March 2005

March Gateway meeting:  Wednesday, March 9, at the Columns in St. Charles.   Col. Scott Adams, USAF, of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (formerly the Defense Mapping Agency) in St. Louis will give an aeronautical overview.  We invite all MPA members and their guests to join us!  Dinner buffet will include Mandarin orange salad, potato chowder, corned beef and cabbage, baked cod in dill sauce, boiled potatoes, carrots, rolls and butter, and key lime tart for dessert.  Dinner has increased to $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, March 7.   Please join us and remember to bring a friend and get a free 50/50 ticket.

Thirty members and guests attended the February meeting to hear part two of Don Dunn’s adventures with the L1011 Flying Hospital that was used by Operation Blessing from 1996 through 2000.  Last year Don told us about the eye clinic mission he flew in Russia.  This time he talked about their 1999 trip to Romania, Amman, Casablanca, and the United Arab Emirates to treat cleft palate and other facial disorders.   We were pleased to have Larry Barklage and Fred Harms from the St. Louis FSDO as guests.

Election of officers is coming up again.  Chuck Maggart, Al Lowe, and Doug Geldbach have been named to the nominating committee.  Please let a committee member know if you wish to serve the chapter as an officer or director next year.

Notes from State by Chuck Maggart:  1) Information on the 2005 MPA Educational Scholarship is now on the MPA web site (  This is a scholarship for K-12 teachers who want to learn about aerospace and use the information in their classrooms.  

2)  An overnight poker run is being planned for April.  Details will be available soon on the MPA web site. ( The ad hoc committee on revisions to the St. Louis Class B airspace has received a copy of the preliminary draft dealing primarily with revisions to Creve Coeur’s airspace and instrument approaches.  When the revisions are finalized, Chuck can provide copies to anyone interested.

The St. Louis Science Center in Forest Park is asking pilots to donate old aviation supplies and training aids (e.g. sectional charts, E6B computers, plotters, etc.) to be used in educational programs associated with their new hands-on aviation exhibits.  The curators hope that the availability of supplies that pilots actually use in flight planning will spark an interest in aviation in some of their young visitors.  Items will be collected at the March and April meetings.

Speaking of the museums in Forest Park, the Wright Flyer simulator will be available for “flying” from March 17-22 at the Missouri Historical Society Museum from 10 am to 6 pm daily.  Admission is free.  A presentation on the challenges faced by the Wright Brothers will be given by Kevin Kochersberger, who made two successful flights in a reproduction 1903 Wright Machine in 2003, on Saturday, March 19, at 2 pm.  These programs are sponsored by the St. Louis AIAA Chapter.  The Omni-Max Theater at the St. Louis Science Center will be showing Fighter Pilot daily from March 18 through May 29.  Make plans to attend these events. 

The 30th annual St. Louis FSDO Super Safety Seminar (also known this year as the Midwest Aviation Fair) was well attended.  The Gateway and Saint Louis Chapters of MPA shared $75 contribution to defray the costs of the two day seminar.   We would like to congratulate several of our members who were honored for their contributions to aviation.  Ed Meyer received the James G. Byrnes Aviation Excellence Award from the GSLFIA and St. Louis FSDO for teaching us all to fly and keeping us safe in the air.  Joe Dobronski and Jim Byrnes received FAA Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” awards in recognition of 50 years of “dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism, and many outstanding contributions that further the cause of aviation safety”.  Bob Linenweber was named St. Louis FSDO Accident Prevention Counselor of the Year.  Non-members receiving awards were Mel Burkart of Parks College, Wright Brothers Master Pilot award, Jeff Cavner, GSLFIA Young Flight Instructor of the Year, John Teipen, Flight Instructor of the Year, Central Region, and Jacob Layne, GSLFIA scholarship.  At press time it was announced that John Teipen was named National Flight Instructor of the Year.

Joe Dobronski’s revision of A Sky Full of Challenges, is now available.  Joe described this book as both his autobiography and a history of McDonnell’s Flight test as seen through his eyes.  The new edition is 225 pages long and has over 250 photos. The price is $30 including S&H or $25 cash and carry. Note that the price of the book was incorrect in the February newsletter.   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:  Most mid-air collisions occur in VFR conditions, in or near the traffic pattern, often at the pilot’s home airport.  To lessen the probability of a collision, teach passengers to help scan for traffic.  Demand a sterile cockpit – no talking in the traffic pattern except that required for landing.  Maintain vigilance and good traffic pattern habits.  At a non-towered airport, announce your position and intentions at 10 miles, 5 miles, and 2 miles inbound, and call each of the legs of the pattern.  Avoid straight-in approaches.  Announce your departure intentions and maneuvers.  Look for no-radio aircraft, and don’t be afraid to ask the position of other traffic in the vicinity.  It’s what you don’t see that can get you!

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, 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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