|Museum Chatter 2014||
"Once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return"
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
2015 looks to be a another good year at Massey, we are pursuing the possibility of adding hanger space if we can obtain 6 T hangers which are going to be torn down at nearby Delaware Airpark. We would try to do some of the work ourselves by dismantling & re-erecting the hangers while contracting out the concrete, etc. In addition, two existing hanger spaces have opened up when Ralph De Groodt sold his Piper Pacer (previously owned by Jim Douglass) and Bert Seither sold his AVIAT Husky.
The restoration of Don Sloan's Bellanca 7ECA Citabria was completed with much assistance from Tony Saienni, Larry Tasker and the painting sprayed by Rick Councell (first flight end of Sept.). In November, Don Sloan dressed up the Citabria's all white paint with vinyl decal applications as did John Williamson to the Museum's Cessna 182 - they look pretty spiffy now (and finally finished).
Joe Molz has replaced Don's Citabria space in the workshop with a Piper Pacer on which Joe is doing a complete ground-up restoration of the highest quality. This is Joe's first airplane project but he has the work experience having restored cars including a very fine Austin Healy 3000.
Dave Sussman, Chestertown, MD now bases his Tecnam P92 Eaglet at Massey, it was previously at Bay Bridge Airport. Dave was an EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer) on B-52's in Viet Nam and
was also on HU-16 Albatross' in the Mediterranean. He is also a UFO (United Flying Octogenarians).
Another new name at the airport is Bob Dierker, Lt. General (USAF, retired), AF Academy graduate, F-4 & F-16 pilot. Bob already owned two gliders: a 1975 Schweizer 1-35 & 1963 Schweizer 1-26B but just last month bought a 2 place Schweizer 2-33 which is in our workshop for minor work before flying. Bob is an FAA Certified Glider Instructor (CFIG) and his 2-33 is a more appropriate glider for instruction than our 2-22 (although not as pretty); last year we found our Cessna 182 to be an excellent, reliable tow plane, - sounds like a plan for more soaring in 2015!
The Vintage Sailplane Assoc. has recognized Massey with an award for the restoration of our Schweizer 2-22 glider and Rusty Lowry presented Massey with an Achievement Medal as host of the VSA Eastern Rallies. This medal, which Rusty designed and had produced, substitutes the typical Three Silver Gulls with Three Pterodactyls to represent that these are not modern but are "vintage" gliders.
Rusty Lowry donated a bent Schweizer 1-26 to Massey (he apparently has a surplus) in the event John ran out things to do. A 90 year old pilot crashed it in Calif. suffering mainly a broken leg; the nose and right wing were substantially damaged plus slight twisting of the fuselage. Not sure how Rusty got it from California to Maryland but he got it to us along with a pile of new ribs. John has bought a nose cone and aluminum skin material, built jigs and straightened the fuselage. Bob Dierker, having sort of adopted the project, has jumped in full speed ahead cutting skin pieces, riveting
ribs & skin like a pro. Bob, Tony, Bill Dilling and others have helped John get the wing well on it's way to completion. FYI a glider pilot rating does not require a medical…if that sounds interesting you might want to ask John about the possibilities.
The Brandywine Soaring Assoc. based at New Garden Airport, Toughkenamon, PA had a very successful "out weekend" at Massey (June 7th & 8th) to see how they liked our facilities. The weather cooperated allowing a full two days of flying with their Pawnee towing the club's Let L23 Super Blanik & Grob G103 Twin Astir. We expect to see them again.
Rusty Lowry, Nick Wirtz & Nick Mirales have come around from time to time to give glider and/or towing instruction to all who were interested. The Vintage Sailplane Assoc. (VSA) held their East Coast Sailplane Rally here on Columbus Day Weekend, Fri, Sat. & Sun. October 10 - 12. Sunday was a perfect day with 10 gliders getting up, Kristin Farry brought her Schweizer 1-26 glider from Madison, VA, while the furthest visitor was Lee Cowie of Jonesburg, MO. The Oldest design was Gerry Wild's Hütter 17, a 1934 Austrian design (built 1990); others of interest were: Jim Shafer's 1966 Cherokee II RM (beautiful plans built) and C. B. Umphlette's 1978 Schweizer SGS 1-35C in which he stayed aloft for over 4 hours!
