AirVenture 2013 Wrap-up

SWPC at AirVenture

EAA’s Air Venture 2013  wrapped up nearly a month ago but it’s always fun to see some more pictures and hear more updates from the event. So here you go…

Clete Cisler, who manages our table in the Type Club Building, reported that he had 85 signatures of SWPC members who were in attendance with or without their aircraft. Helping Clete spread the SWPC  from our  booth were SWPC President, Connie Stevens, Darren Whipple from the Rochester area (who  helped out several days and for at least the last four years) and  Dan Simpson and Joe Carter. Clete adds, “Eleanor had the [Short Wing Piper] News delivered to my house well in advance and all issues including some left over from last year were passed out. Also all the brochures of the Short Wings were gone. All in all it was a good year.”

SWPC President Connie Stevens wrote that during AirVenture they signed up about 15 new applicants. Many of them decided to take part in a special membership deal (details to be posted on the website soon) that offered a discount if they decided to get the Short Wing Piper News in digital format instead of hard copy. She adds, “Thanks to Clete Cisler of GreenBay WI. Clete has volunteered for many years representing SWPC at AirVenture. He manages the SWPC table in the Vintage Aircraft Building not far from the Past Champions display where 3 Short Wings stood proudly for all to see and enjoy the efforts of their owners.”

Jerry Isbell noted on our SWPC Facebook page that he checked the awards listings. Here is what he wrote: “…So I had time to do some computer searching for the award winners at AirVenture 2013. There was not a single short wing Piper on the list. And I saw several great looking short wings there. Next year I hope we have as good a turn out as this year at our camp near the Hangar Café…”

I, too, did a search of the AirVenture winners. Jerry is correct, there wasn’t a Short Wing listed among the winners for 2013. I noticed that one of our SWPC members, Jim Younggren (who was featured in his local newspaper – the story mentions his Pacer, the SWPC and our 2012 Convention in Ogden) won a Bronze Lindy with for his 1951 Piper PA-18.

It would be great to see a Short Wing Piper in the list of winners in 2014. Get your Short Wing ready and start making plans for AirVenture 2014!

To get you excited for next year, here’s a slideshow of AirVenture pictures. Thanks to Short Wing Family members Amber McKernan, Daniel Miller, Constance Stevens and Jerry Isbell for sharing your photos with us.

Click on any picture to  view  full size or to start a slideshow.



AirVenture 2013 – Day 5

SWPC at AirVenture

We’re nearing the end of AirVenture 2013. The type club tables in the Vintage building have to pack up and move out by Friday evening so if you are still on your way to Oshkosh you’ll be sad to find the type club area closed up on Saturday and Sunday. I believe the type clubs need to move out of the Vintage Building because EAA needs to set up the space for the Vintage Awards which take place on Saturday. So, if you are around AirVenture on Saturday evening, head on over to the Vintage Hangar for the VAA Aircraft Awards and see if any Short Wings won this year. According to the AirVenture Master Schedule, the Awards Event takes place from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m.

Interested in seeing the AirVenture Master Schedule? Click HERE and you’ll be directed to the schedule page on EAA’s website

I’m planning to post more pictures and some updates from the field in the next few days. There’s been a lot of posts on what’s going on and pictures on the SWPC’s Facebook page so please hop on over to our Facebook page to check things out! Click HERE to go to our Facebook page.

For today, we have a few pictures to share of a past EAA Champion. We posted a picture of this gorgeous TriPacer once already. Thanks to Jerry Isbell for sending in the first picture (click HERE to read about the plane and see the picture).

Another SWPC member, Bryan Hunt, send in some more shots of this gorgeous plane, N3314A, owned by SWPC member Rick Michalek of Iowa. AirVenture’s online records indicate that this TriPacer won a Gold Lindy in the Classic (September 1945-1955) category in 2011 and  a Bronze Lindy in the same category in 2008. You can see in the pictures just how award-worthy this TriPacer is!

Thanks, Bryan, for sharing your pictures with us.

Click on any thumbnail image to view full size or to start slideshow.




