December 2001

At Gateway's November meeting, Hubert Looney gave a very interesting slide presentation about his trips to Belize for Wings of Hope . His pictures showed the primitive living conditions of the local people and the difficult landing strips available for mercy missions. Hubert told about the corrupt officials, mountains of paperwork and fees (bribes) it took to get around among the countries down there and how robbers steal the volunteers personal items. Being a volunteer isn't for the faint of heart. He also told of how the local people depend on their efforts and of the medical help that is only available by air. We appreciate Hubert taking time from his schedule to talk to us especially since some of our members work with Wings of Hope. It looks like Hubert will be busier than ever now that he has retired from the Highway Patrol. We know how the pace of life picks up after retirement!

A big congratulations and a "thank you" go to Walter Gummersheimer for being elected to fill the vacant vice president's position in Gateway. Walter is a fine and experienced person and a past MPA chapter president.

All MPA members are invited to attend the State Board meetings in Columbia. The December 9, meeting at 1:00 PM will feature Brian Weiler, head of aviation for MoDOT. Brian will update us on the airport improvements and changes throughout the state. Before the meeting, at noon, we will have a pot luck lunch and desserts served in the meeting room; the old FAA control tower beside the terminal. This should be a fun, tasty and informative meeting. If you are looking for a place to fly on the 9th, come on over around noon to eat before the meeting.

The last chapter fly-out / drive-out of the season will be at Kilroy's Restaurant at Smartt Field on Sunday, December 16, at noon. Please come out and join us for breakfast or lunch. The next chapter fly-out will be held in March. If you know of a neat place to fly or have any suggestions for next years fly-outs, contact Gateway's Fly-out Chairman, Brian Brinker (314-647-1138 or flyingbrinker@aol.com). Brian will be putting together a new schedule during the next two months.

Long time member and past officer, Capt. Doug Allen, reported in from his flying job with Fed-Ex. He is flying the Caravan C208 out of Chattanooga to various cities in the southeast. He doesn't get home very often, but has placed a bid on a slot in Springfield, Mo. He said he misses everyone, but is able to keep up through e-mail and looking at Gateway's website. If you wish to contact Doug, I will be glad to pass along his e-mail address.

The St. Louis Flight Instructors Tip Of The Month comes from president Rick Albrecht. During the winter months, before operating your plane, be sure to de-ice and remove all frost with the proper de-icing equipment. Consult with your favorite mechanic to learn the proper equipment and chemicals to use in your situation. The wrong equipment or chemicals can cause corrosion or possibly allow the melted water to refreeze in a critical location (hinges, wheel wells, etc.). For fabric covered planes, the best bet is a hangar or good set of covers. Consider removing wheel pants before operating in slush or mud since they can clog up and freeze.

I regret reporting the passing of Elmer Beningfield on November 18. Elmer was a member of the Kansas City chapter for nearly 29 years and the MPA NEWS editor for 18 years. Our condolences to his wife Theda and their family. A sympathy card was sent by our chapter.

When the dinner reservation numbers are phoned in to The Columns on Tuesday morning, before the meetings, they buy for that number. Normally there is enough food for two or three extra, but at the last meting we really stretched it. When people show up to eat, unannounced, they are eating someone's food that may come later and was considerate enough to phone for a reservation. Also remember that some of our members work at the reception tables and are always the last to eat, regardless. To help, please phone your dinner reservations in by the published deadline. How about phoning your reservations in when you get the newsletter? If you attend the meetings on a regular basis, why not get on the permanent reservations list? Then, you would only need to call us if you can not attend. End of sermon!

Gateway chapter will hold its Christmas party on December 12, at The Columns, 711 Fairlane Drive in St. Charles. (Click Me for a Map) The doors open at 6:00 PM, serving line starts at 6:30 and the fun starts at 7:30. Any member that wishes is encouraged to bring a dozen or so of their favorite Christmas cookies or a dessert to share with others. A special dessert table will be set up. Rick and Gen Albrecht will accompany us in a sing-along and we will again have the Chinese Gift Exchange hosted by Bob Kraemer. If you wish to participate in the gift exchange, please bring a wrapped gift worth about ten dollars. Gag gifts are also acceptable since the whole thing is for fun anyway! We will also have a fireman's boot available to collect donations for the firefighter's fund.

The Christmas feast will consist of Waldorf salad, clam chowder, prime rib, baked red snapper, baked potato, green beans almondine and rolls. Members will supply the desserts. Please phone in your dinner reservations early (NOW - before setting this newsletter down) at 314-469-3541 or, at the latest, by Monday evening, Dec. 10. Bring your friends and join in the fun!

During this holiday season, I want to thank all the Gateway officers, volunteers and members for their help and support this year. Lana and I also wish everyone Season Greetings and we hope you have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Chuck Maggart
Gateway President
(314) 731-0199

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