Even though this is Annie’s home county, it’s still on our list and we still sought out an opportunity to visit and do some fun things.
On Friday, July 8th we headed up to Angola Indiana to watch the Angola Balloons Aloft event.
This was our first family flight since receiving my instrument rating back in June. I took advantage of that fact, filed and instrument flight plan, and we left just after noon on Friday. Unfortunately the battery in the plane has been giving some fits, so we were a little delayed in leaving on account of having to hookup the battery charger to get the thing to start.
Alas, we headed north for the 75 minute flight at 7,000 feet cruise altitude.
We got to Angola around 2pm, where Annie’s dad was waiting for us at the airport. Thanks to some lucky pre-arrangements, the airport got us a T-hangar to use for the weekend, so we could park the plane away instead of on the open ramp area where it would normally go.
This is a nicety, especially during an airshow event like this, because there are so many people around and plenty of folks want to see your airplane up close, put their kids on the wings for pictures, etc. Being able to tuck it away in a hangar was fantastic.
So we taxied, got it put away, and dropped her dad back off at work to finish out his afternoon. We went to their house and relaxed a bit and planned for the evening. The evening’s events were a balloon launch at 7:30pm, and a balloon glow at 9pm. We all got in the car around 6:30 and headed out back to the airport to find a place to setup chairs and blankets for the event.
It was pretty crowded, all in all. There were a lot of food vendors, an emcee calling the event, and lots of little things about for the kids to do. Isaac got to play with a firetruck.
After a bit of delay, the balloon teams all spread out across the airport area (around the main runway and taxiway), and then started lighting up.
All in all, there were 25 balloons there that lit up and took off. By the time they were all up and gone, it was about 8:30pm.
Due to how late it was (for the kid), and the level of crowds, we decided to pack it up for the night and skip the balloon glow. They would be repeating the same event again on Saturday, so we figured we would go back the next day if we wanted to.
The next morning I developed a pretty bad cold, and wasn’t really feeling like doing much. So we loafed around for the most part, but we did manage to make it to the local Friendship Park.
What’s interesting about this park is that Annie’s grandfather was part of the crew who helped to build it.
We didn’t make it back to the airport on Saturday – I was just not feeling up to it, and it was pretty hot out overall to make things even worse. Instead, we headed up to the Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall Michigan for dinner and beers. Delicious, though I wasn’t really up for much drinking due to my congestion!
We packed up the next morning, headed to the airport, and got things ready.
We pulled the plane out of the hangar, and found it again wouldn’t start. With no jumper cables in the car, we had to drive across the airport to track someone down. Got that done, came back, jumped the plane, still with no luck. I found that the jumper cables we borrowed weren’t any good – they were too worn out and weren’t making connection.
I found another set, back to the plane again, jumped and got it started. Then I taxied over to the fuel area to get filled up, and we loaded the plane up. Taxied to the end of the runway, and had to wait for another plane that was landing:
He was really high on his landing. At the point he is in the picture, he should have already been on the ground. Alas, he got down safely, and as soon as he departed the runway we took off.
The ride home was mostly uneventful. I always love flying up to Angola because the controllers at Fort Wayne are just so nice and pleasant, particularly in comparison to other sectors (Indianapolis, I’m looking at you).
A fun weekend had by all, save for the summer cold I picked up and then subsequently infected a handful of people, Annie and Isaac included. It’s almost two weeks later and I’m still mildly congested.