2013 Convention Wrap Up

Short Wings Over Saratoga – 2013 SWPC Convention

It’s late and we need to get on the road early – so here’s a short recap of today’s events.
I will get pictures to post in the days to come and will get them up on the site asap.

Today was another good weather day – ideal for our free day to spend in and around Saratoga Springs!

At 5:30 this evening we started our Convention Banquet. President Peter Lubig opened the banquet and announced that George & Tyke Klitsch are the 2013 inductees into the SWPC Hall of Honor.

Before we started our meals, Ralph Gutowski offered a prayer.

Dinner was a wonderful buffet of salad, vegetables, roast fingerling potatoes, haddock, veal and beef rounded out with a variety of cakes to choose from for dessert. The food was great!

Recording Secretary, Art Weisberger, announced the results of the elections and by-law vote.

  • The by-law amendment was not accepted
  • Art Weisberger will serve as Recording Secretary for another term
  • Connie Stevens is our new President

Our guest speaker, Troy Harmon, gave a talk and slideshow about his adventures flying to and around Alaska. A good description of what he talked about  can be found at:  Author of book about flight to Alaska to be banquet speaker (click on title to view story). After the banquet, he signed copies of his book, 14 Days to Alaska.

After Troy’s talk, Convention Chair took the podium to thank the Convention team, hand out raffle prizes and give announce awards.

Poker Run – Kevin Weidner (I’m assuming his son Zac flew with him as well) won the poker run with a hand of three sevens. Kevin, his wife, Michele, and sons Zac and Jacob arrived at the convention in a Twin Comanche – and yes, they flew the poker run in the Twin!

Drawings for raffle prizes happened next. There were a variety of nice prizes including many cash prizes. A good number of those winning cash prizes donated the cash to the Education Foundation. The amount isn’t firm but Andy quickly calculated that somewhere between $1,300 and $1,500 of raffle sales were donated to the Education Foundation during the convention.

Aircraft Awards – we had all Short Wing aircraft types represented at this convention except for a Vagabond. Because of the small number of planes, all planes that managed to fly in to the convention were judged.

Here are the winners:

  • Best Clipper – Barbara & Gilbert Pierce’s Red Lady, N5834H
  • Best Pacer – Paul & Heather Gagnon’s CF-GAG
  • Best PA22/2o Pacer – Jack & Sandy Madden’s N8879C
  • Best TriPacer – Sid & Sue Brain’s N8457D
  • Best Colt – Tom & Amber McKernan’s N5883Z
  • Best Non-SWPC – Steve McKeon’s original design “Minion”, NX49SM
  • Bev Jewett Grand Champion Memorial Award – Dale Berger’s PA220-150, N87NM

Following Aircraft Awards, Connie Stevens was congratulated on her new role as SWPC President for the next term.

Outgoing President, Peter Lubig, made some closing remarks.

Board Member, Mark Ohlau, read a statement on behalf of Vice President, Kurt Selbert, and Board Member, John Kobbeman, announcing their resignations from the board. Mark also announced his resignation

Ralph Gutowski, in the tradition started by late member, Steve Marsh, officially announced the convention is suspended until 2014.

After saying good-byes, many SWPC members went outside our hotel and enjoyed a brilliant display of fireworks at Congress Park.


2012 Convention Awards Given at the Closing Banquet

2012 Convention Awards Given at the Closing Banquet
Submitted by Eleanor Mills

As usual, one of the highlights of the convention was the annual awards announcement at the closing banquet Thursday evening. Beautiful award plaques were given to the airplane award winners and to the keynote speaker, Galen Hanselman, who talked about some of the unique people and places he had found in his survey of all of the back country strips in Utah. The plaques were of stained glass and were handmade by Cathy Perry, who also designed the convention patch and the shirts and caps available to convention-goers.

Judges Linda Cochran, Doug Stewart, David Hedditch, Adrian Geiger, Ted Fields, and Brian McGlynn judged 11 aircraft. In addition, Tee Rush, Linda Cochran, and judged the ladies’ choice.

