November Gateway meeting: Wednesday, November 9 at the Columns in St. Charles. Steve Long from the St. Louis FSDO will present a safety seminar on light aircraft maintenance. For all of you WINGS participants, this is a good opportunity to fulfill the safety seminar requirement. We invite all MPA members and their guests to join us! Dinner buffet will include Tossed salad, cream of chicken with wild rice soup, carved ham, sliced turkey with dressing, candied yams, buttered broccoli, rolls and butter, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Dinner is $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, November 7. Please join us and remember to bring a friend and get a free 50/50 ticket.
At the November meeting, we will continue to collect clothing, cleaning supplies and small personal items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, etc.) for Hurricane Katrina and Rita victims. This will be put with donations from the other MPA chapters to create one large MPA donation.
Thirty-two members and guests attended our October meeting at the Columns. Greg Maryniak, Director of the JS McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center spoke on the history of the X Prize competition. The X Prize of $10 million was awarded to the first team to develop a reusable space vehicle that could carry three people into space and fly two flights within two weeks. The hope is that this competition will not only develop viable civilian space vehicles but will also spark civilian interest in space tourism and space business. Space flight is expensive today because takes-offs are rare – only 15 per year during the past 2 years – and development is government sponsored. Twenty-six civilian teams competed for the X Prize. It was won by Burt Rutan’s Space Ship One, which now hangs in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. A full-size replica of Space Ship One will be displayed at the St. Louis Science Center beginning Monday, October 17. Next March the Science Center will sponsor flights at Spirit Airport (SUS) that will allow participants to experience 7 min of weightlessness. The cost per person will be approximately $4,000. Greg Maryniak and volunteers, Ed Myers and Bob Crandell, also discussed the flight simulators and the flight training programs for young people that are being developed at the Science Center to motivate young people to learn to fly. Our members donated two boxes of books and assorted flight training aids for use in these hands-on exhibits.
Tom and Louise Butler, were in town for our October meeting. We were happy to welcome them and catch up on their travels.
Ten members and guests in five aircraft flew out to Jefferson City in October (actually it was 12 members and guests in 6 aircraft, but one group decided to get lunch elsewhere). The restaurant was very popular, and we had to wait an hour for a table. The family style chicken dinner was inexpensive and well worth the wait. Our November fly-out is to The Landing Place at Cape Girardeau MO (CGI) on Sunday, November 13. Participants should plan to arrive at CGI by 12:30 pm.
The proposed 600 ft extension to Runway 18-36 at St Charles County (Smartt) Airport (SET) will be on the agenda of the St.Charles County Council in November. If you are a resident of St. Charles County and wish to support this proposal or attend a County Council meeting, see Tracy Smith, manager of the St. Charles County Airport (636-250-3200) for further details on how you can become involved. Renters at Smartt Field and other members of the aviation community can also send comments to the St. Charles County Council.
Safety tip of the month from Rick Albrecht, president, GSLFIA: With the shorter days and time change, darkness will sneak up a whole lot earlier than it did just a couple of weeks ago. It’s time to get together with your favorite flight instructor and sharpen your night flying skills. Remember that to legally carry passengers at night you must have logged three landings to a full stop in the past 90 days. It’s also a good idea to do night cross-country work with an instructor. On a dark or overcast night, VFR flying over a sparsely populated area is a whole lot like flying in IFR conditions. Keep a flashlight or two and extra batteries in your flight bag in case your panel lights fail or you need to look at a map. You know what “they” say about an ounce of prevention…..
We currently have 24 members signed up to receive the Gateway Flyer electronically. If you would prefer to receive an electronic newsletter in your e-mail each month rather than a paper copy in your mailbox, please send me your e-mail address or give me your e-mail address at the November meeting.