Be sure to join us on January 9 for the first meeting of 2016, when chapter founder Tom Schiff will talk about his experience with one of the new Angle of Attack indicators (both installing it and flying it!).
Our annual Young Eagles day, held at Gnoss Field on October 24, was another unabashed success. 11 Pilots and 12 ground volunteers flew 42 Young Eagles, including18 JROTC cadets from Novato High School. Photos are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eaa1232/albums/72157660315864052
Each year for the past three years we've held a barbeque at our original home 'drome, Smith Ranch/San Rafael Airport (CA35). We follow lunch with a tour of many of the hangars on the field to get a closed look at everybody's toys.
This year's event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 7. Everybody's welcome-contact President Ken Mercer at firstname.lastname@example.org for direction. See you all there!
Three years ago the Southwest Soaring Museum and New Mexico PBS began work on a documentary on soaring in the Western U.S., using the then-new high definition miniature video cameras and professional production to tell the story. The resulting documentary, Cloudstreet: Soaring in the American West, debuted earlier this year and is now available on DVD and iTunes. Join us on September 8 when we’ll show this video as our main presentation at our chapter meeting.
Non-members are always welcome!
It was a harmonic convergence of sorts on June 9; Rookie pitcher Chris Heston was in the process of throwing a no-hitter for the Giants, the Warriors were locked in an NBA finals struggle with the Cleveland Cavaliers/LeBron James, and the Chapter was holding its’ June meeting. We might have expected nobody to show up for our meeting given all that was going on, but fifteen dedicated EAA members came to hear our guest, Morey Nelson, describe how he came to own and restore a 1941 J-3 Cub that he has owned for 33 years, and to see some of the amazing aerial photography he has created.
We came across Morey in his role as a commissioner on the County of Marin’s Aviation Commission, and were intrigued when he briefly mentioned his J-3 at a commission meeting. Now, when you think of the challenges we all have a Gnoss with the “brisk and variable” winds, one of the last planes you might think about basing here would be a J-3, so it seemed like Morey might have some interesting stories about flying out of Gnoss.
It turns out that Morey has a very real talent for aerial photography, which was a very pleasant surprise. Oh, he spoke briefly about how he came to own the Cub 33 years ago, while he and his family were living in the South Bay. How he stripped the airframe (originally built as an L-4 liaison for the Army Air Corps in 1941) of its’ fabric and stored it in his garage until he and his wife moved back to Marin and he restored it in 2005. But it was his photography that was the real focus of his presentation to the group, and which caught everyone’s attention.
I would imagine we’ve all tried to take photos from a plane at one time or another, to try to capture and share some of what we see that non-pilots can’t. But I also suspect that very few of us have been terribly successful at this. Whether it’s the equipment, the plane, or the pilot, getting a good photo from a light plane is more luck that skill, in most cases.
But Morey has an advantage on the rest of us. First, he can fly and take photos through the open door and window on the right side of the fuselage, and he’s flying slow enough (!) that he can do both at the same time (fly and take photos, that is). Secondly, he has really good equipment. Finally, he has talent, and he knows Northern California in and out and shoots it lovingly.
You may remember a series of table-top books that came out several years ago like “Over San Francisco”, or “Over Washington, D.C.”? Well, those books, while really beautifully-done, tended to focus on high-visibility, commonplace and maybe even “touristy” locations. In his photography Morey has documented many of the more unique and unknown areas in Northern California, like the Buddhist retreat near Fort Ross, the McEvoy ranch west of Petaluma, the infamous Cheese Factory on the Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road, etc.. He does some commercial aerial photography for real estate clients, and demonstrated his skill in this area with photos of his own home in Stinson Beach, all the high schools in Marin along with many local landmarks.
All in all it was a great presentation, much appreciated by those in attendance. It would be nice to see some of Morey’s photography on public display, and I still think it would be interesting to hear some of his tales about flying the Cub in and out of Gnoss…
Bentley introduced his works by telling how when he was very young his uncle took over management of a small airport, something he still has strong memories of. This uncle would sometimes leave Bentley alone in the Quonset hut that housed the airport administrative office while going up to give someone a lesson, but not before pointing to the aircraft radio and microphone, telling Bentley “don’t touch that thing!”.
