View Full Version : El Mirage Pictures
09-30-2004, 10:28 PM
Next year, I hope to take some flying pictures at El Mirage. This year, I was "flying" the Toyota, so these are some ground shots.
(1) 7am Thu morning: After our 16-hour drive down from Hillsboro, OR, we're here! Todd pre-flights for the five-mile hop across the lake bed to the flight line.
(2) 7:45am Thu: Glen Patterson, machinist from Bakerfield, brought this gorgeous 'Bee and flew it often.
(3) Friday 8am: Not many campers yet.
(4) N10800, Mike Schallman's scratch-built, EA-81 powerred single-place. The riveted aluminum pod was built after making cardboard templates.
09-30-2004, 10:34 PM
More El Mirage photos...
(1) Rare picture of Scott Heger without a helmet. Scott flew some pretty aggressive maneuvers in his Sport Copter Vortex 582.
(2) Two Safari/Baby Belle kit helos practiced precision maneuvers, but sure kicked up lots of desert dust on the flightline!
(3) Todd Powell, Rotary Forum-meister, flies over the lake bed well away from the flight line.
(4) Man & Machine winner, Bob Aspegren, with his scratch-built, Continental O-200-powered, single place gyroplane, N163A. It has a welded steel-tube frame. Bob flew this machine more than 400 miles to the event from his home in Vacaville CA, making three fuel stops along the way.
10-01-2004, 02:48 AM
Cool! Todd & Paul, I hope you had a great time! Thanks for the pics.
10-01-2004, 03:50 AM
Paul: Nice pictures.....I would love to make one of those fly-ins sometime.
10-01-2004, 07:22 AM
I found Bob's ship especialy interesting and Bob has had a very wide range of experance in Autogyros. He tried to incorporate the best traits of many different machines into his. He was interested in longevity in a most focused way. The workmanship was exceptional. Bob is a very nice fellow and has helped many of the people in his chapter succeed with their projects. People like Bob are why I joined the PRA. It was great just to stand in his shadow. Thank you, Vance
10-01-2004, 07:46 AM
If you can ever justify the time, I guarantee you'll see machines and meet people you'd never see east of the Mississippi, and the desert experience is worth the trip in itself. There's a big interest in the original Bensens and Brock machines down there, and some interesting examples of both.
If you can't bring your gyro that far, find a cheap flight into Portland next year, and join our caravan down!
10-01-2004, 07:58 AM
You will certainly have an adventure with Paul and Todd. I beleive it would be worth the trip and besides they need someone to drive across the lake because they will both be flying! Thank you, Vance
10-01-2004, 09:35 AM
looks like a neat place to fly!
10-01-2004, 10:10 AM
Tim, you absolutely no idea how great it is until you have visited there! It can get to be a crazy place though with a mix of light aircraft, sand sailers, and etc. I guess the craziest thing I ever witnessed there was a kid on a skate board being towed on a long rope behind a Jeep going a minumum of 50 MPH!
The lake is so large that the different activites are kept well segregated so it is not often that there are infringements. Fun place but it sounds like the government is going to place some restrictions on its use.
10-03-2004, 09:40 PM
The only part you really have to watch out for is on the south side of the lakebed. Thats where they launch those damn homemade rockets. Man do they go up fast, but it is when they fall back down is when they worry me. Very hard to see coming out of the sky from the sun. This year a nice elderly man let out his kite right on the flightline Saturday afternoon for about 200 feet. I nicely went and told him that is was a really bad idea, and helped him reel it in. He has 100 square miles of desert to fly the kite, and he lets it loose with a buch of gyros flying around very low within 100 feet!!!!
It was a nice time this year, anybody get any airborne shots of me? Would like to have a few shots if available.
Stan, Paul is just trying to sucker you into sharing some driving. If you really want to come to El Mirage, flying into Ontario Airport(ONT), it is less than 40 miles away....or you could ride with Paul for 900 miles....hmmm.
Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
10-04-2004, 03:45 AM
Scott: I really woiuld like to come to that fly-in. Besides all the activities on El Mirage...what are some other neat things to see and do nearby? Ghost towns to visit? If I come to one of these...I would fly-in and rent a car.
10-04-2004, 12:29 PM
Stan, El Mirage is a pretty isolated place, other than the mentioned activites, not much goes on. You would be able to see how fast your rental car goes when you get there...so make sure and rent a fast one..LOL. No speed limits exist on the lake bed. From Ontario airport, Disneyland, Knotts Bery Farm,Universal Studios, beaches, etc are within 50 miles. Las Vegas is 150-175 miles from El Mirage if so inclined.
Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
10-04-2004, 10:43 PM
Scott, You are forgetting down town Adalanto and their great BarBQ. Edwards Airforce Base where they broke the sound barier. Scale Composits that just won the X prize and the home of the around the world flight, Voyager and Burt Rutan. There are also some great airplane junk yards and the El Mirage airport where they test the predatror. The west coast NASA center is just down the road. El Mirage is the birth place of the California Hot Rod. Ken Brocks son has gone over 300 miles per hour there in the dirt. More stars at night than I have seen anywhere but Bonniville. The Milky way looks Milky. There are a lot of gohst towns and abondoned mines just up the road near Randsberg. The high desert is a wonderful, magic place. Thank You, Vance
10-05-2004, 02:24 PM
Well, if we're counting Adelanto, you can't miss the chance to eat at Bravo Burgers. I wish that place was a chain so we could have one here! A Mexican grill that also serves many other kinds of food, and is open for breakfast at 6AM. I thought they were a little pricey until Todd and I realized that either one of our orders would have fed us both!
10-07-2004, 09:29 AM
Does anyone know if Ken Brock's Avion Ultralight is still around? I asked Marie about it at Bensen Days '01 and she said that he intended to get back to seeing if he could kit it and she told him that he shouldn't wait because he might never get the chance again. We all know what happened after that. I've attached a scanned picture of it out of an old mag article.
10-07-2004, 08:51 PM
I thought El Mirage was great also. The pilots were in the air often and it was SAFE. The workmanship on the gyros displayed has improved to a new level. I did see a couple of areas that in my opinion should be discussed. I noticed several gyros with numerous wires originating from the battery. I would like to suggest the owners think about incorporating a master relay and bus bar with circut breakers to isolate each item in case of a fire. I also saw some gyros that required pressure on the rudder pedals to take slack from the rudder cables. The problem I saw is the cables could easly be sucked into the prop, if pressure is released, causing damage or if done while flying-who knows what. I noted one gyro had the rudder cable on the left side rubbing a bolt for the motor support. Anyway, I hope this gives food for thought. See everyone next year Bob L.
10-07-2004, 10:40 PM
Paul, I have ate at Bravo Burgers, pretty good, but "the" place to get a burger is In-N-Out, only the tourist don't know to go there for a double-double. As far as things to do at El Mirage besides......get sunburned. fly, dirt bike ride, fly, shoot at things that don't have holes in it yet, fly,drive way faster than should be legal-legally(my Honda 650 dirtbike had a new best top speed of 115MPH this year),fly, explode things that need really big holes in it, fly, watch the shooting stars, fly at night with strobe lights on, meet some very interesting people(some of them on parole), oh and did I mention fly? I did see some lizards humping each other for entertainment this year, but I think they were just friends.....
Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
10-10-2004, 01:41 AM
Is In-N-Out named for its effect on your digestive process?
I saw signs at El Mirage that said fireworks were prohibited, and did not observe anyone using them or shooting at anything. I was very happy to see this. I'd hesitate to return and fly anywhere I might end up a substitute for a clay pigeon.
By the way, Todd's personal El Mirage ordeal should be over about now. His wounded trailer repaired, and his Dominator fitted with a replacement for the broken pod stiffenning bracket, he left Scappoose about 5:30pm Saturday for Spokane. Should have put him back home about midnight!
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