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My Wedding and Trikefest 2010 Report

By Dave Wallis, EAA 702659

Dave and Joan
Pilots Dave Wallis and Joan Dennis ready to wed

My main focus this year at Trikefest 2010, Cushing Field, Illinois, was getting a new Airborne SST wing mounted on my Airborne 912 trike. Airborne co-founderShane Duncan was in town and was very helpful in the installation. But getting married on Saturday at the fly-in somewhat kept me from my appointed picture-taking of all the fly-in attendees. The wedding vows had a humorous but still dignified aviation theme. Read more

My then-future wife Joan Dennis and I arrived Thursday afternoon to find at least five or six trikers had already arrived and set up camp. Denny Pearson and his wife, who had been camping there all week, had a new Streak 3 wing from Airborne Australia, and Shane Duncan of Airborne was setting it up and tuning it for him. We said hello to Darrel Smith of Michigan at his campsite and made our way to my hangar. My old wing was removed from the trike. Shane then installed a new extra heavy mast on my trike for the new SST wing.

Shane and Larry
Shane Duncan (facing away from camera) in a conversation with Larry Mednick of Revolution  Trikes.

On Friday my focus was on Shane Duncan installing the SST wing. Finally, in the mid afternoon Shane helped me assemble the wing and mount it on the trike. He took the trike for a test flight. But it was very windy, so he wasn't able to test and tune the wing properly. Later that evening, after I had left the airfield, I learned that a gust front had come through the area and upset Darrel Smith’s Rossi trike while several guys struggled to keep it from total destruction. We also were told there were some bent tubes in his wing but the trike was okay for the most part. A single-seat Air Creation Racer trike was also severely damaged during the passage of the gust front which was said to have been measured at 70 mph with a handheld wind meter.
On Saturday Joan and I arrived around 10 a.m. with food and cake for the trike feast and visited with new arrivals. There were many new arrivals by then, and I kept busy taking photos of everyone I could. Marlin Siebens was there with his rebuilt Quik trike which had an unfortunate accident at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh the year before and had been severely damaged.

Siebens Quik
Marlin Siebens shows off his rebuilt Quik trike.

The wedding was supposed to be at 1 p.m. just before the food was served. Unfortunately the storm from the previous night had snarled traffic in the Chicago metropolitan area, and our triker judge Bob Kowalski, who would be performing the wedding ceremony, was late as well as some of the family members. An hour late, the judge arrived, and the wedding ceremony took place in the tent/dining shelter in front of the old twin-engine airplane at Cushing Field.

Here comes the bride
Here comes the bride Joan Dennis. 

Judge Kowalski
Judge Kowalski begins the wedding ceremony.

Trike pilot Rod Knesper provided most of the food for about 200 people at the fly-in. Dave Patish contributed hot chicken wing appetizers. Jeff McDonald and Rod slaved over two large grills, cooking food in the summer heat. Other volunteers helped prepare the food and brought desserts and salads, and in my case, wedding cake.

After the food feast which took place right after the wedding, the bride taxied her FAR 103 powered parachute to the field and took off for a brief flight to celebrate the occasion. Then Shane Duncan tuned the SST wing for me, and I went up for an hour to become acquainted with the new wing which flew much like the Airborne Streak III on steroids. The air was filled with trikes that afternoon since the air was so calm and everyone wanted to enjoy the opportunity.

Soon trike pilot contests had commenced on the field and in the pattern at Cushing. As the sun set, the guest speaker, Don Cooney of Prowler trike fame, gave his slideshow talk on his Cambodia trike flying adventures.

On Sunday, having lost our landing place for the traditional fly-out to breakfast (Prairie Lakes Country Club had closed its runway), we flew to Sandwich Airport and was treated to a special Mexican-style breakfast by triker Alex Quintanella who has a hangar there. Afterwards it was time to say goodbye as people packed up or flew to Oshkosh or home.

Breakfast flyout
Sunday morning breakfast flight to Sandwich Airport

Thanks go to Mike Hudetz and his Cushing Field volunteers for all their hard work to make the annual Trikefest party happen and for allowing our wedding to take place at this event. And thanks to Shane Duncan of Airborne Australia for helping attendees with their trike wing tuning and other trike problems during the gathering. A special thanks to trike pilot Honorable Judge Bob Kowalski who officiated our special wedding ceremony.

Last but not least, many thanks to Bud and Patsy Cushing for letting their wonderful Cushing Field be a place where light-sport and ultralight pilots can enjoy their passion and find great camaraderie in a friendly atmosphere.

You can view all of the photos taken by Dave at Trikefest 2010 in this album. Included below (with permission) is the text of the wedding ceremony as written by Judge Bob Kowalski.

Pilots Marriage Ceremony
We are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the drawing together of two separate and very different pilots.

We have come so that this trike pilot Dave and this powered parachute pilot Joan may be joined in marriage.

To this moment, they bring with them their different takeoff techniques, stall speeds, and landing routines. While their checklists are different in many ways, their goal of getting into the air is the same.

This marriage is not to be entered into lightly, just because one party is a light-sport pilot and the other is an ultralight pilot, but with certainty, with respect, and with a sense of reverence, which does not preclude beauty, humor, and joy.

Love of marriage in flight can be one of the richest experiences that life has to offer a man and a woman. At its best, it broadens our sensitivities, reduces our selfishness, deepens our emotional capacities, and adds a dimension of meaning to our life.

To Man
Will you take this powered parachute pilot to be your wedded wife, to live together in the state of matrimony; to love her, comfort her, honor, obey, and keep her, in health and in sickness, in prosperity and adversity, for better or worse, even though she may fly slower than you, and forsaking all others, keep her unto yourself, so long as you both shall live.

To Woman
Will you take this triker to be your wedded husband, to live together in the state of matrimony; to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in health and sickness, in prosperity and adversity, for better or worse, even though he may fly faster than you and never let you forget it, and forsaking all others, keep him unto yourself, so long as you both shall live?

Husband: With this ring I thee wed.
Bride: With this ring I thee wed.

The rings that you have now exchanged should bind and hold your lives together. For a wedding ring has neither a beginning nor an end. It is the symbol of endless faith and trust; it is a symbol of love everlasting; it is not only a sustaining power in prosperity but also a comfort in time of need, ever to remind each of you of the solemn vows and obligations which you have this day taken and help you keep steadfast therein and faithful to the end. As you now join hands, may you always go hand in hand through life, loving and trusting in each other.

For as much as David and Joan have solemnly pledged themselves to live together in the holy bands of matrimony and have declared the same to each other before this company and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the constitution and laws of the state of Illinois, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Congratulations and best wishes.

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