October 1998

This Month's Meeting
The Official Project Police Machtember-tober Report
Last Month's Meeting
The Prez Sez...
It's Nomination Season
Web Site Update
Chapter 1000 Calendar
For Sale

This Month's Meeting:

Complex MOA Airspace Operations for Civilian Pilots
Speakers: Major Bill Kourikos, Captain Tom Larsen
Tuesday, 20 October 1998
1700 hrs (5:00 PM Civilian Time)
USAF Test Pilot School Auditorium
Edwards AFB, CA

Have you ever been flying and looked over at the sectional to see that you are in or near an MOA? Ever wonder what the difference was between military flying there and civilian flying in the MOA? Ever realize that the dot on the windshield is not a bug but an F-16 closing fast? Then you'll be interested in the presentation at the next meeting.

Project Policeman in good standing, John Bush, has made arrangements for us to be briefed on the hazards of flying in a MOA, and collision avoidance. The briefing is "Complex MOA Airspace Operations for Civilian Pilots". Major Bill Kourikos and Captain Tom Larsen will be presenting the program using PowerPoint (High Tech computer stuff). They will be giving us a lot of important information about flying in and around the Edwards MOA. And, more importantly, you will be able to ask questions and get procedures on the best way to get in, get out, and go through the Edwards MOA. So, mark your calendars and we'll see you at the meeting.

- George Gennuso

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The Official Project Police Machtember-tober Report

We've survived again! The Project Police were heavily challenged this past month with many aviation events to attend. In keeping with Project Police Regulations (or is that Operating Instructions now?), the following report(s) are provided to the membership here in the Chapter 1000 News-rag.

EAA Chapter 49 Old Fashioned Fly-In

The inaugural event (sounds better than "First Annual") EAA Chapter 49 Old Fashioned Fly-In was held on 12 September 1998 at Fox Field. I cannot comment on all of the events held, as I was bouncing in and out three times that day because of other commitments. I had hoped to steal a review of this fly-in from the Chapter 49 newsletter, but I haven't seen it yet. Therefore, you're stuck with my review.

Chapter 49 chose to go all out for this inaugural event, making it more than just flying and eating. With help from the Antelope Valley 99s and the Fox Field Airport Association, and of course many volunteers, they did a reasonably good job of accomplishing their objectives.

I arrived early on in the fly-in, entering under the radar net in my stealth Project Police Ground Assault Vehicle, arriving somewhere around 0800. Not knowing where to go, I first walked through the terminal where the Young Eagles rally was currently in progress. I eventually found my first objective, the Pancake Breakfast at the Barnes Aviation hangar. Stepping up to the cash box, I paid my money, I took my chances. It was a good move. I was quite pleased when I was handed an exquisite stack of pancakes and sausage. Bryan Duke and Tanya Adams, who were right in front of me in the line, were also apparently pleased with their fate. We sat down at a table with Bob Hoey, Wen Painter, and Rick Alvarez (son-in-law of Bob Hoey, VP-1 builder and pilot from Chapter 1) and enjoyed that which we had been served.

At a nearby table was Chapter 1000 member Larry Sweetser with a demo of his way cool open end wrenches from the Alden Wrench Company. As you would expect, these wrenches do a great job of holding bolts and tightening nuts. Better yet, these wrenches will "ratchet" around the nut, making it easier to tighten in tight areas without pulling the wrench off and constantly repositioning it. "So what?" you say? "Bob Vila has been pushing wrenches that do that from Sears on TV for a long time." Sure, but with Larry's wrenches you can stick a loose nut (no, not a chapter officer) in the wrench and the spring-loaded jaws will hold the nut. No matter what position you hold the wrench, the nut remains in the jaws of the wrench. Bob Vila's wrenches won't do that. This lets you get the nut down in that tight space. Still not impressed yet? Ever have a nut down in a tight space that you couldn't get the wrench on, but if you could turn it 1/12 of a turn you would be able to? A specially designed tip of the jaws will grab the nut enough to turn it that 1/12 of a turn so that you can get the entire wrench on it. Still not impressed? Larry was also showing the prototype of the same wrench not in steel but in titanium. Makes for a much lighter wrench, but what about embrittlement from cadmium off of your AN bolts? Probably not a problem, since they won't be in constant contact under pressure. Norm Howell was caught in a rare sighting, drooling over the wrenches and mumbling something about a prescription for his Gadgetosis Nervosa. This review doesn't do this cool wrench justice--you've got to ask Larry for a demonstration (program idea, George?).

I then cruised over to Bill Irvine's hangar, where his Cessna 310 is up on supports with no landing gear and no nose. No Nose? How does it smell? Ter...(sorry, in the interest of maintaining the quality of this newsletter, this old, bad joke in progress has been cut off--ed) This airplane is one of the original 310s from the first model year, hence no "A," "B," or whatnot. Bill was taking a break from sandblasting something in the Number 1 engine cowling. He has been amazed by some of the things that he has found from previous "upgrades" while going through the airframe. This full-up restoration project started with something as simple as fixing the nose wheel. Then it was the gear strut, then the forward fuselage, then the wing root, then the...well, you get the idea. It is rumored that he will have to license it in the Experimental, Amateur-Built category, since he is dangerously close to having built over 51% of it himself.

A few hangars down in Scott Liefeld's hangar was the Weight and Balance Clinic, under the able leadership of Bob Hoey, a well-balanced kind of guy of sufficiently low gross weight. The crew was in the process of bringing Rick Alvarez's VP-1 into the hangar for weighing.

About this time, there is a large gap in the review, because I had to leave to pick up a rental car for my departure to the Society of Flight Test Engineers (SFTE) Symposium in Reno.

I eventually returned with reinforcements (the rest of the family) for lunch (Penny will take most any excuse not to cook). We were treated to a wonderful steak lunch, finding ourselves in line just ahead of Bryan Duke and Tanya Adams. Perhaps this is a trend? Hmmm.... Anyway, my steak was most excellently prepared. Allison kept wanting to skip her Happy Meal® and go for the cake. Before we finished eating, we were met by Ed Dutreaux, who had previously released intelligence threatening to show up. We took him over to see Bill's Cessna 310. On the way back to fly-in central, we saw Gary Aldrich, and then Norm Howell and Gretchen Lund, who were about to depart in Gretchen's Mooney. They stopped briefly to show us the result of Gretchen's switch envy. N201JX has made yet another step towards being equipped with full-up HOTAS capability.

