Short Wing Piper Club Northeast Chapter

President’s Message

      The spring weather has brought some welcomed warmth to an area that had a winter like from the “old days”. Along with the warmth, came some pretty violent storms complete with tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms. With that said, we’ve had some pretty good flying weather.

      The fly-into Kline Kill, N.Y. and the EAA fly-in breakfast brought great weather and a good showing from our chapter. Of course on such a good day, my schedule prevented any flying! I was with you in spirit. Steve Sevits wrote something that is included in this newsletter (as well as the Sentimental Journey). Thanks Steve.


      I did get my plane back and to make a long story short, it’s great!

We had a Mattituck major and brought the engine back up to 160 HP. It’s like a new plane! Climb, cruise, fuel consumption, smooth, cost … wow!!

      I still can’t believe it, but I was able to fly out to the Sentimental Journey in Lock Haven, Pa. This is the 4th visit to this great event. It’s like a “mini SWPC convention”.  Actually, there were many members of the national SWPC in attendance and were enroute to the convention in Michigan. Frank Sperandeo, Mr. Mechanic Frank Rush, the Pages from Georgia were there. While our conventions have more activities and events (and possibly vendors), this event draws more people and planes from a mostly east coast population.

It’s quite folksy and there is a huge population of tent campers along with vans and motor homes. It also draws a big crowd fro the local area for day trips.

      This year’s theme was honoring the Pacer, Tri-Pacer, and Colt and there were certainly great examples to be seen. They included some of our members such as Mike Purcell and his beautiful Tri-Pacer. Those of you familiar with his Red & Yellow wonder know what I’m talking about.

Jackie Van Valkenberg flew in with her beautiful PA22/20. There were so many outstanding planes of so many varieties ( all Pipers, many bi-planes, and some rare antiques) that you have to get to one of these events to see for yourself! You’ve heard it from me and read it many times in the SWPC News, these events are like a good, big family reunion. If you’ve never been to one of these get togethers, you really should try one. There’s something there for everyone and every taste.

From seminars to side trips, plenty of food, entertainment, great planes to see up close, very knowldgeable folks about our planes, vendors, and great people,make the trip worth it.

      Former member Rich Olsen used to write in our newsletter, fly, drive, ride a bike, take a bus or train, but try to get there. People did just that to get to Sentimental Journey. My flight was pretty good. There was some weather to dodge, but it was manageable. Outside of some low visibility, a constant headwind, and clouds that prevented any flight above 3500’, I made it to Lock Haven in about 1.7 hrs.

      I had planned to tent camp under the wing. If you remember, we had some pretty bad storms go thru on Thursday. A call to Steve Sevits, who was already there, painted a picture of the usual muddy grounds and not good camping conditions, so I decided to take my chances on getting a hotel room. Upon landing, I was met by chapter member Jim Field from Watertown, N.Y. Jim was a lifesaver with his truck for rides and great companionship. He’s a great guy and a dedicated member, who has over the years, flown great distances from western N.Y. to many of our fly-ins. I thank you for your generosity! We were able to get some of the last rooms available.

      We had a very respectable chapter turnout. To my knowledge, this is who showed up. If I missed anyone, please forgive me. Fabio Schulthess flew in from Sugarbush, Vt. in his Pacer, Mike Purcell and friend flew in from Northampton, Mass. in his Tri-Pacer, Jackie Van Valkenberg flew in with her PA22/20 from Pittstown, N.J., and I flew in from White Plains, N.Y. in my Tri-Pacer. Driving in were: Steve Sevits from E. Greenbush, N.Y., Rico Cannone from Saratoga, N.Y., Dave & Pat Adams from Dighton, Mass., Jim Field from Watertwon, N.Y., Phil & Teresa Jacobus from Hammondsport, N.Y. Mike & Margaret Archambault from Catskill, N.Y., Neal Hulett from Granville, N.Y., and Frank Green from Frankfort, N.Y.

