February 2005

February Gateway meeting:  Wednesday, February 9, at the Columns in St. Charles.   Don Dunn of the St. Louis FSDO will continue relating his adventures with the L1011 Flying Hospital.   This time the Flying Hospital visited Casablanca, Bucharest, Amman, and the United Arab Emirates where the doctors treated cleft palate and other facial problems.  We invite all MPA members and their guests to join us!  Dinner buffet will include tossed salad, cream of tomato soup, sliced London broil, baked tilapia with lemon sauce, cauliflower au gratin, Lyonaise potatoes, rolls and butter, and lemon roulade cake for dessert.  Dinner is still just $13/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, February 7.   Please join us and remember to bring a friend and get a free 50/50 ticket.

Due to their increased costs, the Columns has increased the price of the buffet by $.94 per person including gratuity.  The Board of Directors has recommended raising the meal price to $14.  If approved by the members, this increase will take effect at the March meeting.

Thirty-one members and guests attended the January meeting to hear Ray Kerr give us his perspective on our flight operations from his vantage point in the Spirit of St. Louis control tower.  The take-home message is that air traffic controllers are not policemen.  Their job is to help you do safely whatever you request.  A few pointers:  1) Speak up if you’re lost or if you need priority handling.  2) A landing or take-off clearance means that the runway will be clear and usable.  Don’t stay on the runway any longer than you need to safely take off or land.  3) Carry a cell phone. If your radio dies you can use it to call the tower for clearances.  4) Everyone should “think system” and the system works best when everyone does their own job:  the pilots fly the airplanes and the controllers give clearances, traffic advisories and vectors when necessary.


We were happy to welcome back friends who had not been with us for awhile:  Ken and Pat Green, Bill and Ann Scheve, and Terry Lahey.  We were also pleased to meet Jerry Mundy from the St. Louis Chapter.

The 30th annual St. Louis FSDO Super Safety Seminar is coming up on Saturday, February 5, 2005 at 8:00 am in the Anheuser-Busch Auditorium in Cook Hall on the St. Louis University campus, 3674 Lindell Ave.  Parking is available in the Laclede parking garage on Laclede Ave. west of Grand Ave.

The January fly-out to Casey IL was cancelled due to snow on the runway at Casey.  Harold Booher has agreed to be the fly-out chairman for 2005.  Fly-outs are VFR.  A rained-out fly-out is postponed to the following weekend.  Plan your departure so that your arrival time at the destination airport is around 12:30 pm.  The group leaving from Creve Coeur airport meets at about 10 am and launches at 11 am.  Call Harold on his cell phone (314-550-8887) between 9:30 and 10:30 am on the day of the fly-out to arrange a ride or to verify the destination if there are weather issues.   The following fly-outs are planned:

            Feb. 13 – Vandalia IL (VLA), The Depot

            Mar. 13 – Sikeston MO (SIK), Lamberts

            April 17 – Decatur IL (DEC), the main terminal

            May 15 – Casey IL (1H8), Richards Farm

            June 12 – Gastons (3M0)

            July 17 – Sparta IL (SAR), restaurant to be announced

            Aug. 14 – Lake Barkley KY (1M9)

            Sept. 4 – Mt. Pleasant IA,  Old Threshers reunion

            Sept. 18 – Casey IL (1H8), Richards Farm

            Oct. 16 – Jefferson City, MO (JEF), airport restaurant

            Nov. 13 – Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI), The Landing Place

            Dec. 18 – Quincy (UIN), airport restaurant

Joe Dobronski announces that he has revised his book, A Sky Full of Challenges, and it will soon be released in St. Louis.  Joe says that the book is not only his autobiography but also a history of McDonnell’s Flight test as seen through his eyes.  The new edition is 225 pages long and has over 250 new photos. The price is $25 including S&H or $20 cash and carry.  It can be ordered from J.F. Dobronski,

1008 Cla-Ter-Ri Dr., Ballwin, MO 63011.

Safety tip of the month from Rick Albrecht, president, GSLFIA:  Winter is here, so it’s time to add icing to your preflight and in-flight checklists.  Prior to flight, sump all fuel tanks thoroughly and look for ice crystals floating in the fuel.  This is a sure sign of water contamination in the fuel cells that can block the fuel intake.  Be aware of conditions that cause icing.  Even in clear VFR conditions, mist can cause clear ice accumulation on the airplane surfaces.  A gradual loss of power in flight could be a sign of carburetor icing or a blocked air intake that can be cured by the timely application of carburetor heat or alternate air.  Use your pitot heat in mist or IFR conditions.  Even on a short flight, be prepared for the unexpected.  Have warm clothing or blankets available to protect yourself from exposure if you have a forced landing.

Steve Long of the St. Louis FSDO reminds us that the FAA is transitioning to e-mail delivery of safety program notifications.  If you register at www.FAASafety.gov, you will receive automatic notification of local safety programs.  The safety newsletters written monthly by Fred Harms and Steve Long are also available on that site.

Libby Yunger
Newsletter Editor
(314) 725-0428

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