Half-way through August already – time does indeed fly! This was a busy day at Chapter 14, initiated by our faithful breakfast crew who were plying their trade to early arrivals by the time I got there at eight o'clock. Jerry Williams had no time for that – he was busily engaged in taking apart his Cassutt in preparation for loading it on a trailer for transportation to his home base in the TriCity area in Washington State. This turned out to be nearly an all-day project; removing the wing required a great deal of dis-assembly of the instrument panel and so forth, however by four o' clock he was about ready for the 1000+ mile journey. We will miss him as a member.
Meanwhile, Ryan reported that our other (Australian) Cassutt had been sold, so a little space freed up for other projects.
This was our regular General Meeting day, well attended by fifty or so members and three or four guests. After the usual preliminaries, President Larry Rothrock called on our committee chairman for their reports. Pete Grootendorst noted the FAA notice regarding Piper Cherokees and others concerning intake ducting problems – inspection required. Young Eagles coordinator Mark Albert reported a record 60 cadets, home-schoolers, and adults flown, and thanked the pilots who volunteered for this effort. EAA National is getting serious about adult involvement in the flying experience and has distributed mentoring manual to assist with this. We had five adults who flew last Saturday, so there is certainly interest out there.
Shortly before the start of the meeting, a nifty Skybolt taxied up in front of hangar one, and out stepped two lady aviators, one of whom turned out to be our speaker for the month, Colleen Keller. A good way to arrive! Her topic was “Statistical methods for search and rescue” - sounds like a pretty dry subject, but Colleen, a charismatic and accomplished speaker, made it an interesting and instructive presentation. She showed how, using all available data, estimated and actual, including weather, aircraft performance and other factors, a map could be prepared showing the most promising area for search for a missing airplane. She used three well known accidents as examples: Steve Fossett's disappearance, the Air France 447 over the south Atlantic, and the more recent Malaysia Air 270. In the case of Steve Fossett, the airplane search was abandoned after a month, the wreckage being found about a year later just outside the search area, so it was a near-miss. The Air France flight analysis was much more successful, with more detailed information on the flight path available, and floating wreckage located. Both the flight and data recorders were found, but had failed to activate. The Malaysia flight remains a mystery, although a most-likely scenario has been prepared and will be followed up soon.
Colleen also had some recommendations for equipment to be carried to assist in location in the event of a crash: ELT of course, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), and your cell-phone turned on at all times. Filing and following a flight plan, and most important of all, using flight following when available. Altogether most useful information.
Following the presentation, cook-for-the-month Joe Russo had prepared some outstanding roast pork loin, which was served with beans, bread and salad; truly a first class lunch, enjoyed by forty-five or more lucky members.
Enough for this week – join us if you can for next Saturday's fly-out to Flabob!