37 Summit Avenue
Catskill, N.Y. 12414
A few of us are still trying to fugure out why, on one of the 10 best flying days of the year ( 60 plus in Nov.!! ), only 3 planes with 4 people showed up for our fly-in to the New England Aviation Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut? I flew up solo in my Tri-Pacer from Westchester Co., Dave Adams arrived solo in his Clipper from Taunton, Mass., and Rico Cannone and Wes Morris flew in from the Saratoga, N.Y. area in Ricos Tri-Pacer.
Steve Sevits drove from the Albany, N.Y. area, because his Tri-Pacer was contributing to the economy of Granville, N.Y. (maintenance at Neal Hulets). This was good for both Neal and us. Our group had its ground transportation to the museum in house. Ken Brown and his son (Bob?) flew in from North Central, R.I. in an Archer and hopped aboard our limo for our group tour of the museum. Ken, a former Naval aviator, is a retired FAA type. Nice guys and it was godd having them along. Who lnows, maybe theyll join the chapter some day?
For those of you who have never been to the New England Aviation Museum, youre missing out on a real treasure! Our chapter has made this trip several times in the last 18 years. It always amazes me how some of the planes and exhibits change, yet it always seems to hold my interest ( as well as the interest of countless others and is the reason for this institutions success). Hey, isnt that the strong point of most museums??? Duh ..!
Its real easy to get to. Just fly into BDL, go to TAC Air, pay the $10 parking fee (to the State), and theyll shuttle you back and forth to the museum. Admission is $7 for adults, I think $5 for kids, and lucky us, the majority of our group of 7 was a Senior Citizen so we paid $6.
The museum has 2 basic sections in 2 large hangars, that are connected by a hallway with some engines and photos/Bios of aviation pioneers. The first section is devoted to military aviation from W.W. 1 thru the present. The aircraft in this museum, with the exception of only a few, are the real deal! This hangar is home to many fighter planes from the Fokker Tri-Plane of W.W. 1 to many jets and fighter bombers. I have to be honest with you. Im just not a jet aficionado and am drawn to the Corsair, Thunderbolt, Hell Cat, Spitfire, and yes Stearman. The rotory wing is also represented here, as are engines, people, ammunition, armament, and some vehicles. Quite impressive!
The civilian aviation exhibit, in the other hangar, is still my favorite. From Wright replica to Rutans work, this section has some great examples of civilian aircraft, both large and small. The last time we were at the museum as a group, they gave us a tour of the restoration facility/hangar, where they were restoring the enormous Sikorsky Flying Boat. It is now complete and takes center stage in this exhibit. Theres a kind of ratty DC-3 donated by Taino Air. It looked a hell of a lot better than the DC-3s I flew!
I seem to always be drawn to sharp, yet odd-ball aircraft (PA-22 ?) and they have one (of many) in the name of a Sikorsky S-39. This is a mini-flying boat amphibian single. Its the companiuon ship to the S-38 twin that was featured in the AOPA Pilto back in September, by Barry Schiff. This 1930 aircraft was given to the Civil Air Patrol back then and was subsequently donated to the NEAM. I had never seen one. Its pretty sharp in its Royal Blue and Yellow color scheme.
On May 31st, there was a ceremony for the dedication of the B-29 exhibit in its own hangar. Its quite an impressive aircraft. When you consider what it takes to restore a plane of this magnitude, both inside and out, it truly is amazing. Then again, some of us have restored aircraft of much lesser size, and trust me , thats amazing!! Its a great exhibit and they are still working on the interior.
We did get to tour the restoration facility. They were working on a Mig that had been outdoors for a long time and was going back out for some more. I think they were just doing cosmetic stuff to it. Speaking of outdoors, the NEAM has an outdoor exhibit of about a dozen planes ranging from a pretty good Grumman Albatross(?) to some pretty tired looking fighters. Outside was a good example of a Sikorsky Flying Crane. Ive seen them up close and in action. The best setting for these loud helicopters is right outside at a museum!
Naturally, the planes outside take a beating from the elements. Kind of like mine (at $225 a month).
The museum has a pretty good gift shop. There are several interactive displays. Alas there are no food facilities here. Most of us made do by eating a snack at the FBO. Steve Sevits brought his lunch. I had stopped for breakfast on the way up so I wasnt hungry.
