Thanks to the seventy-one attending members and guests, our December meeting and Christmas party was a huge success! After the festive supper the Simple Melody barbershop quartet really put us in the holiday spirit with traditional barbershop music as well as Christmas songs for everyone to sing along. We appreciate Del Loveall arranging for the quartet to entertain us. I really hope everyone had as much fun as I did! We thank Dr. Bill Sill and Bette for sharing the video of their ride in the three-seat Stearman. It would have been nice to have shown the entire tape, but Dr. Sill graciously condensed it so we could squeeze all the activities into the all too short evening. Thank you Bill and Bette!

Once again, Shirley Petring did an outstanding job providing the aviation table centerpieces. They really complimented The Columns decorations and put us in the Christmas mood. Our sincere thanks to you, Shirley. Betty McClure did a grand job of arranging all the delicious cookies and desserts that the members brought. There were sixty square feet of delightful treats arranged on the tables! Some folks counted the calories: I counted the square feet. Thanks to everyone that brought their favorite cookies and desserts for us to sample. Each and every one was delicious! If there were any left over it was not a reflection on their quality; just a concern over passing the upcoming flight physicals.

The Chinese gift exchange was another hit of the party thanks to ex-president, Bill Nelson. Fifty-two members brought gifts for the first ever gift exchange - I was concerned that no one would bring any! Thank you Bill for guiding us smoothly through the confusion in a timely manner. Last, but not least, we are indebted to another ex-president, Harry Schulz, for providing background holiday music throughout the evening. You can get an idea of how much went on just by the length of the preceding descriptions. Whew!

The business meeting was kept short, however we did have pictures and discussion of our December fly-out / drive-out breakfast at Smartt Field on Dec. 5. About 18 members were present including four Kansas City members who drove in to share the breakfast and to tend to one of their planes at the field for maintenance. Two planes did manage to fly over from Creve Coeur despite the bad weather. Our V.P. and fly-out chairman, Brian Brinker, announced that the next official fly-out will be in March due to the unpredictable winter weather.

When you look at the new Calendar of Events, you will see that Brian has been busy preparing next season's fly-out list. If the enroute weather is bad, the alternate will be the WING WALKER Restaurant at Alton's Regional Airport. If the local weather is unfavorable, the alternate is JB's Diner at Smartt Field, St. Charles Co. Airport, via the Hwy 94 approach. Thanks Brian, for a job well done!

Remember to keep working on your WINGS and to give your completed forms to our WINGS chairman, Carl Schaffner. For non-flying members your attendance at a safety seminar can help us win the MOKAN trophy! The St. Louis Flight Instructors Super Safety Seminar on January 22, at Boeing building 33 is an excellent opportunity to participate and to hear two of the best in the business, AOPA's Phil Boyer and Rod Machado.

The St. Louis Flight Instructors are also hosting the 30th annual Flight Instructors Revalidation Clinic on Feb. 19 and 20 at Parks College on the campus of St. Louis University. There are sixteen lectures including "Making GPS Approaches", "Instrument Training For The Private Pilot", "Ask The Examiner Panel", and weather topics by Ben Abell. The fee will cover meals and handouts. More information is available by calling (636) 286-9905 or e-mailing to

A few hours before the last meeting, I received the price list and samples of the shirts and ball cap that we will be offering for sale with the MPA logo embroidered on them. I hope everyone got to see them during the December meeting; however the vendor has been kind enough to let me hold them to show again at the January meeting. An order form and descriptions will be included with this newsletter mailed to Gateway members' homes. The plan is to collect the orders at the January meeting (or mail them to me) and I will submit them to the vender shortly after the January meeting. At a later date, I will also inquire about having patches made with the MPA logo. Please include your check (payable to: Missouri Pilots Assoc. Gateway Chapter) with the order. Since the orders are based on lot-size purchases, any orders received late will have to be held until a near lot size of orders has been accumulated. The exception will be with the ball caps. The treasury has advance-funded the purchase of two dozen caps and we may have them in time for the January meeting.

As this goes to press, we would like to introduce our newest members: Sharon and Allen Hedge, Bart Brnjak and Greg Kuklinski. Welcome aboard! We hope to see you all at the meetings and fly-outs. Along similar lines, I have noticed that several members are near or past expiration. Please check your membership cards or the mailing labels on the MPA NEWS and see if you are one! Normally, you will receive a renewal notice from the state treasurer, but check your renewal dates just in case.

Congratulations to Joe Dobronski for winning the regional Flight Instructor of the Year Award! Joe will now compete on the national level and we certainly wish him the best of luck. It must say something about the caliber of people in the Gateway chapter when three members (that I know of) have become regional Flight Instructors of the Year and one - so far - won the national title. Let's hope that Joe will become the second national winner!

Speaking of Joe Dobronski, he will be the speaker at our January 12, meeting. Joe has had such an illustrious career in aviation that he is having a hard time deciding on which topic to discuss. The more you talk to him, the more you want to learn from him. It would be nice if we had room to print his biography!

To dine with us January 12, at The Columns in St. Charles and to hear Joe speak, please phone your reservations to Jean Murry at (314) 469-3541 by MONDAY EVENING, January 10. The doors open at 6:30, meal at 7:00 and program at 8:00. The all-you-can-eat buffet will consist of: tossed salad, Italian bean soup, spaghetti with meat sauce, baked chicken, vegetable medley, hard rolls and spumoni. Come join us and bring a guest!

Chuck Maggart
Gateway Chapter President


Jan 9: MPA state board meeting in Columbia: 12:00.

Jan 10: AOPA Safety Seminar at Flo Valley College: 7:00.

Jan 12: Gateway Chapter meets at The Columns: 6:30.

Jan 22: St. Louis Flight Instructor's SUPER SAFETY SEMINAR at the Boeing Co.,Building 33.

Feb 9: Gateway Chapter meets at The Columns: 6:30.

Feb 13: MPA state board meeting in Columbia: 12:00.

Mar 8: Gateway Chapter meets at The Columns: 6:30.

Mar 12: MPA state board meeting in Columbia: 12:00.

Mar 19: FLY-OUT to Mt. Vernon,IL

Apr 16: FLY-OUT to Marion,IL

May 21: FLY-OUT to Reelfoot Lake.

Jun 18: FLY-OUT to Kentucky Dam State Park.

Jul 16: FLY-Out to Sikeston,MO (Lamberts Restaurant).

Aug 20: FLY-OUT to either Bloomington or Decatur,IL.

Sep 4: Labor Day FLY-OUT to Mt.Pleasant,IA for the Old Thrashers Convention

Oct 27-29: FLY-OUT to USAF Museum in Dayton,OH. (3 days,2 nights)

Nov 19: FLY-OUT to Mattoon,IL.

Dec 17: FLY-OUT / DRIVE-OUT to JB's Diner at Smartt Field.

Remember: if the enroute weather is bad, we go to Alton. If the local weather is bad, we meet at JB's Diner at Smartt Field. Dates and destinations are subject to change, so coordinate with Brian Brinker. More details as the time nears.

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