President's Message

October 1999



Just maybe the weather Gods are going to let us get up to Cooperstown,N.Y. on the 16th with a rain date of the 17th. I've had a ball flying theTri-Pacer since it's rebuild. Besides looking great, both inside and out, it flies great. The day it was delivered, the interconnect hadn't been connected and it flew hands off/ball in center. With the interconnect connected, it still flies the same way! There is just one minor wrinkle. The fellow that did the interior, Don Brelling, who has a great reputation and did a great job, seems to have flown the coop! He was working out of the North American Aviation shop at the Danbury,Conn. airport. He's not there any more and no further phone or address. There are a couple of small items to be taken care of and I'm sure it won't be a big deal. The plane is drawing much attention at every airport and the interior gets some high marks! I've gotten several calls from people in the area regarding our Short Wing Pipers. Some are looking for parts, others are just curious about these planes. I try to be as helpful as I can and always encourage the callers to join the chapter. As members, we know the benefits of belonging to the chapter. Many folks out there are under the impressiont hat unless one owns and flies a Short Wing Piper, there's no reason to join. This includes members of the Short Wing Piper Club! We all know that this is not the case. As we discussed at Garnsey's, we all should make an effort to get some new blood into the chapter. Perhaps there can be an incentive like $5off one's renewal for each new member (up to 3 new members a year)? I'll bring this up at our next meeting. Many of you thought updating our brochure would be a good idea and I agree! All ideas are welcomed and we should really put an effort into this. Cooperstown, N.Y. (NY54) is a member of a dying breed of airports in this country. It is a neat grass strip, in good shape, has good facilities, fuel is available, a great bunch of folk hang out there along with some neat aircraft. There's even the airport cafe for those hungry folk that can't wait to get into town. We'll try to get there around 11:30 and hold the meeting at noon sharp to allow time for those that want to go into town for lunch, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Farmer's Museum. or just browsing around. It's that kind of town. Please bring ideas for future fly-ins to the meeting. Next month brings us to Oxford, Me for a tour of that famous aircraft paint facility and December we are at Meadowgreens/Columbia County airport for our annual winter brunch/party We're working on a presentation for that fly-in. More to follow. I hope to see you atCooperstown, I won't be able to make the November fly-in due to work Safe flying to you all! Letter from the Vice President To put things in order and the fact I didn't make an acceptance speech, on my nomination election, at Garnsey's, I will address the membership. My first idea, is that we should have a mission or statement of our mission, It would be, like this. We, the group of Pilots and aviation enthusiasts, through our fellowship keep and use our vehicles, the Piper Short wing aircraft, to travel, exercise our aviation skills, and promote aviation. We will gather to exchange relationships and ideas. As a leader, I would like to contribute my ideas of flying Short Wings. My flying is done in Massachusetts, and I try to make it point to travel to every small airport in that State, for many reasons, one is exposure and experience, and the other is; eat or get refreshments. My two top places for this, are; Southbridge and Plymouth. Southbridge 3B0 is the quaint one, has one of those old fashion diners beside the Field, from quick view it looks like 1950, all over again, although it could be considered a greasy spoon. It certainly has the bargain breakfast and lunch, they have one breakfast choice, they call the Taildragger, and if all your passengers have it, you better recheck your weight and balance before you leave, it comes on a platter, two of everything, and you can't eat all of it, all for less than $4.00, Coffee included, I know, you, New Yorkers are shaking your heads. They also have # Hamburger, for the $3 and something, the first thing, my Son said, when he saw it was "Dad I can't fit this in my mouth", Its called the Wing Sock Special. They have funny hours, though, I think its Thursday, Friday, Sat & Sun. and they close early on the weekend. Plymouth PYM is good, always have a good breakfast and lunch, at Plane Jane's, and it is very active, it is the heart of the South Shore (Boston) aviation, the AvGas price is decent, they sell MoGas too. You'll always see, somebody you met before there, and even meet somebody new, as an example, F Lee Bailey, keeps a helo and Learjet in one the farther hangars, I've never met him. I should give Mansfield 1B9 credit, they are active, and you can get something eat, But it is very close, so, I usual go over it, I want to travel a little farther. The next best little one is Spencer MATO, they a little Canteen Truck, Tailwind Take-Out is the name, off the side of Field, a Lady runs it, who is the daughter of one past FBO operator or something like that. She is very friendly and she will talk to you about those little things. Good for $1.00 drink or Hot-dog. When I was there, A brand new Husky was doing touch & Goes, I wonder, why would somebody put six figures in a plane, when the ones we love, can almost do the same thing. I wasn't impressed. Spencer is hard to find, a tarmac ribbon between the trees, and is in the Worcester, Class D airspace. But it is not very busy, sad story, beautiful Airport, recently improved, but went broke, couldn't get carriers to stay, so MASSPORT is going take over. I was upset with that little Canteen truck, the last time I was there. On my way to Garnsey's, stopped in to get my $2.00 bacon & eggs. There was a sign on it, "Closed for the Weekend". Beware, that area is high ground, 1000-FT elevation. To continue on, Sterling 3B3 is another quaint airport, with a small diner, and good for their Ice Cream, If you are there, the right time, it could be busy with gliders. It is the home of the MIT Glider Club. The time I was there, I saw the shadow of a glider on the ground when I was on final, above the numbers, I never saw the glider land. To get out of there, it was so backed up with 3 gliders to be towed; I took off in grass, not hard to do in Clipper. Not for from there, is Stow 6B6 Minute Man Air Field, Bill Mead's old Stumping ground, I didn't eat there, but a new restaurant has been built, The