It's been a few years since I wrote down that sentence above. Early on I asked about talking to a few of the guys that have been with the chapter since the beginning so that I could write down part of the history before it is lost. I didn't really get a response to that email. So I'll switch it up...
The world is full of characters... and so it is with flying. I want to acknowledge and appreciate everyone that I can. I think that this stems from one of the pages on facebook. (By the way... facebook is great as a newsfeed) It's the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund. Each day they post an image of a fallen hero. I take the time each time I log onto facebook to read the post of the day. (by the way... I have a folded flag on the back shelf of my car) In a small way... it's ackowledging the sacrafice that they have given for our freedom.
Moving forward with this page...
It's just about Spring and I headed over to Alloway Airport to talk with some of the guys.
It was a beautiful day and I had just come back from renting a 172 at Cross Keys Airport. I had some time so I headed over to Alloway Airport (aka Whitey's Airport). I figured I'd have a hangar talking session with Whitey, Tony, Bob, Joe, Warren... and anyone else that may be there. When I drove out of the woods, into the clearning. the only thing I saw was (hey, saw is was in a mirror) a truck across the field parked next to Tony's plane.
Parked my car in front of the hangar and walked on over to join the conversation. Turns out it was only Tony there working on his plane. He an Bob were the only ones that showed up on this beautiful day.
Tony's one of those guys that you can't not like. He can talk to anyone about anything. He's a retired teacher and he contines to educate himself; always taking this class or that class. He lives in Delaware and keeps his plane up in Jersey.
He built an experimental Aeronca with a Subaru engine. Painted all in silver with no other markings. He's the true "Experimenter". For years he's been messing with different carbs on it. None of them really working well. He just read something by the guy who came up with the Subaru conversion that carbs don't really work well on the engine and that it should have a fuel injection system on it. And... that is what Tony has been doing for the past month or so... making that conversion.
4, 2019 A friends stopped by...
It's been a few years since I wrote something down on this
page... too many pages and I'm forgeting what needs to be
Anyways... a few weeks ago I got an email from Dan Marchetti
asking if I'd be interested in having the members from 216
stop by to take a look at my project. I say... "Sure... it'd
be best to have it either the middle or end of May." I get
an email back saying... "We had a meeting of the officers
and how does May 4th sound?" Me: YIKES!
My shop areas in the basement and the garage both looked like
crap... and now I only had a week to clean up! So... basically
no work on the biplane for the past week. All cleaning and
throwing out stuff that was just sitting around (a good thing!).
Saturday morning rolls around... and I head out for a few
dozen donuts and some decaf coffee. I have the high-test coffee...
no decaf. Basically time it just right to have a pot of both
coffees ready by 10AM... "show time." A few of the guys pull
up out front about 9:45AM. I wait a minute, open the door
and wave them in. It was Dan Marchetti, Jim Naphas, and Rich
Cheeseman. Dan said there'd be another four, for a total of
seven members. I invite them to have some coffee and donuts...
they were just out having breakfast. They grab a cup of coffee
but no donuts.
The four of us start talking about my project. I don't go
into much detail since I'll be re-hashing it when the others
show up. It's about 10:15... and I say, lets wait until 10:30
to start. 10:30 rolls around and nobody else shows up. Okay...
I haven't been to one of the meetings in a long time. I'm
basically getting home when they are getting the meeting started,
which is about 1/2hour away from my place. Dan mentioned to
me that I'm the only member building a plane... I would have
thought that, that being the case, more members would be interested
in seeing an actual project. Guess not. I was happy to have
Dan, Jim, and Rich over to see the project.
We spent close to two hours talking about the project... and
only scratched the surface. Talking about the process brought back a lot of memories... all those years and all those experiences. The search for spars, learning the weld process, bend allowance, riviting...