Not a lot to note for the week, except perhaps for Mark Albert's continuing to practice his landing skills in his RV-3 on Thursday, all under the eagle eye of the watchers in Hangar 1; the last three, it was agreed, were quite satisfactory. Mark wisely quit while he was ahead. On Saturday, however, he once more took off, this time for a short cross-country, about 35 or 40 nm: he reported 165 mph at 2300 rpm, not too bad ( a little better then my RV). So, with this experience under his belt, he should be ready to join the rest of us at our next breakfast fly-out to Chiriaco Summit.
The general membership meeting got off to a good start on Saturday, with the traditional Chapter 14 pancake breakfast served right up until the 10:00 meeting time, so that even the latecomers were not left out. Cook Kevin Roche usually ignores the official cut-off time of 9:30 to keep everyone fed. In addition to regular members, we had half a dozen or more guests attending – quite a few fly-ins, which is always good to see. Among them was Doug Fronius in his Cessna 180 – we haven't seen him in quite a while; it seems he is still active in the soaring and sky-diving activity at Tehachapi.
After the usual meeting formalities, and after calling on guests to identify themselves, President Gene Hubbard called upon Gene Lenard, substituting for Pete Grootendorst as Safety Chairman, to give his report. Gene told the cautionary tale of tripping over a floor girder in his hangar and falling backwards on his head, fortunately without injury, The moral: make sure that you don't have objects around your hangar floor which might result in an similar accident.
Larry Rothrock gave a brief up-date on the progress of the Airport Master Plan, to which we have to contribute our own future plans. Among other things, it was noted that the activity level of Experimental airplanes had increased from 14% to 17% recently – so we are quite a factor in operations at SDM.
Gene unveiled a beautiful artifact which was the handiwork by Chris Puntis over the past few weeks: it was a highly polished propeller, with an elegant clock incorporated in the center, and a small plaque dedicating it to our Chapter member Ray Cote of air-racing fame, and who had originally donated the propeller. It's available for sale, and would certainly make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone. Offers accepted.
An edict has been issued, prohibiting the feeding of the rabbits living under our trailer, meaning that the poor bunnies must fend for themselves or go hungry.
The topic for the day's presentation was entitled : a pilots vision primer. I had anticipated a lecture on keeping your head swiveling to avoid other traffic etc., however it turned out to something quite different. Presented by Dr. Chuck Kerber, professor emeritus at UCSD, it was a fascinating description of the way the eye works, and the defects it can be subjected to, either by age or accident. He gave recommendations on how to preserve one's vision – regular examinations, wearing sunglasses, surgery as necessary, using corrective lenses and so forth. His talk got everyone's attention and elicited many questions at its conclusion. One of the best presentations we've had.
Did anyone notice the two fire tankers operating from our field on Saturday? They were four-engine miniature jets built in the seventies by BAe, and used then by PSA for regular passenger work. Interesting to see them used in this type of activity.
No space to describe Joe Russo's Oktoberfest, except to say it was great!