The Flyer

August, 2007

OfficersPresident: Gary Fox;  Vice President: vacant;   Secretary: Jan Handley;
Treasurer: Terrie Jo Fox;
Directors: Mike Douglas, Ralph Schmude, Al St. Germain, Penrod Turk, Jeanné Willerth, Frank Taylor and Past Presidents.
Chairpersons: Wings Program ; Penrod Turk; Safety: Chris St. Germain; Membership: vacant; Meeting Arrangements: Terrie Jo Fox.
Editor: Al St. Germain 

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE - There are days when it's hard to remember that skinny 125 lb kid who enlisted in the US Air Force in 1955, and had to eat bananas all day to get up to a passing weight. That was over 50 years ago, and 2007 marks the 60th Anniversary of the US Air Force. It was The National Security Act of 1947 that became law on July 26, 1947. It created the Department of the Air Force, headed by a Secretary of the Air Force with W. Stuart Symington officially filling that position on Sept 18, 1947. The things I don't forget are the people, events and equipment of those past days that are an integral part to understanding and dealing with the future. I remember Aug 6, 1945 when the B-29 Super Fortress "Enola Gay" dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and Aug 9th when her sister ship "Bock's Car," brought about the end of WWII in Nagasaki. I remember running out into the streets of Fairlawn, NJ with my mother as we all banged pans with wooden spoons to celebrate. I also remember being underground during the Cuban Missile Crisis not knowing when or if I would ever see my family again. I remember it all with reverence to the dedicated men and women who have made and continue to make our US Armed Forces what it is today. Please keep them always in your thoughts and prayers. A personal note of thanks to Col. Richard "Dick" Mc Mahon for his July presentation regarding the SAC Airline History Museum - besides he's another US Air Force retiree! Gary Fox
 
SPEAKER SUMMARY: Our speaker for the July 25th meeting was one of our own, Dick McMahon. Rather than try to paraphrase a most interesting talk, I asked Dick to write it out the way he gave it. Here it is. "The best way to start a presentation on the history of Sav-A-Connie (AKA The Airline History Museum/AHM) is to start at the beginning. It all began at my office at Richards-Gebaur AFB in the summer of 1985. At that time I was the civilian Air Force Manager for the USAF, having assumed that position upon my military retirement in 1984. Mr. Larry Brown then became chief pilot for Wilcox Electric, and was involved in testing the micro-wave approach concept at GVW. That particular day, the weather was bad, and he and I were hangar flying. He was looking at the pictures of various aircraft I had been qualified in, among them was the Lockheed Constellation C-121. He commented on what a beautiful aircraft the Connie was and recounts that I said, "why don't we get one, fix it up and fly it to air shows?" The rest as they say is history. However, Larry did the vast majority of the work it took to get this effort off the ground, and I consider him the true founder of Sav-A-Connie. After much research, a suitable L-1049H Connie was located at Fallon Field, Mesa, Arizona. To make a long story short, a Mr. Paul Pesto bought the aircraft at auction for $4,500, and donated it to our parent organization which we formed in March 1986. Larry and I knew that Kansas City was virtually the only place where such a project could succeed because of the number of retired TWA mechanics. TWA was the largest user of Connies among the airlines over the years (1946-1967.) (The U S Navy had a total of 210 over a period of time.) After the founding of SAC, and receiving the title to our Connie, (N6937C,) various members started spending time (weekends to three weeks at a time) at Falcon Field on 37C. When I first saw her, I thought, "I'm going to fly this!?" It was in bad shape after sitting there for 11 years, and having flown 28,000 plus hours prior to that. It needed vast amounts of TLC. It got enough TLC, some 3,600 man hours over a nine-week time span that it was flown to MKC without incident on 15 July 1986. To regress some, I would like to mention why we (Larry and I) picked the Connie to restore. We, like many others, believe the Connie to be the most beautiful aircraft ever. In addition, it is the primary aircraft that put the transatlantic steamships out of business. Thus, one needed to be preserved in flying condition so people could continue to appreciate its history and beauty. When the Connie arrived in July 1986, SAC had a one room office in the north extension of the former passenger terminal and no hangar. We did eventually, (March 1987,) put the Connie in the north bay of what had been the Braniff hangar on the east side of MKC. The aircraft was literally rebuilt over the next many months. The FAA issued 37C's airworthiness certificate on 2 November 1989. Air show appearances commenced during the summer of 2000, and continued unabated throughout the summer of 2005. An engine failure necessitating a major engine overhaul has kept the 37C grounded until now, but all is well again. However, crew requalification must be accomplished. We'll be back in the air before the snow comes again. In addition to our beautiful Connie, SAC purchased a Martin 404 in December 1990. These 40 passenger air conditioned, pressurized aircraft were used in short haul trips in the 1950s as DC-3 replacements. TWA and Eastern Airlines were the only major airlines to use this aircraft. The Coast Guard had two 404s. We (SAC,) did fly our M-404 to air shows for several years. The M-404 has been on static display for a number of years since. In 1993, SAC purchased our third aircraft, a venerable Douglas DC-3. The DC-3 is the first aircraft that was a profitable passenger carrier. This particular aircraft is special to our museum because it was delivered to TWA at MKC on March 1941, and stayed with TWA throughout WW II. We purchased this aircraft as a derelict at the Roswell, New Mexico airport. This necessitated a complete disassembly and trucking to MKC. After 14 years in restoration, this aircraft will fly again as virtually a new airplane. The Airline History Museum is just that, and not primarily a TWA museum. We are looking for and will eventually add examples of other airline aircraft. We invite any and all to not only visit our museum, but to become active members. You do not need to be aircraft or maintenance qualified to be involved. We need all kinds of talent." Great story, Dick! Thanks to you, Larry and all the volunteers for making this happen. Al St. Germain

