Bluegrass gathering for International Cessna 195 Club

Story and Photos By KEVIN GARRISON

Low ceilings, wet-gusty weather and cool temps did not keep dozens of beautiful Cessna 195s and their owners from flying to Frankfort, Kentucky, for their 42nd yearly gathering on the last weekend of September.

Nothing sounds quite like a round engine. Capital City Airport (FFT) was bathed in the deep rumbling sounds of the radials powering the 195s as the swarmed the skies over Frankfort.

Formations of aircraft flew by, piloted by the most talented and knowledgeable experts on this classic. They gathered in the capital city of Kentucky for a weekend of touring, flying, eating, advising and enjoying each other’s company.

Thursday’s plan was to fly out to Silo Field, a gorgeous grass airport situated on a thoroughbred horse farm just southeast of Lexington VOR. Heavy rain, fog and very low ceilings that day led to a postponement on that plan.

The club descended on Silo Field on Sunday when the weather was clear to enjoy a barbeque and ice cream event sponsored by the field’s owners, Alex Boone and Art Francis.

Frankfort is a great central location to tour Kentucky. Club members toured Churchill Downs, The Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and factory. The city itself is a fascinating place for a walking history tour and with the leaves just beginning to change color, the location for this year’s fly-in was stunning.

Students at the Kentucky Institute of Aerospace Education sponsored a dinner on Thursday night and were able to show off their Cessna 195 project and get the benefit of the experience and expertise of club members. Many attending the fly-in came out to KIAE’s project hangar after dinner armed with flashlights, advice, invaluable information and encouragement for the high school students who are involved in every facet of this aircraft’s rebirth. The next day, club members gave each and every student their first ride in a Cessna 195.

The skies of Kentucky were abuzz with 195s all weekend. Some members opted to fly out to Lee Bottom Field, a grass strip situated along the Kentucky River, for their “hundred dollar hamburger” fly-in on Saturday and contributed to the field’s tornado relief fund.

The International Cessna 195 Club is exactly what an aircraft type club should be — a group of like-minded owners and pilots, who love their classic aircraft and enjoy each other’s company.

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