The chapter sprang for the $10 parking/State fee. I laid out the $30 and will settle up with Margaret at Meadowgreens on December 6 (7th the alternate) for our Holiday fly-in/meeting at Columbia County Airport (1B1). Well meet at noon for lunch (buffet brunch if it is on Sun. the 7th) holiday cheer, a holiday $$ raffle for paid up members, and a presentation by our friend Mark Furman from the FAA FSDO in Albany, N.Y. Mark has always done good by us and from what he told me hes going to talk about, hell be doing good again for us! I sincerely hope that there will not be a repeat of last years snow squalls that ruined some of our return trips. In fact we can all wish for weather like we had this past weekend. Sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s. Fat chance. I hope you can make this one.
Bring your ideas with you to this fly-in, especially where to go for upcoming events. Steve Sevits has suggested Fulton County Airport just west of the Capital District. Hes investigating the reataurant situation and will report at Meadowgreens. Dont forget that food isnt the biggest criteria for where to have a fly-in. Then again, it dont hurt! Just make sure that the ramp space has parking for our aircraft and is plowed along with the runway. We can always brown bag it!
A note from Fabio Schulthess
Hi Andy, I just came back from a 767 trip to Florida, Costa Rica, & Jamaica and surfed the net a bit, checked out the SWPC page and found your Nov. newsletter. CONGRATULATIONS!! What a nice job. I sent the link to all my friends and neighbors, so about 2 dozen people are going to check this out.
I am not a computer freak, so I have problems once in a while sending pictures theyre all on my laptop.
I will try to send you some pretty good air to air pictures we did this fall of my Pacer over Vermont. By the way, when I flew to Orlando, Florida last week, I flew right over Montreal, abeam Vermont & Pennsylvania at 35,000. The weather was excellent and I could see some landscapes that I flew over at 1000 in my Pacer. What a great feeling! Next Friday I have a trip to Cayo Coco, Cuba & Havana. Depending on dispatch planning, I might again fly right over the US east coast and if you look up in the sky Friday afternoon, one of the contrails might be mine. Thanks for all your work with the club, greetings. Fabio
(P.S. I promise to send my story of how I got my Pacer this year!)
A Note of Appreciation
From 3 Chapter Members
This is an unsolicited article that was sent to me by member Bill Gomez. He asked that I please print it in the newsletter. Bill is an aviation writer & I promised him I wouldnt edit anything he submitted, so here it goes.
Noel Anderson, Rico Cannone, & I were discussing the Northeast Chapter of our unique Short Wing Piper Club and all came to the same conclusion. Our chapter would not exist if it werent for the efforts of our unsung and persistent president. Persistent in that in spite of all the travails and ups and downs of our local club, he has unremittingly cajoled, exhorted, and encouraged the sometimes lackadaisical membership to attend fly-ins and participate in the activities throughout the years that Ive been reading the newsletter. Ive gone to only 2 events in all the years that Ive been a member, but will make an effort to be more active.
His newsletter (and I call it his because he has been the glue that has held our organization together) is perhaps the finest example of all the newsletters of the national club. His writing is alive with enthusiasm and fine descriptions of our activities. Hes obviously a busy guy, but in spite of this he perserveres. In the last letter he made a half hearted plea for others to help him with contributions. Please lets do this and meanwhile thanks and keep it up, Andy. - Bill Gomez
(pardon the pun I dont like blowing my own horn but thank you Bill. I really could use some help with the newsletter, even if it meant getting some (any) material from members. Im sure that every chapter member has something worth sharing with the rest of us)
Over the past 2 years, our chapter has seen some members leave and some new ones join. Some with indifference and some with enthusiasm.I remember Bernie Tatros questionaire on the issue of membership and being active. I think what we learned is that this is the way it is. Some things are cyclical. In the past few weeks, Ive bumped into several Short Wingers at various airports in the Northeast. Some knew about us, most didnt. I gave them the usual spiel about our club. Well see what happens. Remember, you dont have to own, want to own, or fly a Short Wing Piper to join. Our chapter is made up of people that are interested is our type of aviation ( with the Short Wing Piper the main draw). Those of you that do get to some of our events can attest to the plusses of our activities. This next fly-in would be the perfect event to recommend to any aviation enthusiast.
Have a happy & healthy season & year!
L to R: Steve Sevits, Dave Adams, Bob & Ken Brown, Rico Cannone, Andy Seligson, & Wes Morris & Corsair at New England Aviation Museum.
Nose Art on the B-24
The mammouth Sikorsky Flying Boat
Front view of the B-29
Nose art on the B-29
L to R: Dave Adams, Rico Cannone, Bob & Ken Brown and the rare Sikorsky S-39