I apologize for getting this newsletter out so late. Things just got too busy! I had every intention of getting it out right after our last fly-in on Sun. Apr. 13th at Southbridge, Mass. This was a unique event for our chapter. First of all, we're on a roll with 2 consecutive fly-ins! We had 9 people show up. Noel Anderson drove because he was returning home from Boston. The rest of us showed up in Short Wing Pipers! I haven't seen this in our chapter in .....? I flew up from White Plains, N.Y. in my Tri-Pacer with friend Art Glauberman who made his first flight in a small plane (and had a great time). Rico Cannone and Dale Privadera flew down from the Saratoga, N.Y. area in Rico's Tri-Pacer. Mike Purcell and daughter flew over from Northampton, Mass. in his beautiful Tri-Pacer. Dave Adams flew over from the Taunton, Mass. area in his Clipper. Last, but not least, was Mike Berry and his Tri-Pacer from the Worcester, Mass. area. Mike was giving a demo ride to the gentleman I mentioned last month from N. Carolina, who was interested in buying the plane.
It was a beautiful day for flying and the airport had a constant flow of traffic. When I arrived, there was a PA22/20 doing takeoffs and landings. Unfortunately they never parked and joined us. But how do you like that - 9 people and 5 Short Wing Pipers!
Southbridge is a neat airport with a good runway and facilities. This is he first time I didn't encounter a nasty, gusty crosswind at this place since 1964! It was also the first time I entered the diner. It is actually a diner on the field and looks like a throwback to the 1940/1950s with aluminum exterior. The food was good and we used the rear dining room. I would highly recommend this destination for your ubiquitous $100 burger. It ain't the Ritz but it ain't the pits!
We had a good time eating and hangar flying. Mike Berry is not only an airline captain, but is an A&P and an authority on aircraft maintenance. He writes for several magazines on this subject. One always learns from Mike when they hang out with him. Thanks Mike and we hope you were able to sell your Tri-Pacer. Airport security was discussed along with the flurry of TFRs (temporary flight restrictions) that have sprung up. I'm happy to say that the N.Y. City TFR has been dropped along with most others. The notable exception is the Washington,D.C. TFR.
While we can once again show up at HPN, kick the tire, light the fire, and blast off, the county is going through with some security measures that were discussed at a meeting of airport tenants/users in early April. Photo Ids, chains instead of ropes, and keypad security gates are around the corner. My only problem is that in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, where the legislature just had to raise real estate taxes upwards of 25%, they have the money for plastic coated chains. We all know how much that will deter a terrorist that is hell bent on stealing a single engine aircraft for a Kamikaze raid on the Empire State Building! New security gates with a key-pad entry are also big deterrents. The gate by the restaurant at the New Bedford, Mass. Airport has the code number written on a small sign right next to the gate! The one biggie for me is if you want a prop lock, the county will pay for it!! Coming from a governing authority that had to drastically raise taxes to have ends meet, this is incredible! I have to tell you something. In the school that I teach in, the custodial staff is called on at least once a day to cut an unauthorized lock off a student's locker. Some of these locks are very heavy duty, heavier than a prop lock or plastic coated chain. It takes less than 10 seconds for them to cut the lock. Don't you think they teach this in Terrorism 101? Give me a break. Anyhow, those of us flying in the N.Y. metro area are happy about our reclamation of flying freedom.
We discussed future fly-in/meetings and came up with the following. Our May fly-in will actually be a choice of 2 events.This Saturday May 17th we will be joining the folks at Freehold, N.Y. (1I5) for their open house/fly-in from 10 - 3. Look for Mike & Margaret Archambault and other members and have good time. There will food to purchase on the field along with glider (and I believe) helicopter rides. Do watch out for gliders at Freehold. The next day, Sunday the 18th, we offer the classic auto show at the Barnes Westfield, Mass. (BAF) airport and a chance for you to root for member Steve Sevits' beauty. Last year, this event was on a windy day with snow showers and only me and Rico Cannone flew in. There was parking right by the show. Just tell ground that you want to taxi to the auto show. Besides the neat cars, there were some neat planes that flew in. Alas the food situation at this event isn't the greatest. I remember hot dogs, burgers, sausage, soda, and heartburn. You've been warned. Both events will happen for us if it's VFR. While I'll mention them on the phone line (1-877-SWPCNE4) it's up to you as to whether you'll go or not. There will be no go/no go message. If anyone gets to either, a couple of photos and an article would be great. Unfortunately work prevents me from going to either this month.
Remember that the National SWPC Convention is at the end of June in Springfield, Missouri. As of this date, I am planning to attend and fly out with Marc Pekowsky. My availability could change at a moment's notice. I told Dave Adams that if Marc doesn't go along, he's welcome. If anyone is planning to go and is seeking a co-pilot, Dave Adams is looking for a flight to share. As always, we will give donation of $$ for fuel money for the raffles and possibly some more donations. If you have never attended a convention, but have seriously wanted to go, this one is easy to fly to. The conventions are great. They're like big, happy family reunion revolving around our beloved Short Wing Pipers. Try and make it if you can. The info is in the Short Wing Piper News.
At Southbridge, Mike Purcell and daughter each had a folding bike that fit nicely in the rear seat of his Tri-Pacer. Perhaps Mike could write an article on the folding bike and some of his flying experiences with it? I had one back in the 1970's and it was both fun and useful. In the nearby town of Sturbridge, Mass. Is Sturbridge Village, pre- Revolutionary War restoration village with folks in costume. Rico & Dale hopped a ride over there after breakfast. There is also a great New England Restaurant & Inn nearby that is usually my destination here - The Publik House. Also worth a visit.
Some of you might know that member Steve Sevits earned his Ground Instructor rating and has been teaching a class in the Albany, N.Y. are. Steve told me the other day that getting this rating and teaching the Private Pilot course has made him a better pilot; much better prepared for flight. I can also tell you that giving ground or flight instruction will definitely make you a sharper pilot. For that matter, just studying for ant rating should help immensely! In next month's newsletter, Steve will write an article on his journey towards this rating and share with us his experience in teaching the basics .
Not to sound like a broken record, but we would welcome any article on any aviation subject from you or your friends for our newsletter. Wouldn't you like to read something other than my ramblings? Out of our entire membership, surely one of you has some thoughts on a subject you would like to share with us. Hey, maybe we could learn from your article. Who knows, you could be on the verge of a budding career! Don't worry about spelling and grammar; we have Spell Check. PLEASE
Member Paul Fleming had an unfortunate misunderstanding over his dues to the National SWPC. To make a long story short, cooler heads ( Ralph Gutowski ) prevailed and the issue was rectified. Paul is the President of the New Hampshire Aviation Association and a Pacer driver. He certainly knows how an organization like the SWPC and its chapters operate. We are all volunteers with a life away from the club. As I mentioned earlier, we are like one big happy family. Any (big) family has a member or two that's ..... We should all be able to get over these things. I'm glad it all worked out. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Since I can't make it to this month's fly in you should know that June's fly-in is scheduled for Sat. the 14th with the 15th as the rain date at Ballard's Restaurant on Block Island, R.I. We usually have our beach party in July. The date and site are not set yet. It will be in mid-July. Let's have a vote as to which beach/airport you want to go to. We have gone to Montauk, N.Y. and Katama on Martha's Vineyard in the past. Any airport like these 2 ( easy access to beach from airport ) would work. Either call me or e-mail me with yourvote at: Andytuba@optonline.net. I look forward to seeing you over lobster on Block Island. Safe flying to you all.