The 11th Annual Chili Fiesta Fly-In continues the tradition of good (or reasonable) weather on the field but threatening or foul weather north & west which prevented many guests from flying in. 35 planes did attend plus the new Maryland State Police helicopter (Agusta Westland AW139) which drew much attention from the crowd;
Eleven planes were first timers and we thank them for coming out. For once we actually had some chili left over and thanks to everyone one who contributed because we do usually run out near the end. We had a nearly 90 degree crosswind of 10 to 15 mph which everyone handled well… leading to the comment that "only good pilots ventured out today." We had a fine contingent of hot rods, Model A Fords & antique cars which we always appreciate and admire.
The first Biplane Fly-In was held at Massey on June 28, 2014, organized by Nick Mirales. Perfect weather, very interesting airplanes, flour bombing & spot landing contests, good fun for spectators and competitors alike. Rare planes in attendance were Alan Lopez's 1930 Stearman 4E Special Junior Speedmail, Stanley Sweikar's 1929 FLEET Model 2, John Chirtea's Fisher Celebrity (Little Stearman) with 110 hp Rotec radial engine, Bret Davenport's Pitts S-1SX plus four WWII Boeing Stearman (PT-17 type). Don't miss this one in 2015.
For the second year, Nick Mirales provided Biplane rides at Massey one weekend a month in his Stearman. This has proven very popular and we look forward to his doing it again this year. For Reservations & pricing Contact: call 410-535-4136 Email: Flyingfun@biplaneairtours.com & Website biplaneairtours.com
EAA Chapter 1536 (Middletown, DE) Fly-In/Picnic was held at Massey Aerodrome 8/16/14, it was a great success.
EAA Chapter 1536 sponsored Young Eagles Day at Massey Aerodrome 9/13/14. Despite threatening weather we flew 18 Young Eagles before stopping for rain around 1:30. EAA Chapter 1536 conducted the registration & cooked hot dogs for all guests. Prospective EAA members are welcome to attend their monthly chapter meeting held the second
Saturday of each month at 10:00 am at Massey Aerodrome Museum located at 33541 Maryland Line Rd., Massey, MD 21645.
Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter #1536, Middletown, DE email@example.com
The weather influenced attendance at our Open Hanger Party although once again the weather on-field was good with a moderate wind straight down the runway. Heavy rain for days before the event soaked some parking areas however the runway itself was good. Only 15 planes flew in and somewhat fewer drive-ins than usual meant there was no shortage of food, all attendees had a good time including the antique/hot rod cars. Thanks to everyone who helps make this a success especially those in the kitchen: Ruth, Emily, Ann, Sheila, Karen, Cindra.
We started the year with a tour of the Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River NAS, MD courtesy of retiring Technical Director (and Test Pilot graduate) Rusty Lowry. Seven of us flew from Massey to St. Mary's Co. Airport in Rob Dant's 172 & John Williamson's 172 where we met up with Rusty and Greg Dungan for the drive to the base. After the NTPS tour and lunch we toured Art Nall's Harrier operation at St. Mary's Co. The NTPS tour was a privilege enjoyed by all - it's great to know the right people - Thanks Rusty.
As "THANKS" for helping the Dover Air Mobility Command Museum restore their WACO CG-4 glider we were treated to a personal guided tour of the museum and lunch by their restoration team - Thank you for a very enjoyable (and unexpected) day.
We have installed high intensity, energy efficient lighting in the museum/terminal bldg. thanks, in part, to a $700.00 grant from Choptank Electric (our
electric utility) making the museum and library bright and cheery. This now allows us to host night time events.
Massey Museum Curator, Don Hooker, has been busy again this year, he constructed an extremely lifelike "Orville Wright" mannequin that would make the Smithsonian jealous to pilot the replica 1911 Wright glider. Don completely reconstructed the DC-3 Lavatory door. He built book cases to accommodate an overabundance of gifts (354 books) to our library - members in the area may want to avail themselves of this ever expanding resource. Don also restored, for display, the Spanish Elizalde Tigre cut-away engine used in the C.A.S.A. 131 (Bücher Youngmann) and assembled the Boeing B-314 flying boat display case for a large model of the Pan Am "Dixie Clipper".
