Short Wing Piper Club
What can I say about the weather for our fly - in to Cooperstown, NY . It was ideal! The forecast was for good VFR though out the day with light winds. The only possible glitch was a little ground fog that would burn off before arrival. Thats how the weather turned out with just high cirrus and good visibility. It also turned out to be a very popular event for our chapter. We had 32 people fly or drive in, including 16 aircraft. This was a joint fly - in with the Mid - Atlantic Chapter. While they only had 5 people in 2 planes attend, one must remember that its quality, not quantity that matters. The Porter brothers and guest along with Ron Demmler flew up from the Baltimore, MD area. Actually, Gary Rossman and guest along with yours truly, are joint members of both chapters. Those attending were:
The agenda was pretty loose and some of the early arrivals grabbed a ride into town right away. While many of us wanted to chat and look over the different aircraft on the line, some more wanted to be next for the ride to town. Nobody took Steve Sevits offer of transportation and a guided tour of the Farmers Museum. Im not sure that anyone went to the Baseball Hall of Fame either. Most just wanted to got into town, walk around, and have lunch at one of the many restaurants.
We held our meeting outside the Airport Cafe in some lovely, mild Autumn weather amid the spectacular Fall colors. There was no major business to attend to. We discussed our next 2 fly - in. Novembers meeting is on Sat. Nov. 21st with Sun.the 22nd as the alternate. The destination is Groton, Conn. for a tour of the Submarine Museum in nearby New London followed by lunch at Constantines in Nyantic. This was suggested by Steve Sevits and voted on at Garnseys. The museum has no admission fee and is well worth the trip with some fascinating exhibits including a walk-through of a real submarine. I can vouch for this museum, having toured it last spring. The Chapter will rent the largest van available for our ground transportation. If anyone is planning to drive in to this event, please let me know. You could be a great help in assisting with ground transportation. to and from the F.B.O. We really have to get to the ramp at Groton no later than 11:00 to get to and from the airport/museum/restaurant. Lets hope that the weather and your aircraft cooperate! The F.B.O. for our fly - in is Columbia Air Svcs. Any landing /parking fees will be paid by the chapter
Our December Fly - in will be a Sunday only affair with the 13th being the date and the 20th as the alternate. Were flying to Columbia County airport in Hudson, NY for the big $9.95 all-you can eat buffet at nearby Meadowgreens. Hopefully we will not be sitting right on top of the food like last year. We also hope to have a presentation by the Albany, NY F.S.D.O. as we have had in the years past. This is usually our second largest turnout of the year. Hopefully you will help continue its popularity. We now have a Northeast Chapter Website. Its address is : http://members.tripod.com/swpcne Our E mail address for information, comments and articles to the website is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another huge thanks to Rico Cannone for his great job on our Newsletter. Phil Jacobus reports that his Pacer is scheduled to be flying by the time you read this.. So is my Tri- Pacer, but that is if you read this in the next millennium! Noel Anderson is also considering having his Colt re-covered in the near future. Good luck Noel! We are all so pleased to see Joe Dille flying back and forth and being his old self. Im pleased to announce that our V.P. Hank Van Valkenburg is coming along fine. Gloria and I visited Hank and Jackie last Sunday. Hes weak but in great spirits. They flew over to Orange Co. last Saturday for lunch and Hank flew the leg back home to Alexandria. Hes going back into the hospital at the end of October for another round of Chemo and then, we hope, on to Columbia County? Give him a call. Hed love to hear from you 908 735 6596.
Those of us in the chapter who own Short Wing Pipers own aircraft that are in the 40 - 50 year old category. Thats as old as I am - ouch! Most of these planes have had a life outside in the element which does not bode well for steel tubing covered with fabric. Many of us have gone the rebuilding/restoring process. Many more will consider doing so in the future. There are some major considerations that one should seriously ponder before taking the plunge and it is quite a plunge that plays heavily on finances and emotions. Some initial ground work before crossing the line can save you many things like money, health, and even your marriage/relationship. The first big question you should ask is whether you really want to restore/preserve your aircraft? Do you really fly it? How often does the plane fly? 30-50 hours a year ( or even less! )? What shape is it really in - both airframe and engine? Would this plane be better off sold to someone that really wants to go through the trouble of going through the restoration process? Would YOU be better off? This is serious consideration that some folks take lightly, thus all the projects for sale.