The uncle would also take Bentley down to the basement of the airport building, where he kept his collection of exquisite, delicate hand-built stick and tissue model airplanes. Holding one out in his hand, pointing out features of the model, he would again tell Bentley “don’t touch.
As Bentley noted, something similar but more insidious has happened to aviation over the past 30 years. We’ve put up tall fences with locked gates to keep the public out of the airport. Warning signs make it clear that outsiders aren’t welcome. Security cameras make you question whether you even want to park and watch the planes come and go. In our own way, we’ve made it very clear to the public; “don’t touch”.
Bentley calls his presentation, appropriately, “Airfields of Summer-A trip through the Heart and Soul of Aviation”, and it’s a scrapbook, an example of how he is using his art and talent to bring the public into contact with aviation once again...
(for the remainder, see our May 2015 Newsletter, due out on April 6)
For some time we’d been told that we needed to get Tom Ryan to do a presentation on “Champs to Baja”, and we finally succeeded and Tom was our featured speaker for the February 10 chapter meeting. We were not disappointed.
The story starts with Tom as a youngster, when he purchased a ’62 Tri-Champ and flew that plane all over the place on a student license. He then sold it and bought an A-85 powered Champ (as opposed to the Tri-Champ’s C-65). The new Champ had no radio, but the only problem with that was that the towers of the day weren’t always quick with the light signals, resulting in a lot of confusion and frustration trying to get in to land at some places. To get anywhere up and down the West coast with all its’ metropolitan centers you needed to be able to communicate. This led to Tom’s purchasing a Superhomer “Whistlestop” coffee-grinder radio.
In 1967 Tom was invited by a buddy to go drift diving on the eastern coast of Baja where ocean upwelling attracted lots of fish to feed and the unique geology produced an 8 knot current allowing the diver to drift for quite a ways. Tom bought the proper crystals for the radio and since the site was about 700 nm south Mexicali, the closest port of entry into Mexico, he left the Bay Area a day and a half before he was due to meet his friend.
This is where the “mogas is better than no gas” saying comes in. Even though Tom had the latest version of the “Airports of Baja” guidebook, it was a long way between avgas pumps in Mexico as the gas had to come into a port by boat then be loaded into 55 gallon drums for transport inland. He found that the A-85 in the Champ ran really well on mogas so he learned to land on a strip of road, thumb down a passing car and charm the driver out of the gas in the car (his dollars were worth a lot more in pesos), then proceed on his merry way.
Tom talked a little about “mordita”, or “the bite”-a pleasant term for the bribe necessary to get past a particular bureaucratic choke point, such as an official at the airport who won’t let you take off because your paperwork is incorrect. The mordita could be “minute” (small, five pesos), “medea” (medium, 50 pesos) or “grande” (100 or more pesos). The grande modita was usually accompanied by the guy with the “big hat”, or the “jefe” (boss). It was his tenous grasp of the details of the mordita led to him having his plane (and himself) impounded while performing an act of mercy.
Having stopped in a small fishing village (boat gas was good, too, if it wasn’t too awfully tainted with oil), Tom was approached by the town’s schoolteacher, who implored him to fly a little girl with a horribly abscessed tooth over the mountains (a grueling day-long trip by car) to get help. Tom’s papers didn’t provide for this side trip, so the schoolteacher gave him a handwritten letter explaining the circumstances. He flew the girl to the city and presented her to the authorities with the letter of explanation, and the girl (and the letter) were whisked off to the hospital in a taxi.
The officials turned to Tom and asked for his papers, and since he didn’t have the proper authorizations or the letter from the schoolteacher his plane was impounded and he was arrested and taken to a “jail” in the desert several miles out of town. Tom feels that had he fully understood the level of mordita for this particular situation he probably could have avoided the jail time.
Truly, no good deed goes unpunished.
On January 9 the FAA sent the County of Marin a letter stating that they were withholding final approval of the EIR for the proposed 1,100 ft. runway extension pending submission and approval of additional justification of the projected traffic increases and a re-definition of the so-called "critical aircraft" on which these projections are based. The practical result? Another 18 to 24 months to develop this supplemental EIR, so were looking at a 2020 completion date now, at least. Of course, that's only if DPW and the County act expeditiously (something which they're not known for).
