124 Little York Rd.
Cobleskill, N.Y. 12043
Ive been to Sentimental Journey 8 times over the history of this event and the weather has always been iffy, if not bad. The 9th time had its buggaboos in the weather department. No doubt this was the reason our turnout was thin. I must say that Mike Hirsch had been out there until mid-week, but had to return home.
One problem with the weather was haze. Plenty of it with visibility between 3-10 miles. My flight from HPN was smooth at 4500 and the visibility was generally good. I left at 8:00 am, before the thermals got going. Of course there was a good headwind.
Heat was the other problem. I swore to myself that if the weather was going to be marginal for me, Id go eastbound to the beach. Ninety plus degrees at Lock Haven is no haven! And hot it was!
In the early days of Sentimental Journey, a temporary FAA tower was put in place. This was not popular with the many Cubs and other NORDOS that flock to this event. So the organizers went back to the uncontrolled format. For the most part, pilots were doing an excellent job of approaching, entering, flying, and exiting the pattern, as well as taxiing. All this was done without any Incidents ( I believe ). As in the past, a group of fantastic volunteers acted as observers/advisors (controllers) in the makeshift tower. They did a terrific job!!
Upon entering the swarm (pattern) I noticed a J-3 below me and off my right wing. He was apparently a nordo and was flying a very wide pattern or sightseeing over the field at pattern altitude. He finally made a wide right turn and we all assumed (correctly) that he was landing on the grass. Runway 27L was the grass and 27R was the paved runway.
For the first time in 9 years, I was given a parking spot in the row by the tower, 2 spots in from the main gate! Some folks said it was because the Tri-Pacer looked so good. Nonsense! A plane had left the spot and there was a lineup behind me that they had to park. Like last year, I was met by Jim Fields, a long time member of our chapter. Last year, I hung out with Jim and we drove over to the dinner at the private strip over the ridge from Lock Haven, then found the last 2 motel rooms left! It was good to see him. He drove down from the Watertown, N.Y. area. We walked around the lines of planes and saw many an eye catcher! In the end, it was too hot, so we made a beeline to the covered pavillion and shade. Thats where we met up with the rest of the members. Rico Cannone and Dale Privadera drove down from the Saratoga, N.Y. area.
Phil and Teresa Jacobus drove down from the Finger Lakes region in western N.Y. Phil has a cracked exhaust stack on his Pacer. The ever present Steve Sevits drove down from the Albany, N.Y. area. Bill Natale was there from Granville, N.Y. We bumped into Dick Howland, a past member from Springfield, Mass. who was helping his son & daughter-in law at some aviation related merchandise booth in the vendor area. The Queen of the Short Wing Pipers was there (Miss Pearl) with Frank Sperandeo.
Due to the heat and lack of any late arrivals, we started our meeting at 5 past noon. Not a lot to discuss. Gloria and I will be out to the convention as will be Phil & Theresa Jacobus, Rico Cannone, and Dave and Pat Adams. I am calling our treasurer, Gary Collins, to send me a check for $75 which will be our chapters donation for the convention door prizes for fuel $$. We felt that an increase from $50 was the right thing to do with rising gas prices.
Dave Adams is in the process of buying a home at Windsock Village near Lake Winnepessauke, N.H. and will have us fly in for a getogether real soon. I will also try to communicate with Fabio Schulthess and see what his schedule and house are like for a visit to Sugarbush, Vt. Steve Sevits has decided to sell his Tri-Pacer and will get the particulars together and out to us when he is ready. We set the calendar for July and August.
Our next fly-in is our beach party at Montauk, N.Y. (MTP) on Sat. July 9th with the 10th the rain date. Unicom is 122.7, there is no Fuel, there are shower and toilet facilities at the office along with soda machines, Hellen provides a van service to take you to the beach which is at the approach end of runway 24, bring your own food & drink as well as beach gear, there is a good restaurant across the street from the airport, a short cab ride will take you into town so you can part with your $$. Speaking of money, make sure you tell Hellen that you are with the Short Wing Piper group so youll only have to pay a $10 fee instead of the usual $15.
As it stands now, Sat. August 27th with the 28th the rain date, will be the fly-in to Garnseys our annual bash. Lets hope that it isnt a bust like last year. The Garnseys have a great grass strip along the Hudson south of Glens Falls,N.Y. (B04) and they literally open their home to us! They also provide the grill we provide the food and drink (BYO) and share. Theres swimming in the river (its clean) and we usually draw a huge crowd. Lets see if we can set a new record this year.
Before signing off, I wanted to say something about NORDOS, the no radio aircraft that are (and should be) still flying around our country. There is a time and a place for such activity. At the ( not so ) old Mahopac Airport, many a plane would never use their radio (if they had one ). Hardly anyone would be flying into or our of it. At countless little rural airfields, the big shot broadcasting all his position reports usually falls on deaf ears or on the ears of pilots 50 miles away at the big airport. Is this pilot wrong? No!!
This might just be the day that some visiting pilot lands at Pothole Farms. Those position reports are for safety!
Many years ago, I flew my dads Stearman to Oshkosh without a radio and it was quite an adventure! I also have at least 2000 hours of banner towing, much of it in a PA-12 without a radio. I also operated a Waco UPF-7 for sightseeing rides for 2 years Nordo and all these operations without a radio posed very little problem (to me).
One must be cognizant of the environment that they are flying in. The Waco didnt have a radio and we werent going to install one. The sole purpose of this plane was to hop sightseeing rides. It was takeoff, and an extended pattern out over the bay to the beaches of the Hamptons, along the beach, and back in 10-15 minutes tops! The field was uncontrolled and had skydivers, banner operations, and soaring! It was a zoo!! Everyone at that field knew everyone else and it was a rare occurrence that some newcomer would brave the short, narrow runway.
As time went by, airspace became more complex (controlled) and there were great advances in technology. As you walked the line at Lock Haven and peered into some of these planes, many of them older than my 1958 PA22, you noticed the panel. Nav-Coms, Gps, intercom, transponder, hand held radios & Gps. If it wasnt installed, it was portable. There are even auxillary alternators for external electrical systems out there. Many of the owners of antique and classic aircraft are opting to use what is available, eschewing originality, in the name of safety. If you are going to operate where you should be communicating, you really ought to consider using, at least, a handheld radio. I hope to see you at MTP-Andy
Jim Fields & Clipped Wing Monocoupe at LHV.
Steve Sevits, Bill Natale, Phil & Theresa Jacobus, Andy Seligson,Dale Privadera, Rico Cannone, & Jim Fields
Andy Seligson & Tri-Pacer at Lock Haven
Amish family watching a Colt at Lock Haven
LtoR: Dick Howland, Rico Cannone, Andy Seligson at Sentimental Journey