Every year the Sierra Rotorcraft club had fly-in meetings at various locations around the Northern California Area. A number of the club members decided to fly to the Orland, CA. meet in our helicopters while our wives or friends drove our motor homes instead of the usual hauling the ships up on trailers. Dan VanDuesen was flying around 150 miles from Livermore, CA to Orland. Nathan's trip was around 100 miles from Clear Lake, CA and mine was 104 miles from Vacaville, CA to the fly-in. We really flew our little ships a lot and that was with the single ignition which was all that was available at that time.

Dan VanDuesen, Nathan Fronsman, and I all decided to meet up in Williams, CA at a restaurant called Orv's Country Kitchen (no relation). We had prior permission to park in the empty lot adjacent to the diner but what we did not know was that this is also where the big rigs would turn around and park. The ground was covered with a layer of fine dust. Dan Landed at my home heliport and refueled then from there we flew together to Williams. Dan landed first and took the only Gravel area with no problems . Nathan landed right after Dan in a cloud of dust. When Nathan was on the ground I figured that he had blown most of the loose dust away but when I came in there was still plenty to share with the surrounding neighborhood.

After Lunch we all went to our ships and Dan said that he wanted to lift off first so that we would not get his ship dirty when we stirred up the dust. In the first two photos you can see Dan lifting off without dust while Nathan and I spun up our rotors.
In the above photo Nathan is lifting and heading out. I sure hated having my ship eat all of that dust but, they are helicopters and we do get them into dusty conditions. When the dust thinned out a bit Nathan picked up and joined Dan in the air.
I waited for a bit until I had blown most of the loose dust away before lifting. We then all joined up and flew the next 60 miles to Orland.
Above is a photo taken from Dan's ship of your truly heading for Orland.

At our meet we had a number of helicopter games that we played. In the photo below I am piloting Dan's ship as he is playing bartender. The way we played the game was there were three empty heavy glass mugs lined up in a row. The passenger was given a measured amount of water in a plastic pitcher and then the pilot fired up an lifted off. The idea was for the pilot to hover to within reach of each mug at the directions of the passenger. The passenger would then attempt to pour the contents of the pitcher into each mug in succession as he/she guided the helicopter as close to the ground as possible without touching a skid (lost point, you know). The helicopter games that we played were safe when played by the rules and no one was ever hurt during any of them. Quite often members of the public would hear that there were up to 30 home built helicopters in one place and came out to watch us play.

In this game the pilot had to fly by the "bartenders" verbal commands and the "bartender" had to lean out of the helicopter to pour the water. It was a lot of fun and it was not as easy as it sounds. The rotor down wash made it very difficult for the water to hit the mug, and most of it would splatter all over the asphalt. When the pitcher was empty, the pilot would hover the helicopter back to the parking area and land. One of the club members would then pour the contents of the three mugs into a measuring cup and determine the amount of water that was successfully transferred from the pitcher to the mugs.

The pilot also had to compensate for the weight shift as the passenger leaned out.

The winning team would get a nice trophy and the accolades of the group at the Saturday night awards banquet.