The First Annual Lone Star Maule Roundup was held at the Llano Municipal Airport (KAQO) in beautiful Llano, Texas on May 10 – 12, 2013. Llano is situated in the heart of the hill country right on the Llano river. Although the weather forecast was “iffy” at best, it turned out absolutely beautiful for Saturday & Sunday. We did receive some rain on Friday but the storm passed through quickly and then subsided.
Over the course of the weekend, planes came in from all over Texas plus individuals from Mexico, Arizona & Colorado. A total of 24 Maules showed up for the event plus 11 additional non-maule aircraft not counting the local Llano planes. Several planes came in Friday with the majority flying in on Saturday. Some 52 pilots/friends flew or drove in for the event plus all of the local Llano area pilots & community attendees. Approximately 18 people spent Saturday night camping at the airport and flew out Sunday.
The guest of honor was Brent Maule from Maule Air, Inc., Moultrie, GA. Brent had a wonderful time visiting with Maule owners and watching what Maule pilots really do with the airplanes that the Maule family builds. He was so encouraged and excited about the turnout that he now wants to have a Homecoming Fly-in Event in Moultrie, GA at the factory. Plans are underway…
The attendees enjoyed a catered BBQ lunch on Saturday sponsored by Ken Rostron with Hill County Asset Management Services. The Airport, Llano Chamber of Commerce, Cooper’s BBQ, Maule Air, Inc. and a few other local businesses provided items for a free raffle for all Maule pilots. The event planners sold T-Shirts and Caps with $200 of the profits going back to the pilots in the form of $100 fuel drawings. Cade Isham from Decatur, TX and Rob Cathriner from Frisco, TX were the winners. Rich Wellner (rw2 on www.mauleforum.org “the forum”), won the longest flight to the Roundup. He flew almost 12 hours from San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (just North of Mexico City) to attend the event.
By mid-afternoon Saturday, the flying competition was underway. 10 aircraft entered the round robin competition including the Flour Drop (from 200’ AGL), the Spot Landing Contest, and the Shortest Landing. Three planes entered the pattern at the same time (4 on the last group) and each had 2 attempts at the Flour Drop, 2 attempts at the Spot Landing Contest, and the final leg was the Shortest Landing Contest. David Beaver (beaver on the forum) in his M7-260 won the Flour Drop. Ross McCrea (DirtDobber on the forum) in his M5-235 won the Spot Landing Contest and Patrick Ramano (usernameguy on the forum) won the Shortest Landing Competition. Thanks to Maule Air, Inc., RL Motorcycles – RL Aviation, and NRS World for providing the prizes. There were multiple photographers and videographers on hand to capture all the fun.
Most pilots drove into Llano for dinner Saturday and a few stayed back and cooked on-site. Following dinner, everyone gathered under the registration tent at the FBO and enjoyed the fellowship and shared stories about the days events. Then it was time for Movie Night. During the day, Rich Wellner, the Maule owner from Mexico, gathered up the media (film & photos) from the pilots and worked on a mini-video that was shown in a large hangar after dinner. It was an awesome video but only a glimpse of the final video recap of the First Annual Lone Star Maule Roundup. (see final video link below).
A special thanks goes to Patti Zinsmeyer, Executive Director of the Llano Chamber of Commerce (and her husband Charlie), Llano Larry and Runway Roy, the Llano Airport Staff, the entire Llano Airport Advisory Board, Jeff Hopf, owner of Jeff Hopf State Farm Insurance and the Lone Star Inn for providing hotel rooms Saturday night, and the Llano community for welcoming this event to their city.
The event planners (Andrew Kudlacek, Charlie Pace, and Russell Armstrong) were extremely impressed by the hospitality of the entire Llano Airport Community and area businesses and made the decision to make Llano the permanent home of the Lone Star Maule Roundup. The 3200’ grass strip (that is also 300’ wide) was in fantastic shape and perfect for camping and flying.
The planners have already started thinking about ideas for next years event and we encourage you to pass along your thoughts & recommendations. We want the Lone Star Maule Roundup to be one of the premier flying events in Texas!
Next years Lone Star Maule Roundup will be held May 2 – 4, 2014. Mark your calendar and don’t miss the next roundup. It will ALWAYS be the 1st weekend in MAY. See you in 2014 !