      We held our meeting under the awning of the Adams’ elaborate camper. To my knowledge, the Adams & Jewett families, and Jackie Van Valkenberg are going to the convention in Michigan and will report back (e-mail me any pictures and a short story if you can). Our chapter donated a check of $75 for a raffle prize (gas $$). We set the next 2 fly-ins for the summer. Sat. July 24th with the 25th the rain date to Katama Field on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. for our “beach party” fly-in. This is always a popular event. There is a small landing/parking fee,fuel is available, you can park right at the beach, bring any food&drink, shower facilities are available at the FBO, make sure you tell them that you are with the SWPC when you land. I will collect the landing fees and settle with the FBO. This is a grass field with good runways. One note, there are no night time operations here, so plan to depart before sunset!

      Garnsey’s fly-in, our big “bash”, will be on Sat. Aug.28th with the 29th the alternate. At this event, we bring food & drink; Marcia & Zene open their home, provide a grill, there’s swimming in the river, and chapter business is conducted. This includes election of officers, setting the calendar, any policies of the chapter that need to be addressed. I have to tell you that my schedule is getting busier and that means that somebody will have to step up and take over the newsletter. I just don’t have the time to do all this. I would still write something & contribute, but I simply do not have the time for all of it. Steve Sevits is helping out & I thank him. We need someone to coordinate. We should also seriously consider sending the newsletter via e-mail. This makes it easier and cheaper to do. I am asking you to do two things, please. Send me your current e-mail address & please check the date of your membership cancellation. There are simply too many of us that are a year or more past due! You can send the dues, $15, directly to Margaret Archambault. Her addtress is at the top of this newsletter.

      There are many fly-in events over the next several months in our area. There’s a fly-in at Dave Adams’ home field, Myerrick’s near Taunton, Mass. on Sat. Sept.11 from 11-3 and the EAA has another fly-in breakfast at Kline Kill, N.Y. on Sat. Sept.18th. We spoke of trying to get in a fly-in to Basin Harbor, Vermont as well as to Cooperstown, N.Y. I would suggest that the only weekends available in Sept. for Basin Harbor are the weekends of the 11th & 18th. My schedule & holidays prevent the 25th from participation. Please let me know what you want to do. We’ll pick a weekend in October for Cooperstown.

      Just another thing about chapter business. I think that all of our members should seriously think about serving as a chapter officer. I really don’t know how much longer my schedule will permit me from continuing on as president. It is my pleasure to serve, but I don’tknow how much longer I can. There are certainly capable members that can serve. Also, it is unhealthy for any organization to have the same people in leadership positions “in perpetuity”. Please think seriously about this and step up to the plate.

     Soon after I landed at Lock Haven, they were making announcements that the “dinner” at someone’s farm over the ridge was still on, but that their runway was closed so do not fly there. I guess that this is an annual event at Sentimental Journey. A local farmer with a good grass strip holds a big fly-in/drive in dinner in his huge hangar and donations are put in the basket. The Adams, Archambaults, Rico Cannone, Jim Field, & I drove over to check it out.

      Upon arrival, it was clear why the runway was closed. A beautiful red & white Stearman lay on its back in the middle of the runway. I believe that his wheels locked up and he nosed over. Thank God, nobody was hurt! The food was good, as was the company. The entertainment at the dinner was the process of getting the plane back up on its gear and clearing the runway. I’m glad that I wasn’t in charge, because there were plenty of “experts”. In the process, they “expertly trashed” a somewhat damaged Stearman!

      As the sun was setting and the Stearman was cleared from the runway, there was a mad dash from the few planes that had made it in before the “incident” to get out of there before dark. We left at the same time and arrived as a pack of J-3s, a couple of Stearmans, and a Fleet got back to Lock Haven.

      Entertainment that night (official  entertainment) was a German oom-pah band. Just what I needed to hear. Frank Sperandeo told me that he had held court with his banjo the night before. H complained that he had to follow, of all things, a dog act! I told him, “welcome to show business!” I had played many dog acts on the Ed Sullivan Show & at Radio City Music Hall. That’s show business!! The bar was opened & the prices were great (donations).

Saturday, a weak cold front came through, it cooled off, the air was breathable, and the wind picked up for a bumpy, but fast ride home. A goodime was had by all! I hope to see you on the beach at Katama in July. Safe flying to you all – Andy.