Overall, there was a good turnout of aircraft. We left again to take the family and Ed back to the house for Project Policing of my project. When I took Ed back to Fox later that afternoon, the only remnants of the fly-in were Paul and Victoria Rosales and an RV-building friend visiting from Switzerland. Chapter 49 seemed to have had a successful first year fly-in. Time will tell if they're up to hosting a Second Annual Old Fashioned Fly-In. If they are, the Project Police will be there, doing what they do best, or at least engaging in some buffoonery.

Reno Air Races

EAA Chapter 1000 had members on two Formula 1 race teams at Reno this year. Of course, Jon and Tricia Sharp were there again with Nemesis, and again managed to stay ahead of the competition and place first in the Gold class, winning the final race with a time of 6:05.20 for eight laps, at an average speed of 245.257 mph.

Our other team was Gail Nusz's team, including Doug Dodson, with Baby Dragon, flown by Terry Tomeny. Baby Dragon placed third in the Silver Class, and Terry was named the Rookie of the Year .Baby Dragon's time in the final race was 7:00.41, for eight laps, at an average speed of 213.049 mph.

During race week, Doug Dodson kept many of us up to date with what was happening in the Baby Dragon camp. We are pleased to reprint these updates here so that you can get an idea of what is involved in a race week:

8 September 1998

Monday was the last flight before Reno. We worked out the last of the go/no-go bugs and got a full power run at race speed on an approximate course over Mojave airport. We will now disassemble the airplane and will do a bit of finish work on the wing and work on some minor discrepancies.

The trailer is road worthy. We painted it over the long weekend. I will put the clearance/marker lights on it, and put the interior lighting and shelves back in today and tomorrow. After that I will start equipping the trailer with stuff to make it a field workshop.

We will probably load the aircraft on Wednesday or Thursday and do the rest of the loading including personal baggage on Friday. We roll Saturday before dawn.

I'll post a day by day account of what is happening and how things are going starting later this week.

11 September 1998

Thursday evening we loaded the aircraft on the trailer for the first time since the trailer was re-sided and the new wing was built. It took about 4 hours, but that included some minor modification to the trailer itself, a bunch of sorting of parts into storage bins, and coming up with the loading scheme and tie down arrangement.

I will add a couple of tie down rings tonight to improve the security of the fuselage, but it is roadworthy right now. Baby Dragon left Mojave at 2300 PDT and is now in its trailer at Rosamond Skypark, its home base, for the first time in over 6 months.

With the plane ready to travel, the team members will tend to their personal needs and spend Friday mowing yards, arranging for pet sitters, and packing food, beverages, clothing, and cameras.

We are on schedule to leave early Saturday morning.

12 September 1998

We are at Reno. Gail and I rolled out of Rosamond at 0615 and into the airport at Reno-Stead at 1300.

We couldn't unload the airplane for several hours though. Our crew chief, a key team member needed for aircraft assembly, didn't show until after 1700. We then unloaded the aircraft and began assembly.

We did hit one small snag - the paint on the lower wing skin was scratched fairly deeply during unloading, but otherwise, the aircraft made the trip perfectly. The re-built trailer performed flawlessly.

We will repair the paint tomorrow with a small touch-up while awaiting and going through technical inspection. We are 10th in line for that.

13 September 1998

Technical inspection is complete, no problems. Baby Dragon is fully assembled and fueled, chomping at the bit. We start flying tomorrow for pilot practice and race checkout.

Fuzzy showed up, not too much the worse for wear but still needing sleep (as usual <g>). We blamed every problem we had yesterday on him for not being there. He knew it was his fault <g>.

We pick up Mike, the last member of the team to arrive, in a few minutes at the airport.

Here we go!

BTW, still even after 45 minutes at the gaming tables. Gail too.

14 September 1998

Today we flew. The goal was to get the rest of the pilot checkout maneuvers done and check the aircraft performance. We also had to demonstrate that the aircraft could pull 6 g's and not have a problem.

We towed out at 8:00 am and took off at 9:00 am. The 6 g pull was done first, then Terry (the pilot) followed Dave Morss (the evaluator pilot) onto the race course. Dave was flying a Lancair 360.

Terry demonstrated he could safely fly formation, maintain a good line on the course, and perform a safe pass.

He then tried to do a few practice laps. The performance was off though. The plane just didn't sound as good as it did during the last run at Mojave.

After landing, we discovered one of the exhaust stacks had broken off during the flight. Later, after removing the cowling, we discovered one of the 8 spark plug wires was not attached. That is good news actually, because it means that we may get our performance back with all 8 plugs firing.

The stack was a different matter. We managed to find a guy on the field with some mild steel tubing and a welding rig. He fixed us up but good. This guy really knows his stuff. The welds were immaculate and appropriate for the materials being welded. His name is Miller. The work lying around his shop would make any machine nut drool. He was worth more than we paid, I assure you.

We got the plane back together by 5:00 pm and are ready to go for tomorrow. We plan to do our qualifying run at the 9:00 am practice session, but that is, of course, dependent upon the airplane putting out for us.

15 September 1998

Rough day. We got out to the line early (a little too early but that wasn't any big deal). Race control had their cranium up where the sun doesn't shine with some nonsense about some buried pyrotechnic devices that didn't blow during a series of Navy F-18 and F-14 flyby's. Formula One was supposed to start a practice and qualifying session at 9:00 am and the first plane didn't get airborne until close to 10:00 am.

Then things really went downhill. When we got up to the starting line (5th airplane during the session), one mag failed to check and a persistent oil leak just seemed too bad to fly with. So, we shut down and headed back to the pits.

We de-cowled the airplane and pushed it back out to the flight line for an engine run. There we discovered the source of the oil leak was not a bad gasket but rather some cracks in the flange that attaches the oil sump to the crankcase.

