April Gateway meeting: Wednesday, April 12, at the Columns in St. Charles. Jim Morris from the Lake of the Ozarks Chapter MPA will relate some of his experiences as a hurricane hunter. We invite all MPA members and their guests to join us! Dinner will include crudité tray with ranch dip, cream of broccoli soup, roasted Cornish hens, been stroganoff, buttered noodles, peas and carrots, rolls and butter, and peach cobbler for dessert. Dinner is still $14/person. Doors open at 6 pm, serving begins at 6:30 pm and the program gets underway at 7:30 pm with a short business meeting to follow. Phone your dinner reservations to Jean Murry at 314-469-3541 by 3 pm Monday, April 10. Please join us and remember to bring a friend and get a free 50/50 ticket.
Twenty-five members and guests attended our March meeting at the Columns. Mike Gaffney, owner of Skyline Aviation, discussed his views of the future of general aviation. First, young people need to become interested in flight. He urged us to become involved in programs with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the St. Louis Science Centerís program that teaches kids to fly simulators. Second he urged all general aviation pilots to work with each other to promote aviation and to share technologies. Electronic gadgetry and the reduced availability of leaded avgas will spearhead great changes in general aviation equipment. Many new aircraft are technically advanced electronically and they fly fast. This will require new training methods, such as FITS (FAA Industry Training Standard). The disappearance of avgas will make piston engines obsolete, since high altitude flight is not possible with ethanol-blended fuel. Engine manufacturers are developing diesel and turbo-prop engines for GA aircraft. Expect GA flying to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the past 50 years.
Election of officers and directors will occur in May. Rich Albrecht, Don Kramme, and Steve Pierce comprise the nominating committee. Let them know if you are interested in serving the chapter as an officer or director.
News from State: 1) Chuck Maggart displayed the new MPA logo to the approval of the membership. Carl Schaffner offered the help of a friend to register the logo, if needed. 2) There are two bills in the state legislature about which MPA members might comment to their senators and representatives. The first would mandate at least 10% ethanol in all autogas. The second is a proposal to reduce the personal property tax on hangars from 19% to 15%.
Steve Pierce flew his newly-purchased 1958 Piper Comanche to St. Louis from North Carolina. We wish Steve and his Comanche many happy hours of flight.
Congratulations to Delia Greer on being named a Women of Achievement 2006 honoree. Delia is a former US Air Force flight nurse. Since her retirement as an operating room nurse (she is still on call) she has been the chief flight nurse for Wings of Hope. She will be honored at a luncheon scheduled for 11:45 am, Monday, May 15, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton.
Upcoming Events: Our April fly-out is scheduled for Sunday, April 16, to Nickís Restaurant in Jefferson City, MO (JEF). Plan to arrive at JEF by 12:30 pm. Also everyone is encouraged to attend the MPA State Convention, June 9-11, at Leeís Summit airport (LXT). Registration forms are in the MPA State Newsletter. There is also an EAA Young Eagles Day and open house scheduled for June 10-11 at St. Charles County airport (SET).
FAA Information: 1) The publication date of the 74th edition of the St.Louis Sectional Chart and the 66th edition of the St. Louis Termnal Area Chart has been changed to April 13, 2006. This print date change is due to the revision of the St. Louis Class B Airspace. 2) Anyone planning a flying trip to Alaska should take advantage of the resources on the FAA Alaska Region web pages: www.alaska.faa.gov/Index.cfm?Template=OtherLinks and www.alaska.faa.gov/flyak/
Jay Underdown still has partnerships available in his sport pilot-qualified 1941 Porterfield based at St. Charles Municipal Airport (3SQ). For more information, contact Jay at 636-946-9980 (work) or 636-723-4200 (home).
Safety tip of the month from Rick Albrecht, director, GSLFIA: Spring has sprung (at least on the calendar) and the birds are again migrating and swarming in our shared airspace. Be watchful for birds, especially around lakes, rivers, and planted fields. Remember that birds donít understand our see and avoid rules, so avoiding birdstrike is our responsibility. Also in the Spring a birdís thoughts turn to reproduction, and that means nesting in a secure place like our aircraft engine compartment, tail, or wings. If you see straw or bird droppings near your plane, be especially vigilant for nests during your preflight and remove all traces of nest materials before your fly. The time to avoid an engine fire or jammed controls is while youíre still safely on the ground.
About 25% of the Gateway Flyers are now going out electronically. If you would like to receive your newsletter by e-mail each month, please send me your e-mail address or give me your e-mail address at the March meeting. Folks who receive their newsletter by e-mail also receive bonus photos, calendar of events, and other information not available by snail mail.