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  • Ryszard Zadow

Flying the Worlds only VariViggen to OSH Cool Story #2

Rough River

I can’t to tell you how many people I talked to that week standing next to the VariViggen at OSH. It was so many by mid-week I was struggling to keep my voice, which is not good since each year I’m on EAA Radio and give two Forums. The VariViggen is a people magnet and there was always a crowd around it. Lots of friends came by and I made new friends every day.

After OSH the next big event for Canard people is the Rough River Canard Fly-in at Falls of Rough State Park in western Kentucky. This Fly-in has been ongoing uninterrupted for 35 years and I’ve attended almost all of them. I’m eternally grateful to the man who started it, and it turned out to also be one of my favorite episodes of people that stopped by the Viggen.

I’d just finished talking to a small group when a man walked right up and started a discussion about the Viggen and EZs in general. I could tell he was very familiar but more important he looked familiar. He seemed to know me, but I couldn’t place him. We started talking about people we knew in the Canard world which proved my hunch correct that he’d been around a while. He asked “How about that guy that started the Rough River fly-in”. I replied, “Arnie Ash.” And he corrected me saying Arnie had stared the Central States Canard Newsletter and that Rough River had initially been called the Central States Fly-in. My mind was digging through old memories. I hadn’t gotten the answer yet but I was getting close and replied “Then it was that retired police officer...” He grinned and said “That’s ME! “ I blurted out “BUZZ TALBOTT!!!, I thought you looked familiar.” We immediately went into the “how you doing, what have you been doing” conversation of old friends. He told me about his retirement and that his LongEZ is in the hands of one of his sons that’s a Coast Guard Pilot. The Coast Guard was giving him new orders so his younger son was going to get the airplane for a while. I was thrilled to hear that Buzz’s LongEZ was still flying and still in the family. Buzz eventually passed the torch for running the Rough River Fly-in. As mentioned I’m particular fond of the Rough River Canard Fly-in so last time the torch was passed I volunteered and it was passed to me. Here stood the span of generations of the Rough River fly-in, Buzz and me.

Prior to OSH our focus was getting Lady Vi there so I asked Pilots seeking canard transition training to wait until after OSH. This created a backlog which I started working on right when we got back. One of the names on that list was Skip Talbott, the son Buzz had mentioned was getting his LongEZ from his big brother. Skip and I got to fly and he did a wonderful job. Can’t wait to see Skip at Rough River with his Dads airplane. Two generations of Talbots at the legacy Fly-in his Dad started.

Rough River Canard Fly-in is such a staple event the State of Kentucky has it on their state park website. It’s always the last full weekend in September. This year that’s the 23rd to the 25th. Coming up fast, see you there!

Ryszard Zadow


Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience

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