The flight towards Paradise City Sun’nFun was a straight line flight north from Arcadia, except for a small deviation east when a rain shower was seen ahead. A diversion to Wauchula almost took place, joining downwind for the airport. However from this location a way around the shower was obvious.
Arrival into Paradise City at Sun ‘n Fun it was…quiet. Traffic wise anyway. Just the BZIM making the low level 500ft join to the downwind, 400ft turning base over the BP garage and finals to 27. The green flag flying was noted on roll-out, so all good (?). Perhaps not, as a couple of marshaller’s come tearing over to the BZIM.
Whilst en-route the airfield had gone IFR!
Nothing of ‘concern’ was heard listening out on the Paridise City frequency! Confusion continued about where the BZIM would be staying, but eventually the BZIM was moved outside the air-side area to allow camping under the wing to take place.
After parking the BZIM and speaking to a number of staff about my trip, the rain started. There was no time to lower the wing and waterproof the trikes contents. One side of the wing was tied down, into wind, and I remained with the BZIM to hold it steady. The rain turned into a storm. Winds speeds increased and the wind direction changed. I moved the trike around, following the wind, holding the wing down tight. Then the lightning!
So, SunNFun wasn’t living up to it’s name. No Sun and definitely not fun. On two occasions an electric shock was felt, whilst holding the wing. First time holding the wing wires (metal), second time holding a wing baton (plastic). Crackling in the air was heard directly overhead the second time.
As the rain eased, fellow trike pilot Doug Boyle from Piedmont Aerosports arrived with his trailer-ed trike. Doug was kind enough to offer shelter in his camper and we both went for a bite to eat.
SunNFun is the huge fly-in that takes place every year at Lakeland Regional airport. Lots of flying and aircraft to be seen, with vendors selling everything aviation related. Also unusually(?), a wedding! A wedding between Amy and Larry Mednick, owners of Evolution Trikes, whom built the Revo and Revolt trikes took place on Tuesday evening.
Also on Tuesday evening, the Uncontrolled Airspace Podcast (UCAP) broadcasts on SunNFun radio.