We got the spark plugs cleaned and gapped, re-timed the mags, and cleaned the plug to wire harness connections.

We then toured the airport looking for someone to weld the oil sump cracks. Of course, we looked for Dave Miller who did such a spectacular job on the exhaust stack yesterday, but he was already gone for the day and not expected back until tomorrow at 8:00 am. Everyone else we asked tried to send us to Dave Miller, but one guy said he would try to help us since Dave wasn't around. He put some welds on the cracks but his only guarantee was that he didn't screw up the part worse than Dave could fix it later. He wouldn't accept cash payment but did take a Baby Dragon official team t-shirt.

We got the engine back together and did an engine run. Nothing seemed amiss, so back to the pits to put the cowling back on and get Baby Dragon ready to fly.

It was just too late and the wind was coming up, so we decided to try to fly tomorrow during the 9:00 am session. There is only one session after that for us to practice and qualify. That's racing I suppose!

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

16 September 1998

We qualified first thing this morning at 215.58 mph. Not good enough. As soon as we got Baby Dragon into the pits, the cowling came off yet again.

The oil leak was still a little too bad to just let go and we decided to close off the cylinder cooling air inlets some since the temps were low enough.

We thought we would just use the oil sump off the practice engine but the oil pickup works a bit differently on the race engine. To get the hoses to fit, we thought we would put an AN 90 deg elbow in the drain fitting but we needed to step from a -6 size to a -10 size. We set off on a scavenger hunt that resulted in finding the proper part but in steel instead of the preferred aluminum. As it turns out, we learned that sump plugs are not NPT pipe threads so the part did not fit. We had to coerce (sweet talk) Dave Miller into helping us yet again and repair the weld on the sump attach flange. We also had him add some support pieces. Even with his ability, he was not sure it would last very long. I am confident that even in the worst case, we will make a mess of the airplane, but the sump bowl will not fall off and starve the engine of oil completely.

As for the intake restriction, we flew the second practice session with some modified popsicle sticks taped in the inlet. The temps and speed were up after that flight, so the restriction was made more permanent with some polyester filler material.

As I just mentioned, the second session resulted in a noticeable increase in speed. It is not really conclusive as to whether it was increased pilot skill (more practice) or the inlet mod that caused the improvement, but I suspect the former. We got unofficial speeds of 222 mph during that session, and the wind was definitely blowing harder than during the morning session. The density altitude was about the same.

Tomorrow is the first heat race. Our qualifying time put us in the lowest category -- bronze. We expect (hope) to finish first which will put us into the silver heat race Friday. The speeds we saw during the afternoon practice would do that.

Time for bed!

17 September 1998

Pushed out for our first heat race at 9:00 am. At 9:35 the heat started but we scrubbed. Same reason as before, oil leak.

We decided to modify the oil sump on the spare engine to fit on the race engine. That required finding a steel -10 pipe thread coupling to weld into the bottom of the sump. That coupling holds an AN 90deg elbow to connect the hose for the oil pickup. (This is a custom configuration, not just for racing, but also unique to Baby Dragon).

We did find the fitting, and Dave Miller took yet another hour out of his day of hosting the T-28 crews to weld the coupling onto our spare tank. By 3:00 pm we were running the engine. No problems. Ready to give it a go in tomorrow's final heat race.

That was the good news. The bad news is right after the heat race (the one we were supposed to be in), one of the Formula I racers crashed while the aircraft were getting ready to land, killing the pilot. The two remaining Formula I heats were voluntarily cancelled. We just got back from a memorial service held by and for the International Formula One membership.

18 September 1998

We raced today. The airplane was running good. Terry (the pilot) was neck & neck for the entire race with another pilot. Those two guys had the hardest race of the day for all of Formula One. Terry's technique could stand some improvement but he held his own for a rookie. Baby Dragon had the performance to get around the guy, but it just didn't happen. As it turned out, we did beat the guy because he cut a pylon. We finished 5th of 8 in the heat. Terry is a sharp pilot, trained to do flight test. His learning curve is steep and I fully expect him to pick up some speed tomorrow. We did some routine maintenance today after the morning heat race but the airplane was ready to go by 4:00 pm this afternoon. Our oil leaks seem to be a thing of the past. We'll see.

I also managed to see the Unlimited Gold Heat today. Very exciting. Dago Red passed Voodoo Chile in the 6th lap. Those are two of my favorites, but I have to root for Dago Red since they practice at Mojave and they let us use the viewing stand on top of their trailer (semi-size) to watch our qualifying run a couple of days ago. That space is normally reserved for VIPs (sorry, I'm not such a person for those of you who thought you knew me).

19 September 1998

Raced at 9:30 am. Terry passed one aircraft during the takeoff before the first pylon and did not permit a faster plane to pass him, at least during the first lap. The plane he passed was unable to pass Baby Dragon for the remainder of the race, and it is not likely that Baby Dragon could have passed him if it wasn't done during the initial acceleration. Bottom line, Terry flew a good race and performed Baby Dragon as good as could be done. Started the heat in 4th and finished the heat 4th.

After the 12:45 heat, we are still 4th in the silver race, though some of the planes ahead of us did jump up to the gold race and some in the afternoon heat dropped to silver.

One last flight tomorrow, the silver race itself.

The unlimited heat 2a (gold race contenders) was pretty interesting. Dago Red powered through the race very impressively, but Voodoo Chile (race 5) pulled out early due perhaps to carbon monoxide in the cockpit, but I'm not sure. Czech Mate (a Yak 11) had an engine fire that was visible from the ground, but the pilot got the aircraft on the ground PDQ. It was high and fast, and he ran out of runway. The flight terminated in an intentional ground loop in the dirt overrun. The pilot is OK, but I haven't heard about the condition of the aircraft.

Last day tomorrow.

20 September 1998

We finished 3rd in the Silver Race. Almost the same as yesterday, Terry stayed tight enough on the first turn that no one could pass him for at least the first lap. That kept one plane that was very near to our speed behind for the entire race. We expected to finish 4th, but one of the planes that was ahead of us had to pull out of the race for engine problems.

