View Full Version : El Mirage Circa 1990
03-30-2011, 12:56 PM
As I mentioned in my welcome mat thread, I recently ran across some old photos of my time at El Mirage in the early 1990s. Here are a few pictures.
This was the second iteration of my Bensen as the first with a direct drive stock VW would only get airborne in short hops on a warm day. This MAC 72 worked great until it seized when I was a few hundred feet in the air. It turns out my friend had not thoroughly mixed the oil and gas. Let's see, it had a Hall airspeed indicator, a single CHT gauge, and an engine RPM gauge = state of the art. Not to mention the Fred Flinstone brakes....
Once that engine seized, my gyro was set aside, and I got back into fixed wing. I ended up selling the gyro and trailer for something like $1600 and buying a Mooney M10 (Mooney's version of the Ercoupe).
Good memories - lots of fun.
03-30-2011, 03:45 PM
Cool pictures! I am guessing that 3rd picture with only one wheel on the ground was an on purpose situation? Otherwise that looks kind of like a scary landing. LOL
Isn't El Mirage an incredible place to go play and have fun? There just nothing else like it. Are you planning on being there this year?
03-30-2011, 05:42 PM
That third picture is cropped to remove part of a car dash that was in the way...I am at least 10 feet in the air there.
I had great times at El Mirage. I haven't been back since.
I probably won't got to El Mirage events as I can't get into another hobby and I have a Weak spot for gyros....
03-30-2011, 08:17 PM
Doug, That's a mirage you're seeing.
Mike, you can fly your plane out there during the fly-in,
03-30-2011, 11:56 PM
I am not sure I would fly my plane out there without driving the landing spot first. It may be different now, but I remember back then that there was debris, holes, and other concerns on that lakebed. I always drove the car or taxied the gyro to scope out a landing area....then there was that dirt that got everywhere...check out how dirty my gyro is in those pictures!
03-31-2011, 01:41 AM
We enjoy your pictures and experiences Mike. thanks.
03-31-2011, 06:43 AM
Was only at El Mirage one time. Unfortunately it was the day Russ Jansen hit the wires, and Ken Got hit with his own rotor, all within minutes. Our wives were right there, Sandy Menzie and Bernadine grounded Ron and I. The fun was over, it was soon 115 degrees, while we all waited for FAA to show. Waited from 7:AM till 5:PM. Jim Eich and Dick Wunderfulick was there too. June 1985 right after PRA Convention at Pasa Robles...
[It took over a year for Ken to be back to almost normal.]
03-31-2011, 02:04 PM
I remember a line of wood power poles and line near the eastern edge of the dry lakebed. Are those the power lines you mention?
03-31-2011, 10:51 PM
Probably are the wires near the Brock ranch, at the west side of the lake. All those poles and wires are still there at the east end, too.
Ed: How did the accident occur? Did you witness it?
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