2017 KR Gathering at Lee's Summit, MO (KLXT)

2017 KR Gathering at Lee's Summit, MO (KLXT)

These photos are simply in chronological order, because I'm a lazy scumbag!

The winds at Lee's Summit were pretty stiff on arrival day, and the north/south runway was closed, so five of us elected to land at nearby Warrensburg, where the wind was straight down their north/south runway, although gusting higher than we would have liked. Several other KRs elected to land at Lee's Summit in the crosswind, but they were all tri-gear planes except for Jeff Scott...a seasoned veteran of high crosswinds.

Early the next morning, before the winds and gusts worsened, we made the quick flight over. Thanks to John Bouyea for driving us over way before sunrise!

On Friday, there were 9 KRs on the field, with Mike Sylvester making it 10 KRs on Saturday morning:

  • Rob Schmitt
  • Robert Pesak
  • Terry Chizek
  • Kim Neibauer
  • Larry Flesner
  • Roger Bulla
  • Jeff Scott
  • Mark Langford
  • John Patterson (N808BS)
  • Mike Sylvester

    Since the KR Gathering is mostly about the airplanes, I took a few photos to show off the ten airplanes and some of their features.

    Here's Roger's carburetor intake, which appears to be a low drag affair, with a conical K&N filter just behind the round cap in the middle.

    Note the trailing edge fairing on the gear legs...

    ...and the access plug for tire checking and filling without having to remove the whole wheel pant.

    That's a short tailspring!

    Robert Pesak checks out Jeff Scott's KR2S...and probably the carbon fiber spinner.

    Jeff's LED landing light.

    Note leading edge tape.

    Jeff's tailwheel installation. This extra height at the back improves visibility over the cowl.

    Terry Chizek's KR2.

    Robert Pesak's KR2S. This plane has a lot of innovations, such as a one-piece wing that attaches from below the fuselage, and a nose gear based on the GP4 design.

    Interior view of Pesak's plane.

    Mike Arnold debates planetary formation theory with Norwegian Kolbjoern Seth. Kolbjoern definitely won "farthest distance travelled" although not in a KR.

    A crowd looks on as Larry Flesner "takes it all off" in preparation for judging.

    John Patterson arrives in his KR2S from Jacksonville.

    Rob Schmitt gave a presentation on the various EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) apps, pluses, minuses, cost, etc.

    The free Avare app had the most followers, with iFly second, I'd say.

    Dean Choitz discussing Robert's panel.

    This is an Ellison "on top" installation found on a nearby project for sale. I took the picture to show how simple the intake manifold can be on top.

    Vortex generators on Terry's plane.

    The interior of Terry's KR2. Note the fuel gauge (the window to the right of center), which is very easy to read.

    Aerodynamic door latch.

    Kim Neibauer and Daniel Wagner discuss Kim's KR2S.

    Larry Flesner's newly rebuilt O-200 engine. He had something like 2300 hours on it, and when he tore it down, most of it showed little sign of wear.

    This one had to be a close runner-up for "best firewall forward".

    Pesak's interior.

    Even "perfect" airplanes need trim tabs.

    2.25" transponder is a Becker.

    Kim Neibauer's interior.

    John Patterson's KR2S.

    John's interior.

    Here was an opportunity to study the nose gear self-centering arrangement.

    Rob Schmitt's KR2.

    Rob's interior and panel.

    Pesak gave a lot of rides, and left a lot of smiles afterwards.

    Larry Howell dishes out some of Bob Glidden's stuff, as Gwen looks on.

    Ray Fuenzalida, Pete Klapp, and Dennis Dyer.

    Rob gave some rides also.

    Mike Sylvester landing in the early morning on Saturday.

    Jeff Scott.

    Robert didn't get a ticket...the cop was a 172 pilot!

    N891JF's engine installation.

    Another happy camper in a KR, trying on the KR2 bubble canopy and seating arrangement to make sure he fits!

    Kit Lindsey, the EAA Homebuilder judge, talks business with Paul Visk. This guy is one of the judges at OSH, so he was definitely impartial, and thorough! He spent three hours looking at 10 airplanes.

    Roger's VW installation.

