June 2005

Andy Seligson
331 Westchester Ave.
Yonkers, N.Y. 10707
(914) 337-2968

David Adams
3000 Anderson Ave.
Dighton, MA 02715
(508) 669-6964

Gary Collins
124 Little York Rd.
Cobleskill, N.Y. 12043

President’s Message

Hi folks, remember me? This could be the longest stretch of bad weather we've had to endure for our chapter fly-ins. I hope that you are all well and have had the opportunity to get some flying in. The last two months have been the busiest and I'm literally counting the days before school gets out (6/28!).

I was fortunate to do some flying in the last several weeks and had an interesting occurrence. Imagine going to your throttle to reduce power and having the handle/cablecome right out in your hand!! It happened to me on engine startup a few weeks ago (luckily) at the pumps at Dutchess County. Could you imagine what that would be like in the pattern or anywhere else in the air? Makes life interesting!

Speaking of interesting, our next fly-in, a one day only event for us, is on Sat. June 25th at Lock Haven, Pa. on the final day of the Sentimental Journey. This is a week long event with many exhibits, vendors, seminars, the Piper Museum, some unbelievable aircraft, good food, and folks like us. I remember this fly-in from its start many years ago and can attest to its healthy growth!

We'll meet at noon at a location to be determined. Check with the transportation tent/office for the exact location. David Adams and his

wife were at the fly-in last year in their super-duper motor resort and we held our meeting under its awning. I'm not sure if they'll be at this year's fly-in. Another way to find the location is to call Steve Sevits on his cell phone(s) at 518-339-8907 or 518-248-7919 or me on mine at 914-522-3341 after 11:00 am.

Lock Haven isn't just around the corner for most of us. Do check the weather carefully, as the mountains of Pennsylvania provide for some interesting weather. Let's hope for a "tourist brochure day". There will be no go/no go message for this fly-in. If the weather is VFR and you're o.k. with flying to LHV, we'd love to see you! I guarantee it's worth the trip. I do know that several members will already be there. I was hoping to fly out after school on Fri. the 24th. Alas, we have our senior graduation that evening so it has to be Saturday or nothing for me.

Our July fly-in is usually a "beach party". This year is no exception. We will attempt a fly-in at Montauk, N.Y. (MTP) on Sat. July 9th with the 10th the rain date. Montauk is a good, but busy, uncontrolled field at the eastern tip of Long Island; CTAF is 122.7. There is no fuel available so plan accordingly. Of course there is a landing fee. It was $15 last year, but I'll ask Hellen if we can get a break and let you know on 7/9.

Hellen provides a van shuttle from the parking ramp to the east end of the runway. A short walk over the dunes and you're on the beach. You can arrange a pick up time to return or call her on your cell or hand held radio if you have one. Of course you can also walk to or from the beach along the taxiway if you would like the exercise. There are toilet facilities and hot showers at the office alond with soft drink vending machines. While most of us usually bring our food & drink for the beach, there is a pretty good restaurant across the street from the airport. A short cab ride will take you into the village for a chance to relieve you of some of your hard earned cash.

We haven't had a successful fly-in at MTP in many years due to weather. In the past, we've had between 2 & 24 planes show up. Let's hope for the best.

August 27th with the 28th as the rain date will round out the summer with our "annual bash" at Zene & Marcia Garnsey's strip on the Hudson River. Usually this is a huge success. The last couple of years has been a bust because of weather. This usually attracts the largest crowd of the year. We bring food for barbequing, drinks, and any other morsels. The Garnseys provide, literally, their home. We have a great time swimming in the river, looking at all our aircraft, hangar flying, eating, planning our year's events, and (sometimes) having chapter elections. More on this as the time gets closer.

This year's Short Wing Piper Club convention is being held in Vancouver, Washington July 18 -21. Gloria and I are going out there and making a vacation in the Portland area. It looks like another great event. I think David Adams, Rico Cannone, Phil Jacobus, and possibly, Bev Jewett are planning to attend. These conventions are like a big family gathering and we look forward to them. Next year's convention is being hosted by the St. Lawrence seaway chapter in Kingston, Ontario in June. We will assist as best we can. I hope many of us will be able to attend. It's just a few hours up to Kingston. Barring any international "events", crossing the border is not a big deal. I know from now, that I probably will not be able to attend because it falls during the end of the school year. We'll see what happens. They had to do it at that time to keep the costs down before the busy summer tourist season and rising prices.

I'll report on the Washington convention on our return from the west coast. I'm sure the Columbia River Chapter will put on a fantastic conventio. Our chapter will donate some door prizes of an aviation nature as well as the usual fuel $$ prize. It had been $50 in the past. I think it should increase to $75. As I'm sure you have all realized, Avgas has hit figures that years ago were being paid by our flying friends "across the pond". I'll talk to Gary Collins about this. If you have anything you'd like to donate, please get it to me by July 9th or e-mail me.

Time For A Change
By Steve Sevits

The poem "High Flight", by John Gillespie Magee, is one of the most inspiring portrayals of flight ever to cross my consciousness. Yet I never fully grasped the meaning of those words until I was privileged to join that rare group of individuals who have experienced mastery of the art of flight.