Since all basic repairs to the existing runway and ramp surfaces seems tied to this extension project it seems like we'd be in a world of hurt; the runway is already reaching a dangerous state with a crack spreading down the middle of the runway and a dip that's becoming more pronounced every month. But, Supervisor Judy Arnold advised us that DPW has mentioned to her that they are working on another project plan to work on these deficiencies much sooner now that the "big" project has been pushed back.
Here are links to the FAA letter and DPW's press release on the delay:
Because of travel and the general craziness of the holidays, there will be no December meeting for EAA Chapter 1232. Instead, we’ll take a break and return on Tuesday evening, January 13. At that meeting we’ll have our annual chapter officer elections. Note that Tom Schiff has expressed interest in stepping down from his treasurer duties, but note also that over the past two years he’s pared the actual work down to require a bare minimum of time each month. He’ll continue as our “a/v specialist”, which is no small job itself.
If you’d like to be considered for any of the officer positions, including President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer drop us a note at EAA1232@gmail.com , or bring it up at the January meeting. Here are the current “occupants”, just to refresh your memory:
President – Ken Mercer
Vice-President – Phil Simon
Treasurer – Tom Schiff
Both Phil and Tom have put in many years in various leadership positions in the chapter; heck, Tom founded the chapter way back when, and we can always use some new presidential blood. So maybe someone else can step up and take a crack at one of these positions and give these guys a bit of a break?
In addition to the officer elections, in January we’ll run a new documentary film that was released on December 4 on Bob Hoover’s life, entitled “Bob Hoover: Flying the Feathered Edge”. Here’s a short trailer for the film: http://youtu.be/PzBiMQNc4tA . The movie itself is about an hour and a half long, so do what you need to do to stay awake that long..
..was a great success! With Phil Simon doing the hard work of buying/prepping/cooking/cleaning up after 75 friends (some old, some new!), CA35-resident Glenn Bashford leading the hangar crawl, an eclectic selection of planes, motorcycles, cars and other assorted toys, and a cool, sunny fall day, how could it not be? Plus, we even got to see an artist at work in the big hangar working on a large (I mean reeally large) format painting "Gentle Giants". Check out the photos from the day on our Flickr page here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eaa1232/sets/72157649332593645/
Christina Olds sat with her father in the weeks before he died, going through boxes and boxes of the handwritten notes, photos, and memorabilia that told the story of his life as an iconic fighter pilot and leader. At our October meeting Christina sat with us, doing what she considers her “real” job of honoring her dad’s legacy and keeping it alive, recounting the story of an amazing man who lived a truly amazing life.
For more be sure to watch for our next newsletter, due out the first week of November...
In December 1959 I went to work for an airline you’ve probably never heard of; Transocean Airlines. It was a supplemental carrier, and at the height of the organization included ten companies making the first aviation conglomerate. The airline had 1,500 employees, a total of 6,700 when the employees of the subsidiaries were counted, and its’ gross sales were as high as $50 million. After 12 years in business the airline had flown over one billion passenger miles, over 126 million cargo ton-miles, including over 30,000 emigrants to new homes after WWII and 25,000 workers t Guam and Wake Island.
Transocean Airlines ad provided DC-4 aircraft for the John Wayne movie Island in the Sky, flew BPY5As in the Trust territories of the Caroline Islands, had modified a B-17 for wealth Andres Soriano of the Philippines and later DC-4s in getting Philippine Airlines started. Transocean carried Muslims to Mecca and provided aircraft and services to start-up airlines in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Lufthansa and Japan Airlines.
Transocean was started by Orvis M. Nelson, a former United Airlines pilot who flew for the Air Transport command during WWII. After the ware he collected a number of former military pilots and at Oakland established what became Transocean. Nelson believed there was a strong demand for the use of commercial aircraft after the war and pursued that goal to the end. Powerful competitors such as United, American, Delta and Northwest interceded with the Civil Air Patrol to deter the Board from granting approval to fly regularly scheduled routes.
As an 18 year old I had serviced in the army in the occupation of South Korea and like what I had seen of the Far East. After college I worked several areas of the Far East and when the opening for a sales representative in Tokyo for Transocean appeared I went to work. After training in Oakland I arrived in Tokyo and shortly thereafter learned that Transocean was in deep financial trouble. After giving up its’ option to Japan Airlines for one of the first DC-8’s Nelson bought eight Boeing Stratocruisers from BOAC.
