As you can see, I had many people around my gyro and several people asking me all different kinds of questions constantly. The picture was just a snapshot of time, but the crowd around my gyroplane lasted all day long. There were several unique aircraft that flew in; in fact, a P-40 Warhawk arrived around noon. I had to go get a closer look at that bird – it was painted up like a “Flying Tiger”. I was over there looking at the P-40 with a few other people when I looked back at my gyro – I couldn’t believe the number of people still crowded around it looking at it – even with a P-40 Warhawk sitting 50 yards away from it.
I was the last aircraft to leave the pad, it’s a good thing that I didn’t have far to go. I was completely worn out from standing for hours on the concrete and talking to everyone who wanted to know more about my “little helicopter”. Only a handful of people knew that it was a gyroplane. I’m in the picture, though hard to pick out. I’m the one in a sleeveless shirt and shorts with a yellow hat on. It was a warm day. There’s a young man standing in front of me with a red shirt on.
The reason my gyro ended up on the cover of the “New Ulm Journal” newspaper was that that’s where there was a crowd of people. The caption under the picture doesn’t explain the picture, it just talks about the “Lions Club Pancake Breakfast Fly-in”. Several more pictures with my gyro in them ended up on the “Journal’s” website. Everyone I spoke to was fascinated with the gyroplane. I had a small poster of the PRA Chapter 17 Rotorcraft Club on an easel next to the gyro and several people expressed some interest.
That day in September was a lot of fun and a great place to promote gyroplanes. It was especially satisfying to talk to the younger people and peek their interest. I look forward to more fly-ins next summer.