EAA UL Chapter 75

North Central Wisconsin Lite Flyers

Flying 2020 - Dan Marlenga

Covid 19. Safer at Home. Social Distancing. What are we supposed to do?

In early June this year I got a call from Paul Buss and he said, let's go flying!

Little did we know at the time that it would kick off the best flying summer of my life.

Paul organized the first fly day and it was memorable. On our first trip we met in Merrill with the pilots being Steve Krueger, Paul Buss, Lyle Banser, Dean Turner and myself. We left Merrill at 7 am on June 17th and off to Dean's place, Turner Field, for a landing contest. The winners tied, as Steve and myself nailed our first landing. After a little show and tell at Dean's we were off to Eagle River and breakfast with Pat Kenny. We next flew at 4500 feet to Major Gilbert Field on Madeline Island. After a short ride in the back of a local pickup we were in the downtown. Ice Cream was had and then off to the airport for our next planned stop.

Cornucopia Airport was on Paul's radar to check out. The RAF (Recreational Aviation Foundation) had this northernmost flying field in Wisconsin on their list of destinations. Paul had arranged to have bikes for us and off to town we went. After a lunch at the local restaurant, it was back up the big hill and to our next stop. The wind had picked up to 10-15 from the south and our next landing proved we needed all the skill we could muster to land at Iron River, WI. This direct east/west runway with a south wind and rollers over the trees was a real test. We all made it in and were greeted with cold ice water by a nice couple that lived at the airport.

Off we went, next to Eau Claire Lakes Airport. After we landed we were greeted by the owner of this privately owned/public use airfield. After a short visit and history of this airport we were off to Cable Union airport. After about 4 hours of flying, Cable was a gas stop for us. When we got there the gas pump was out of service. We tried the local Sherriff Dept. for help locating the Airport Mgr. We needed to locate a few gas cans on the field and 2 trips to town for auto gas, and then off we were to Phillips..

We stopped for supper in Phillips at the Harbor View, across the road from the field. At about 8 pm we departed for home and we all got back safely, although tired and spent from the day of heat, winds, and thermals.

All in all the best flying day of my life! We flew from 6 to 6.5 hrs. this day and little did we know that would kick off the best flying summer ever! We have been on several subsequent adventures looking to fill the Fly Wisconsin Airport Passport book. I, or someone else, from our adventures will have an article in upcoming newsletters.

I hope you found this story interesting and that you might join us on our next trip? I hope to see you all in person soon as we all navigate what has become our new normal!

Humbly Submitted,

Dan Marlenga

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