Transocean operated a number of Stratocruiser charter flights from Japan to the US and offered one way air fare from Oakland to Newark for $99. My task was to sell charter flights to Japanese travel agents, handle liaison with flight crews and the office at Tachikawa handling the inter-island flights.
It did not take long to see that the company was very short of cash and heading for bankruptcy. The Stratocruisers proved to be very expensive to operate and costs to keep the engines running were beyond any belief. Sensing the downfall the Tokyo manager pulled stakes and was replace by another person. He would not remain in Japan for long.
Leaving a Japan Airlines cocktail party he struck and slightly injured two Japanese pedestrians. He fled the scene and called me around 10 p.m. telling me he needed to leave Japan as soon as possible. He asked me to see if I could find he and his family a flight to the US from Tachikawa. I contacted the Slick Airways managers, and as luck would have it a Slick flight was leaving just after midnight. I collected the family, drove them to the airport and saw them on their way to the U.S.
The next morning two Japanese policemen arrived at the office and sked for the departed manager. When told he had returned to the U.S., the policemen told the Japanese secretary to tell him not to return to Japan. So I was left with the office. I closed it, but kept the very nice circa 1958 DeSoto V-8 sedan. I had already found a job opening the Emery Air Freight Company offices in Tokyo and several of the Far East cities.
Within a few days of the office closing, representatives of Japan Airport limousine came to my office to ask me when Transocean would pay its $200.000 tab for having provided transport for crews over the past several years. I told them there would be no money but that I had the DeSoto which they could take. A month later they returned, accompanied by two policemen, and I gave them the car. It had been a great car for Tokyo at the time.
As I traveled in and out of Japan on Emery business I often passed the Limo company’s facility at Heneda Airport. Sitting out in the weather next to their building was the DeSoto. Over several years I sadly saw it slowly settle into the dirt.
That was the real end of Transocean Airlines in Japan.
As to Nelson, he bought or obtained a number of C-74 aircraft and operated them in Europe hauling cattle between Denmark and the Middle East. One was lost with a load of horses when it took off on the wrong runway in Marseilles and crashed into the mountain there. Another expired in Turin, Italy with engine trouble. It was seen with Mainland China markings when it was used in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger”, its’ large elevator shown loading Goldfinger’s solid gold vehicle. That aircraft subsequently burned.
Nelson’s career was largely unknown after that. He was apparently in a DC-4 which either ran out of fuel or crashed in Nigeria or an offshore island, probably carrying a load of weapons.
July 15 found us back at the chapter’s birthplace, San Rafael (nee “Smith Ranch”) Airport as the guests of owner Bob Herbst and his welcoming staff. For those of us who have been involved in the County’s Visioning process for Gnoss Field, all we have to do is point to some of the amazing and forward-thinking amenities found at CA35 to show what we’d like Gnoss to have, such as really nice runway and taxiways, a fantastic pilots’ lounge, attractive office space, quality hangars, and electricity (and $$$) generating solar panels.
What it didn’t have this time was a functioning grill, something that was pretty mission-critical for a planned BBQ with 35+ members and friends expected. It was also something of a surprise, since we were supposedly the last to use the grill back in November, and it had been locked up inside a storage room since. Apparently that wasn’t the case, as not only was the gas regulator and hose missing, but the grill itself was filthy (and you KNOW Phil doesn’t leave equipment in that condition when he cooks!). We discovered this at 5:30 as we arrived to set up for everyone to being eating at 6:30. A mad scramble ensued with airport manager Michael Liu searching for the missing hose/regulator and Ken Mercer rushing to Ace Hardware to find a replacement. Alas, the hardware store didn’t have the right size and Michael couldn’t locate the original. It was now 6:10 and looking like we would have to order pizza, but the solution came when Michael graciously and very unexpectedly went back to his home just outside the gate, removed the hose from his own gas grill and even installed it on the airport grill for us to use. Phil fired the grill up and started cooking, and everyone began lining up for sausages, burgers and chili. Phil kept at it for over an hour and a half, at which point all that was left was the mess, which he proceeded to clean up, as well. A Herculean effort, once again!