Air Field Cafe, a nice Menu, closed on Tuesdays. The story around there is that most people fly up the Jaffrey Nil, (Silver Ranch) for ice cream. I am not prejudiced against Western Mass or other States. I only go the Westfield BAF (13arnes) very active but doesn't have restaurant open, never to North. Hampton 7132, too much jumping is going on there. Hampton, NH 7B3 has a nice small field, with spacious Restaurant, Block Island BID, has a very small place to eat, you always have wait for chair, that's at the counter, and you pay $5.00 landing there. The Controlled Airports, are okay, except Martha's Vineyard MVY, it doesn't welcome us small ones, but this has only been lately, they just put in a new Terminal and have a lot of carriers coming in. I bet during the off season, they will probably have a different attitude. I wonder if there Restaurant is still open, last year, I had Crab cakes and eggs, But don't give up on the Island, you always go to Katama, right on the beach and has a small Restaurant, but it closes at 3PM. Another nice place is Tradewinds, the old Oak Bluffs Landing Field, it is restricted, and you have a permit to land there, I have, All that is there is Pine trees and a one holer Out House, but it is a 20 minute walk to town, go see the Flying Horses Carousel and the Ginger Bread Houses Nantucket, ACK seems to welcome us small GA, and will handle us, but what a bee hive, better off waiting until off season so you can have a short walk to Hutches Restaurant, from your plane. New Bedford EWB is probably the best, for a controlled airport, no heavy traffic, sometimes, you wonder if Comm Radio works, you don't hear anything, for longest time, call them, their home, and route you right in, Taxi to Wings Restaurant, right below the Tower. Not bad, they have some colloquial food, like fried Clams or stuffed Quohags and sometimes Steamers. I haven't been to Norwood or Beverly, so they're on my list of places to go. Golly, I almost forgot Chatham CQX, the end of Cape, a lot of new and old birds there, very active, and has a restaurant which is supposed to be good, but it closes at 2PM. On the way, drop in on Marston Mills (Cape Codder) 2BT,on the way back, it is an old type field, like the old Airdrome, you can land in any direction, it has a cute windmill tower on the FBO side, and with all the old birds there, it brings you back in time. There is a glider training at this field year round. If you bring your golf clubs, taxi over to Barnstable Fairgrounds Country Club, good for the off season, it also has a new ClubHouse to get a refreshment or food. Being a grass field, my Clipper is just drawn to it, it just loves that green soft stuff Then there is home, Myricks (Mal) is a private grass strip that always needs company, And you're welcomed, if you are experienced and confident in going into a strip like that, 2100 feet, but you have to cut through a divide in the trees when landing west, if you don't, you'll come in high, and it is not super flat, so don't be surprised if go into a bounce, even the experts do. The owner likes it like that; "it keeps the 310's out". If you get weathered in, while in that area, it is good place to hold over, There is an abandoned FBO shack, that is open, it will keep you warm & dry, and you can make yourself a coffee, Coca-Cola or Ice Tea, help yourself; it is used for our EAA Chapter Meetings, Nearby, a mile away is a Dunkin Do-Nuts and a Restaurant. For my Friends, who you all are: the Scotch, Peppermint Schnapps and Brandy are under the main counter, That is, if you are going extend your stay. Drop by some of these small places, But I bet New York and New Jersey, have these nice little landing places, where maybe it is better to talk or see someone, other than a Control Tower. Oh yes, Control Towers, another Subject I want to bring up. It is about a member who has had trouble with FAA, like lost his privilege to fly, for six months, and it is for something we all do, and have to do. So Jim gave me permission to tell about this, because I really didn't want to talk or write about somebody. This happened last November, when Jim left the Groton field, for home, after the Chapter meeting, he and a passenger heard a loud noise in engine, during the climb, so he called the Tower, to returned for landing, did not call an emergency. When down, he opened the cowling and found that the exhaust stack stud nuts were loose on one cylinder. So he proceeded to find an A & P Mechanic on Field, it was Sunday, so nobody was around, of course. Common Sense was to solve the problem and fix it your self; so he borrowed a wrench, tightened it, and it was repaired so off he departed. Jim never called an emergency, but he probably did inform the Tower what he was doing, the next day he get a call from the FAA, and they ask questions on this matter. Jim being a very honest person, and would never lie, did say too much, and was charge with an FAR violation, of unauthorized maintenance, on an aircraft, Six months suspension of flying privileges. I couldn't believe it myself; of such a harsh penalty, a warning yes, he is flying a craft that is over 40 years old, it would safe, just to keep tools with you, for an emergency and good preflight, I do, I feel naked without my Leatherman. I wish Jim made it point to fight this, he did feel defeated, because, when he went to AOPA, which he pays the $2.00 legal fee, with his membership, they could only recommend a Lawyer, that is all they did. Jim can quote you FAR Req. where was in the right, to do emergency corrective maintenance, for your own safety. I think if he belonged to the EAA, they would have made a strong protest, is this cause. But what Jim is suffering from is the, Bureaucratic Reaction, just before that, the Swiss Air went down off of Halifax," smoke in the Cockpit", Therefore the Bureaucratic have to solve this problem, and watch it, so it doesn't happen again. Jim '5 situation raised a flag. I'm waiting for the Kennedy crash Reaction, DO NOT fly in marginal Haze, I believe they are going to bust somebody for that, but there hasn't been any heavy haze since that time, around here anyway. There is a reason I am bringing this up, for there is something to learn from it. If the FAA contacts you for some reason, ask, if you have to answer these questions. Say nothing, avoid them, that advise, have already been put in flying magazine articles. I have my Mechanics phone no. Imprinted in my brain, for anything I have to fall back on, just in case. I have said enough for this article; I will have some more the next, and hope to see you soon at future meetings. Safe Flying