Yet again, I have been neglecting my duties as Chapter reporter, in favor of struggling with my on-going problems with my tachometer indications; this eventually resulted in engine removal and dis-assembly (and no solution). But, enough of my tales of woe. The end result, however, was that I was busy elsewhere in my hangar on Saturday, so a minimum number of witty comments on happenings at the monthly membership meeting. The speaker for this month was Gary Wigdahl, a local flight instructor with a very well developed program of flight instruction; you should visit his website at www,gwigdahl.com – it has all sorts of useful information and opinions related to flying in the San Diego area.
The Tuesday/ Thursday activity mostly centered on the work on Ryan's Sparrow Hawk, which he, with the assistance of Bob Soderquist, is modifying by replacing the original Rotax 582 with a Continental O-200.- more power, more speed! Reminds me of trying to get ten pounds of beans into a five pound pot. Between them, however, they managed to squeeze in the larger engine, so maybe it can be done. Weight and balance turned out OK, but lots of head-scratching still required.
We welcomed back resident photographer Bob Osborn, after his not-too-successful cataract surgery; so far, he reports dim vision in the affected eye, hopefully to improve with time. He has nevertheless resumed his duties with his remaining good eye, providing the attached photos of our Chapter action once again.
On Saturday, after a decent interval from the sausages and eggs served up by our noble breakfast crew, interrupted by the monthly meeting, Chuck Stiles, chef for the month, provided a mysterious concoction labeled “yard-bird enchiladas”, which, accompanied by salad and other stuff, turned out to be most palatable, and satisfied around thirty-five or forty happy diners. Among them was a visitor (maybe a recent member? - sorry I didn't get your name) accompanied by his charming daughter, cute as a bug, as you may see in the attached photos. How come little girls have a monopoly on cuteness, but not little boys?
Our flight-line on Old Charlie has recently been graced by a Yak, owned by Andrew Fishrup, who taxied it out for a flight after Saturday's lunch; it seems that our John Knolla is planning to fly it to this month's breakfast expedition to Apple Valley. He is (or was) looking for a back-seater – shouldn't much problem in finding one for a flight in this interesting airplane.
Hopefully, by next week I should be back to my regular reporting task.
Valentine's Day – also Young Eagles day - saw a surprisingly large number of prospective YE's arriving at Chapter 14 to take part in the program. Coordinator Mark Albert had anticipated only a modest turn-out, however an organized group of fifteen or more families appeared, with the result that, with the usual number of “pop-ups” we had around twenty five kids who were flown. Fortunately, a goodly number of our volunteer pilots made themselves available: Vince Flynn, Rick Edwards, Ron Shipley, Ryan, and Ellie Kok-Vermeulan, who had rented a Piper Arrow for the occasion, took care of the flights in short order. (We really need to get the story from Ellie about how a young girl from Holland became a flight instructor working out of Montgomery, and what her future plans are). It was a busy morning. Mark and Rich Czarniecki have been adding to the number of our flight simulator computers, and these always see much activity. Gary List gave instruction on handling our “full-up” simulator; this is for the serious potential pilots.
Once again, we were blessed with perfect flying weather, some winds out of the east initially, then turning around later to a westerly breeze. However – no rain in the forecasts, as we fall behind even our meager average; so far, less than five inches since last July. Global warming? Who knows?
It seems that not too much action of note occurred in the past Tuesday/Thursday week, although we were happy to see Bob Soderquist return from Colorado – we thought he wasn't going to make it this year. He reported 60 degree weather in his home state (it's been up to 70 since – this in early February!), and very little snow in the Rockies en route; not a good sign for our drought conditions. He arrived just in time to assist Ryan in unraveling the mysteries of the control system in Ryan's Sparrow Hawk project. This investigation continued on Saturday, with other members offering much unsolicited advice.