During the frenzy to get the grill working chapter members had set up tables and chairs on the taxiway in front of the large, main hangar, and we enjoyed a very pleasant evening as the weather was just as nice as it could be; warm but not hot, with no wind. Glenn Bashforth displayed his beautiful Spacewalker I homebuilt and we all enjoyed getting a closer look at this little single-place, open cockpit gem. A traditional tube and fabric, Continental 75-powered sportster screamed out “low and slow”, with some “bank and yank” thrown in. Glenn had just finalized the sale of this plane to a buyer who will be trucking it to Kansas; thanks, Glenn, for giving us a chance to see this plane close-up before it leaves for it’s new home.
While the event was planned to be an EAA function/chapter meeting we were fortunate to have some guests drop in on us. A couple who hangar their aircraft at CA35 were heading out of the airport and stopped to see what was going on (we were set up right by the exit gate). They didn’t know anything about EAA, but after some explanation they were intrigued and we invited them to join us. They stayed not only for the BBQ but for the chapter meeting, as well.
Several members of the Marin 99s and their spouses, who had volunteered to repaint the compass rose at San Rafael the previous Saturday, also joined us at and Tom Schiff’s invitation. All told there were 37 people there enjoying the BBQ, and it was so pleasant that conversations extended well into our regular meeting time. Even though we see each other at our monthly meetings and other venues, it was nice to have a chance just to sit and talk, with no other agenda than to catch up.
We had anticipated this would happen so no formal speaker was scheduled for this meeting. Instead, we adjourned to the pilots’ lounge to watch two months’ worth of EAA video magazines. What a setting; comfortable chairs, a new pool table, a small kitchen area, framed aviation-themed photos on the walls, and a wall full of windows through which we could look up at the impressive TBM 600 parked in the adjacent hangar.
It was a beautiful evening, great food, good company, awesome setting, and we look forward to returning in November for our annual Saturday BBQ/Hangar Crawl. Many thanks to Bob Herbst and especially to Michael Liu, who went above and beyond to ensure that our BBQ got off the ground (is that enough clichés?).
Wouldn’t you know it? After a month of planning, arranging, and scheduling, Van’s Aircraft demo pilots Chris Thelan and Josh Halemeier ran into some vicious, gusting winds (18G27) that prevented them from landing their RV-12 S-LSA (factory-built) at Gnoss Field as scheduled on the afternoon of June 24. Instead, they diverted to Petaluma where the wind was a consistent 14 kts. right down two-niner, and three of the four scheduled demo flight recipients were able to fly with Chris in the late afternoon.
Later that evening both Chris and Josh made a nice presentation to twenty-two EAA members (and Matt Pearson of our host, C.A.P. Squadron 23), including a slide show, a couple of short videos, and an opportunity to lay hands on an actual Dynon Multifunction Display unit. Since the actual RV-12 demonstrator aircraft was tied down at o69, Tom Ryan and Ron Jagels were kind enough to pull their homebuilt examples over to the ramp area adjacent to the C.A.P. trailer, and everyone traipsed out into the twilight to comb over these two fine examples while Chris and Josh pointed out some of the more interesting features of the design. Interestingly, both Chris and Josh are actively involved in the construction of the factory-built version (Special Light Sport Aircraft, or S-LSA as opposed to the Homebuilt Light Sport Aircraft, or E-LSA) and had high praise for the construction and finish on both Ron and Tom’s examples.
For more on this presentation see the July newsletter, due out July 8!
In late April Van’s Aircraft announced a West Coast tour of their RV-12 S-LSA (factory-built) demonstrator, and we were able to convince them to make Gnoss Field one of their first stops! They will arrive Tuesday afternoon, June 24 and will stay the evening to give demo flights, give a presentation to our chapter on the plane and their planned sales program, and describe how three RV-12s are being used (profitably) by a flight school in Oregon.
Indeed, the Van’s folks have agreed to give a presentation after they’re done with the demos, but since that wouldn’t take place until about 8:30 that evening we won’t commit to that until we’ve all had a chance to talk about it at this month’s meeting.
