Jun 15, 2017 – In the three days prior to the scheduled UFO Meeting at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport (KMFD), the Midwest experienced WX (thunderstorms, heavy rain & tornado winds). On the day of the Event, 12 UFO members hopeful of flying-in, were presented with forecasts calling for more of the same. Independent decision-making by all decided not to fly-in. Nevertheless, 24 members & 5 guests from Ohio (Mansfield, Toledo, Painesville, Cambridge, Dayton) & Pennsylvania (Freedom) did choose to drive-in. All arrived on time at Jim Gorman’s magnificent hangar.
After signing in, members had the opportunity to socialize, talk airplanes & inspect the pristine stable of aircraft owned & cared for by our Hosts. The Beech Stagger Wing stands out as a top ten all-time favorites of many aviation aficionados. A rare Buhl (Bullpup), a single place light sport plane of the 1930’s was interesting. Rounding out the collection of aircraft bedded down in this hangar was a clean V-Tail Bonanza.
In Sync with the planned schedule, a complementary box lunch & beverages were served. We then shuttled over to tour the Ohio Air National Guard Base, Home of the 179th Airlift Group, “The Nation’s outstanding C-130 unit”. There, we entered the main auditorium, briefed on the unit’s history and current mission, walked through the flight simulator arena and then proceeded out to the flight line to view & inspect the C-130 aircraft. Simultaneously and with perfect timing, we witnessed a two-ship fly-over & landing.
Rounding out the afternoon events, we were escorted to the GORMON-RUPP NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS & PUMP WORKS. There we were told of their history, products, world–wide operations & customers. We finished up the day with a golf cart caravan tour through the immense manufacturing facilities.
Throughout the day, ceilings raised, skies cleared & winds calmed. It made for a delightful drive home, ending another blue-sky UFO experience. A resounding THANK YOU to our gracious UFO HOSTS, Jim Gorman & his Helpers, The Ohio Air National Guard, & The GORMAN-RUPP Corporation for a day to be remembered as the best of the best.