This month's Young Eagles day started off with our typical “June gloom” conditions, ceilings reported as 600 overcast, definitely not appropriate (or legal) for flying Young Eagles. Plus, they wouldn't have been able to see much anyhow. So, for a couple of hours, we had to keep about ten kids amused; YE coordinator pro-tem Bob Gursky (in the absence of Mark Albert, vacationing in sunny Aberdeen, Scotland) did an expert job in describing EAA, the YE program, and career opportunities in aviation to the group, followed by Ed Watson demonstrating how a pre-flight is done on our Cessna 170. I gave a tour around our hangars, and Richard West introduced some of the kids to playing chess. What with all that, and much activity on the flight simulators, the time passed quickly enough. By this time, some of our local airplanes and pilots were trickling in: Ted Krohne (Beech Baron), Gil Rud (Husky), Duane Shockey (Cessna 170) and Vince Flynn (Cessna 182). We also have a new YE pilot, Jonathon Robbins in his shiny Luscombe, parked on our ramp. For a time, we thought we might have to cancel the flying, however, the skies improved to “marginal VFR” and some of our more determined pilots decided to take some kids on an abbreviated ride, and eventually all the YE's were able to fly.
For lunch, Gary List cooked up plenty of lasagna for the regulars, plus hot dogs and chili for the kids (some of us had both). There were about thirty adults and the ten Young Eagles served, so quite a busy day in the kitchen.
Among the fly-ins who showed up with the improving weather, were Carl Pozarowski in his Bonanza, Jerry Furnas in his Aeronca , Joe Pribilo in his Luscombe and Ron Shipley in his Aircoupe. Missing, these days, are the F-18's – perhaps saving some taxpayers money?
Earlier in the week, Chuck Stiles moved around the newly-acquired T-hangar, at the request of the SDM airport manager – this to facilitate trucks passing through our leased property on Old Charlie taxiway, in preparation for the re-paving of 26R. When is this supposed to happen? It has already been delayed by seven or eight months.
You may have noticed that the windsock on Hangar 1 was hanging in tatters, so there have been discussions about replacing it, at a cost of thirty or forty dollars. Ryan suggested that an aluminum version would be just as decorative and more permanent (the fabric ones only seem to last a year or two), and a day later he had fabricated and installed one to his own design. And it was free, too. Thanks to Ryan for taking the initiative on this.
A correction, (one of many I have made, but this one got past the editor): the T-hangar referred to above was not donated by Buzz Gibbs as I stated, but was the gift of Joe Hollow, who deserves the thanks. My apologies for this error.
Even by the standard of our recent attendances, this Saturday was a really quiet one. Where were all our members? Some might have been enjoying the food and fun at the Del Mar Fair, however that alone can’t have accounted for the meager turn-out. The weather was perfect for flying (unlike the previous two Saturdays), so it’s possible that folks were flying to destinations other than Brown Field – including DOOF leader Rich Czarniecki, who departed for Chino with a buddy to have lunch there. The only airplane arrivals were Jim Wright (who I tried to enroll as a member – no luck) in his 172, and Joe Pribilo in his Luscombe. Consequently, activity was at a minimum and consisted primarily of sitting around drinking coffee. Meanwhile, Gary List had prepared a lunch of rice and chili, fresh-baked corn bread and salad, enough to feed four times as many of the diners who finally showed up – about fifteen, I believe.
High point of the week was the arrival of our next T-hangar, donated by Buzz Gibbs from Montgomery. Chuck Stiles had been working on it for some time, strengthening the underpinnings so that it could be transported to our facility; he modified it so that it had four wheels, rather than the two with which it was originally equipped. This made it much more stable for its freeway journey to Brown Field, although at fourteen feet wide, the trip through rush-hour traffic no doubt enraged many homeward- bound drivers. Chuck and Ryan safely shepherded the hangar round all the corners, to its final resting place on Old Charlie taxiway.
After an inevitably expensive visit to the computer shop, and much consulting with my computer-savvy son #2, I’m finally back on the air, at least until the next virus hits.
Early in the week, hangar-manager Ryan and other hangar owners were scurrying around cleaning up and cleaning out their hangars in preparation for the annual inspection by the San Diego City representatives to ensure that we were meeting their standards for contents, safety and so forth. It’s surprising how much junk can accumulate in one year; this was a good opportunity to load it into the dumpster. Well, their efforts must have worked, because the inspection on Thursday gave us a passing grade – good for one year to find more junk.
Drat and double-drat! No sooner than I had promised not to refer to the weather any more, because it was so boring, along comes a couple of weeks of distinctly non-typical May weather, with high winds and heavy rain. I'll restrict myself to saying that we really appreciated the downpours after so many months of dry conditions. By a happy coincidence, Rich Czarniecki had just installed a rain gutter over the Young Eagles Nest entry-way, in time to catch the last of the heavy showers which previously would have inundated the area.. The amount of water emerging from the downspout was truly impressive – too bad it all had to go to waste.
In addition to Rich's work, the week saw the usual worker-bees busily engaged, Ryan remodeling his instrument panel, Chuck Stiles manufacturing parts in preparation for the move of another T-hangar from Montgomery Field to our ramp. We have plenty of prospective tenants eager to get their airplanes under cover.