If you’d like to sign up for one of the three demo flights contact Ken Mercer at email@example.com
At the last minute our scheduled presenters, Ken and Linda McKenzie, learned they would not be able to be at Tuesday night’s meeting, so it looked like our program for the evening would be limited to the EAA Video Magazine. No worries, Tom Schiff stepped into the void and gave a great presentation on “The Rope Trick” and carburetor icing. We hope to capture the important points of that presentation in an article for the June newsletter, but in the meantime many thanks to Tom for filling in so ably.
Those of you in attendance have probably also noted that Tom has become our a/v Meister, hauling around and setting up all the equipment we need for our meetings. That’s a thankless task, one that’s fraught with stress because the tiniest issue can throw the whole setup into disarray. Some day (soon, possibly), the C.A.P. folks will install a permanent a/v system in their facility but in the meantime Tom does a great job of handling all the weird little problems that inevitably crop up. Take last night, for instance.
Tom had everything set up and ready to go when his laptop (running Windows 8) demanded that he accept an update to Windows 8.1 right then and there. This process would not have been completed by the time we needed the laptop for the presentation, and it looked like this meeting would be without a/v (i.e. dead in the water). No problem-Tom had a backup laptop with him just for occasions like this. But when he hooked that one up (it’s new to him), he found he did not have the requisite video player to play the EAA video magazine. With just ten minutes to go before the meeting was to start Tom was able to download and install the video player, configure it, and have it ready so the meeting could start on time with full a/v capabilities.
You’ll remember that it was Tom who founded the chapter at Smith Ranch back in 1999, and who served in all three board positions by himself for several years before work finally made him back off somewhat. Yet, here he is fifteen years later still making this chapter work. The same goes for all of our previous officers, who may not be “on the masthead” but who continue to keep the chapter not only working, but vital.
For a first open house event this one turned out great! GFCA volunteers arrived early to marshall arriving display aircraft and erect a barricade around the display area to keep our guests safe from moving aircraft, set up tables and chairs for our guests and tables for our “guest organizations” (Marin Joe’s for the BBQ and the Marin Aero modelling club). EAA chapter 1232 handled the Young Eagles operation on the other side of the ropes, flying 31 new Young Eagles in a three hour period thanks to pilots Bob Minkin (see separate article in this newsletter), Herman Frentzel, Dutch Roell and new EAA member and “convert” to the world of Young Eagle flights, Dan Bedford and his beautiful 182T. We would be remiss if we didn’t thank wives Val Bedford and Rachel Mercer for their fantastic support with Young Eagle registration and “herding” parents and kids. Although we don’t have a firm attendance count for the day, Marin Joes served 125 burgers and an untold quantity of hot dogs, and we estimate the total crowd was about 200.
We’ll be doing another Open House/Young Eagles day on Saturday, September 27, and we’ll be asking for your help!
If you’ll think back to our March meeting you’ll remember that our plans to have former chapter President Phil Simon give a talk about the Fairey Swordfish were pre-empted at the last minute by the opportunity to host Steve Silver, a real-life U-2 pilot. It turns out that the extra time to prepare worked well for Phil, and he delivered a fantastic presentation on the Swordfish, a.k.a. “Stringbag” (so known for its’ ability to carry almost anything), an 1936-vintage biplane design that was outdated by the beginning of WWII but nonetheless played some big roles in a few very important operations in WWII.
Phil was joined by his longtime friend, Chris Barnes, who father was one of a class of 136 who started out flying the Stringbag in 1938. By 1943 only six were still alive. Chris had lots of great anecdotes about both his dad and the Stringbag, like how his dad died in 1969 from a cancer that likely began growing during the war, when it was common for aviators to warm themselves in front of a radar transmitter. During the war the senior Barnes saw action in the Taranto, Italy raid (more on that later) and in Africa, where he was shot down behind enemy lines and was dragged back to friendly territory by his tail gunner.
When asked if his dad has passed along any recollections of his war experiences, Chris noted that as was the case with so many men of that age, his dad didn’t like to talk about his experiences at war except to say that “we were just bloody lucky”.
