You’ve all heard of AirVenture or “Oshkosh.” Many of you have attended. In my mind this year’s turnout was the largest that I have seen in the dozen or so years that I have been representing ANS. The airfield was closed on Saturday before the beginning of the show to all incoming planes except warbirds and classics. On Friday afternoon of the show, cars were lined up bumper to bumper for 1 ½ miles waiting to get in. In addition there were cars parked on the shoulder for 2 miles waiting to exit the freeway and slow traffic continued for another 5 miles.
When Ron Judy arrived on Saturday, 2 days before the opening, he had to park 2 rows past the last transit turn around, approximately 2 miles from the control tower. When Rick Mills and Kevin and Phyllis Domingue arrived on Sunday they had to park 5 rows from the very furthest south end of the field. I spoke with Jim Irwin, President of Aircraft Spruce, and he said that business the first 3 days was very good for them
This big turnout for AirVenture mirrored what I saw when I attended Sun N Fun this April in Florida. I hope these are true signs the economy is loosening up and people are ready to spend money on non-essential enjoyment. Recently Chuck has shipped orders for a number of our Diamond Aero STC’d windscreens and some beef-up kits suggesting engine upgrades. We continue to have a good supply of parts and support.
Earlier this year I got a call from Dick McSpadden asking if we were interested in a representative from AOPA at our annual convention as he had an “in” with AOPA. Little did I know at the time his son, Richard, had just been hired as the Executive Director of AOPAs Air Safety Institute. Many of us Navioneers have known Richard for quite a while as he is the oldest son of Dick & Ann McSpadden both long time Navioneers. After Richard retired from the Air Force, his last assignment was Commander/Flight Leader of the Air Force Thunderbirds, he spent 12 years in the business community with Hewlett Packard
I followed up on the offer and Richard said he would be glad to come and speak at the 71st Annual ANS Convention. I asked him to speak about the new Basic Med that was to be adopted on May 1. Of course, by the time convention came around Basic Med had be in effect for about 5 weeks so Richard was able to speak as to the turnout of people signing up at the time. At this time Basic Med is a reality and thousands of pilots are taking advantage of it.
A few years ago, while at Sun N Fun Asa (Bud) Brown introduced me to Jim (Frog) Jones who is the Honorary President of the Swift Museum Foundation, Inc. In turn Jim introduced me to the Type Club Coalition (TCC) at EAA AirVenture. The primary focus of the TCC is aviation safety. Some members include the Swift Foundation, Lanceair, Cirrus, Cessna 195, Cessna Twins, Cessna 170, American Bonanza Society which includes all Bonanzas, Barons and Travel Airs and of course the American Navion Society. Also in attendance at every meeting are the FAA and NTSB with a number of people from each agency.
Fast forward to July 2017 and this years AirVenture where Jim (Frog) introduced Richard McSpadden to the TCC. As the Executive Director of ASI Richard leads the effort to reduce general aviation mishaps through research, education, and industry collaboration. I’ve included the article, “What is a Type Club? Why Should I Join?” by Joe Dickey, former chairman, EAA Vintage Aircraft Division, in the Sept-Oct Navioneer.
Richard is taking an active role in the TCC and feels that statistically type club members have fewer mishaps than those who don’t belong to a type club. With that in mind I would like to hear from you as to what we can do to increase membership in the ANS.
A checklist is an essential part of safe airplane operation. Since there is no checklist in the POH for the Navion, a number of years ago our Safety Officer and good friend Judy Sorton (God rest her sole) asked for members to send her their checklist. I would like to repeat her efforts and ask you to send me your checklist so we can publish some.
May you always have blue skies & tail winds,