SUNSTATE ????

Eric and Callie Bruce along with Scott Lewis and several others have been organizing it for several years now.
Awesome people.
 
Still have a Sun State decal on Blue, saved from our old Hornet and when I belonged, and you gave it the airworthiness at a Bensen Days.
 
Has Sunstate disbanded?

How are Eric and Callie doing? I haven't heard anything since August.

Jim
 
Certainly hope they are well. That was a very unfortunate thing that happened to some very good people.
 
Eric was involved in a crash at AirVenture and there may be some trouble from the aftermath.
 
Sunstate Rotor Club was changed to Sunstate Wing&Rotor Club in the mid 90's. We became a chapter of the EAA which gave us access to insurance for our events especially Bensen Days.

A few years ago after the Club being drained of funds by previous leadership we faced not having Bensen Days. Scott Lewis was chosen to become President and he turned the event around. It was very successful. He was then elected to PRA president.

Gabor was elected it and organized one of two BD's. Then Jake was elected. He did one good event and quit in the middle of the second one. We finished the event with the help of the old guard. Bud took over once again finishing the event. He didn't want to do what had been thrust upon him after giving so many selfless years to it. He reached out to many to see if he could get anyone to take it over. No one was Intersted. He decided time to let it go. He closed the account and donated the funds to Chris Lord's family. He dissolved the corporation..

When it came time to talk about the next Bensen Days no one realized what happened. Dad and Scott contacted Bud they were told Sunstate didn't exist and no funds were left to put it on anyway.

Scott decided to make Bensen Days it's own organization. This would be the only event held as a group in Florida. He provided the funds that year to get it going and new organization paid him back out of the proceeds the event generated. Since then he, Eric and Callie Bruce have made it again a very successful event. Like all segments of Avaition it has suffered and become much smaller. It is still the premier gyro event in the US. I doubt we will ever see 130 gyros like we did in the 80's and 90's but it's still the largest gathering of gyros..

Scott and the Bruce's along with countless volunteers keep Bensen Days alive. Sunstate is only a fond memory of my gyro family. I have tons of stuff Bud sent me collected by him over the years. Everything from the "Charmin Award", the politically incorrect "Polish Seat Belt Award" in honor of Bill Tarpley..I have tons of pictures old news letters. Hope to see yall at the event next year.
 
I don’t remember the Tarpley seat belt award. I remember Bill taking off when he forgot to fasten his seatbelt, so I expect the award had to do with that event. I also remember the Maxine award. It was a Mac engine made from cans and junk. The Maxine was awarded to the last person to crash his gyro and he had to add something to the engine and pass it on the next year to the next person to crash a gyrocopter. Back then, it was common to have a crash landing due to a “Mac Attack” as the Mac engines were so unreliable. The crashes were seldom fatal but we damaged a lot of Benson copters.
 
Phil the Tarpley award was made because he routinely crashed and survived. It was the replacement for Maxine after she was retired.

Dad told Bill a joke about a seat belt a polish person would put in. He told him it was a two inch trailer ball in the middle of the seat. You sat on it and the more scared you got the more you were pulled by your Anus down on the seat. Tarpley built a tail dragger ultralight gyro. It had a boat seat with a ball mounted in the seat. People would stop look at that and try to figure it out. Of course Bill was not politically correct and would tell the joke. I don't remember one person being offended. This was in the early 90's before the world changed with such things being unacceptable.

The ultralight never flew. If I remember he wrecked it. Bud and dad had the idea for the award and a plack with a trailer ball was given out to him with his name being the first awarded it. Then the award was discussed on the old forum. One of our beloved friends Ken from Sandyego was offended because of his heritage. The club decided to retire it. It was replaced by the Charmin award.
 
BENSEN DAYS 2024
No campsite reservations available yet ..."awaiting an answer from Wauchula City!" ...hope they open on Jan 1 - like usual!
I'm ready to BOOK!
 
Thank you for the update. WOW! a lot has changed while I was preoccupied here at home. Some of the Bensen Days hosts made me feel very welcome and made it worth the drive down to say hello to old friends and attend the PRA board meeting. In later years, I felt I was offering a service to those in need of an airworthiness Certificate and waived my normal fees for travel. I was told that I would have to pay a fee for certifying aircraft on the airport, even in the applicant's hangar, during the fly-in. Not only that, the guy demanding the fee scammed me out of several hundred dollars. I quit coming down at that point. I loved the morons and non-morons and always had a good time at BDs. I had been coming down since the 1970's, but the scammer and huckster have kept me away.
 
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