First of all, you notice that Steve looks like you’d expect a U-2 pilot look. I know, we’ve all seen fighter pilots that in real life look like the guy you’d meet in line at the grocery store, but Steve actually looks the part. That said, Steve’s description of typical missions made them seem more like endeavors in endurance rather than some wild-eyed, hair on fire, roller coaster ride. Sure, much of a typical mission is spent right up in the dark corner of the U-2s performance envelopeClick to add text, images, and other content (click HERE for the rest of this story and their entire April newsletter!)
This month’s Chapter meeting will be held at the Hamilton Field History Museum, 555 Hangar Avenue in the old base fire station right across the street from the remaining hangars. We’ll start our meeting as usual at 7:00 p.m., but the building will be open to us as early as 6:30 to give us a chance to look around a little before the meeting. Our host for the evening will be Ray Dwelly, Director of Operations at the Museum, and he will also give us a presentation not only on the museum but also on history of the building itself.
Interestingly enough, the exhibits for the museum were curated by a long-time “resident” of Gnoss Field, Joe Williams. Those exhibits include samples of uniforms worn by airmen during every era of Hamilton’s operational history along with a lot of navigational artifacts and a complete Link Trainer setup, complete with instructor’s table. Ray remarked that this unit, which had been located at the College of Marin for many years, had been fully operational until just a couple of years ago.
We haven’t settled on a place for dinner yet as we have a tie between two proposed venues; Red Boy Pizza on Entrada way just outside the south gate to the base and Boca, just across the highway in the Pacheco Shopping Center. Watch your email inbox for more details on dinner.
We have some good stuff in store for this meeting, starting with our guest speaker, Rick Saber. Rick’s a retired United Airlines 747 captain, and one of the stories he promises to share with us is a high speed abort in said aircraft. Sounds like he has a lot of stories, actually, since he’s got a re-sume that puts him in league with the guy who does the Dos Equis commercials; Naval Aviator, Commodore of the San Francisco Bay Coast Guard Auxiliary, Vessel Examin-er, Chairman of the Explorers’ Club of Northern California, mountain climber, power boat owner, bay swimmer (brrr!). And he’s a Clamper!
As if having Rick weren’t enough, we have not one but TWO EAA video magazines this month, so come join us for pizza, salad and soft drinks at 6:30, meeting at 7:00 in the Civil Air Patrol trailer in the south parking lot at Gnoss Field (KDVO)!
The weather was fabulous, the food was fantastic,the venue was amazing, the hosts were gracious and the planes were fascinating. but it was the people who made this day such a rousing success. Over the course of the day 70 people, both EAA members and Smith Ranch "denizens", were a part of the festivities.
In some ways it was like coming home; Tom Schiff founded the chapter at Smith Ranch back in 1998, after all. But for many of us who hadn't been back to the airport since those days it was a whole new experience, with unbelievable expansion and improvement of the facilities there and a thriving resident population. It's obvious that the ownership is serious about maintaining and improving the facility, something about which those of us based at Gnoss Field can only dream of.
Special thanks go not only to the airport owners and management, who were the most gracious of hosts, but also to Phil Simon and Ted Pugh who organized this event and brought it to life. Phil not only came up with the idea for the event, he completely handled everything to do with the BBQ and then led the Crawl! And thanks to all of you who came early and stayed late to set up, prep the food and clean up. The event started on time at 11:00, finished at 2:00 and everything was cleaned up and back in its' original pristine state by 2:20. Amazing!
Here's a link to the photos from the day:
For November and this November ONLY, we're switching our monthly meeting to Saturday, November 16 at 11:00 a.m. at Smith Ranch Airport (CA35) on Smith Ranch Rd./Lucas Valley Rd. in San Rafael. For this meeting we're going to have the Smith Ranch version of our Hangar Crawl (like the one at Gnoss in September), featuring the following planes and projects:
· John Long’s CJ-6
· Bill Bastida’s Moni
· Phil Simon’s Onex
· Glenn Bashforth’s Baby Great Lakes
· Gordon Danielsen’s C310
· Tom Schiff’s refurbished C150
· Herman Frentzel’s Onex
We'll be hosted by the owner of Smith Ranch/San Rafael Airport who wanted to hold our meeting there in conjunction with a BBQ he's wanted to host for his own airport community for some time. He's giving us the use of the large hangar there for our regular meeting (we'll be electing officers for 2014, so come prepared to defend yourself!). We'll then head out on our hangar crawl, and come back for the BBQ. During that time we'll set up to show the November edition of the monthly video magazine from EAA HQ.
