the route to stop at a closer airport for the first fuel stop, but decided that we'd still have enough for the planned route with a 20+ minute reserve.

We were hoping for an early start on Friday morning, but the weather forecast wasn't looking very promising. Even Friday morning the weather was calling for scattered showers throughout parts of the planned route. The rain areas of the radar didn't look too bad, and I had several alternate airports planned for, so we decided to give it a try.

My passenger, Tom, another helicopter pilot, and I performed a thorough preflight and at 8:10 AM departed our local field. At about 800' AGL we ran into rain, even though it was not raining on the ground. It was fairly hard so I dropped back down to about 400' and within a few minutes cleared out of the rain. We only ran into rain one more time, and that was also only for a couple minutes.

At 9:33 we landed at Zanesville airport [ZZV] for our first fuel stop. We were there for just over half hour, and departed again at 10:07. Weather was pretty good at this point, with mostly cloudy skies and about 20 mile visibility.

The next fuel stop was at Highland County airport [HOC], at Hillsboro, OH. We landed here about 11:24 under sunny skies. This is just 10 miles from Homer's. We waited here for Tom's brother to arrive by fixed wing and to arrange for hangar space for the weekend. We left at about 12:35 for Homer's. Arriving there we saw about 25-30 helicopters already there and many campers, tents and people walking around. After a short delay I returned to Highland County for Frank.

I met many new people at Homer's. Some who also owned Brantly's, some interested in purchasing one, and others who were just interested and had questions. Several guys I've met via email over the past year were there as well as guys I've now known for a while from previous years at the event.

Besides talking with other helicopter pilots, a lot of time is also spent just sitting and watching the many helicopters flying about at all hours of the day. Some flying patterns. Some just hovering. Some picking up cones. Some taking people for rides. Others leaving the area and returning a while later.

Late Saturday morning brought on the competitions. One was picking up hoops with the helicopter skid and landing in a circle in the shortest time. Another was blowing a ball into a circle with the rotor downwash in the shortest time. A third was dropping a small bag of lime from 200' flying at 60 mph to a target on the ground. Then there's the poker and Dairy Queen runs. Flying to several locations to get an envelope with a couple cards in it. Then stop for refreshments at a local Dairy Queen. At the awards ceremony Saturday evening the envelopes are opened and the best poker hand wins. Pilots vote, and awards went out to the Grand Champion helicopter, Reserve Grand Champion, Builder's Choice, farthest distance flown, and a couple of others.

The area is great for flying, with most of the area flat farmlands. Everywhere is a potential landing spot. I gave several people rides. A couple were also Brantly owners who wanted to compare the handling of mine with theirs. Another was a potential Brantly owner. Hopefully the flight and discussion will convince him to purchase one.

Sunday morning we returned to find several people already packing up to leave. Late morning I took Frank back to Highland County to get his airplane and to top off the fuel tank. I returned to Homer's and at 12:25 PM Tom and I departed for home.

We had a decent tail wind most of the flight home, and even though our indicated airspeed read 80-85 most of the flight, our ground speed was closer to 95+.

At 1:00 we landed at Ross County airport [RZT] for fuel, and departed again soon thereafter at 1:19. The visibility was very good for the entire flight. Our next, and last, fuel stop was at Cleaver airport [PHD], and we departed there for home at 2:54. We arrived back home at 3:43.

This was my 5th year at Homer's fly-in, and the second year for having a helicopter there. It feels like your more part of the event when you have your helicopter there, instead of just being a spectator. I look forward to this fly-in each year, and plan on continuing to attend for a long time to come.

Thanks to Homer, Sharon, Rodney, and Stephanie Bell, and others that are involved in putting on this event, for donations only. It's always well worth the time and effort to get there.