    Kit and the local KC FAA FSDO guy.

    Griff gave a composite forum.

    Roger's VW installation.

    Roger's interior, with extra fuel!

    Mark Langford's N891JF interior. Tablet is an ebay Samsung tablet running iFly software, and connected to Stratux ADS-b (on the floor, right side).

    Terry Chizek's interior.

    Note fuel gauge. It leaves no doubt about how much fuel is in the tank!

    Another view of Pesak's KR2S.

    Pesak's O-200 engine compartment. Note aluminum plenums and oil cooler installation.

    Mike Sylvester's O-200.

    Note the careful attention to sealing the prop hub against outside air leaks.

    Mike's interior and panel. His choice of round gauges for airspeed and altimeter are good ones, I think. It's a lot easier to "gauge" level altitude with a round gauge than with a digital or "tape" indication.

    Mike's plane exterior. His aft deck is removable.

    Kim Neibauer's interior. The GPS tablet is temporarily removed. The shoes remind me of how Troy Petteway flies...with no shoes at all!

    Kim's KR is a very nice plane.

    Revmaster 2180, I'm guessing.

    This is a pretty big alternator.

    Larry Flesner's KR2S. If it looks like it's on steroids, it is! He's 6'-4', so the canopy is a bit tall, and the gear legs are an extra 6" long. The fuselage is 24" longer than the KR2 plans called for, which is 8" longer than the KR2S plans call for. One nice thing about the KR series is that the plans are so vague, you feel free to alter the dimensions, and "anything goes" above the longerons.

    Larry's interior and panel.

    Jeff Scott's interior.

    Jeff's O-200. Note the gorgeous carbon fiber spinner Jeff made.

    Jeff's plane was stretched before the KR2S was official, like Larry Flesner's.

    John Patterson's KR2S.

    Rob Schmitt's KR2S.

    Rob's Revmaster engine.

    Rob's interior.

    This immaculate Thunderbird is owned and was restored by Kit Lindsay, who judged the KRs for awards. I'd say he has a good eye for detail!

    Griff Pickett goes into the finer points of proper micro consistency in his composite demo.

    Jeff Edwards gave a great presentation on safety. He used the Lancair safety problem and solutions with the KR group, with the goal of us learning that we can reduce incidents and accidents through better training and information sharing.

    After hearing the story of how the Lancair group was able to substantially reduce their accident rates, it became obvious that the KR group should be able to do the same.

    This is how Jeff arrived and departed. He intimated that it burns a gallon of jet fuel per minute!

    More KR flying after the presentation, and before the Saturday night "banquet".

    The first award was to Kim Neibauer, who travelled a few miles farther than his Colorado flying buddy, Roger. Roger took it quite well, as he had been expecting it, despite appearances in this picture.

    Mike Sylvester won Best Paint.

    And Robert Pesak swept the rest, including Firewall Forward, Best Interior, Best of Show, and People's Choice. In addition to four awards, he also carried home $200 in gift certificates from Aircraft Spruce for "Best Judged" and "Peoples Choice" awards. Thanks for the support, Aircraft Spruce.

    Marc Baca made a pitch for the next Gathering to be held at Chino, CA, but a vote under "Rob's Rules of Order" proved an overwhelming Mount Vernon vote. This one will be a "hostless Gathering", although it was pitched by Larry Howell (right) and Chris Collins (MVN airport manager) had volunteered to "do whatever it takes" to have it at MVN in 2018.

    Mike and Robert were the two big winners.

    Early Sunday morning, everybody headed for home. Here's a great picture of Mike Sylvester's plane shortly after takeoff, taken by John Bouyea, from a Cessna 172 that Paul Visk was flying. We were going to tag up for a photo shoot, but as you can see, it was pretty hazy, and with several of us flying around trying to hook up, Mike just happened to climb out right next to Paul and John, and a great photo resulted! Thanks to Larry Howell for providing the camera.

    Thanks a lot for another great Gathering Rob!

    See y'all next year at Mount Vernon, Illinois(KMVN), in early September, 2018.

    Visit the KR Gathering website to see the 2016 KR Gathering photos, as well as other KR Gatherings.

    - Mark Langford

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