President's Cockpit - February 2018

In this installment: Board of Director's meeting and decisions, a new Master Pilot among us, kudos for another stellar meal, a very cool presentation on the CommuterCraft Innovator kit aircraft, a possible visit by Lancair, a new program at HQ to match wayward builds with enthusiastic chapters, support from the Dee Howard Foundation, and a call for volunteers! Read on!

Director’s Meeting. Your Board of Directors met prior to the January meeting to review Treasurer Dee Brame’s outstanding work on the 2018 budget. The board reached several key decisions. Chapter 35 will send two up-and-coming leaders to the Leadership Summit this fall at Oshkosh. We also have enough operating funds on hand and revenue forecast to keep our membership dues and monthly meal prices at their current level. This is a tribute to the fantastic work our committee chairs, managers and directors have performed to keep our expenses down. The board has set aside funding to make improvements to the memorial garden, expand our Gone West memorial onto the western wall, and acquire a plaque to recognize our many outstanding Master Pilots and Mechanics. Brian Goode announced this will be his final year managing the Country Store. If you have aspirations of stepping up to support a vital function of your chapter, see Brian or me.

Master Pilot Award. Schedule permitting, we will be honored to host the presentation of the Master Pilot Award to Jim Humphries at the Chapter Clubhouse, Saturday March 10th. This will coincide with our March meeting and Hangar Tour. I’m announcing this early so you can save the date. Fifty years of safe and successful flying is a phenomenal achievement, and deserves our attention.

January Meal. Joe Roberts led us in the invocation, then fifty-two members and guests gathered to enjoy, as Freda Jones put it, “the best pulled pork sandwich this side of I-35”. I believe she nailed it. Freda and a host of volunteers got us off to a great new year with a wonderful meal! I’m going to stop joking about how the government could learn a thing or two about managing a budget from our Facility Team. I will say this: We’re not going on a budget holiday at Chapter 35. We are open for business!

A Visit by Lancair! You will want to be here for the February meeting! Lancair is still planning to tell us about their new ownership, the move to Uvalde, and their newest aircraft, the Mako. Again, weather permitting, they’re planning to fly the Mako in to San Geronimo to showcase it.

A Last Minute Flight and a Surprise Opportunity. Our presenters for Take Flight!, an organization dedicated to introducing young woman to aviation careers, were themselves called away by their aviation careers. We’re looking forward to rescheduling and hearing their vital presentation as soon as we can make it happen. Coincidentally, Richard Hogan, aircraft designer and CEO of CommuterCraft, was in town to meet with Bario Aviation, a beta build site and builder integration facility for the new Innovator aircraft. Richard gave us a rundown on the aircraft goals, design tradeoffs, performance, and plans for bringing your own carbon fibre kit aircraft from fantastic idea to finished airframe in three short weeks. With a variety of builder-assist options available, Richard expects that a new builder could have an aircraft flying in as little as three months from start of build. For more information, visit his site at https://www.commutercraft.com

Home for Wayward Builds. In November last year, John Egan, HQ EAA Chapter Manager, reached out to all Texas chapters with a unique offer: a Sonex builder was unable to complete his build and wished that a Texas chapter could take over the kit. With our focus on supporting our local school districts, Chapter 35 made a compelling case to accept the donation. We were not selected. There’s a positive note, here: As a result of the massive response, John is instituting a program to formally match wayward builds to enthusiastic chapters. We are making a difference!

The Dee Howard Foundation supports EAA Chapter 35! After observing our Young Eagle Rallies at Stinson Airport and San Geronimo Airpark, Wayne Fagen, chairman of the Dee Howard Foundation invited Chapter 35 to participate in the San Antonio Aviation Hall of Fame dinner, and recommended a grant in the amount $250 for Chapter 35 to continue supporting our Young Eagles program. Phil and Susan Vaneau will attend the dinner and represent Chapter 35, and so will his Christen Eagle! Phil has been invited to showcase experimental aviation and his aircraft has been given a position of honor, parked under the wing of a 433d Airlift Wing C-5M Galaxy.

Get Involved. You could be our next Country Store Manager. You’ll learn from the best! Our outgoing manager was instrumental in the success of several Cessna regions, and manages a phenomenal store for Chapter 35. Your chapter needs you now, more than ever. Come find us at the next meeting, or wandering the hangars, drop an e-mail or pick up the phone. Let us know where you would like to contribute to this outstanding chapter.

Until we meet again, fly safe and have fun doing it.