124 Little York Rd.
Cobleskill, N.Y. 12043
What a difference a week makes! Last week we postponed our fly-in to Fulton County airport because of the impending blizzard (which did come) and frigid temperatures. A week later,
after a record cold snap and about 18 of snow, we had a heat wave of about 30 degrees and C.A.V.U. with light winds. I know that whenever we re-do a fly-in to the next weekend, peoples schedules dictate other things, but folks, this was one of the ten best this past 365 days! Yes it was very cold at 8 in the morning, but so what!!
On Wednesday, I went up to the airport to shovel out & clean off (ha-ha)
the plane. The crew at White Plains did an excellent job of cleaning the ramp, so I really didnt have much to shovel. The snow & ice on the plane was another story. I had just come up to oil change time and had to change over to AD from mineral oil from my major overhaul. My schedule, but more, the weather, made it impossible to get up to my A&P at Randall airport in Middletown, N.Y. I bit the bullet and asked the folks at HPN if it was possible to get the oil changed before Saturday? They said yes, pulled it into the hangar on Friday, changed the oil while the plane thawed, and it was back in my tie-down at 4:00 pm on Friday when I went to check on it. Why did I go to check on it? These folks work on everything from Tri-Pacers, Wacos, Cessnas, Cirrus, through Biz Jets and have some good people. I had requested that they be sure to plug in my heater when they were done, as I wanted to get an early start in the morning with temps. in the single digits.
When I inspected the plane, all was in
good shape, except for one thing. You guessed it it wasnt plugged in! I would have been a raving lunatic on Saturday morning if I had discovered this goof especially since the folks down this way really know how to charge! Any time I do this at my A&Ps shop its usually the oil and a couple of bucks for his labor ( I also have to fly the plane up & back. About 1 hr. of flying ). Are you familiar with the phrase the cost of your firstborn son?
I got a briefing from FSS on Fri. night and Sat. morning. Both indicated a great day for this flight C.A.V.U. with light winds and not too bad winds aloft. They also both indicated that there was a notam filed at noon on Fri. for hard packed snow on the runway at Fulton Co. The thing is I called the FBO at Fulton Co around 4:00 pm Fri. to check the field conditions, available parking, and whether they did pre-heats or had an extension cord for plug in heaters (no
and yes). The owner told me that the ramp and runway were both clean down to the pavement.
Thats how it was when I followed Rico Cannone in to runway 28. As I was on downwind, Mike Purcell told me he was over Pittsfield, Mass. inbound. My flight up was spectacular, looking up the length of the frozen Hudson River and floating over the eastern edge of the Cattskill Mountains, seeing all the ski areas off to my left busy at 10:20 am. The only weird thing was that the immediate Albany area still had haze at 11:00am. A temperature inversion was the culprit it was all the way up to 25f at 4500 and about 10f at the surface.
It was a bit chilly on the ramp, but Rico and I shot the breeze for a short while. A young man who was in the N.Y. Air National Guard, a Major in charge of a Blackhawk helicopter squadron was looking at a Cherokee for sale. I told him about Marty Tennenbaums Tri-Pacer for sale and Rico told him that he was looking for a partner. The guys name is Steve Muller and his father was based at an airport on Long Island that I was involved with back in the early 70s. He had taken his first flight with my ex-partner at the age of 4. Small world I hope things work out.
While Rico went into the Airport Diner, I arranged to have my heater plugged in. As I was walking to the diner, I heard a Diamond on downwind and realized that my sons friend, Adam Raines, was joining us. Adam recently got his private ticket and has almost as much entusiasm as I had way back when. He flew up from Caldwell, N.J. with his flying buddy Julia Ryan and Julias dog. They are considering going partners in a reasonable IFR plane and both getting their instrument ticket. Landing before them was Adams friend Neil Hill, who flew up From Caldwell in his Mooney. All three are great people and I hope we can interest them in our group. I explain all the time to pilots, you dont have to fly a Short Wing Piper, to be a member of our group!
Soon after we were making introductions, Joyce & Steve Sevits arrived by car and we prepared to sit down. It was then that Mike Purcell and his daughter Amy arrived in his award winning Tri-Pacer from Northampton, Mass. Torns out it wasnt Pittsfield he was over when he called on unicom. I was getting concerned. Good little turnout for a non-scheduled event!
We sampled the cuisine of the diner and had a good time hangar flying One topic discussed was the passing of member Neil Hulets wife Josephine.
I didnt really know her, but Steve & Rico did. I think some of you out there might have known her also. Steve thought that it would be a good thing to pass the hat for a collection to give to Neal-along with our condolences. I pointed out that with 4 members at our meeting, we wouldnt look too good. I proposed that we mention this here and have anyone out there send a donation to Steve Sevits, who will ultimately deliver it to Neal. Send it to : Steve Sevits
PO Box 463
Lets try and do this by February 13th.
I set this date, because our next fly-in will be on Sat. Feb. 12th with the 13th the alternate, to Keene, New Hampshire (EEN) and the Indian Pavillion restaurant, located on the ramp in the terminal building on the NW corner of the airport. Well meet at noon. Keene is a nice, large, uncontrolled field with good parking, snow removal, and fuel. We had a good crowd and a good time there last year. To be honest, this is my only free weekend this month. For those of you that look forward to landing on Lake Winnepesauke, the Alton Bay fly-in is the following Sat. 2/19 with the 26th, the alternate. Go to the Aviation Assn. Of New Hampshires website: www.aanh.org for more information.
We havent set a date for March yet, but it probably will be the weekend of the 12th with a site to be determined. Stay tuned for more information. Dont forget the National Convention out in Vancouver, Washington July 18-21. We are kind of thinking about doing this since we have a lot of mileage on Jet Blue. Hope to see you in Keene. Safe flying to you all! - Andy