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|NEWSLETTER||October 2007 Brian Anthony Vice President|
Okay fellow ultralighters, gyro devotees, helicopter afficionados, builders, experimenters and pilots of all types of craft-we held our October meeting, and it was longer than usual (Kind of like this sentence) because we didn't have a regular September meeting. Remember the Fall Fest? What a great turn out of people, fixed wing planes and gyros. I believe that was the best event since I've belonged to the club.
A new gyro, a single place Honey Bee, built and owned by Dave Yant and Tom Taylor took to the air for the very first time at the Fall Fest, test piloted by Steve Lathrop. It flew flawlessly. Reminds me that you know your child is going to take that very first step, but when the moment arrives you hope that you have a camera handy. Not to worry this time, several of us were able to take some action shots as Steve aviated (an overly fancy word meaning piloted which I've been waiting years for the opportunity to use) the yellow painted gyro around the pattern.
Our Pres, Dave Yant was called into work on Saturday. "Lucky him," I say with tongue in cheek. So that brought the chairing duties around to me. We had a very live and enthusiastic discourse on the feasibility of purchasing a fixed wing sport plane for member, student training, and the subject of liability and insurance became a massive debate, as it should be. A committee was established to find all the information, see how other groups have accomplished the task, and determine whether this is something we wish to do.
The Air Show in Alma, Michigan was one of the best that I have had the pleasure to attend. I took six hundred pictures and have sent articles out to several magazines.
Several "accidents, and incidents" by individuals were brought up during the safety portion of the meeting. One that Tom Taylor reiterated upon was that of a gyro accident that claimed a victim's life last month in Erie, Michigan. The information Taylor had gathered showed that the nut for the bolt that held the rotor to the mast assembly had not been tightened to torque and a safety cotter pin had not been installed through the nut and bolt. The rotation of the rotor blades had twisted the nut from the bolt and the blades flew from the craft, sending the pilot to his death. A terrible event and not one that people like to talk about, but if this type of conversation will make all of us more aware and willing to do a thorough job in our pre-flight inspections, then the discussion is worth having and such "accidents" will not happen again. Peer pressure and an impatient desire to accomplish the task at hand may have led to this accident.
Logbooks and proficiency go hand in hand. Take a gander at yours. If it's been a while since your last flight, it might be wise to take a ride with an instructor. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but you might have developed a few bad habits that need ironing. Maybe you could use more touch and goes, practice that crosswind landing a few times, check out your short field takeoffs and landings, or work on those maneuvers that have some rust developing. A refresher with an instructor can only make you a better and safer pilot. It's much better to iron out the kinks with an instructor than not have complete command with a passenger on board.
For those of you wanting information on projects that members are involved in, several people are waiting for an aircraft inspection by the FAA. I do not happen to be one of those, as my craft is taking longer than anticipated to build. I hope to be completed in the next few weeks, then I will have to contact a DAR. Lots of items in construction are not covered in the manuals, the reason so many craft of the same design on close inspection are not alike. That's my craft below on October 10, 2007. I still have to run up the engine as per instructions, but I will have to take the wings off and get it outside the garage to do that.