March Gateway meeting: Wednesday, March 10 at the Columns in St.
Charles. Don Dunn will speak on his trip to
Lt. Col. Gilbert Hostler, USAF, ret., was unable to speak at the February Gateway chapter meeting due to emergency surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing about his participation in the atomic bomb testing at Eniwetok and Bikini atolls at our October meeting. In his place, his nephew, Gateway Chapter member and experienced skydiver, Jim Hostler gave us a lesson in using a parachute for fun and survival, or how to 1) pull the rip cord 2) at the right altitude 3) with stability. In free fall horizontal flight up to about 25 mph is possible, which allows formation jumps, while vertical speed is about 110 mph. Skydivers use rectangular ram air canopies that act like a wing and allow soft landings. In contrast, the emergency chutes worn by aerobatic pilots are round, less maneuverable and the landings are harder. Training is available at the Archway Skydiving Center at Vandalia IL (VLA), 1-800-759-3483 (SKY-DIVE) – you might even see Jim there on weekends.
Our “bring a friend” campaign has been quite successful. Eight guests attended the February meeting. We wish Gen Albrecht a speedy recovery from her recent surgery and hope to see her at our March meeting.
Rick Albrecht reported that the GSLFIA is seeking ways to improve the availability and reduce the price of aviation insurance. This has become a critical issue for flight instruction, since it is now nearly impossible to obtain renters insurance and instructor insurance for multi-engine aircraft. Hull insurance costs approximately 7% the value of the aircraft. The fear is that in time the high cost of insurance will kill general aviation unless we are able to self-insure.
The Presidents Corner. Spring is around the corner and the new fly-out season is about to begin! We have a new and enthusiastic fly-out chairman, Doug Allen, to head it up. I want to thank Steve Pierce, Harold Booher and Don Moonen and others for their ideas and input into this season’s trips. We will start off with an easy trip to Quincy, IL (UIN) on Sunday, March 21. You can read the rest of the list in our Calendar of Events on Gateway’s web site (mopilots.org) and it will be included with Gateway’s local newsletter
Please let Doug know you are coming a few days in advance and let him know if you have any empty seats or if you are looking for a ride. Doug’s home phone number is 636-441-8112. The minimums for a chapter fly-out are 3000 ft., 5 miles and 15 kt. winds at each airport. If minimums are not met the rain date will be the following weekend. Individuals may proceed on their own, but the chapter’s fly-out is postponed. Since we leave from different airports, we will meet at the destination airport at 12:00 noon. If in doubt on fly-out morning, call Doug Allen’s cell phone (636-734-3447).
Also think about using your flying time to work on a rating, BFR or WINGS. Doug is one of many instructors in the chapter who would be more that willing to work with you. We really hope to have maximum participation this year, so mark your calendars in advance!
Safety tip of the month from Rick Albrecht, president, GSLFIA: Be vigilant in the sky. Review your traffic scanning techniques to avoid a possible mid-air collision. This danger is particularly great in the traffic pattern and around nav aids. Check the advisory circular on mid-air collisions for proper scan techniques or get the assistance of your favorite flight instructor.
The Metro Theater Company will present two plays at the Missouri Historical Society Museum in Forest Park in March. Captain Lindbergh’s Ocean Flight will be presented Saturday, March 6 at 11 am, and Sunday, March 7 at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Apollo: To the Moon will be presented Saturday, March 27 at 11 am and Sunday, March 28 at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children, seniors, and MHS members.
Tracy Smith reported that the new T-hangars at St. Charles County Airport (SET) will soon be available for occupancy. Rent is $200/mo. Contact 636-250-3200 for availability.
Wings of Hope has a Piper Cherokee 140 for sale. For more information, contact them at 636-537-1302 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.