Jon Sharp won the Formula One Gold race walking away yet again this year. Ray Cote was second, but was fined $600 for flying too low...again.

Yesterday, we were randomly selected for a post-race technical inspection to make sure we were in compliance with the rules. So, after the race, we had to remove the carburetor for inspection. After that, we just enjoyed the remaining races, bought some souvenirs, and drank beer.

The Unlimited Gold race was very exciting. One aircraft had a very noticeable engine roughness on the takeoff and had to land in the opposite direction right after the last racer was airborne. He got the aircraft back safely but was out of the race. Dago Red led the first couple of laps, but then Dreadnought (a Sea Fury) passed. It was obvious Dago Red was just running hard enough to stay in front when Bruce Lockwood re-took the lead with quite a noticeable burst of speed. He was clocked at about 452 mph on the next lap. Dago Red took the Gold, with Dreadnought second, and Miss Ashley was third. Great race!

At 4:00 pm, all of the races were over and we loaded Baby Dragon onto the trailer for the trip home. That took about 90 minutes, about what I expected.

We then hit the Hilton for dinner and some gambling. Tomorrow there will be no alarm clock for the first time in about 3 months. I expect the drive to be a fairly soothing cooldown to all of this.

21 September 1998

Slept in for the first time in several months. We left Reno-Stead Airport at about 11:00 am PDT and drove back to Rosamond. We saw several planes flying home after the races, one trailer on the road (Nemesis actually), and several vehicles with Air Race passes still in their windows.

We arrived in Rosamond and had the trailer parked by 6:30 pm. Reno '98 is officially over for the Baby Dragon Team and this is the last of the regular updates.

Time for a beer and some time in the jacuzzi.

Golden West EAA Regional Fly-In

In an attempt to try new tactics, the Project Police Tactical Assault Force formed and authorized to conduct inspections at the First Annual Golden West EAA Regional Fly-In sent its members in very small strike teams to the old Castle Air Force Base. Not only did this allow testing new tactics, but it was also convenient since we couldn't seem to coordinate everybody's schedule.

Ron Applegate was sent in on Friday, 25 September 1998, to secure the area in the MC-140. Charleen Beam went in undercover, disguised as an Aircraft Spruce & Specialty sales rep. Additional support was brought in on Saturday by our allies Paul and Victoria Rosales and Frank Roncelli in the land assault force.

Feeling the area was sufficiently pacified, Project Police Kommandant Gary Aldrich and I met on Sunday at 0700. Gary brought the DUATS weather briefing and I brought the arrival procedures, freshly downloaded from the Fly-In Web Site. It didn't matter anyway, as all of this would soon be OBE (overcome by events).

We launched out of Fox Field in the VC-180 Fighting Skywagon. Just north of Tehachapi we made a critical decision, although we didn't realize at the time how critical it was. We climbed above a thin, broken cloud layer and continued our flight above the clouds using GPS guidance.

Gary called Flight Service for an up-to-date weather briefing for Castle. They were calling 600 foot ceilings. On one hand, this meant we wouldn't be in the middle of a mass gaggle all trying to get in at the same time. On the other hand, if the weather didn't break, there would be no airshow, and probably few airplanes to inspect see.

We requested the ILS, did a 360 to lose altitude, and penetrated the clouds with the needles nailed in the center. At about 600 feet AGL, we broke out of the clouds, expecting the runway to be right in front of us. I looked out the right side window, and wondered why there was a control tower and ramp on our right...and what's this water tower encroaching on our flight path? We ruled out buffoonery, so either the Castle ILS was mucked up or our systems were mucked up. Anyway, now having the field in sight, we requested and were cleared for a circling approach to land.

We taxied to the GAP (not a clothes store, but General Aviation Parking), and were met by two officials who signed us in after paying the $8 tribute. The Kommandant cited me for not bringing my Chapter 1000 nametag (whoops!). We were offered and accepted a ride on a Golden West golf cart, which made it about halfway back to the fly-in grounds before cowering to the Project Police and just quit. Go figure.

The Kommandant's Project Police communication gadgets (UHF FM radios) were found to be lacking in usable energy reserves, so we went on a search for a battery vendor, but it was to no avail.

While looking for batteries, we passed by the one and only C-41 in existence. Of course, it looks a lot like a Douglas DC-3, and in fact started life out that way. This aircraft had been modified as a transport for General Hap Arnold, and was now owned and operated by the Otis Spunkmeyer Company (the muffin folks), who, for a suitably large offering of cash, would even take Project Police officers for a short flight. We decided to pass, considering this to possibly be a ploy to remove us from the area and interfere with our inspection.

Very obvious in the middle of the ramp was a large (i.e. normal sized) red PBY Catalina. Its crew was also taking money in exchange for the privilege of crawling through their airplane. We also determined later that its wing made and excellent sunshade for watching airshows.

About an hour after our arrival the sky cleared. Based on the weather up to that point, many pilots decided to hedge their bets and started departing. There was also a rumor of another airshow nearby that many pilots may have left to attend.

Continuing around in the warbird area, we saw something that looked kind of like a Piper Cub liaison aircraft, but not quite. We found it to be a 1941 Taylorcraft L-2B. Its owner and pilot, Mark Schrick, informed us that the face in the nose art was that of his wife. We determined that this was a politically astute decision. Shortly thereafter, we confirmed the differences when we found a Piper L-4, the liaison version of the Cub.

We then happened across a very rare aircraft that didn't look that rare. This was a PA-11 Cub Special, owned by Dick Doll of El Cajon CA. This aircraft was significant because this was the type of aircraft that Gary Aldrich had done his initial flight training in. A suitable photo, shown below, was taken.

Project Police Kommandant Gary Aldrich is Reunited with a PA-11 Cub Special

We then found PPO Bernie Bakken, who had flown in with Ron Karwacky in his Cessna 195. You've probably seen this aircraft--it's the one with the Daffy Duck Pitot tube cover.

