Report by Don Thomson
Pics by Don Thomson and George Stanley


The 16th Independence Swift Fly-in got underway on Thursday, the 3rd of July
with the early arrivals of Jim "Doogie" Robison and Tom "Sleepy" Numelin.
Both braved the smoke and haze from the numerous California wild fires to
fly from the San Francisco bay area to Independence.  The good news was the
20 knot tailwind they enjoyed, made the dense smoke and 1-2 mile visibility a
little easier to bear.

The Diamond Point Air Force

Shortly after they touched down, the first group of "Diamond Pointers"
arrived from the north.  Gerry Mahoney, Gary Eklund and John Johnson
also had their share of weather, but it came in the form of fog and low
ceilings in Washington's San Juan Islands.  After checking into their hotels,
the group gathered at a local Texas Bar-B-Q restaurant for dinner before
returning to Don & Annie Thomsonís house for drinks and desserts.
Our thanks go out to each of these intrepid pilots for braving the elements
to get here and then for volunteering to "field test" the beer, wine and liquor
before the rest of the Swifters arrived.

John & Gay Northy

Fridayís weather was clear and the winds were light at independence, but again,
the weather to the north and south presented problems.  Ultimately, we had 23
Swifts arrive and tie down on the ramp at 7S5.   Many attended the pancake
breakfast provided by the Polk County Fire District, and the Independence
Day parade presented by the City.

Dick & Jeannie Collins

The usual logistical problems of ground transportation to the motel were rectified
by a 15-passenger rental van assigned to our trusted chauffer, "Doc" Mahoney.
Ultimately 45 Swifters and friends ended up back at the Thomsonís for pre-dinner
cocktails, and then an air assault on "The Great Wall" Chinese buffet.  Home made
blue berry cobbler and cream cheese ice cream were on the menu for dessert back
at the Thomson's.  Our own Sam Klippert and several others from Diamond Point
have joined together in a musical group called "The Final Approach" and have
released their first CD (First Flight).  Sam distributed copies of the release during
the weekend.   Many thanks also go out to the "kitchen help", Susie Johnson,
Jean Takahashi, Becki Bernard and Karen Brandtmyer. 

Scott & Sandy Naumann

The group returned back to the ramp at Independence to Watch 45 minutes
of fireworks presented by the City of Independence.  The warm weather and
clear visibility were perfect for the evening as we wound down, enjoying our
drinks and the company of Swifters and friends.

Don Bartholomew (left) and Gerry Hampton (right)

Saturday's fly-out was to the see the new attractions at the Evergreen Air & Space
Museum in McMinnville (MMV).  The museum is right across the street from the
airport, and Evergreen provided us vans for transportation.  They have recently
opened the Imax 3-D theater, and the new space museum where they have on
display a Titan III missile from the silos of Kentucky.  From all accounts, the news
attractions were worth the price of admission.  The 3-D movie on the space station
was simply amazing.  Stop by and see for yourself if you have the chance.

George & Katie Stanley

Saturday night's dinner was an old fashioned bar-b-q at the Thomson's house.
Doogie Robison handled the grill duties and masterfully cooked over 100 gourmet
sausages.  We added fresh baked buns, roasted bell peppers & onions, macaroni
salad, green salads, cold slaw, sliced tomatoes with olive oil dressing & fresh corn &
basil, and all the condiments you could imagine.  Dessert was homemade Italian
Pavlova.  We counted 65 for dinner on Saturday night, including Swifters, local pilots
from Independence, family and friends who have joined us every year since we started
hosting these fly-ins.  The general mode was quite festive and it was great seeing
everyone reconnect with Swifters that hadnít seen since last year or longer.

Tom Numelin's Swift...

For more of Don's pics from the fly-in go to: