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International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians
Americas Region, President Larry Wolfsen

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2014 IFFR Sacramento Fly-In

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Sacramento:
  California’s Capitol … where gold was discovered … the cause of the 1849 Gold Rush…  And the
site of an IFFR Fly-In on April 25-27, 2014.

Led by IFFR Co-Chairs Tim “Top Gun” Pinkney (a former A-6 fighter pilot) and John Massey (who works with
Luxe Aviation on the airfield), 17 folks arrived from all over California and Oregon at McClellan Field (former
Air Force base) for an IFFR Fly-In event (David Brown, anxious to join us for part of the event, actually flew in
the weekend before).
  While we began and ended at McClelland Field, and had a tour of the state Capitol building,
most of the weekend involved being in and around Sacramento’s “Old Town”, the historic part of town that
predates the 1849 Gold Rush.

Friday
After the driest California winter in history, we (finally, and thankfully) got a little rain on Friday as folks were
arriving.
  But weather didn’t deter the arrival of Emidio DelConte & Meg Adams from San Diego and Bill Zander
& Barbara Kirmsse from the Los Angeles area (although Barbara, now a member of the Low & Slow Squadron,
left her Luscombe at home).
  Larry & Diana Wolfsen flew in the day before to visit family.   Being a nearby glider
pilot, Richard Pearl drove.
  The shortest time en route was by John Massey, who works on the airfield.  The
longest time spent en route was by Larry McClaskey who drove from Ashland, Oregon.

Hangar Tour & Lunch.  John Massey took the group on a tour of many of the hangars used by McClellan Jet Center
and others, with a variety of aircraft, very large and small, new and old.
  Then the group retired for lunch at the
O’ Club (the old Officers Club when it was a military base), where we had a welcome by Americas VP Larry Wolfsen,
good food, great camaraderie, reconnecting with old friends and meeting some new ones, and a fond remembrance
of Marlyn McClaskey.

Capitol Tour/Baseball & Elegant dining.  As arranged by Larry’s son-in-law, we were hosted by the office of the
Minority Leader of the State Senate and had a special tour of the Capitol building in downtown Sacramento. It
was fascinating to learn that the décor of the Senate chambers’ (the “upper” house) is red (apparently a traditional
nod to the English House of Lords), while the décor of the Assembly chambers’ (the “lower” house) is green
following the English House of Commons).
  After getting settled into our hotel next to “Old Town”, five of the
group went to the local minor league baseball game for a thoroughly entertaining evening… including photos with
the team mascot, “Dinger”, and traditional baseball park dining, including Dinger Dogs, apparently the world’s
biggest hotdogs (see the photos of Emidio and Meg for proof).
 The rest of the group decided to relax, spend a
little more time at the bar and then retire to the elegant Firehouse restaurant in Old Town for a truly delicious
and refined meal.
 

Saturday
Saturday began with a private “Underground Tour” of Old Sacramento, showing how the entire town had been
raised 10 feet
  during the 1850s and 1860s to avoid flooding.  We all agreed that the tour guide was extraordinary…
the best that most of us had ever encountered, as he has us “living” and “feeling”
 the experience of people coming
to Sacramento during the Gold Rush… by wagon overland and by ship around the Horn.
  It was not a trek for the
faint-hearted.

Next was lunch on the old paddle boat Delta King, and a free afternoon to explore Old Town, and the many museums
located there and in the nearby vicinity.
  Many went to the world famous Railroad Museum, one of the two best in
the United States, some went to the Crocker Art Museum, or took a ride on the old railroad train, or just explored
the many aspects of Old Town.
  And there was a half dozen other museums and exhibits that one could not get to
in an afternoon.
  Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Fly-In was how much there is to see and experience in Sacramento…
enough for several trips back to the area.

We finished Saturday night with dinner at the Rio City Café, on the banks of the Sacramento River.

Sunday
After checking out of the hotel, we went back to McClellan Field to spend the morning touring the Aerospace Museum
of California, one of the finest aerospace museums in the country.
   From antique and historic aircraft, to a range of
ncredibly well-displayed airplane engines, to a range of video presentations, to an awesome spectrum of jet aircraft,
to its newest acquisition, a 727… this was an experience to remember.
   There was too much to be able to fully take
in during just a couple of hours.
 The knowledgeable docents were guys who’d “been there” with lots of “stories”… and
we saw among other things, the type of plane John McClain was flying when shot down in Viet Nam, the plane flown
by astronaut Neil Armstrong as a military pilot, and we got to sit in some of the historic aircraft, and
 much, much more. 
Co-Chair Tim “Top Gun” Pinkey has been very active in the organization that is developing and maintaining the Aerospace
Museum, and now our other Co-Chair John Massey is as well.
  

We wrapped up the Fly-In with a closing lunch, again at the O’Club.  It seemed fitting to begin and end our Fly-In there,
gathered around the immense table at the old Officers’ Club.
 

The range of planes associated with people attending this Fly-In is extraordinary, from gliders (Richard Pearl), to Luscombes
(George Chaffey & Carol Chaffey, Barbara Kirmsse), to Arrows and other similar types (Peter & Shirley More, Larry &
Diane Wolfsen, Chas & Sandy Eldridge, Larry McClaskey, John Massey), to Bonanzas (Emidio DelConte & Meg Adams,
and Bill Zander & Barbara Kirmsse), to Jet Fighters (Tim “Top Gun” Pinkney).
   

A very special thanks goes to Tim Pinkney and John Massey, who co-chaired this event, handled much of the planning
and the details, and kept the weekend on time and absolutely enjoyable.
 Interestingly, Tim & John are not only deeply
involved in aviation, but also in Rotary…both are past presidents of their clubs…Tim of the 450-member Sacramento Club,
and John, twice, of the Orangevale Breakfast Club.
 Tim & John….thanks!

In short:  many different planes, great experiences, lots of camaraderie … Another successful IFFR Fly-In.

George Chaffey
Southwest Section Chair
Wing Leader, Low & Slow Squadron

Pictures here...