Having just returned from beautiful Nebraska (86 F on arrival day, 2 inches of snow on the ground a day later – they really have weather swings there), it's time to buckle down once more to my duties as Chapter diarist.
In the week, Chuck Stiles completed the installation of the roofing on our new T-hangar - single-handedly, of course. Somehow he also installed the center door, now waiting for attachment of the springs to allow it to be opened manually. Plans are also afoot to move one of our other T-hangars to the same location, providing a much improved surface over its current dirt floor. Better to keep out the wild-life also.
Saturday's general membership meeting saw the usual array of airplane fly- and taxi-ins, some there to verify their tax-exempt status, others just to enjoy the opportunity to take to the air on a fine flying day. Among others, the immaculately restored gull-wing Stinson graced our flight-line, Jim Chapman arrived from Borrego in his Kitfox, a couple of Luscombes, a Navion and various Beech and Cessna products.
As always, breakfast was provided by the team of Gene Lenard, Scott Cadwel and Kevin Roche. It seems that every month new items are added to the menu: fruit, orange juice, waffles -it's a treat not to be missed and great value as well!
In the absence of president Larry Rothrock, v.p. Joe Russo was in comand of the meeting, ensuring that things proceeded at a brisk pace. Pete Grootendorst detailed his plan for how to deal with take-off engine failures in our Brown Field environment: possible landing sites, minimum turn-back altitudes, emergency procedures and so on. He solicited stories of actual take-off failures from members who might have had the misfortune to experience this traumatic event. We have had a number such of accidents to Chapter members over the years, so it's not just a hypothetical problem.
Mark Albert gave a report on the previous Saturday's Young Eagles event; the majority of YE's were part of a home-school group, accompanied by a number of parents who were very impressed by the program and how it was presented by Chapter 14. Some of the parents were able to fly with our volunteer pilots, all enjoyed the experience. Mark thanked the pilots involved and the supporting ground crew. Some fifteen kids and half a dozen parents were flown. Therewas some discussion about whether the “old Eagles” should be officially liste at EAA National.
Speaker for the day was Mike Jesch, CFI, ATP qualified on Boeing 737, 757, 767 and 777's – quite a background! His topic was the airspeed indicator and all the associated “V” speeds which it indicates (or in some cases does't indicate). He showed how best rate and best climb angle were calculated, the effect of “G” loading on stall speed, effects of altitude on the various speeds and much other useful information. Failure modes and how to deal with them were also discussed. Altogether, a most informative presentation.
With sadness, we have to report the passing this week of two of our long-time members, past and present. Maurice Brockington was a member for many years, and will be remembered for his promotion of his rotary-powered engine which he frequently exhibited at the Chapter. Also Uhro (“Earl”) Makela, RV builder - more than one – and always a cheerleader for his Finnish forebears. More detailed obituaries will appear elsewhere.
On that somewhat unhappy note, I'll close out this weeks report.
An abbreviated report this week, the result of my infrequent attendance at our facility due to prior commitments elsewhere.
Some time in the week, the “west wing” was attached to our new Hangar #6 on Old Charlie Taxiway; the remaining major task is the installation of the tilt-up center door, which is very heavy and will probably require a number of volunteers to do the job.
Hanger Six Coming on Line Soon
Arriving late on Saturday, I was just in time to take part in the lunch put on by Gene Lenard and his helpers. Thirty five or so diners enjoyed the ham and cheese sandwiches – cold or grilled according to taste. Good stuff.
Another great lunch .... Ham & Cheese Sandwiches -- Hot or Cold
As you may see in the attached photos by Bob Osborn, we had a valuable addition to the Eagles Nest, courtesy of Rich Czarneicki, who made up a beautifully crafted folding table to accommodate some of our flight simulators. An improvement over the previous arrangement using standard tables, this can be folded down to allow more space for the chairs used for the video presentations to the Young Eagles.
New Eagles Nest Flight Simulator Table
Another contribution to the Eagles Nest, by Ron Shipley, was a basic flight simulator, with the “sacred six” flight instruments, set up for VOR/ILS practice, still the standard method of instrument approaches. It will give some of these GPS guys something of a work-out.
I'm sure there were other items of note this week, so I apologise for not being able to include them. Next week won't be much better, as I'm out of town for the weekend. So, hold your collective breaths until the following week, when this gossip column returns.
This fifth Saturday in March brought a surprisingly large turn-out of members and guests – usually the nunbers twindle towards the end of the month. Perhaps it was the fine weather after a few overcast days, or maybe it was just the vagaries of probabilities – who knows? Anyhow, forty or more showed up for a busy day at Chapter 14, and to enjoy the pulled pork lunch provided by Bob Johnson and son; Bob, as local chief of the UFO's, hosted a large gathering of these Flying Octagenarians, who no doubt contributed to the lunch count. Flying in to take part in the meeting were Frank Himmerich from Borrego Valley, Sparky in his KR, Joe Pribilo in his Luscombe and a number of others others who I missed – Bob will no have the details in his report. Also adding to the numbers of diners were some home-school parents, who were checking out our credentials prior to bringing their boys and girls to take part in our Young Eagles program. John Knolla was kind enough to take the parents in hand to explain to them the purpose of the program, what it can offer to young people, and how we make it work in our Chapter. It seems as though we were approved.
Our Canadian member, Pete Couchman, had planned on leaving on Wednesday to return to his home base in Rimbey, Alberta, but he had to cancel that as a result of bad weather in the Pacific northwest, however when I arrived at SDM on Saturday, his tie-down spot was empty so I assume he is on his way. It's a long journey in a Piper Pacer, hope it goes well for you Pete. Send us an email about the trip!
Also about to depart after his cold-weather stay in San Diego is Bob Soderquist, to whom I owe a great deal for his help in the construction of my brand-new hangar, now occupied by my RV. I don't know how many joints he welded and how many sheet-metal screws he installed, but there were a bunch! A great job by a good guy, we need more like him.
During the week, a remarkable job by Chuck Stiles in moving much of our recently-donated T-hangar (Hangar #6?) from its temporary storage spot to our newly acquired area on Old Taxiway Charlie. How he did this single-handedly I can't imagine. A few parts remain to be moved, then comes the job of fastening everything together.
Other fly-ins on Saturday were Gary Adalian in his mini-biplane Acrosport, and at the other end of the spectrum Bill Allen in his humungous Stearman, to park in the exibition spot in fron tof Hangar 1. The Snoopy blimp lurked at the east end of the field, waiting for its cue to overfly the LPGA tournament at the Aviara resort. Of course, we had the usual Buckers and the Helio in attendance.
Larry Rothrock gave advice to member Clint Martin on his recent purchase of a Varieze from the estate of Ron Schuler. It's nearly ready to fly, needing only some elecrical details. Clint is an ex-Fedex pilot, now flies charter which he finds much more satisfactory. Larry himself has been taxi-testing his own Varieze, everything OK so far.
Always plenty going on at Chapter 14!
Happy (and safe) flying!