A surprisingly large turnout of members greeted this wet, windy, and (for San Diego) cold Saturday morning. A welcome visitor from darkest Arkansas was sometime Chapter president Sam McCutcheon, accompanied by his son Dan, also a lost Chapter member. Sam was in San Diego to attend the induction of his stepson to command the Marine Osprey Squadron at Miramar – quite an impressive ceremony, I'm told. At home, Sam is still working on the design and construction of the airplane project which he started when he owned his hangar/ workshop at Brown Field.
The lone fly-in braving the turbulent conditions was Joe Pribilo in his Luscombe; he has finally started the necessary work to have his recently purchased RV-4 updated to his high standards of quality and workmanship. The first task is removal of the cylinders for refurbishment after many years of inactivity.
No Bückers this Saturday - not surprising as it was hardly a day for open cockpit flying. Only the F-18's made their usual noisy appearance, even the sky-diver airplanes didn't show.
Although outside work was curtailed somewhat by the inclement weather, Joe Russo found time to exercise his welding/brazing skills modifying an iron gate as a home project. Didn't know he had this hidden talent. Devin Acklin (whose Super Long-EZ was featured in last month's Newsletter) arrived but elected not to fly this day - too cold! I'm not sure that EZ's have cockpit heaters, possibly an installation problem with a rear-mounted engine. There are some advantages in having the power plant at the sharp end of the airplane!
A very professional and tasty lunch was provided by Mark Loveland with assistance by Kevin Roche: carne asada, frijoles, guacamole and assorted trimmings, enjoyed by thirty or so eager diners. After lunch, most members soon dispersed to the comfort and warmth of their homes, leaving a few die-hards to continue the hangar talk. Rick Czarniecki, who is spearheading the monthly Chapter fly-outs, decided that the proposed Redlands flight be postponed until January, giving more time to coordinate it with the EAA Chapter based there. The annual New Year's Day trip to Chiriaco will go ahead as usual.
Until next time, clear skies and tailwinds!
This last day in November saw a fair sprinkling of fly-ins from around the county: Jerry Boughner in his Bonanza from Ramona, “Sparky” Sparks from Gillespie in his tri-gear KR-2, Joe Pribilo also from Gillespie in his Luscombe (no RV so far), the usual Bückers (four, this time) and the Helio Courier. Plus we had the Metlife blimp doing a few touch and goes out to the east. A late arrival was frequent guest (but non-member) Neil Griffith in his Mooney from Montgomery, to sample our lunch and make us envious with his tales of flying in Idaho, camping out in such idyillic destinations such as Cavanaugh Bay, on Priest Lake. He chose a fortunate day for lunch which was presented by Bob Johnson and son Dan, with pulled pork, Bush (non-political) beans, Hawaiian rolls, potato salad, cole slaw, salad and ice cream. Who could ask for anything better? More than thirty members dug in, with seconds available for all.
Local fliers were Ryan making demonstration flights and your reporter rounding out the month with a short 30-minute excursion. Ground level activities saw more work on the Playboy hangar by Jerry, Joe Russo, Chuck Stiles and probably others that I didn't note. It seems that the electric hoist for the door is now operational – the end is in sight! Gene Hubbard continued his monumental restoration work on his Tri-Pacer.
On the subject of doors, earlier in the week, half a dozen stalwart members convened at Montgomery under the direction of Chuck Stiles to remove the main door from the T-hangar which was recently donated to us. With much unsolicited advice from the helpers, the very heavy door was finally separated, loaded onto a trailer and transported by Ryan to Brown Field, fortunately without the attentions of the Highway Patrol (it surely exceeded the maximum 8-foot width). The remainder of the hangar is to be transported by more professional means in the near future.
As usual, when I arrived at Hangar 1 on Saturday morning, the kitchen area was immaculate, presumably through the efforts of our Mr. Clean, Gary List, Chapter Treasure and Kitchen Führer; all the week’s pots and utensils washed, coffee pots emptied and cleaned, serving tables washed down and everything in good order. Some recognition of his unheralded work is overdue.
Until next time, clear skies and tailwinds!
