124 Little York Rd.
Cobleskill, N.Y. 12043
A happy and healthy new year to you all! Our last fly-in of the year was a huge success. The weather was on the mild side for mid December and it was good VFR. There was forecasted weather for later towards evening and some of us encountered low ceilings on the way to Columbia County, but the flight was smooth, both up and back.
Marc Pekowsky couldnt make it. It turns out that Al Santilli, a CFII that specializes in gliders and works at Wurtsboro, N.Y. on the weekends, is a regular sub in the school I teach in. I invited him along and he had a great time, especially talking with Noel Anderson, another sky sailor. We spent the better part of 45 minutes in Richmor Aviations office watching Cherokee after Cherokee (with a Diamond thrown in) arrive, but no Short Wing Pipers! Noel Anderson finally arrived and we gave it another 10 minutes. I knew that Steve & Joyce Sevits would be there
Eventually, but where were they? It was after 12:00 and we were facing potential weather later. This is usually a very popular chapter event
But I proclaimed that this one looked like a bust!
As we pulled into Meadowgreens parking lot, the Sevits party pulled up on our left, Tom Bennenson on our right, and Rico Cannone & Wes Morris taxied up in Ricos Tri-Pacer on some still solid grass. Hey things were looking up. We went inside and met our two guests for this event. Dawn Nazarian is the woman that designed and made the new hats & shirt with our chapter logo that some of us have seen. They are really quite good and reasonable! The blue dress shirt is sharp. She also had a (I think) fleece pullover sweater with the logo. It was a bit pricey, but worth it. We will get a list of prices and items (perhaps Steve could arrange to get a few digital photos of the items for our next newsletter) and get them to you all. We thank her for her time and effort and hope to be able to do business with her in the near future.
Also inside Meadowgreens was our guest speaker-presenter, Al Miller from the Albany, N.Y. FSDO.
Mr. Miller is an Aviation Safety Inspector & Safety Program Mgr. with the FAA. He put on a most informative and enjoyable power point presentation on detecting, dealing with, and reporting suspected unapproved aircraft parts
With good information about how and who can manufacture and install the parts. Of course he also talked about the ever important documentation of the parts and their installation. The subject is quite relevant to owners of older planes such as ours. I would suggest you get ahold of Advisory Circular AC#21-29B which covers this issue extensively.
Mr. Miller also gave a good presentation on winter flying and the danger of whiteout conditions. This is the season for that and one must remember the ever important, but often ignored maneuver, the one your primary (or only) instructor told you about, the one you have read about in countless magazine articles, the one often ignored as your destination looms nearer and get homeitis kicks in the 180 degree turn!!! If performed immediately, you wont have to say the famous two words and ponder how you could have been so stupid as to get yourself into this potentially lethal situation.
Belive me, its no fun entering the frozen milk bowl, losing all outside reference, having the plane ice up, and youre only a VFR pilot, staring to bounce around, and you were sure that the airport was just over there (wherever that may have been before you lost it). The important thing to do when the outside turns white is to get out of there fast and ponder your options in VFR conditions.
Mr. Miller also discussed the anatomy of an accident. Reams have been written about this subject. The real answer comes down to clear thinking and judgement before you enter the aircraft. If you are in any way impaired physically, mentally, or emotionally, if you are tired, it probably is setting up a condition that could lead to problems that are avoidable. Just how necessary is this flight? Just how necessary is it that you stay alive? Is the weather not up to your minimums? How is the terrain?
Is this flight being conducted at night? How is your equipment? One must give serious thought to all these factors before risking life and limb. There are many inherant risks involved in flying, just as there are with crossing the street. Its up to you to manage these risks. Mr. Miller showed a clip that I saw in an old Piper Owners Soc. Magazine called aviation baseball. Each potentially bad situation equalled a strike. The feeling was that if you had 2 or more strikes, you shouldnt fly at that time. If I can find the article, Ill put it in the next newsletter. If any of you happen to have a copy, please send it to me.
Mr. Miller also told us what might be coming down the road from the FAA and our uncle. Less for more you know what I mean? Safety programs such as we took part in that afternoon and the resources that disseminate this vital information could be greatly lessened or eliminated. The good old FSS could become a thing of the past (as we know it). There could be more negative impacts on General Aviation as we know it (remember GA is considered anything other than the airlines and military). This all comes under the guises of safety, general interest of all, and of course, fiscal responsibility. It all makes sense to me and you, right? Just like the state of Wyoming getting the same amount of $$ for homeland security as the state of New York. Sure it makes sense, sure it does. The situation is quite disturbing. We are spoiled as Americans, in regards to private flying and our freedoms. You dont have to go any further than Canada to see how the other ½ lives. Across the pond fugetaboutit!
Over the years, our chapter has had a very good relationship with the Albany FSDO. Our old friend Mark Furman, has provided us many an informative and enjoyable presentation, as have other safety personnel. Mr. Millers efforts are also of the highest caliber. We thank him and the folks at the Albany FSDO for all their efforts. May their efforts help keep us safe and happy in the future. I hope we can see Al again next year (at Meadowgreens).
Besides the previously mentioned attendees, Vice President David Adams flew in from Taunton, Mass. in his Clipper, Mike Hirsch arrived from Beverly, Mass. with Davis Keniston & Lee Gibson. Our annual guests & friends of the Sevits family, Don & Caroline Roberts were there. Nick Frisz & new treasurer Gary Collins arrived in Nicks Vagabond, along with Glenn Guilfoyle in a PA-11, and Bob Ferenzi in a PA-12, all from up north in Hudson Falls. Last, but certainly not least, were Mike and Margaret Archambault who drove in from Catskill, N.Y. From a proclaimed bust of a fly-in, we had 22 people and 7 planes. For our chapter, thats quite good!
Gary Collins is our new treasurer and his address is on the masthead of this newsletter. He seems to have everything under control. I trust the transition from Margaret to Gary went smoothly. We have a treasury
balance of about $840. You can also
reach Gary - Collinsgn@yahoo.com.
Time was of the essence, since nobody wanted to get home in the dark, especially the guys who land on the little island at Hudson Falls.
They arent exactly set up for night landings. Still we had many gifts to draw for. Santa Tom Bennenson brought along a very generous assortment of aviation items again and we thank him, along with donations from the Archambaults, Sevits, and Adams families. The winner of the $50 holliday gift was Wes Morris. All had a good time.
There was once again, discussion about the new Sport Pilot category and the increased value of the Vagabond, the only Short Wing Piper that is in this category. We didnt have much time for a lot of business. We did set the next fly-in for Sat. January 22nd, with the 23rd the alternate, for Fulton County Airport (NY0) in Johnstown, N.Y. just west of the Albany area. We met there last year and it proved to be a good location, especially for winter oerations. Perhaps well see the ski guys from Hudson Falls on skis, like last year? Perhaps Jan. 22nd will be a balmy winter day like last year (dont bet on it)?
Well meet at noon inside the Airport Diner, just east of the FBO. Among the things to discuss are dates and sites for future fly-ins. I know that some of you must feel that most of our fly-ins are in one area of our geography. I agree with you. Its just that evry time we venture to the east and further to the norhteast, we still get the usual suspects showing up and they happen to be from the western sector of our chapter (exceptions being Mike Hirsch & David Adams). Februarys fly-in will be in the eastern sector if we get in our Jan. fly-in. Well go to NY0 if we dont make it in Jan. Andy Seligson