Having inspected the few aircraft still on the ramp, we worked our way back down toward the vendor's tents. There we found the Aircraft Spruce & Specialty booth sans PPO Charleen. We stopped there while Gary looked at new headset. Then Charleen returned with Ron Applegate in tow. Ron had been covering the action since early Friday as per the plan. We assured him that we now had it under control. Satisfied with the handoff, he set out for a return to Rosamond. Gary then bought the headset from Charleen, and asked her to keep it there at the booth.

We continued our way through the tents looking at the usual objects of interest. We found PPO Gerry Curtis at the Flight of the Eagles booth, and invited him to join us at the Edwards Open House the next Saturday.

We investigated some more aircraft, and then decided to drop off our Project Police green flight jackets with Charleen at the Aircraft Spruce booth. She asked if we had been to lunch, and we replied that we were headed that way. She transferred the con to her sales cohort, and we departed for lunch.

Tradition is strong in the Project Police. I tried out the standard cheeseburger, which was found to be acceptable, even though it used a non-standard white type cheese instead of the standard American or Cheddar Cheese. The fly-in was serving Pepsi products. No opinion of this is rendered, as the Project Police have not been able to come to a consensus to form an official position on the soft drink competition.

Gary went for his traditional Philly Steak Sandwich with a new test of roasted corn. In a marked improvement, he found the line to be pleasantly short with prompt service, and thus did not miss any photo-ops this time.

While we were eating, we noted Grand Vice Poobah for Chapter Stuff Bob Mackey cruising the grounds in the Golden West version of the AirVenture cut-down VW Beetle (i.e. a golf cart). We made a note to seek him out later and give him some good-natured Project Police harassment.

Later we found the English Wheel demo tent, sponsored by Kent White of TM Technologies. We got a quick tutorial on metal stretching, planishing, and shrinking from Kent White using both a hammer and dolly and using the English wheel. We also posed as interested students for a photo-op for the Golden West web site.

We eventually located PPO Norm Dewitt's Edge 540 hiding with the other airshow aircraft. We cruised down toward the aircraft in hopes of finding Norm. As we approached the aircraft, we found Kay Morgan, Golden West Fly-In Prezident, talking with Bob Mackey. Bob tried to hide his face with his hand, but the Project Police Headquarters Detection Sensors had already locked on hundreds of feet out. Of course, Kay asked about the Project Police, and we tried our best to quickly explain this complex subject to her. Of course, we couldn't pass up this chance for a photo-op.

We mentioned that we were proceeding on to try to find Norm. Kay and Bob informed us that we wouldn't get out there without right credentials. Not even they could get out there. Remembering that Project Police are welcome everywhere (it says so in our bylaws...), we proceeded on, looking officially clothed, and looking like we knew what we were doing. Much to our surprise, we weren't stopped. It didn't really matter, since Norm was not there in the tent.

The Centers of Power: Kay Morgan, Golden West Fly-In Prezident; Bob Mackey, Grand Vice Poobah for Chapter Stuff; and Gary Aldrich, Project Police Kommandant

As we proceeded back, Bob saw an opportunity to schmooze with the Project Police on the long walk back. We discussed his recent promotion, which we found out that while it did include a raise, it also included an increase in responsibility. We also discussed this Golden West Fly-In, and the upcoming Edwards Open House. Bob went into great detail suggesting that we should have a drawing for EAA memberships. Interestingly enough, his suggestions perfectly matched what we had already decided to do a month earlier, with a few minor differences: 6 winners instead of 1, and done at no cost to the chapter!

We returned to Bob's Forward Operating Location (FOL), namely the EAA membership booth. We saw Bob Warner again and had the wonderful privilege of meeting Claudette Colwell, of the Chapter Advisory Council. We schmoozed for a while, and Bob mentioned that he would be holding another Chapter Leadership Conference in San Diego around January 1999. Mark you calendars now. This event is open to anyone, not just Chapter officers. We eventually moved on in search of rehydration.

With Pepsis in hand, we watched part of the airshow in the shadow of the wing of the aforementioned red PBY. We saw a few T-6 aerobatic acts, which looked mostly like watching UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) aerobatics. We saw one of these T-6s ground loop on landing after completing his routine. Fortunately, the only damage was a little bent metal on the aileron. This just shows that it can still happen to anyone.

A R-985 powered (read: overpowered) Stearman fitted with a canopy (is that legal?) did an aerobatic show, which included a loop under a ribbon, followed by an inverted ribbon cut. An interesting demonstration of aerobatics was a Cessna 150 Aerobat flown by "Amelia," who was also a CFI with over 50,000 hours (!). This was definitely an exhibition of energy management and energy loosing maneuvers.

We walked over to see Kim Prout at the Europa display. You may remember him for bringing his Europa to the 1997 Edwards Open House. He was the one with the alien copilot. As I sat in the cockpit, Norm Dewitt started his aerobatic show. It was most excellent, and was obviously placed at the end of airshow so no one had to follow him. Later we walked over to where the Edge 540 was parked, took some pictures, and waited for Norm to appear. After speaking with him for a while, we returned to VC-180 and had an uneventful flight back. We shot the Palmdale ILS right down to runway centerline with no problems. Only later would we determine the problem was an intermittent fault in the ILS display unit. We returned to Fox Field and declared the mission a success.

PPO Erb Finds Everything in Order with the Edge 540

Project Police Kommandant Gary Aldrich with EAA Chapter 1000 Aerobatic Ace Norm Dewitt

Bohunk International Fly-In

(This Bohunk report submitted by George Gennuso)

The turn out for the Bohunk Fly-In was pretty good considering the weather. I would say that it was about the same as last year's event, maybe better. There was lots of good food to be had as Bill Safranek and his wife had the roast beef cooked to perfection--it fell apart with a fork. They also had potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, rolls and butter. There was ice cream, pie, and cake for desert. All of the drinks were in the barrels of ice, which made them very tasty. A very good meal was had by all. There were several antique cars to look over, a fly market with lots of AN hardware and hard to find treasures, and a lot of taildraggers. Our very own Project Policeman, John Bush was there with his vintage Cessna 140. Lots of good hangar flying was done and I think a good time was had by all. Let's hope we get some better weather next year-- I'm sure that we would get a lot more aircraft there if we do.

