May 2001

Presidentís Message - Early Morning Flights

I'm a morning person. I find that this is something shared by virtually no one among my family and friends.

My work schedule usually doesn't allow me to do my recreational flying early mornings but I'm sure glad I did one morning early in April. An SMS colleague, Mike McManus, and I had tried to find a time to go up but our schedules just never matched; 6:30 AM was about it. An absolutely beautiful morning, crisp and clear, it was one of those spring mornings we morning people can love.

We headed south for a quick flight over Table Rock and Branson before returning to KSGF. At a cool 27 degrees, climb was good and the air was incredibly smooth. Visibility, was a good 20 miles--as long as you didn't look east. I like the visual effect when flying with low sun angles because the shadows give you a much better idea of terrain. That was true this morning.

But what made the flight memorable was the low ground fog directly above every pond, stream, and lake. We could pick out the Finley to where it joined the James and then follow the James south to where Galena should have been and on to Table Rock with its many arms spread out across southern Missouri and into Arkansas. Branson High School and one of the city's theaters were visible, but not the rest of the town. Taneycomo's extent was there only covered with low fog. One of the most interesting visual features of that morning was the tower of Shepherd of the Hills Farm protruding out of the fog. Fortunately, I had my camera along, and while not doing justice to the sights that morning, the images captured on the photographs are pretty good.

Turning north all too soon, Hammons Tower, Springfield, in a few minutes the airport to the west, were visible. I have flown a couple more times in the early morning since then but picking out the rivers and lakes by the fog cover has been absent.

Last month's meeting. We want to thank Gary Cyr for his informative presentation at last month's meeting about construction plans at Regional and the update on plans at the airport in Ozark. There will be some inconvenience over the next couple of years, but the installation of an ILS and lengthening of 14-32 will make KSGF an even better place to fly out of. And a 5,000 foot runway and modern hangars at a totally new Ozark facility will also help pilots in the area.

MPA. The Kansas City Chapter hosted a great Missouri Pilots Association Annual Convention May 4-6. SGF Chapter members and MPA officers, Jerry McClure and Larry Harmon were honored by the state board as recipients of the 2001 Blackford Trophy. Thank you both for your hard work on behalf of the Missouri Pilots Association and congratulations on the award!

Bill Cheek

May Meeting

This month's meeting is on Tuesday, May 15th, at the Café SGF. Springfield Branson/Regional Airport, Buffet is at 7:00 P.M. Cost is $10.00 per person. Social Hour is at 6:30 P.M. Program: 1. Report on the 47th Annual Conference of the Missouri Pilots Association. 2. SGF Chapter WINGS participants 3. A chance to share your favorite "Flying Tale."

Chapter Officers


Bill Cheek 417-881-6787

Vice President

Ann Humphreys 417-833-1330


Earl Holmer 417-862-2393


Lynn Rodgers 417-890-8700

Newsletter Editor

Roger Ferguson 417-882-1727

Calendar of Events

5/17 EAA Chapter 821 Meeting, Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks, 2305 E. Kearney. 7:00p.m. (Lurvey Plaza) For more information contact President, Larry G. Harmon at (417) 866-0919 or
E-mail EAALHARMON@aol.com

6/5 FAA Safety Seminar, Cox N. Hospital, Fountain Plaza Room, 7-9:30pm - 1423 N. Jefferson Ave.

6/10 MPA State Board Meeting. Lunch 12 Noon at Bledsoe's Restaurant, Columbia Regional Airport Columbia, MO. Board Meets at 1:00 P.M. All MPA Members Welcome!

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