DINNER RESERVATION INFORMATION – Our next regular meeting will begin with social time at 6:00, dinner at 6:30 sharp on Wednesday, August, at the Disabled American Veterans, 8787 Old Santa Fe Road, KCMO. If you can't make it for dinner, come at 7:15. (I-435, go east on 87th Street OR west from Blue Ridge Boulevard, to Old Santa Fe Road, one block west of Blue Ridge then south on Santa Fe.) The menu will consist of Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable, Salad, Bread/Butter, Coffee/Tea, Dessert. Please make your reservations with Terrie Jo by Monday noon, August 20 by e-mail, Terrie@Foxware.com or 795-7233. Cost is $11 including gratuity, and DAV reservations must be made and kept. Terrie Jo Fox.

BOARD MEETING - June 3rd, 2007. Treasurer's Report, Membership, Meeting Dates Calendar

CHAPTER FLYOUT INFORMATION - We will be flying to only 3 or 4 close airports in 2007 due to gas prices, and to increase our flying and members' participation. (Non-flyers welcome!) With a new chairperson, we hope to provide e-mail notification the week before. Please volunteer. Info on flyouts can be obtained at www.MidwesternPilot.com, or the State News Letter.

MEETING DATES FOR 2007:
Please mark your calendars now so you won't forget any meetings.
August 22 - Awaiting confirmation of Betty Jo Stanton, of BJS
September 22, (Saturday) Picnic at Higginsville, details to follow.
October 24, Brian Yates, Eastern Jackson County State Representative.
November 28, Jeanné Willerth on Oshkosh
December, no meeting, party to be held in January 2008

USEFUL WEB SITES -
Missouri Pilots Association Web Site for all chapters: www.mopilots.org
Missouri 2005-2006 Airport Directory & Travel Guide. This has view of the latest airports & information updates. http://www.modot.state.mo.us/othertransportation/airportdirectory.htm
Missouri State Senate Web Site: http://www.senate.state.mo.us
This website is a pilot to pilot information exchange: www.flykc.com
Super Cub website is very popular www.supercub.org and steve@flykc.com

MPA CHAPTER BOARD MEETINGS -
All chapter members are invited to attend board meetings. They are normally held on the first Tuesday of the month, excluding holidays, at Executive Beechcraft, Downtown Airport, at 7 PM. We always welcome your advice and assistance, and the coffee pot is on! MPA STATE BOARD MEETINGS - Any MPA members may and are invited to attend the state board meetings. Check the MPA News for meeting dates, times and locations. Gary Fox

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