Not a particularly newsworthy week at Chapter 14, so this will be brief report. Highlight of the week was the breakfast fly-out on Saturday to Apple Valley, under the auspices of DOOF Rich Czarniecki. This was a somewhat longer trip than usual – 120 nautical miles, which perhaps accounted for the limited number of airplanes making the journey, although with gas prices at an all-time low in recent years, it would have been a good opportunity. Perhaps another factor was the forecast for high temperatures and gusty winds in the desert, however as it transpired the conditions turned out to be ideal, with calm winds and 65-70F temperatures. Conditions enroute were equally benign, a perfect flight with zero turbulence both ways.
Five intrepid aviators, with passengers, departed Brown Field around 8:30 for the one to one and a half hour flight: Rich, in his Grumman (not a G-IV), Mark Albert in the Cessna 170, me in my RV, and, later, Ryan in the Glasair. We met up with Jim Wright (from Gillespie) and his 172 at Apple Valley.
Saturday was the Spring solstice, bringing to an end the winter that never was; among the warmest seasons in San Diego since records began. On the bright side, it offered many days of perfect flying weather, and with Spring now officially starting, we can expect many more similar days to come, so let's get flying!
Regular readers of this column will be pleased to know that, after replacing my mechanical tachometer with an electronic version, everything works perfectly, so I can finally shut up about the whole problem. Who knows what the next one will be?
Gene Hubbard and Jim MacKinnon, with help from Robbie North, are progressing in their task of figuring out how to attach a VW engine on to the front of one of the Nieuport airframes; without any information to go by, this project will no doubt require much head-scratching and trial and error – not too much of the latter, hopefully.
After last week's wild and wet weather, an abrupt change to hot and windy for this weekend – over 90F and gusty east winds, typical Santa Anna conditions – but this is March, not September, for heavens sake; what's going on here? Anyhow, the warm temperatures didn't deter our weekly workers, nor our Young Eagles from showing up for their introduction to flight on Saturday. In preparation for the unlikely possibility of rain, Rich Czarniecki and Mark Albert had earlier in the week completed most of the weatherproofing of the Eagles Nest, and Mark installed an elaborate surround-sound network to supplement our flat-screen TV, so our Young Eagles now have a most sophisticated entertainment/educational system for their enjoyment. All this plus the four or five flight simulators makes for a pretty comprehensive instructional center.
Although we didn't have any groups arranged for the regular YE's day, quite a number of individual clients showed up, plus parents, many of whom were interested in taking an “Old Eagles” demonstration flight, which our volunteer pilots were happy to accommodate. Among them were our very own Mark Albert and wife Sheena, who were given a flight in Rick Anderson's R-44 helicopter. Not that they're actually old,of course. They enjoyed it.