On Saturday, after a few frustrating days of poor weather – low clouds, wind and rain, I took advantage of a fine post-cold-front day to burn off a few surplus dollars by taking a short cross-country flight to Brackett Field in the Los Angeles basin, returning in time for a impromptu lunch of baked potato and chili being served by Joe Russo and Richard Kalling to some twenty five members. Joe Russo and Ryan had earlier taken a short trip up to Ramona – but no RV building activity was evident at the time. Plans were made for a small group of volunteers to meet at MYF to complete the disassembly of a donated T-hangar in preparation for its move to its new home on Old Charlie taxiway. So far, Chuck Stiles has cut away and replaced most of the old rusted frame members, making it practical to make its 25-mile journey to its new location without it falling apart. Re-assembly will start after the new year.
The big news this week was the visit from by Jeff Skiles, V.P. of EAA National. Chapter members had pitched in to help clean up the facility on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Then President Larry Rothrock brought Mr. Skiles to the Chapter a little after 3 so he had ample time to tour our facilities and talk to the members. At 5 o’clock, a large group was waiting for Joe Russo’s dinner of spaghetti, salad, meat, cheese and fruit trays. At 7 o’clock, Mr. Skiles gave a most informative talk, highlighting not only his role in the “Miracle on the Hudson” but news about EAA National’s goals for the future. He presented a plaque to Larry in recognition of the Chapter; we reciprocated with a gift of one of our EAA mugs and a Hawaiian shirt emblazoned with our EAA 14 emblem. It looked like over 80 people were present for this enjoyable day.
One of Mr. Skiles’ reasons for being in San Diego was to join the rest of his flight crew from the "Miracle on the Hudson", to be inducted into the San Diego Aerospace Hall of Fame. If you look at the SD Aerospace Hall of Fame web site, there's more information.
Until next time,
Clear skies and tailwinds!
A foreshortened report this week as a result of a personal obligation for the Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the week, five Chapter airplanes showed up at Chiriaco Summit to attend the annual Veteran's Day celebration at the General Patton Museum based there. Flying in were Chris Puntis (Sonex), Rich Czarniecki (Grumman Traveler), Mark Albert (Cessna 170), Jim Chapman (Kitfox) and Dennis Cullum (RV-3). Weather conditions were perfect (although there was some confusion about the landing direction) and the aircraft parking area was full with 30 or more aircraft in attendance. This remote desert landing strip attracts frequent fly-in customers as a result of the excellent and historic restaurant on the field. The event was accompanied by much patriotic speechifying by local dignitaries to a large audience numbering a few hundred - mostly drive-ins. Worth a visit on a less crowded occasion: the next event will be the traditional New Year's Day fly-in.
Saturday's Chapter General Meeting day (and annual Board member election day, although you would hardly know it from the number of ballots submitted) started with the usual breakfast heart-stopping ritual of sausage, eggs, and blueberry pancakes, with orange juice and coffee - all for $3.00 - such a deal! $10.00 for sure anywhere else. Don't miss it. All served with a smile by our regular cooks Scott Cadwell and Kevin Roche, with assistance from Jesse Clark.
After the formalities of opening the meeting, President Larry Rothrock called upon the visitors to identify themselves; eight of the thirty five or so attendees stood up to admit their reasons for their interest - hopefully some will be persuaded to become members. Safety Chairman Pete Grootendorst reminded members that there was a notam in effect concerning intermittent uncertainties with GPS signals in the vicinity of Mission Bay VOR.
Program Chairman Kerry Powell explained that our announced speaker for the meeting had to cancel at the last minute, however at very short notice he located a substitute - Sean Moore, who gave a most informative presentation about flying in the San Diego airspace. He comes with an unimpeachable background in air traffic control - many years with LAX approach and more recently as a supervisor with SOCAL Tracon in San Diego. He described many of the optimum routes to take when arriving and departing from our local airports, giving the frequencies and directions to use at various locations and routes into and out of the area. All very useful to know when flying in our complex airspace.
Lunch was in the hands of Jesse Clark, who spent much of the morning preparing his 3-bean chili, sweet potato, cornbread and cabbage salad, with bread pudding provided by Richard West. Alas, I was unable to take part in the consuming part of their work, having to leave early as mentioned. With luck, there will be some left-overs for the mid-week crew.
Until next time,
Clear skies and tailwinds!