As years at first, then decades passed, flying served to introduce me to a great number of marvelous, talented and interesting people and allowed me to see the world from a perspective denied most people. I wasn't there at the beginning of the era of powered flight, but was privileged to be in attendance at the beginning of the Second Century of Flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec. 17th, 2003. I can claim to have flown both in aviation's 1st & 2nd centuries.

The bright, energetic and tolerant man who taught me to fly was wise beyond his yearsand some of his words from so long ago have echoed in my ears ever since. Surely intended as spur of the moment advice, my mentor had no idea his words would serve to shape my attitude towards aviation so totally, but also serve as watchwords in many of my non-flying endeavors as well. For his wisdom I thank him wherever he may be. What he said was: " If it becomes an agonizing decision, the answer is automaticaly no!"

Not meant to stifle innovation or reasonable challenges, my instructor's words were intended to draw a clear line of demarcation between reasonable actions and unnecessarily foolish risks, which unfortunately kill pilots. I knew a pilot who always cautioned me against scud running down valleys, because of the hazard of unseen powerlines. He died when he hit powerlines when scud running down a valley.

Having learned on my own Colt and later flown myown Tri-Pacer, even such an ordinary student as I couldn't help but learn a few things over the span of more than 3 decades. There are old pilots and bold pilots but there are no old, bo;d pilots. I must have learned enough of the right lessons to survive to the point where thick glasses, grey thatch, and an expanding waistline have eclipsed those photographs of the youthful image I portrayed as a fledgling pilot so long ago.

One valuable lesson learned early on was that no self-respecting young lady wearing a skirt could enter or exita Tri-Pacer and maintain a shred of dignity. More recently I realized that I too was having difficulty getting into and out of the plane, which has beeen my magic carpet for what is now decades. I realized the difficulty encountered was more than could be reasonably accounted for by the mere presence of arthritic joints and passage of years.

Of recent, the experince of flight has lost some of its magic and sparkle. When "Character" (that's been the Tri-Pacer's name ever since she was new in 1957) was due to come home from the annual, I sought the aid of a friend to come along as a safety pilot. Another long timefriend flew us from Columbia County, N.Y. up to Granville, N.Y. which is on the N.Y. VT. Border. Granville is a challenging little airport with a cemetary at each end of the runway and a hill strategically placed so as to constantly generate turbulent crosswinds. The trip to Granville simply as a passenger was tiring. While everyone else went to lunch, I had torest. Eventually my friend and I flew home to Hudson; I flew the entire 50 minute trip home without incident from takeoff oto perfect landing, but it was far more tiring than it should have been.

For some time I have been tiring too quickly and easily. I have known there was something wrong and it was finallynecessary to admit it to myself. The time had come to turn to serious medical intervention for my progressively deteriating condition, which as it turns out, is not reversible. The words of my primary flight instructor ring in my ears: " If it becomes an agonizing decision, the answer is automatically no!" My flyiong days are ended. It was better that I make the decision myself .

Someone whose name escapes my memory once said something about "going out at the top of your game".I've never considered myself a pilot of particularly outstanding abilities yet neither have I ever had an accident or violation and there is just no sense tempting fate.

Upon landing at Hudson I had the good fortune to encounter Doug Stewart, National Flight Instructor of The Year, whom I am privileged to know. He affirmed that I had to be totally honest with myself and fif the time had cometo stop flying, I would know it only by addressing the circumstances honestly and acting accordingly. Making the right decisions, that's the responsibility of the pilot in command.

Since I came to the decision to cease flying, weveral well meaning people have offered their sympathies by saying "this must be a great loss to you. I prefer to view the glass as half full rather than empty.

I've had 34 more years of flying than most people; I feel fortunate for those years, the people and the experiences. My glass is more than half full and it always will be. I won't have the thrill of flying "Character" when she turns 50 in June of 2007, but we have spent over 33 years together and that will have to be enough.

There's a saying " a man deserves a good woman, a child of which to be proud, and a good dog". I've had all that and a couple of good airplanes too, so I'm still ahead of most earthbound mortals and have no regrets.

Writing and teaching ground school are still within my abilities and will occupy my efforts while I am able. I reflect fondly on the words of John Gillespie Magee, for now I have a keener insight into their real meaning. ( We hope that staying an active member of the Northeast Chapter of the SWPC and keeping a visible profile will also occupy Steve's time. Steve, Joyce, and David have been among the dozen or so that can only be describedas the "usual supects" that are always there. I am sure that they will remain so. We wish the Sevits family all the best and will be there for them as they have been there for us - Andy)

High Flight
By John GillespieMagee

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings:
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.

Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delerious, burning blue, I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untresspassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

In December 1941, Pilot Officer John G. Magee, a 19 year old American, serving with the Royal canadian Air Force in England, was killed when his Spitfire collided with another aircraft inside a cloud. Several moths before his death, he composed his immortal sonnet "High Flight", a copy of which he fortunately mailed to his parents in the U.S.A.

We hope to see you in Lock Haven on Sat. June 25th. Remember there will be no go/ no go on the phone line that morning. If not, perhaps at Montauk, N.Y. on July 9th. For that one, do check the 1-877- SWPCNE4 line after 7:30 am for the go/no go. Safe flying to you all. - Andy