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.
2017 Vintage Sailplane Association (VSA) East Coast Sailplane meet Aug. 19 & 20th @ Massey Aerodrome
Good weather prevailed on Sat. & Sunday with temps in the mid to upper 80s. Sunday, with lower humidity, was cloudless so lift wasn’t as good as Sat. – but it was still there!
We’re left to blaming the Monday eclipse for keeping VSA members away. Thanks to Kristin Farry of Madison, VA for bringing her Schweizer SGS 1-26A & Gerry Wild of Lansdale, PA for bringing his Hütter 17. Bob Dierker of Chestertown, MD gave about a dozen rides to visitors in his Schweizer 2-33 while Rusty Lowry provided the tows in Massey’s Cessna 182. Kristen Farry got a good ride on Sat. (+1.5 hours) but headed south to view the eclipse on Sunday (I hope it wasn’t cloudy wherever she went).
Gerry Wild prefers a slower tail wheel tow plane so we used the Bailey-Moyes Dragonfly on Sunday. Since the Hütter has only a skid (no wheel) it took a little rocking to break it loose initially but once it started to move it worked perfectly. Kristen Wild had poured a bucket of soapy water on the grass in front of the Hütter, the rope grew taut and the Dragonfly strained until the Hütter finally broke free, helped by the wing walker’s gentle persuasion. The Bailey-Moyes Dragonfly was designed and built solely as a hang glider tug but knowing that it was capable of towing the 400 lb. Bailey-Moyes Tempest glider (which does have a wheel), John suggested we give it a try and voilà it worked.
Gp. Capt. “Willy” Hackett, RAF, was back, he is stationed at Paxtuxent River for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office. We were glad to help him add new types to his log book. Rusty made the last flight of the weekend in his 1-23 after spending most of his time towing with the C182.
We’re open to suggestions to attract more participants – This year we provided good weather, good facilities, good equipment and friendly, interesting people. You know Massey has a great grass runway with open approaches surrounded mostly by farmland in case you’re caught out. Let’s not lose this event!
Massey Aerodrome received the most votes in AOPA’s Hidden Gem Airport Contest sponsored by Aviat Aircraft.
June 1, 2017, AOPA announced the results of the voting with two lucky pilots receiving the prize of a four day weekend flying an Aviat Husky in the Idaho backcountry for having nominated one of the top two airports.
Thanks to all of Massey’s friends and Museum Members who voted, we look forward to getting recognition in the AOPA magazine. Thanks to Jeff Auen for nominating Massey, Jeff owns an AirCam based in Essex, Maryland. Let’s face it there was no “luck” involved, we wanted it and we got it – even if it’s only the “Bragging Rights.” Jeff Auen is a Member of the Massey Air Museum and a good friend of Massey Aerodrome (plus an outstanding builder of a beautiful Air Cam). He is a worthy winner! The contest ran on AOPA’s Facebook page in May and asked pilots to submit their favorite Hidden Gem airport with a brief description of why they loved it, plus a few photos.
First Antique Fly-In at Massey – a resounding success!
45th Antique Fly-In of the Potomac Antique Aero Squadron.
Approx. 75 show & guest airplanes plus 1 helicopter attended. It was breezy with a cross wind but partly sunny with low humidity that made the temperature in the low 90’s feel almost comfortable. Six airplanes received awards and 3 past award winners also attended. John Machamer’s brand new restoration, a 1930 Davis D-1K received two awards and father & son Joe & Jason Flood each received an award. We look forward to John Machamer to receive the Gold Lindy this year at Oshkosh.
Also attending was Joe Kaminskas’ 1930 WACO RNF and Marlin Horst’s 1929 Fairchild 71, both past Horn Point award winners and both are also recipients of aviations highest Award for restoration: EAA VINTAGE ANTIQUE GRAND CHAMPION – Gold Lindy.
Gene Breiner’s 1936 Taylorcraft J-2 stole the show when he put on the single blade Everel propeller and flew numerous demonstration flights (a two blade propeller is used for ferry flights across the bay).
AWARDS at the 45th Antique Fly-In of the Potomac Antique Aero Squadron, held at Massey Aerodrome June 11th, 2016:
Antique Sweepstakes: NC1584 1930 Davis D-1K, John Machamer
PAAS Presidents Award: NC1584 1030 Davis D-1K, John Machamer Gettysburg PA.
Antique Grand Champion: NC23927 1939 Aeronca Chief, Joe Flood
Best Custom Built: N907MG 1999 Pitts S1S, Jason Flood Franklinville NJ.
Classic Grand Champion: N195RA 1953 Cessna 195B, Ray Franke Bath PA.
Contemporary Grand Champion: N7258A 1956 Cessna C-172, Michael Meyers, Owings MD.
Military Grand Champion: N79731 1944 Piper L-4, Paul Smith, Mt. Airy MD.
AAA HQ Award: NC16745 1036 Taylor J-2, Eugene Breiner Newville PA