Thanks to Michael Young for his work at our events and in the library. We must certainly have one of the best Aviation Libraries in the area.
Thanks to Bill Dilling who has gotten our computers working and Flight Simulators up and running (at events there is a line to use them).
Thanks to Tony Saienni who has restored the DC-3 lighting including new wiring, power supply, fuses and switches. The DC-3 now has working landing lights, wing tip nav. lights, rotating beacon, cockpit lights, interior overhead lights, "Fasten Seat Belts" light and even a Unicom radio tuned to 122.9.
Thanks to Ruth Tasker who probably puts in more hours than anyone except John Williamson and without whose hard work and organization Massey could not survive.
Jon Goldenbaum, Pres. Consolidated Aircraft Coatings (Randolph, Poly Fiber, Ceconite)
very graciously donated the paint for the DC-3. When I approached him at Oshkosh about purchasing enough to finish the job (he had donated the original supply), he told me that he had flown Skyraiders with Tony Markl in Viet Nam. Tony was renowned for not only his Tail Wheel instruction but also his expertise in aircraft fabric covering and as such worked with Jon until Tony's death two years ago. Jon offered to donate the paint to honor his longtime friendship with Tony Markl who he knew enjoyed Massey Aerodrome and respected the work done here. Thank you Jon Goldenbaum, we all miss Tony Markl very much.
On this sad note we have lost two more good friends this year.
Robert S. (Bob) Bean, Major, US Air Force, Ret. died on May 9, 2014, he was 92. "The Major" was one of the first to base his airplane at Massey Aerodrome, a 450 hp Stearman (N747RB), now owned by Don Sloan. Bob flew 40 B-24 bomber missions in WWII, many over 12 hours long. Bob went on to fly FAC (forward air control) "mosquito missions" in T-6's during the Korean War. Bob's father, Herbert S. Bean, flew as an Artillery Air Observer in WWI and was member #17 of the International World War I Aviators Society. Bob received the Distinguished Flying Cross & Air Medal for his service from March 17, 1944 to December 13, 1944. Everyone at Massey was a friend of Bob Bean, he is sorely missed.
Robert (Bob) T. Douglass, brother of Jim Douglass, died on October 27, 2014, he was 71. Bob & Jim both were sailors and sailing was probably Bob's first love but we came to know him as he worked on restoring a Piper Vagabond which I believe Jim gave him. Goodbye Bob. Massey provides a sanctuary for all of us to work on our projects at our own pace and enjoy some camaraderie in the shop or around the lunch table.
"Not alone into the sunset but into the company of friends who have gone before them" - Anonymous
Other misc. items:
We have reupholstered the DC-3 Pilot & Co-pilot seats & Stewardess' jump seat (the missing co-pilot's seat back was replaced).
We have walled off and furnished a small bedroom in the rear of the shop to allow an over-night visitor some small comfort (with A/C).
We have repossessed a 30' swath of soybean field on the west side of the runway to allow planes to back taxi off the runway from the south end.
This is our annual appeal for your continued support. Massey continues to grow and improve thanks to aviation friends who remember and appreciate history while recognizing the necessity of maintaining that link to our past.
We are investigating whether we can offer glider instruction at Massey, let us know if this might interest you. We are here working to restore aircraft practically every day, please stop in for a visit; Massey’s is a highly respected grass runway that we are proud to have built and which we maintain as a labor of love. Finally…Thank You Jim Douglass, for your vision to “build an airport knowing that they would come” and thanks to the dedication of all the founding members and their cadre of volunteers.
We consider Massey one of the custodians of the American aviation tradition which having begun with the Wright Brothers continues still today. If you have an interest in preserving Grass Roots Aviation at Massey, please join us with your tax deductible membership now. We have enclosed membership cards for all current and past members with the hope you will renew for 2015.
Mail tax-deductible contribution:
Massey Air Museum, Inc.
33541 Maryland Line Road
Massey, Maryland 21650
John Williamson 410-928-5270