While the fabric is repaired beautifully, today dawned without a test flight on the plane. (Definition of overtime: trading time for money that you don't have time to spend.) The thunderstorms last night left low ceilings this morning, which didn't lift enough to meet my personal minimums until noon, so it was already hours past the time I wanted to leave before I got a chance to go. That was when I found my battery was dead, my radio's battery wasn't holding a charge, and the pilot was uncomfortable with hopping in the plane and going cross - country without some serious time making sure the plane was okay. Any one of these things could be easily overcome, but all together I just wasn't feeling good about it.
So we drove down in the car. There are two Taylorcrafts at this fly-in, both gorgeous, and more planes all over the ramp and grass, with a hangar full of people having a great time. It's rather strange; I'm used to being one of two or three lady pilots in the room. A hangar where the ratio is more like 60:40 women to men, and almost all pilots, is a little overwhelming... not bad, but overwhelming.
I packed my headsest, hoping I could bum a ride for Calmer Half or myself - not expecting, just hoping. Well, not only did I get offered a ride, I've been offered left seat by another Tcrate owner who's out for the count tomorrow. The plane is just post annual, barely four hours on the brand new engine, beautiful interior, what I felt of her handling today was dreamily smooth. (Roller bearing pulleys just went on my "must get when redoing the fuselage" list!) His wife wants to go on the poker run, but wants someone to fly with her...
Tomorrow I shall get into the plane and repeat a prayer as old as humanity, and as utterly sincere as the first time it was uttered by a man with a sharp stone on the end of a stick staring at a woolly mammoth: "Please, God, don't let me #$@* this up." For I have surely wished for a crust of bread and been given a banquet!