Young Eagles Day “Kids 8-17 Fly Free” at Massey Aerodrome

On Sunday Sept. 10, 2017, Massey Aerodrome & EAA Chapter 1536 (Middletown, DE) sponsored Young Eagles Day.

Blessed with perfect weather we flew a new record of 70 Young Eagles! Many Thanks to our on-field EAA Chapter #1536 for organization and free food and the pilots who devoted their time and equipment: Ray Lynn, Jeff Auen, Bob Dierker, Rusty Lowry and Ralph DeGroodt. Even with the large crowd, I recognized many of Tracy Hodge’s Galena E.S. science students from their field trip here this past Spring.

EAA’s Young Eagles Program was initiated to expose young people to aviation in the hope that a spark will be lit that progresses from perhaps just wanting to fly again to a career in aviation. In the current atmosphere of ever fewer pilot candidates, it’s easy to lose sight of the sheer joy one flight can engender in some of these kids. It was very satisfying to see how happy these Young Eagles (and their parents) were to experience their flight. One young woman was fairly dancing from the plane when she met her mother after her flight in Jeff Auen’s Air Cam, the body language unmistakable, all the while capped with an elated smile. Ralph DeGroodt will often tease his passenger before buckling them into his Cub, I loved the expression of surprised doubt on a young girls face while she was processing whether to believe the pilot’s patter. Tony Saienni played along as he closed the door, the youngster giggling now that she was in on the joke. What Fun!

While we all agree with the Young Eagles Program goal to raise awareness of aviation and ultimately increase the number of new pilots, in the near term it’s more important that we have brought happiness to these young people through flight. It’s gratifying and humbling to see their smiles.

We would like to reach out to surrounding schools, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops etc. but this will require more pilots and planes than we have available right now. I’m sure we could fly 100 Young Eagles next year if more pilots participated. Please consider joining with us to accomplish this. You must be a member of EAA and there is an on-line application including a background check requirement. It takes about 25 minutes to complete. We have to accept that nothing is as simple as it was before 9/11 and that we live in an era of smothering litigation, so I ask that you not let the minor annoyance of a little red tape deter you from being a Young Eagles pilot. The rewards speak for themselves in the faces of the children.

Please call the Massey Air Museum @ 410-928-5270 or send an Email to .

Everyone is welcome to join our EAA chapter (not a requirement), they meet here at Massey the first Sat. of every month at 10 am – just show up and introduce yourself.

For more photos See: Young Eagles Album in our Photo Library.

Fresh Young Eagle climbs out of Jeff Auen’s Air Cam
Elated Young Eagle greets Mom after a flight in Jeff Auen’s Air Cam. (A downcast younger sibling looks like she may feel left out for deciding not to fly too.)
Mic check before his Young Eagles ride in Jeff Auen’s Air Cam.
The expression says ‘He better be joking’ when Ralph teases that “We’re ready to go now, nothing fell off on the last flight.”
Our Young Eagle happily goes along with the joke now as Tony Saienni too teases her while he closes the door.
Three Young Eagles pose with Ray Lynn after their Young Eagles ride at Massey Aerodrome.
Ralph DeGroodt poses with a young woman after her Young Eagles ride in Ralph’s Cub.
Pilot, Bob Dierker poses with two young men before their Young Eagles ride.
Two young Women after their Young Eagles ride. They never stopped smiling!

46th Potomac Antique Aero Squadron Antique Airplane Fly-In

46th Antique Airplane Fly-In held June 17th, 2017, conducted by the Potomac Antique Aero Squadron (PAAS) chapter of the Antique Airplane Assoc., (Former Horn Point Fly-In). Hosted by Massey Aerodrome MD1.

PAAS Contact: Mike Strieter 301-440-5294, Email:  VOLUNTEERS WANTED for next year! This is your opportunity to get involved in a good group with a fine history.

Yes, the weather hurt us again with only 20 planes flying in, but as you’ll see by the pictures below, it was still a very satisfying day. Heavy fog early became a low ceiling until we started seeing some blue patches around 10:30. It’s often the case that there will be weather around us while we remain dry. Helen Woods was the first to arrive – in a Searey from Bay Bridge, she said she made it by following the river at 100’ (hopefully an exaggeration). Planes trickled in and finally the eventual award winners arrived with Mike Pangia’s Bird bringing up the rear. PAAS postponed ending the judging to accommodate the stragglers. Many locals drove in, filling up the parking lot and keeping the Millington Fire company food stand busy. The weather cleared from the south with the heavy rains well north of us in PA. Joe Flood made it from South Jersey in his RV-4, I can’t believe he does it in 15 minutes though. Eventually the sun came out, surprising some of us with a real sunburn.

Massey Aerodrome has initiated an award of it’s own for 2017 – The “Massey Choice Award” from the Massey Air Museum presented to the airplane that best exemplifies the Spirit of Grassroots Aviation. This is in addition to the Awards from the Potomac Antique Aero Squadron. The winner received a bottle of Chandelle Winery Aviation History Labeled Sauvignon Blanc along with a certificate thanking the recipient for honoring Massey with the presence of their beautifully restored aircraft. Started by the family of Hap Arnold, the Chandelle Winery ceased production this year after 30 years and so this is the last availability for this wine (we have stashed away a few bottles for next year and the near future).

Our choice was an easy decision, we unanimously chose the 1930 Brunner-Winkle Bird BK (N727Y), belonging to Mike Pangia of Poughkeepsie, NY. This plane has a special attraction for us because it was restored not that far from here by Joseph & Anna Fichera (Kentmoor Air Park) of Stevensville, MD. This is the actual airplane that Charles Lindbergh bought for his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in which to teach her to fly. It had the reputation of being an honest handling plane.

2017 PAAS Antique Fly-in Awards

Potomac Antique Aero Squadron Antique Fly-in Awards:

Antique: 1930 Brunner Winkle BIRD – Mike Pangia, based at Kentmorr Airpark, Stevensville, MD

Military: 1944 Piper J3/L4 Cub – Charles Maples, Fairfax, VA

Classic: 1950 Piper PA-18-125 – Johm/Karen Machamer, Gettysburg, PA

Classic Sweepstakes: 1946 Cessna 120 – Jeremy DeBons, Lexington Park, MD

Custom Built: 2016 Exp. PA-18 Super Cub – Paul Collins, Gambrils, MD

AAA Award: 1930 Brunner Winkle BIRD – Mike Pangia, based at Kentmorr Airpark, Stevensville, MD

Presidents Award: 1946  Fairchild 24 – Kirk Wicker, Bristow, VA

I think you’ll agree that the following pictures show what a great day it turned into, despite the threatening weather early on. Thanks to all who attended!

Joe Flood’s N35Z RV-4
N1011A 1950 Piper Super Cub, JOHN MACHAMER, GETTYSBURG, PA
N33573 1945 Piper Cub J3C-65, CHARLES MAPLES, FAIRFAX, VA.
1930 Brunner-Winkle Bird BK – Massey’s Choice Award Winner,   MICHAEL PANGIA, POUGHKEEPSIE, NY