O.K. you really do want to preserve your investment. Remember this - you aint never gonna recoup the bucks you eventually pour into this venture. Youre doing this for YOU and thats o.k.
Are you going to perform the work on the plane alone or with friends and family? Are you capable and do you have the tools and proper facility for the work? If you answer yes, do you have the time to spare for this project? It does take alot of time especially if youre doing this in your spare time ( who has spare time? ) like years! This will no doubt cut into your recreational flying time. Does this matter to you? Hey if youre a professional pilot and find this therapeutic in your spare time - great!!
There are many different processes on the market for fabric recover projects. They all have plusses and minuses. I wont get into the specifics except to say that if someone suggests using IMRON paint - walk away from that person!!! Imron was and is not meant to be used on fabric. Just ask the manufacturer - Dupont. This will save you alot of heartache and money. Ive been there, done that, gotten duped, and those of you who know my Tri - Pacer can attest to how Imron does not stand up over a period of time. If you like the wet look there are new urethanes on the market that really do hold up due to the flex agent. Check with the manufacturer and with people that have used such paint.
If you dont have the time or the ability to do the task yourself, there is a dying breed out there that does a great job at dope & fabric. There are also plenty of people out there that would have you believe that they are a member of that breed. They could turn out to be your worst nightmare! You must do a lot of investigatory work in choosing someone to do this project. Ask around , talk to people that have had work done by these people and look at the results. Call your local F.S.D.O. and inquire as to the reputation of such people as it relates to tube and fabric work. Just because and A&P/AI has a terrific reputation of the knowledge of the FARs, it doesnt mean this person knows squat about tube and fabric work. Just ask chapter member Gary Corwin!
Now youve found someone that can fit the bill. Speaking of bill, whats this persons bill going to be?
How does he or she determine your cost? Usually they will compute a rough estimate based on known materials and labor. Once the fabric is taken off and corroded tubing has to be dealt with, the price goes up.
The same with control cables and pulleys, wiring, hoses, etc.. Did I mention interior? Thats another item with another expense ( and possibly another person to perform the work ). How about the engine and prop? These are important items for any of our planes and come with their own price tag. Youve all heard the phrase time is money . It certainly is. How long is this job going to take this person to perform? Thats a biggie that the guy doing my plane is still having trouble answering accurately - know what I mean? Many people that are members of that dying breed will tell you that if your job is straight forward with no glitches (whatever that means ) and theyre working on your plane full time, it shouldnt take more than 3-4 months from sign on the bottom line to sign off. Thats what my guy told me. The thing is that the specific months and year are still in question. Do you get the impression that Im getting annoyed with how my plane is coming along. Annoyed is a nice word. I know this persons reputation and his show of quality work. Its just that I gave him the deposit check at the end of February 1998 and was first told that Id fly the plane to the Ohio Convention in July, then it would make Garnseys for Labor Day, the latest was the end of November. In all fairness, he didnt say which November. I wont go into the excuses offered. When the plane is sitting in parts on the floor of the shop and even a kid who knows nothing of aircraft and mechanics looks at it, you just know it aint goin to be November 1998! So you have all this stuff in writing, so what! That wont put it together to fly right. Patience and years of therapy are getting me through this. That and the fact that member Gary Corwin has been letting me fly his Tri-Pacer during this ordeal. I cant thank him enough. Hes gone through this with his plane as has Phil Jacobus and many, many more.
In the end , I know what the result will be. Ill get a Tri - Pacer that was covered properly, tubes welded the right way, good control cables and pulleys installed properly, good rigging, interior, and a good paint job. I wont settle for anything less. Ill also get a good bill no doubt along with some minor haggling. Just know what youre getting into and it will turn out o.k. With whatever the figure might be, where else could you get a 4 place plane with its performance for such a price? Have you priced a restored C-172 or garden variety Cherokee lately? And they dont offer what a Tri-Pacer or Pacer can give, not to mention the price differential. There is a treasure chest of Short Wing Pipers ( and all others ) out there that , with some (alot) T.L.C. and the bucks, will give many of us a lifetime of enjoyment. I know this will be the last restoration of N8500D in my lifetime! Some of these treasures are right in our chapter. If you own one and want to go through the trouble, I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
If you probably are getting tired of the tired old bird, consider selling it to someone that will give it the care due it.
I hope to see you in Groton, Conn. on the 21st. Safe flying to you all.
GO OR NO GO DECISION ON DAY OF FLY-IN
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