Edwards Open House

I was going to laboriously bang out yet another event review for you on this years Edwards Air Force Base Open House, but before I got to it, Project Police Kommandant Gary Aldrich submitted his Prezident's column, which did as good or better a job of covering the event. Therefore, I will refer you to his column later in this newsletter.

Six EAA membership drawings were held on schedule (within one hour of the appointed times, usually). The winners were Dale J. Evans, Stephen Bragg, Fred Olsen, and in the Young Eagles age category, Brandon Scarpelli, Ignacio Ibarra, and David Salazar. Each of these fine folks will receive a year's National EAA membership and a year's membership in Chapter 1000.

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Last Month's Meeting

EAA Chapter 1000
Scobee Auditorium, Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB
1700, September 15, 1998
Gary Aldrich, Presiding

Secretary Still MIA

The Chapter 1000 Board of Directors, led by the Newsletter Editor, have considered filing a complaint with the Rocket Lab (whatever they're calling it this week) for keeping our Chapter Secretary so busy with "work" that he hasn't been able to attend our Chapter meetings. We haven't done it yet though. If you'd like us to do it with your employer, we can try, although we don't have a high confidence of it making any difference. As I was in Reno at the SFTE Symposium with Norm Howell and Gretchen Lund, I wasn't there either. Hence, this report is made based on the videotape evidence, although no heads of state were involved.


No clue here, since we make it a policy of not videotaping our schmooze sessions. Some things should just not be seen by the unprotected public.


The Prez started the meeting by saying "Hi, Russ!" to the video camera and imploring the rest of the crowd to do the same. This was fine until he explained that I was in Reno at the SFTE Symposium, and the crowd turned moderately hostile. What a bunch of whiners.

Gary also announced that Doug Dodson was in Reno as the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, trailer builder, backup third tertiary pilot, and roadie for the Baby Dragon race team. The team's pilot, Terry Tomeny, who is a former member of Chapter 1000, is threatening to join again. We won't rehash what they were up to since you just read it.

A sign-up sheet was passed around for the Edwards Open House. True to form, few signed up, but then several showed up anyway.

Chapter 49 was commended for excellent fly-in the previous weekend. The Weight and Balance clinic turned out to be a money loosing proposition, with only 3 airplanes coming in to be weighed.


We welcomed Gordon Brimhall from Hinkley (near Barstow). He is retired from the Navy as a Civilian Computer Specialist. He said that many years ago he had started flight training but never finished it, getting off into computers instead. Now he's coming back to finish up this unfinished pursuit.


We dispensed with even the formalities of approving the minutes. Therefore, the minutes are approved by default.

Old/New Business

None this month--went straight into the program.


Our speaker was CFI and World Famous Hooligan Pilot Wen Painter. Wen mentioned that on that day 46 years previous he made his first solo flight in an Aeronca Champ while he was a senior in High School. His Private Pilot checkride was in a J-3 Cub the next July. The next day he joined the Air Force, and two days later the Korean War ended.

Wen showed us a copy of the FARs (CARs?) from the day he got checkride (pamphlet sized) and today (tome sized). What a difference. These were the requirements for his private checkride:

  1. 3 landings from 1000 feet with idle power and a 180 degree change of direction, landing within 100 feet
  2. 3 eights on-pylons
  3. 720 deg turn
  4. Recover from power on and power off stalls, and 3 turn spins to the left and right.

The entire checkride took about 20 minutes!

FAR Part 61 Review

The latest update to FAR Part 61, Certification: Pilots And Flight Instructors, was in August 1997.

That thing in your wallet is not a pilot license, it is a pilot certificate. Wen figures this is because the FAA can't spell license correctly 3 out of 5 times. You must have your pilot certificate, a current medical card, and a reference to a current flight review (new requirement) on your person when you fly as Pilot In Command (PIC).

These documents (ARROW) are required to be in the aircraft when you fly:

  1. Airworthiness Certificate: good for the life of the aircraft when maintained according to the FARs
  2. Aircraft Registration Certificate: this changes whenever the owner of the aircraft changes
  3. (Radio License: no longer required for domestic flying)
  4. Operating Limitations: such as a flight manual or Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH)
  5. Weight and Balance

The duration of all medical certificates is defined in calendar months, and the certificate expires on the last day of the specified month.

  1. Student Certificate: requires Class III medical, good for 24 calendar months (36 if you are under age 40)
  2. Airline Transport Pilot (ATP): requires Class I medical, good for 6 calendar months
  3. Commercial Certificate: requires Class II medical, good for 12 calendar months
  4. Private Certificate: requires Class III medical, good for 24 calendar months (36 if you are under age 40)

A Complex airplane is now defined as an aircraft with retractable landing gear, flaps, AND a controllable pitch propeller. If you don't have one of those, it is not a "complex" airplane. Note the removal of the requirement for an engine over 200 horsepower. To act as PIC of a complex aircraft requires a logbook endorsement.

A High Performance aircraft is defined as an aircraft with over 200 horsepower. Doesn't matter what type of landing gear, flaps, or propeller it has. To act as PIC of a high performance aircraft requires a logbook endorsement.

A High Altitude endorsement is required if you fly an aircraft certified to operate above 25,000 feet, even if you never fly there.

A Tailwheel endorsement is required to fly an airplane with "conventional" landing gear.

You don't have to fill out a logbook, but you do need to keep a record of your 3 takeoffs and landings every 90 days for recency of experience. You also need some way to document your flying when working toward advanced ratings.

The Flight Review (no longer officially called the Biennial Flight Review, even though it is given every two years) must now consist of at least one hour of flight instruction and one hour of ground instruction.

To act as PIC you must have done 3 takeoffs and landings within the last 90 days. Touch and goes are okay for nosewheel aircraft, but they must be full stop landings in a tailwheel aircraft. All landings logged for night currency must be full stop, and must be accomplished between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise.

If you move, you have to notify the FAA of your new address within 30 days.

