37 Summit Avenue
Catskill, N.Y. 12414
We set a record at our “annual bash” at Zene & Marcia Garnsey’s on Sat. Aug. 23rd. While we did have 15 people in attendance, only one member flew in along with a person in a familiar plane who dropped in and (I hope) joined. This was a nearly perfect day for flying. I do realize that there were, and always will be, other competing factors that can have an effect on our turnouts. Please don’t get me wrong. While this is a chapter of the Short Wing Piper Club and aircraft is our passion and many of us are lucky enough to own an airplane, folks – people are the important thing in an organization and we did have people!
I flew up from HPN in my Tri-Pacer with Marc Pekowsky. We welcome new member Gary Collins who flew in from Sharon Springs, N.Y. in his new purchase – former member GlennGuilfoyle’s Vagabond. Member Neal Hullet drove over from Granville, N.Y. where he owns the famous Granville Airport (and more knowledge about our planes than most). Steve and Joyce Sevits drove up from East Greenbush, N.Y. Rico Cannone and Dale Privadera drove over from Ballston Spa, N.Y. along with his 2 sisters and brother inlaw. Last, but not least, was Marcia & Zene Garnsey and their 2 daughters who are always the most gracious hosts for this event. They have a Colt and vintage C-172 in their hangar. On the field, was a Cub and a C-185 on floats in the river. It was a great day! When Rico drove up with the clan, it reminded some of us of a fly-in many years ago when there were four generations of Cannones at Garnsey’s!
Since we didn’t have the turnout we had hoped for, the business portion of the fly-in was put on hold. Perhaps at our next fly-in, which is Saturday Sept. 20th with the 21st as the rain date at the Red Mill Restaurant at the Basin Harbor Resort on Lake Champlain in Vergennes, Vermont. Like Garnsey’s, Basin harbor has been a popular destination and perhaps we will attract a somewhat larger crowd. We’ll meet at noon at the Red Mill, which is adjacent to Basin harbor’s great turf runway (better than a lot of paved ones). The grounds are beautiful to walk through and if the weather is warm enough, bring your bathing suit, because the lake is at its warmest! Alas. Basin Harbor does not have fuel, so plan accordingly. CTAF is 122.8 but don’t plan on getting a reply unless someone else is on the radio.
Since there wasn’t too much in the way of input, we decided on the calendar thru December. October’s fly-in will be Sat. Oct. 11th with the 12th the rain date, at Cooperstown, N.Y. The Fall foliage should be great at that time. Hopefully our new member Gary Collins can help out a little, with the assistance of Dave Adams, and Steve Sevits, as I am not available any weekend in October. We’ll try and work out some kind of transportation into town. There is, of course, the Baseball hall of Fame & the Farmer’s Museum along with restaurants and shops. Cooperstown is always a good destination. Gary tells me that the airport was sold and the new owner has transformed it into something we won’t recognize (good)! I’ll call the new owner this weekend.
Saturday November 22nd with the 23rd as the rain date will be to the New England Aviation Museum at Bradley in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. We haven’t been here for several years and this place has also been spruced up. Perhaps as an inducement, the chapter will pick up the ubiquitous landing fee? As in the past, lunch will be a catch as catch can (order in to the FBO or get a courtesy van ride to a nearby restaurant) because the museum does not have eating facilities. We’ll try and make this an 11:00 a.m. meeting at the FBO so we have time for all our activities. More details to follow.
Our annual holiday getogether will be Sat. Dec. 6th with Sun. the 7th the alternate at Meadowgreens at Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson, N.Y. Who knows, maybe Santa will again bring some goodies, along with our holiday $$$ raffle for paid up members.
I’ll try and see if the Albany FSDO can supply our favorite – Mark Furman or some other safety counselor for a presentation. Hopefully the pesky weather of last year’s fly-in will not return!
If you have a place you think would be good for a chapter fly-in/meeting, please let me know. It would be great if it had a reasonable runway with parking facilities. On site or nearby eating facilities/picnic areas would be great. Some kind of special attraction would be a plus. You showing up – priceless!
By Ray O’Donnell
I haven’t written in quite a while and wanted you to know that Dale and I are doing fine here in Alabama. I had some good and bad news concerning our Luscombe. During the last annual, the IA informed us that 2 of the cylinders would need rebuilding due to low compression (valves). After he tore down and rebuilt the 2 bad cylinders, I Suggested that he do the other 2, which he did. Unfortunately, when he reassembled the engine, he neglected to make sure the push rod in one of thje cylinders was mated to its lifter body. After the test flight (which he performed being a Luscombe freak) he noticed a rather loud noise. Upon further inspection, he called me and explained what had happened … not good news. The only fix was to tear down the engine and replace the lifter body (which also entails new main and rod bearings). I suggested that we stop right there and said I would bring down my “spare” engine (had 56 SMOH). This sounded like a good deal so Dale and I schlepped the engine down to his shop and he swapped engines.
During the test flight the engine quit! The mechanic dead-sticked the ship onto the runway and pushed it into his hangar. After a minute or two, he decided to see if the engine would start … it did, but only ran for a couple of minutes. Back to square one. I asked him how much more work would be needed to major the original 75hp engine? He said really very little. After consulting Dale (AKA money-bags) we gave the go ahead for the tear down. The engine was majored, runs super, and is still being “run-in”.
The point of all this? I went down to his shop to pay (there isn’t a blood pressure medicine in the world that would have lowered mine at that point). The mechanic started by saying this whole mess was his fault (OK, my blood pressure is now below 300). Since it was his fault he decided not to charge me labor. Super! What are we down to now, $6,000? Custom Aircraft Works had: 1. annualed the plane 2. swapped engines…twice and 3. majored the original engine. The price? How about $2968? It gets better! He managed to sell the magnetos from my “spare” engine for $1000. My total $1968 for an annual and major. Good things happen!!
I have joined the new SWPC chapter here in the south. The Dixie Chapter of the SWPC was granted a charter at the convention in Springfield last July. Our chapter consists of Alabama, Mississippi, and Northern Florida. You have to see the chapter logo. Go to the chapter website at www.dixieshortwing.org and you’ll get a view of the logo. If you click on “members” you can see the member lsit and a picture of each of our airplanes. I hear that there is a picture of a Luscombe with what looks like Robert Redford standing next to it. Anyway, we are excited about finally having a local chapter of the SWPC. Yes it has been a summer filled with fly-ins and good flying.
Dale and I miss each and every member of the Northeast Chapter…there are none better. I only hope the Dixie Chapter comes moderately close to your equal. I hope to make the convention in Michigan next year (one heck of a distance in a little Luscombe). Take care and I hope you folks had a great time at Zene’s!
Call the info-line 1-877-SWPCNE4 for a go/no-go after 7:30 a.m. on the day of a fly-in.
Safe flying to you!