May 2001

A very informative presentation about the history of aviation in St. Louis was given at our April meeting by one of Gateway's newest members,Bob Boelling. Bob also happens to be the president of the St. Louis Aviation Museum and had many interesting pictures to share with us. I must admit that Bob's pictures of Lambert Field from the 1920's sure don't look anything like the present day airport. Balloon flights in St. Louis were made long before the 1904 World's Fair and long before fixed wing flight in the region. Did you know that President Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to fly in a plane and that he flew in it from Kinloch Field? Kinloch Field is only one of many airports in the area that have disappeared over the years. Bob's talk contained many interesting pieces of our rich history. You can contact him at the Aviation Museum (636-536-0228) if you are interested in learning more about the museum or the history of this area. Thank you for the interesting and educational evening Bob, and thanks for bringing Gateway's newest member, Jason Habendank, with you!

Since the Gateway chapter feels it is quite important to help preserve St. Louis' aviation history and the work of the museum, the board of directors, present at the meeting, agreed to make a donation to the St. Louis Aviation Museum.

We were really in competition with many activities at the April meeting. Several members had to cancel due to Sun 'n Fun, Easter week obligations, Spring breaks, SUS flight instructors meeting, tax preparations and a doctor's meeting. Many thanks to those that were able to be with us.

The nominating committee also performed their civic duty at the April meeting by presenting a slate of candidates for your consideration. Our election for next year's officers and three board members will be held during the May meeting. The committee has nominated the following:

President - Chuck Maggart, Vice president - Tom Butler, Secretary - Jean Murry, Treasurer - Tony Petruso, Directors - Doug Geldbach, Larry McClure and Dr. Bill Sill.

No additional nominations came from the floor; however we will also accept nominations from the floor at the May meeting, prior to the election. Please be sure to obtain the prior approval of your nominee before recommending him or her. If there are multiple nominations for any position, a secret ballot will be used. There are many talented and terrific people in the Gateway chapter and I thank all of those that volunteer their time, money and effort. A list of the current officials and volunteers will again be published in the next newsletter.

One other item of business decided at the meeting is the location of our June picnic. Since many members desire the picnic to be at an airport, the picnic will be held once again at Smartt Field. I would also like to thank the manager of Smartt Field, Lyle Bjerkestrand, for offering us the use of the airport and its facilities once again.

We will have a sign up sheet at the May meeting for the June 13, picnic to obtain the information needed to order the food and drinks. If you can not attend the May meeting, please make your reservations for the picnic, early, with Jean at 314-469-3541. This will greatly help us with the food planning. We encourage each family to bring a covered dish to the picnic and the chapter will provide the chicken (fried and baked), drinks and paper products. We ask for a $2 donation from each participant, 13 and over, to help offset the cost of the food. There will also be live musical entertainment again thanks to Rick and Gen Albrecht.

With the entry of Spring, the new summer MPA ball caps are now available! They are royal blue with mesh on top and, of course, the famous MPA logo. The price is still ten dollars and they will be available again at the May meeting.

The April 14, fly-out to Gastons had nice weather and permitted four planes and ten Gateway members to join with fourteen South Central members for the joint fly-out. Even with all the rain, the sod runway was in good shape and the wind was pretty light. Thanks to Fred Femmer for the information as our fly-out chairman, Bryan Brinker, had to perform his flight instructor duties that day. The next two Gateway flyouts will be Saturday May 12 for the Kingdom City Chapter's pancake breakfast and Sunday May 13, for the trip to Reelfoot Lake. See the Calendar Of Events for details.

The St. Louis chapter sends a reminder that they are looking for volunteers to help with EAA chapter 32's Young Eagles Day at Spirit of St. Louis Airport on May 12. You can contact Richard Baricko at 636-458-4576 and check their web site at

Our safety tip of the month comes to us again from Rick Albrecht and the St. Louis Flight Instructors Association. Be sure to do a through pre-flight inspection and file a flight plan for trips over fifty miles. File your flight plan for each leg of the trip to reduce the time before a search will begin. Also remember to close your flight plan upon arrival.

In keeping with last month's topic of history, Jim Byrnes asked the following question: "Prior to the late 1940's, most U.S. planes began their registration number with 'NC'. What did the 'NC' stand for? Hint - think about where the first flight was made."

The speaker for the May 9, meeting will be Mike Ramirez, president of the Ozarks Chapter. Besides being a pilot, Mike is also a retired FBI agent with many interesting stories to tell. I understand some of his exploits took place in Florida, but I can't tell you any more! He and his wife, Sandy are coming all this way just to speak to us and to meet the Gateway members, so let's have a good showing and give them some Gateway hospitality! For your dining pleasure, we will have a fresh fruit tray, vegetable soup, sliced roast beef au jus, baked chicken, baked potato, buttered peas, rolls and margarine and an Oreo dream bar. That makes me hungry writing about it! We should also have all the news from the MPA State Convention by then. Please join us at The Columns in St. Charles at 6:30 PM. Reservations must be made by calling Jean at 314-469-3541 by Monday evening, May 7.


Gateway Chapter's calendar of events

May 9 - 6:30 PM - Gateway Chapter meets at The Columns in St. Charles. Mike Ramierez speaker.

May 10 - FAA Safety Program at Creve Coeur Aviation's hangar. Mountain Flying. 7 to 9 PM

May 12 - Gateway fly-out to the Kingdom City Chapter's pancake breakfast at Fulton.7 to 11 AM.

May 12 - EAA Chapter 32 Young Eagles Flyout at Spirit Airport.

May 13 - Gateway fly-out to Reelfoot Lake. (Sunday)

Jun. 10 - State Board Meeting in Columbia. Dutch treat lunch at noon and meet at 1:00 All MPA members are invited.

Jun. 13 - Gateway Chapter's annual picnic at Smartt Field (SET).

Jun. 17 - Gateway fly-out to Kentucky Dam State Park. - Father's Day

Jul. 15 - Gateway fly-out to Sikeston - Lamberts Cafe.

Aug. 19 - Gateway fly-out to Decatur, IL.

Sep. 3 - Gateway fly-out to Mattoon, IL - Labor Day.



Contact Brian Brinker (314-647-1138) at least one day before trip to coordinate or to check on available seats. Times and places subject to change. 3000 feet and 5 miles minimums. Normal arrival time for lunch is 12:30 PM. Bad weather alternate is the noon Sunday barbecue at Creve Coeur Airport.

Chuck Maggart
Gateway President
(314) 731-0199

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