Winner of the farthest flown (a familiar award for this winner) went to Jack and Sandy Madden of Frostproof, Fla.

The beautiful plaques for beautiful Short Wings went to:
* Best Colt, Kurt Selbert, Roseville, Calif., who is also the club vice-president
* Best PA-22/20, Krystal and Kevin Newmayer, Highland, Calif.
* Best PA-22, Kent and Deborah O’Kelly, Castle Rock, Colo.
* Best PA-20, Mark Ohlau, Sutter Creek, Calif.
* Ladies Choice, Fred and Bonnie Mayes, Lebanon, Mo.
* Best non-Piper, Jim and Candy Butler, Evansville, Ind., for his Ercoupe.

And finally, the award everyone had been waiting for, the Grand Champion of this year’s convention went to Roni McPherson’s Clipper. Roni and her husband, Stewart, live in Cardiff By The Sea, Calif.

Bill Kendrick presented the Oklahoma Utilitarian Award (for what Bill called a Short Wing that was old, used, abused, and ugly but airworthy) to Jack and Sandy Madden. Bill also said that Jim Butler was being given an honorary award for Egregious Error in Airmanship (for an airplane accident that did not result in bloodshed, one several members have received from Bill in the past).

The Chapter of the Year Award went this year to the Ohio Buckeye Chapter. The award plaque read: In recognition of contributions to the Short Wing Piper Club, the Ohio Buckeye Chapter is hereby awarded the SWPC Outstanding Chapter of the Year award for the year 2012. In addition to planning and hosting two of the most remembered SWPC annual conventions (1998 and 2010) the Buckeye chapter has an outstanding monthly newsletter and has continued to have strong support from their members, who have attended many of the annual conventions. In addition chapter members and officers have maintained an attractive and informative website, have contributed to the welfare of private aviation by cooperating with other aviation organizations by holding and participating in joint fly-ins and activities, and have in general been valuable members of the club, contributing articles to the Short Wing Piper News and serving in positions of leadership for the club.” Tom Anderson accepted the plaque on behalf of the chapter.

Two other major awards were given at the convention as two more members were inducted into the Short Wing Piper Hall of Honor — Art Weisberger and Garry Butler. Garry was not present but Clyde Grant volunteered to deliver the plaque to him.

The plaques given to both members listed the qualifications for being chosen: “In recognition of your outstanding contribution to the Short Wing Piper Club and its goal to maintain and preserve the Piper Vagabonds, Clippers, Pacers, Colts and Tri-Pacers, you have been chosen by the club to have your name included on the Short Wing Piper Club Honor Roll.” The plaques also listed the previously recognized members of the Honor Roll: Bob Fuller, Steve Marsh Ed Wach, Kurt Schneider, Larry Smith, Lonnie McLaughlin, George Fruehauf, Iris Morris, Frank Rush, Chuck Lewis, Bob and Eleanor Mills, Clyde Grant, Kent O’Kelly, John Wood, Ralph Gutowski, Tom Anderson, Cliff Van Vleet, John Beck, and Doug Stewart.

In addition, Art’s plaque reads: “Your selection was based on your outstanding contributions to the club and its members through the years as secretary for 24 years (and counting), your attendance at most of our conventions, and your cheerfully stepping in to speak or chair meetings as needed. Your outstanding service to our country as a United States Marine is also deeply appreciated and the stories you have to tell about that service — and about flying — have added to the fellowship we experience in the club.” Garry’s plaque reads: “Your selection was based on your outstanding contributions to the club and its members through the years as President (2003-2005), an at-large member of the board (2005-2009), and treasurer since 2009, along with your faithful service in helping make the Michigan Chapter one of the premier chapters of the club. The Commemorative History Book which you spearheaded stands as one of the prime achievements of our club. You stand out from the crowd as being one who ‘never says no’ when asked to serve.”

And finally, Bill Thomas, Hendersonville, N.C., won the first prize of the Poker Run, with Robert “Obie” Oberholzer taking second, and Bill Lynch, Neosho, Mo., taking third. Bill’s winning hand was a full house of aces and 10s (I think). Doug Conger, poker run director, reported that the poker run raised $270 for the Education Foundation. The meeting closed with the announcement of the Southwest Regional, to be held September 12-16 in Denver, Color, with prime attractions being a trip to Georgetown, Colo., and a tour of Univair.