This should be a lot of fun and should give us a chance to meet some fellow aviators/aviatrixes, see some interesting projects and cool planes, show everbody what EAA's all about and enjoy a great barbeque.
Smith Ranch is a privately owned airport so you'll need permission from the owner to fly in. He can be reached at 415-472-0227. For those of you driving in contact Ken Mercer at 415-348-8504 or EAA1232@gmail.com for directions and entry details.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
As noted below, we were expecting to be very busy with several fun projects during September, and we were not disappointed! Our first annual Gnoss Field Hangar Crawl and Poker "Run" was a great success on the 10th. Although it POURED on us at Wings Over Marin on the 21st we still talked to a lot of folks at both our homebuilders' booth and Young Eagles booth. in fact, we signed up 59 Young Eagles during the day, and even though it was wet almost all day we had a blast. Finally, our Young Eagles day on the 28th was a great success, with 45 Young Eagles (44 which were completely NEW to the program!) flown by 11 pilots and attended to by 10 of us on the ground.
You can read more about these events in greater detail in this month's newsletter, which you can find HERE, and you can get to the various photo sets on the "Event Photos" page listed on the left hand side of this page.
For October's meeting on the 8th (6:30 for pizza, 7;00 for the meeting program) we're honored to have Lt. Hiroshi Yamaguchi from the Novato High School JROTC program and one of his cadets presenting. We've been fortunate to fly a large number of these cadets during the past several Young Eagles events, and it will very interesting to see not only what their program entails and how we might be able to support it, but also reflect on how Lt. Yamaguchi instills such confidence and maturity in his cadets. Of course, we'll also have our regular feature, the monthly video magazine from EAA, and we'll also talk about the November meeting (the Smith Ranch Airport hangar crawl and cookout!).
We hope you can join us at the CAP trailer in the South parking lot at Gnoss Field. Contact Ken Mercer at 415-378-8504 or EAA1232@gmail.com if you need directions or have questions.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Lot's of good stuff going on with Chapter 1232 this month:
September 10 First Annual Gnoss Field Hangar Crawl and Ground-bound Poker Run/Crawl, in which we'll take a look at several members' projects. Dinner at 6:30 in the CAP trailer, followed by The Crawl at 7:00, returning to the trailer about 8:00 to announce a winner and view the EAA Monthly Video Magazine.
September 21 Wings Over Marin 2013-Women in Aviation. In addition to a really great lineup of static display aircraft, flybys, symposium, speakers and scholarship awards, we'll be flying a limited number of Young Eagles at the event and registering more for our Young Eagles event the following Saturday. Check out the WOM2013 Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/WingsOverMarin2013
September 28 Our 11th Annual Young Eagles Day at Gnoss Field!
For more information about any or all of the events email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ken Mercer at 415-378-8504. You don't have to be a chapter member-everyone's welcome!!!
This is our annual Oshkosh recap meeting (no outside speakers or presentations), so bring your photos, artifacts, and stories to share. It will be a low-key affair. If you have any photos you'd like
to have projected on the screen send them to email@example.com and I'll get them configured accordingly. I already have a bunch of nice shots from Mike Garcia, including some video, and I have a few decent shots and video of my own. It's always nice to see Oshkosh through someone else's lenses, though...
We'll also have this month's installment of the video magazine from EAA HQ. Details are in the newsletter so I won't repeat them here, but I will say that I'm looking forward to my next trip to Seattle!
So, come join us in the Civil Air Patrol trailer in the south parking lot at Gnoss Field in Novato; we'll have pizza/salad and soft drinks available at 6:30 and the meeting starts at 7:00. Call Ken Mercer at 415-378-8504 if you have questions or need directions. See you there!
As part of a meeting between the Gnoss Field Community Association board and County representaties, the airport's 2011-2012 and draft 2012-2013 budget was discussed. Click on the links below to view these two documents full-sized; pardon the handwritten notations, which were made during the actual meeting as various items were being discussed. Of particular interest is the note that "airport bringing in +$600,000 OVER enterprise (operating) funds..." The actual, total income for the County from airport operations is over $700,000. annually.