FAR Part 91 Review

FAR Part 91 covers General Operating and Flight Rules.

The PIC is responsible for everything that happens in flight. Period. Not ATC, not anyone else. Of course, if you deviate from what ATC tells you to do, you may have to answer in writing as to why you deviated.

The PIC is also responsible for the airworthiness of the aircraft. Not your A&P or anyone else.

A flight manual and certain placards are required to be in the aircraft.

You can drop stuff from your airplane, as long as you take precautions not to harm any persons or property on the ground. This requirement may be waived if you happen to be in a military aircraft fighting a war.

You may not drink alcohol for 8 hours prior to acting as PIC. As far as the FAA is concerned, a blood alcohol level of 0.04 is considered under the influence. Additionally, the PIC may not allow anyone on board the aircraft who is obviously under the influence of alcohol.

Preflight actions: The PIC is required to be aware of everything connected with that flight. Note that NOTAMs affecting your flight may only be distributed locally, so the briefer at the FSS may not have them for your destination.

Everyone over the age of 2 years must be provided with his or her own seat and safety belt. The PIC must demonstrate how to fasten and unfasten the safety belts.

Any operations near another aircraft (such as formation flight) must be prebriefed. Also, know what radio calls will be used and what they mean.

Right of Way: An aircraft in distress always has the right of way. Because the FAA is here to help, declaring an "emergency" usually generates additional paperwork, so you may just want to do a "precautionary landing." Otherwise, in general the least maneuverable aircraft has the right of way.

If you are approaching another aircraft head on, move to the right to pass. If overtaking another aircraft, pass on right. Of two aircraft on final, the lowest aircraft has right of way. The aircraft on final has right of way over an aircraft waiting to take off.

Aircraft Speed Limits: 250 knots maximum under 10,000 feet altitude. 200 knots in Class D airspace, and 200 knots under limits of Class B airspace.

Minimum Safe Altitude: In general, you must be able to make a safe landing if the engine quits. Over a congested area, you must be 1000 feet above 2000 horizontally from the highest building. Over an other than congested (non-congested?) area, you must be 500 feet above the surface of open water or sparsely populated areas, and 500 feet from any structure, person, vessel, or vehicle. Note that the courts have interpreted "structure" as anything man made, including power lines, railroads, etc.

Below 18,000 feet your altimeter should be set to the local altimeter setting. Above 18,000 feet it should be set to 29.92.

You need to know (or have a reference) ATC lights signals in case you ever have to land at a tower controlled airport after a radio failure. If you fly a non-radio-equipped aircraft and are going to a tower controlled airport, call ahead to warn them and look for the light signal.

Airspace Reclassification:

At tower controlled airports: Basically don't move without the tower's permission. Read back clearances, especially those to hold short. Two-way radio communications are required or prior permission to operate in the Class D airspace.

A transponder with Mode C is required to fly in or over Class B and C airspace.

VFR Fuel Requirements: 30 minute reserve (45 minutes at night) at destination.

You are not required to file a VFR Flight Plan in the US. However, you probably will be required to file a flight plan in other countries.

To fly VFR in Class D airspace with a visibility less than three miles, you must have a Special VFR clearance. Under Special VFR, you must have 1 mile of visibility and remain clear of clouds. You will be the only airplane allowed in the Class D airspace while operating under Special VFR, so don't putz around.

VFR Cruising Altitudes: between 3000 feet AGL and 18,000 feet MSL, for magnetic courses from 0 to 179, fly odd thousands plus 500 feet. Between 180 and 359 fly even thousands plus 500 feet.

Position lights must be turned on from sunset to sunrise.

If flying above 12,500 feet for more than 30 minutes the crew must be on supplementary oxygen. Above 14,000 feet the crew must be on supplementary oxygen. Above 15,000 feet, supplementary oxygen must be provided to passengers (they don't have to use it).

Aerobatics cannot be flown over a congested area. Aerobatics must be done above 1500 feet AGL and must have 3 miles visibility.

The aircraft owner and operator (read: pilot, not FBO) are responsible for the proper maintenance of the aircraft. A condition inspection is required every 12 calendar months, and must be signed of by an IA. Aircraft used for hire require the same type of condition inspection every 100 flight hours. 100-hour inspections can be signed off by an A&P.

<end of tape>


We assume the meeting was adjourned at sometime, but we can't prove it as the tape ran out. However, the following Monday the people seen (or heard) on the videotape were not still in the TPS auditorium. We can assume that they gathered for the usual imbibing afterwards at the local base Burger King, although the BK management is being strangely quiet on this subject for some reason.

- Erbman
Second-String Pseudo-Secretary

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The Prez Sez...

Well, gang, it appears we survived another one! Operation Desert Valet '98 was declared a success. Estimates of up to 100,000 folks made their way to a windy, but pleasant Edwards flight line on 3 October. Unfortunately, the weather was not nearly so nice in the metropolitan areas surrounding the Antelope Valley. Of the 80 planes invited, approximately 60 responded with plans to fly in on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Of those sixty, more than a dozen cancelled due to crummy weather at their home airport, or the forecast of high winds at Edwards. The end result was that the Hangar 1600 collection was significantly smaller than last year, though more than equal in quality. Those intrepid souls who did make it were treated to a fine display of aerial antics by both military and civilian pilots. Our own Norm DeWitt provided a spellbinding show with his super g-monster Edge 540. Friday evening about 80 of us were treated to a fantastic presentation by Mike Melville on his first flight experience with Rutan's latest creation, the Proteus. This followed (or perhaps accompanied) a large spread of HFS provided by the Club Muroc (formerly known as the Officers' Club) staff. Not only did Mike wow us with the Proteus talk, but graciously expounded on his (and wingie Dick Rutan's) little around-the-world adventure in a Long-EZ. A great evening overall---thanks again, Mike!