Following immediately after Eleanor’s announcement of the death of long-time member and past president Steve Marsh, the convention was called to a close in his name.

Five Education Foundation Scholarships Awarded at 2012 Convention

2012 Convention – Five Scholarships Awarded

Submitted by Eleanor Mills

Larry Jenkins, director of the Short Wing Piper Education Foundation, recommended five students — four first timers and one returning student — for scholarships for the coming year. The five students approved were:

* Danyelle Fuhrman, Webster, Minn., a student at the University of North Dakota who will be entering her senior year there, is on track to be an air traffic controller. Larry noted that she is an exceptional student with a grade point average of 3.772. Danyelle has already begun her career, serving an internship at the Minneapolis Airport Traffic Control Tower.

* Michael W. “Duke” Davis, Knoxville, Tenn., a junior at the University of Tennessee, is pursuing a degree in logistics with aviation applications. He has a current GPA of 3.21. Michael’s essay sums up what many in the club and perhaps all the scholarship winners feel as he says, “Regardless of where I end up in my aviation career, I am confident that I will wake up every morning looking forward to going to work. After all, flying for a living sure does beat working for a living. As I leave the ground for every flight, I will most definitely feel those fond feelings creep up on me as if they have been waiting years to do so. The same familiar feelings I have always gotten and the same ones I will always get: pointing my nose up, climbing and climbing into the yonder skies. Freedom.”

* Tyler Keith Densford, Olive Branch, Miss., who will be a freshman at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., will pursue a degree in flight operations with the goal of becoming an airline pilot. Tyler earned a high school GPA of 3.98. In his essay, Tyler says, “As a young boy, the moment that I stepped aboard a Southwest Airline Boeing 737 with a destination of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, I knew that flying was in my blood. In my school classrooms, I would constantly be scolded for drawing airplanes during the teacher’s lectures, and my young classmates would give me blank stares when reciting the phonetic alphabet.”

* Wesley Carter, Memphis, Tenn., will be a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tenn., with the goal of becoming an air traffic controller. Wesley has already begun his study of that career, having served an internship in the Memphis Tower for the past two years. He was recommended for the scholarship by his tower chief and holds a high school GPA of 3.3265. Wesley has a true passion for his future career, saying in his essay, “Today I realize that I was led to the internship for a reason. Before getting to know air-traffic I overall had chosen to be a pilot, but once I had gotten experience I chose to be a controller. I decided to pursue this career because I simply fell in love with it. Although it may be stressful at times, I realized that having the job as an Air Traffic Controller is probably one of the most exciting jobs a person can have. In the end, I am glad I decided to go through the internship because I most likely would’ve missed my calling. For me, the career is simply my dream job and soon it will come true.”

* Timothy Stephen Cuff, Washougal, Wash., who will be a junior at Central Washington University at Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, Wash., wants to be a commercial airline pilot. He’s a young man on a fast track, having graduated from high school with a running start on his college program, earning both his high school diploma and an associate degree with a GPA of 3.455. Brian McGlynn, president of the Columbia River Chapter which sponsored Tim, explained that Tim completed his junior and senior year of high school at Clark College in Vancouver, earning his diploma and degree. In his essay, Tim says he wants to be a professional pilot flying cargo around the country or around the world. “This career has been the ideal dream of mine for the past several years, and I hold it in regard above all others for several reasons: my undying passion for aviation, the allure of flying around the country, and the added excitement of hauling many different types of cargo,” he said. “All in all, I want a career as a cargo pilot because it is exciting. I get to do what I love, flying, experience travelling to new places, and confront the many challenges unique to that of a cargo pilot.”

Tyler, Wesley, Timothy, and Michael were awarded $2,000 scholarships, with Danyelle receiving a $2,500 scholarship.

As Larry noted, these are exceptional students who will make the SWPC proud!
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