November 11,2020. This was a special day for our collective group, as it was the observation of Veterans Day in the United States. The morning began with a cross country from our landing area to a High School football field 32 miles to the south. Although the length of the cross country may have been short, it was punctuated by a tight landing zone of a football field that was surrounded by light poles and stadium seats along the sidelines. A neighboring charter school was in attendance to see our arrival and revel in the beauty of our amazing sport. As with any cross country with a large group of pilots, this flight would also have one pilot run out of fuel as he spent a lot of time loitering over the camp area waiting on the other pilots to get airborne. Fortunately, our stranded pilot made an expert landing right next to a major highway just two miles from the destination. His recovery was simple, and his actions were textbook perfect on what to do if you have to land out of your planned destination.
At the completion of the flight to the high school, we gathered up all our vehicles and moved approximately two hours south to the low, dry desert of southern Arizona. We regrouped at the Ak Chin Airport, south of Phoenix. This field was a tremendous change from Sedona. Although not as picturesque, we found it to be a great location to fly from. The local pilots have done an amazing job of cleaning and manicuring the launch area of this airfield. The excitement of a lower density altitude, easier launch area, and warmer temperatures was palpable as everyone hurried to get their gear ready for the late afternoon flying sessions.