Breaking News!

After two terms, President Connie Stevens has decided to not seek an additional term.

Cliff Van Vleet has stepped up to the plate and announced his candidacy for SWPC President.  Here is his announcement:

I am once again announcing my candidacy for president of the SWPC for the third time having been successfully elected to two earlier terms from 2005 – 2009.  After eight years of contemplation and recuperation, I am offering my services to lead our club into the future for a third time.

Education:  University of Kansas, BSEE, 1962; Southern Methodist University, MSEE, 1966; UCLA, Los Angles, California,  post graduate, 1969-1971.

Employment: Western Electric, Lee’s Summit, MO, 1962-1963; General Dynamics, Fort Worth, TX, 1963-196;, US Naval Ship Missile Systems Engineering Station, Port Hueneme, CA, 1968-1980; US Army Communications Electronics Engineering Installation Activity, Sierra Vista, AZ, 1980-2003; Civil Service retiree 2003-2017.

Aviation organizations: SWPC 1992-2017;  EAA 1987-2017; VAA 1993-2017; AOPA 1978-2017; AAA 2015-2017; CAAA (Classic Arizona Airplane Ass’n) 2015-2017; APA (Arizona Pilots Ass’n) 2000-2017.

Offices held: SWPC; president, vice president, board of directors. AZSWPC; president, treasurer. EAA Chapter 776; president, vice president.  COPPERSTATE Fly-in; Board of Directors, Public Address Chairman, Operation Thirst Co-Chairperson (Carole was Chairwoman).  Cactus State Fly-In/CAAA (Classic Aircraft Association of Arizona); Board of Directors and Piper airplanes judge.

I have been active in aviation since the late 1980s and in the SWPC since 1993 and have directed several projects for the Club and EAA including the Tips and Techniques books and CDs, the “Mr. Ed” (Ed Wach) “Touch and Go” book, the Commemorative History book, establishing the Hall of Honor, promoting and attending Southwest Regional fly-ins, chairman assignments at both the COPPERTATE and Cactus State fly-ins, plus more than 1,200 Young Eagles flown.

I took my first Short Wing flight in Ed Wach’s (“Mr. Ed”) Tri-Pacer, N9592D, in November 1989.  He checked me out and then immediately gave me free access to this airplane which I flew around Arizona until 1993 when, at my request, he found Tri-Pacer, N3344B, advertised in the SWPNews, which I immediately purchased. Between then and now Carole, and I have flown it over 2000 hours including cross-country flights to SWPC conventions in Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin to Washington state and Ontario, Canada. We have attended every convention starting with Prescott, AZ, except Ellenville, New York in 1993, when I was still working and could not get the time off.

Our club continues to face the challenges it has faced through recent years; declining membership, cost of business exceeding membership fee income, paucity of volunteers to staff functions and tasks, paucity of fresh material for the SWPNews, Forum and Web Site, accommodating new cyberspace technologies and social media, and convention planning, among the many. The back bone of outreach has been and continues to be the Short Wing Piper News. WE MUST remember, however, that the SWPC is an organization staffed by VOLUNTEERS with the exception of producing the SWPNews and technical maintenance of the SWPC web site. If more services and/or enhancements are to be realized without incurring substantial costs, more volunteers will have to provide them.

My primary platform is to develop a more inclusive leadership and open communication to lead the Club to adapt and fit into the future aviation, economic, technological and cultural mindset of members’ needs. To accomplish this I will immediately fill all executive board vacancies and work hard to energize volunteers to increase members’ activity and input to reduce the overall load off the president and other senior appointed positions. We must create innovative workable ideas to adapt to future circumstances and I have a track record for doing just that.

If we are going to revitalize our Type Club and keep our aircraft supported well, I need your support, and more importantly, I need your votes. I am eager to bring new energy into our Club and look forward to serving you once again.

This campaign story, Part One, is now long enough. For more personal information please continue to Part Two and learn more of my background and desires.

Clifford Van Vleet


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