Either my memory is failing me, or not a great deal happened in the week – the former certainly, and the latter probably. On Thursday, Bob Osborne and I attempted to resuscitate the old blue golf cart, without success. Perhaps it’s the end for that venerable vehicle. Now, what do we do with a dead golf cart? Meanwhile, the electric cart wouldn’t start, however that problem was quickly traced to a corroded connection – easily repaired.
Saturday saw the return of some of our members who had attended this years’ AirVenture (better known as Oshkosh): Pete Grootendorst, Kevin Roche, Scott Cadwell and Jimmy Kennedy, Gil Rud and probably others. All reported a very satisfactory show, with the weather (after the first day or two) not too hot, and improved facilities. Did anyone take photos of interesting airplanes? If so, perhaps we could have them published.
Visitors were Russ and girlfriend Chelsea (never did get their surnames). Russ is a pilot in the US Navy; he had the distinction of flying the first E2A Hawkeye into Oshkosh in 2012, there to be shown in the center exhibition area. That was where he first met his girlfriend, a charming lady with a family background in aviation. Now they are resident in San Diego, and we hope they will join the Chapter. An interesting couple.
Fly-ins were scarce: Joe Pribilo, of course, in his Luscombe and a Lancair Legacy owned (and presumably piloted) by Mike Meloche – a relative, I’m sure, of long-time member Don Meloche who flies Bucker Jungman into SDM from time to time – however, no Buckers this Saturday. The Legacy is a mean machine, powered by an IO-550, so it must be fast!
Pete Grootendorst and Joe Russo started on the annual inspection of their Grumman Traveler – it seems to happen every six months or so, in spite of the title. They’ve got into it pretty well, so shouldn’t be grounded for too long.
Lunch was the responsibility of Kerry Powell, who showed up with green salad and the makings of some hefty grilled cheese sandwiches, all served to what is now a typically small crowd of twenty or so members. Once more, plenty left over for the weekly crew.
Barely recovered from this month’s regular Young Eagles event, our team of volunteer pilots and ground crew were once again called upon to deal with a large group of Navy Midshipman cadets for the culmination of their week’s intensive aviation training program. Unlike our typical Young Eagles, who are generally unfamiliar with aviation, these young men and women were far along in their knowledge, studying for the private pilot exam; they each had copies of the necessary text-books with them, exactly as their civilian equivalents preparing for the test would have used. It had been requested that each cadet would receive some “stick time”, however as it turned out, this was not a good week for that, as many of our regular pilots were absent, either at Oshkosh or on summer trips elsewhere. We had Jonathon Robbins (Luscombe), Ron Shipley (Aiecoupe), Ryan (Glasair) – all single passenger, Pete Grootendorst (Traveler) and Duane Shockey (Cessna 170). Not many seats to give “stick time” to all, so we had to compromise with some cadets sitting in the back seats. Even so, with over thirty cadets to fly, it was going to take some time, which it did. Duane Shockey was the hero of the day, flying three at a time for six flights – and no lunch! He finished up at about 3:15. Not far behind was Ron Shipley, who also flew six times, one cadet at a time in his two-seater; of course, they were the lucky ones to enjoy “stick time”. A marathon effort on both their parts. And a “thank you” to all the other participating pilots for donating their time and gas.
What a transformation! When I left Brown Field on Tuesday, the hangars surrounding Hangar 3 were still a motley collection of bare corrugated iron, bits and pieces of various colors from previously dismantled hangars, plus a very few in decent shape. On arriving on Thursday, what did I find – all these hangars painted in a lovely shade of DMV beige! I could hardly pick mine out from the others. On Wednesday, Ryan and Chuck Stiles had spent an exhausting day, power-washing and masking off all the hangars, preparatory to applying the paint; how all this was done in one day I can’t imagine. The end result was a vast improvement over the previous appearance. A great job!
Although I had some difficulty in identifying my own hangar, it seems there is a plan to attach numbers to all the hangars – great idea, long overdue. I’ll write my number down on a piece of paper to avoid future confusion.
Also in the week Chuck Stiles completed the installation of the six high-tech LED security lights around Hangar 3 – where does this guy get all his energy?