This is a quick recap on my short time at Sun N Fun 2018.
As Sun N Fun was in full swing and I was stuck in my day job and not able to attend the whole event this year I was able to secure a few days off and received the invitation to come down and hang out with the Camp Radioactive group. This invitation came from my buddy and coworker Rob who has over the years have got to know this awesome group of guys and gals. I came with the hopes of seeking approval from them to join them in the future endeavors of running the radio station with them in the future Sun N Fun weeks and as I continue to build my podcast these are the people who I want to get to know and build awesome friendships with.
My trip started out on a Thursday afternoon after finishing my shift at the airlines, I caught the next flight out of dodge and started my adventure down to one of the best events of the year. I got into Tampa quite late and was picked up at the airport by Rob in his Ford Mustang Convertible that he gets every year when he is down there. We had a great night to have the top down and talk Sun N Fun and flying the whole way back to camp. When we arrived at camp we walked over the “Hangout” area where all the Camp Radioactive guys and gals were hanging out, I was introduced to everyone and just sat down and relaxed for a bit before we turned in for the evening.
The next morning as the sun was starting to rise I was waked by that sweet sound of airplanes arriving and heading up for practice over the Lakeland Florida Airport. It was between 6:15 and 6:30 am and Rob and I were up and ready to start the day but me being one who likes to travel light I did my best to make this trip out of a backpack and forgot to pack a towel so off to the store Rob and I go and I was able to get a towel and Rob and I a quick breakfast. After heading back to the camp cleaned up quick and I have to say the Sun N Fun campground has one well maintained and clean shower facility I was very impressed. After showering and brushing teeth headed back to camp changed and spent some time with the fellow campers for coffee and a good conversation.
The conversation ended with all of us filling our water bottles getting our backpacks and head off to the show. We started out at the vendor booths as when you come in from the campground you go right into the vendor exhibits and the setup and displays were amazing. Went straight to the Bose Aviation tent as we wanted to test out the new Bose Proflight Headset and check out the other Bose displays. We continued on to look at the AOPA, Sporty's, Gliem, Foreflight booths and so much more. We then headed over to the radio station and that's where I met the guys from the Stuck Mic Avcast and Aviation Careers Podcast. We spent some time at the radio station listening to the show and meeting all the great people there also, was able to refill the water bottles and plug in the electronics.
We then headed over to the FAA building and was hoping to get into the altitude chamber but due to me having a beard they said no as the mask would not make a good seal when I needed to put it on. So that was a bummer but I totally understand as I would rather be safe than sorry. We then headed down to check out the displays of aircraft that spread over the whole airport and really enjoyed the displays of aircraft there. There we every kind of aircraft you could imagine from vintage to warbirds to float planes to jets they had a little of everything. We then were walking up an appetite as the 86 degree sun was beating down on us we stopped and grabbed some hot dogs and a cold coke for me and Rob a lemonade LOL. As we ate we watched the aerobatic bonanza and a few others, we then headed down to the stands to watch the airshow that was about to begin and saw some great acts like Patty Wagstaff, Gene Saucy, Mike Goulian a great navy demonstration team and so much more.
After the airshow, we headed back to the radio station and collected our electronics went over grabbed some awesome donuts and then headed to the museum and check out the 727 that was converted into a classroom and conference room. The museum was awesome had some great aircraft in there and a beautiful wright flyer replica. There were cutouts of a variable pitch prop that you could spin the blades and see the hub move it was a cool place. I loved the piper jet that was out front that was the original and it was never put into production. As we wrapped up the day we headed to the beer tent and sat down with the guys and gals from the radio station and enjoyed some great beers and listened to great music as we watched more great airplanes boreholes in the sky. It was here that we sat with a great lady at the table who is a flight instructor and traveler, teacher and so much more but she shared some amazing stories with us and I was able to get her contact information and will have her on the show in the future as her stories will amaze all of you as it did us.
We ended our day back at camp for a large potluck cookout and shared aviation stories and had some training on charts and how they are made from one of our campers that works for the FAA in their charting office. This was a great event this year even though I was only able to be there for a day I was able to see a lot on that day. I do recommend that if the opportunity comes about and you are able to go to Sun N Fun you need to go and experience this amazing opportunity for yourself. I hope to see all of you down there next year or at the upcoming Oshkosh 2018.
Until next time Safe Flying.
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