Have you sent in your reservations for the 2002 MPA State Convention in West Plains? Better hurry since it begins on May 3. It sounds like Friday will be fun with an easy water float trip or alternate activities like wagon rides and trap shooting then dinner that evening at Bill and Mary Marx's ranch in Willow Springs. There is a reservation form in the March MPA News and I will have them again at Gateway's April meeting. I hope everyone takes notes so we can get ideas for hosting the 2003 convention in St. Louis. It will be loads of fun and informative.
At Gateway's March meeting, Tom Saggau representing Angel Flight Central gave an interesting and informative presentation about the new organization that is forming. They provide transportation for medical and compassionate care emergencies to those who can not afford the trip cost or would be adversely affected by a ground trip. Angel Flight is seeking pilots with at least 200 hr. experience (VFR only is acceptable) and ground administrative help. Donations to this non-profit group are also welcome. If you are interested, contact Tom at 636-928-4856 in St. Charles.
Gateway's board of directors approved a nominating committee consisting of Rick Albrecht, Harold Booher, Walt Petring and Bill Sheve. Thank you gentlemen for volunteering for this important job. The committee has been asked to present a slate of four officers and three board members for the April meeting. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor until the election in May.
You know, our June picnic is not very far away! Give it some thought and we can talk about it at the meeting. Would you like to repeat last years catered fried and baked chicken dinner? Do you want to bring covered side dishes and/or desserts or have that provided? Think about it!
The weather didn't permit us to make our season opening fly-out March 17, to Mt. Vernon as IMC conditions persisted there most of the day. We will try again with our next scheduled trip to Casey, IL (1H8) on April 21. Remember to call Brian Brinker at 314-647-1138 to coordinate, get details or check on empty seats. All MPA members and their guests are welcome! If the weather doesn't cooperate, the new alternate will be Kilroy's at Smartt Field.
Phil Boyer's AOPA Town Meeting on April 21, drew a lot of Gateway members. Phil literally blew into town since winds were gusting into the forties that afternoon. I noticed our State president, Dan Gilbert, Rep. Denny Merideth, Bob Dickens and MoDot's Brian Weiler were there also. Brian will be our speaker in July.
While recently talking to Lyle Bjerkestrand, manager of St. Charles County Airport, he announced his retirement this coming June. Lyle has been manager at Smartt Field for many years now and has seen it through tornadoes, high damaging winds, floods and some rough times. Lyle said the new hangars should be finished and occupied during May and he hopes to tie in with the new (as yet unnamed) manager before he leaves. We wish him good luck and a happy re-retirement.
I am still soliciting suggestions for the MPA Aviation and Media Awards for the convention. If you would like to recommend someone, please contact me by April 15. A reminder that applications for the Aerospace Education Teacher Scholarship need to be submitted by May 1, 2002.
The Safety Tip of the Month from the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Assoc. concerns fuel contamination due to temperature changes and the damp air. Be especially careful of water in your tanks this time of year. Condensation and leaking filler caps and gaskets may allow water into your tanks particularly if you park outside during rainy weather. If there is a cavity around your filler cap, water may enter the tank when you remove the cap. If you suspect there is water in your fuel and you can not drain it, check with your favorite mechanic for FAA approved additives that will absorb the water.
For Gateway's April 10, meeting we are looking forward to hosting Seth Caperton and his wife, Pat, visiting us from the Ozarks Chapter. Seth, an active CFI, flew thirty-five bombing missions over Europe with the Eighth Air Force during WWII and has many interesting stories to tell! Seth has been very active since those days too. He is a past state president of MPA and a pilot for Dr. Clark and the College of the Ozarks. Please join us at The Columns in St. Charles. The dinner menu will consist of: vegetable relish tray w/ ranch dip, cream of mushroom soup, pork medallions w/ gravy, chicken Oscar (crab meat & white sauce), risotto, green beans almondine, rolls and zango (shell filled w/ cream cheese). Dinner is still $13 per person. The doors open at 6:00 PM, the serving line starts at 6:30 and the program begins at 7:30. As usual, dinner reservations are required and can be easily made by calling Jean Murry at 314-469-3541 by Monday evening, April 8, or better yet, call now - before you put this newsletter down. Please come, and bring your friends, for the food, fellowship, hangar flying and to listen to Seth Caperton.
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