The Chapter Booth in Action as Our Forward Operating Location (FOL)

The Masses Assembled in Hangar 1600

The next morning, in typical Chapter 1000 fashion, order was wrestled from chaos as the late arrivals were received and stashed by Project Police Parkmeister Gretchen Lund and her staff of (un?)willing volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, the usual crowd rose to the occasion again...Russ Erb (booth and display coordinator-for-life), George Gennuso (on-scene Project Police commander), Doug Dodson (call sign "Homebuilt"), Miles Bowen (the "answer man"), and the Boothmeister Boys, Jack Roth and Ron Applegate. (Hmmm, that list reads a lot like the Chapter Board roster...) We welcomed relative newcomers Bernie Bakken and Gordon Brimhall, who pulled booth duty just like they'd done it all their lives. We even managed to draw our favorite Newport Beach detachment Charleen Beam (and significant other Joe Riley-who claims to know how helicopters fly) out of the murk down below. Charlene, Joe, and Bernie stood guard at the banquet/reception and collected the appropriate tribute. Finally, Norm "Air Boss" Howell showed up from saving the C-17 flight test program just in time to execute another precision deployment, flinging dozens of little airplanes into the gale force winds that marked the end of the airshow. At last count, everyone that took off reached their destination safely...even John Crothers and his son who earned the sore-butt award for bringing their beautiful CJ-6 all the way from Phoenix.

Ed Dutreaux, EAA Chapter 1000 Det 11, Flew RV-4 N444ED All The Way To Edwards to Catch Fellow Det 11 Member Norm Dewitt's Aerobatic Show

But enough of this laurel-resting...Looking forward, we will be deploying a small force of Project Police to the Copperstate aviation event at Williams Gateway Airport in Phoenix. Watch for a report on this semi-covert action next month. In November we are planning to break with tradition and hold a Saturday meeting. Details to follow. And, of course, it's not too early to start thinking about our next Rosamond fly-in, and next year's Edwards Open House (a two-day affair on Columbus Day weekend)...Ah, the circle of life....

Check 6 and Fly Safe!

- Gary Aldrich (with pictures from Erbman)

(A few more significant points to add to our airshow coverage:

Jenna and Joe Ware wowed the booth contingent and showed their understanding of Project Police procedures by arriving at the Open House not only in PPTAF uniform, but also bringing a tribute of C3s (that's Chocolate Chip Cookies--learn your Project Police acronyms!)

A notable member of the Proteus design team is our own PPO Bob Waldmiller.

I found it quite interesting that as Project Police Kommandant Gary Aldrich read off the long list of Mike Melville's outstanding aviation accomplishments, the only one that incited the assembled masses to applause was the statement that he is a dues-paying member of EAA Chapter 1000. That just proves that the true aviation greats know who to be seen with....)

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It's Nomination Season

Save yourself now and volunteer for a position of Chapter Leadership before another Project Police-Person railroads you into it. It's a lot of fun and not that much work (compared to what?). Technically, we're supposed to have elections in October, but what with all of the exciting events going on that you've just read about (assuming you're reading this newsletter serially), we just hadn't really done anything about it.

The positions up for election and current incumbents are Secretary (Miles Bowen), Treasurer (vacant), and Class II Directors (Ron Applegate, Jack Roth, Norm Howell). Incumbents are allowed to succeed themselves.

Nominations will be taken at the October meeting, or contact one of your friendly Chapter Officers.

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Web Site Update

As of 12 October 1998: 20026 hits!

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Chapter 1000 Calendar

Oct 17: EAA Chapters 1000/49 Young Eagles Rally, 8:00 a.m., General William J. Fox Field, Lancaster CA. (805) 256-4829

Oct 20: EAA Chapter 1000 Monthly Meeting, 5:00 p.m., Edwards AFB. USAF Test Pilot School, Scobee Auditorium. (805) 490-1476

Nov 4: EAA Chapter 49 Monthly Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Sunnydale School. 1233 S. Ave. J-8, Lancaster, CA. (805) 948-0646

Nov 7: Flyout to Santa Maria (805) 943-9343

Nov 10: EAA Chapter 1000 Board of Directors Meeting, 5:00 p.m., Edwards AFB. Test Pilot School, MOL Room (805) 490-1476

Nov 14: EAA Chapter 1000 Monthly Meeting, 10:00 a.m., Edwards AFB. USAF Test Pilot School, Scobee Auditorium. (805) 490-1476

Nov 14: EAA Chapters 1000/49 Young Eagles Rally, 8:00 a.m., General William J. Fox Field, Lancaster CA. (805) 256-4829

Dec 2: EAA Chapter 49 Monthly Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Sunnydale School. 1233 S. Ave. J-8, Lancaster, CA. (805) 948-0646

Dec 5: Flyout to Apple Valley (805) 943-9343

Dec 8: EAA Chapter 1000 Board of Directors Meeting, 5:00 p.m., Edwards AFB. Test Pilot School, MOL Room (805) 490-1476

Dec 12: EAA Chapters 1000/49 Young Eagles Rally, 8:00 a.m., General William J. Fox Field, Lancaster CA. (805) 256-4829

Dec 15: EAA Chapter 1000 Monthly Meeting, 5:00 p.m., Edwards AFB. USAF Test Pilot School, Scobee Auditorium. (805) 490-1476

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For Sale:

Sonerai IIL project. Fuselage and wings 95% complete. Modified for A65 engine. Engine torn down for overhaul but complete with a great many spare engine parts. Includes instruments. Hydraulic brakes. All excellent work. Call Fletch Burns 760-373-3779
To join Chapter 1000, send your name, address, EAA number, and $15 dues to: EAA Chapter 1000, Gary Aldrich, 42370 61st St. W, Quartz Hill CA 93536. Membership in National EAA ($40, 1-800-843-3612) is required.

Contact our officers by e-mail:

Gary Aldrich:
George Gennuso:
Miles Bowen:

Inputs for the newsletter or any comments can be sent to Russ Erb, 805-258-6335, by e-mail to 

From the Project Police legal section: As you probably suspected, contents of The Leading Edge are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association. Project Police reports are printed as they are received, with no attempt made to determine if they contain the minimum daily allowance of truth. So there! 

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EAA Chapter 1000 Home Page
E-Mail: Web Site Director Russ Erb at

Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 15 February 1998