September 2000

President's Message - Bill Cheek

Flying Firsts

Someone, Ann Humphreys as I recall, told me when I first began flight instruction, (all of four years ago!) that "all flying is made of a series of firsts." And it's true. The first lesson; first solo around the pattern; private certificate in hand, first flight with passengers as PIC; first cross country not part of a lesson; and the exciting list of "firsts" goes on.

I had a "flying first" last month that I think more enjoyable than any other. I took our four-year old grandson for his first airplane ride.

Most will remember one of Earl Holmer's columns a few months (December 1999) ago titled, "Goofy Grandpa" about how easy it was for him to become one. When it comes to my grandson, Lucas, I admit to goofy grandpadom.

During that short 30-minute flight, it was so neat to hear him on the intercom talking about the "little cars and little houses" and that "everything is green down there." Even neater was when my daughter, Karen, touched my arm wanting me to turn around to look at Lucas, left hand on an imaginary yoke and right hand moving invisible throttle and radio controls. He was "flying" the plane like grandpa. Maybe he will share a love for flying with "Airplane Papa" as he calls me. I would love to someday be among the first to fly with private pilot, Lucas Pankratz. It will probably be best that he doesn't read this little article 10 or 12 years from now, but his goofy "Airplane Papa" would help pay for his flying lessons! It was a thrill to share the beauty of flying with this wonderful four-year old.

The other thing that came to mind while Lucas and Karen were in the plane with me, was how safe was my flying that August afternoon. Karen doesn't particularly like to fly in any size airplane. But she trusted me enough to climb into a 27-year-old single engine plane with me at the controls. Lucas had complete trust. He just climbed into the booster seat with bright eyes and a smile. I had two very precious people as passengers. Reason enough to use checklists even when always flying the same meticulously maintained 172. Reason enough to fly often enough to maintain proficiency as well as currency. Reason enough to attend safety seminars. Certainly reason enough to participate in the WINGS program.

Flying firsts are great. Flying safe is better.

Christmas Party

This year's joint Christmas party will be hosted by the Ozarks Chapter. Mike Ramirez, President of the Ozarks Chapter has reservations at the Riverside Inn for December 12th; Social Hour begins at 6:00p.m. More details about this annual event in coming issues of KSGF News.

September Program

The September program will be presented by Ozarks Chapter President, Mike Ramirez. Mike, a retired Special Agent with the FBI, will present "Undercover Operations," accounts of some of his experiences as an undercover agent in the Miami area during the last 10 years of his nearly 3 decade career with the FBI.

We had a good attendance at the August meeting. Let's make that attendance even bigger this month.

September Meeting

This month's meeting is September 19th, Springfield/Branson Regional Airport, Springfield, MO. We meet at the CAFE SGF, Social Hour 6:30 P.M. Buffet is at 7:00 P.M. Cost is $10.00 per person. Program: will be presented by Ozarks Chapter President, Mike Ramirez. Mike, retired Special Agent with the FBI, will discuss "Undercover Operations."

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

9/21 EAA Chapter 821 Monthly Meeting, 7:00 P.M. Air & Military Museum of the Ozarks, 2305 E. Kearney (Lurvey Plaza). For more information contact: Larry G. Harmon, President (417) 866-0919. E-mail EAALHARMON@aol.com

10/8 MPA State Board Meeting. Lunch at 12 Noon, Bledsoe's Restaurant, Columbia Regional Airport, Columbia, MO. Board Meeting at 1:00 P.M. All MPA Members Welcome!


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