Must-See Hudson Valley

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

July 1st through 4th

Did you know that the Hudson Valley is a featured location in “Best of The World: Our 20 Must-See Places for 2013” by National Geographic Traveler magazine?

It is! But why is this important to SWPC 2013 Convention-goers? Well, the Hudson Valley is only a short distance from our convention location so, since you will be so close to this Must-See location, you might want to consider flying or driving to the Hudson Valley to explore!

“The Hudson Valley is practically out the door!” from our Saratoga Springs convention location, said 2013 SWPC Convention director, Andy Seligson. “The Hudson River is about 10 minutes drive east of Saratoga. Just south of Albany, N.Y. (10 minute flight) begins the Hudson Valley for about 100 miles south to New York City. It’s certainly a flight worth taking….By car is also worth the trip with too many places to stop, look, & spend!”

“The scenery is quite something, especially flying down the Hudson River Corridor to the Verrazano Bridge & back.” Andy recommends a stop for lunch and fuel at Orange County Airport (MGJ) or Kobelt Airport (N45). “Be sure to bring your camera!”

Click HERE to read the National Geographic Traveler story about the Hudson Valley

Click HERE to visit the Hudson Valley Tourism website


Author of book about flight to Alaska to be banquet speaker

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

July 1st through 4th


Late word received from club president Peter Lubig and 2013 convention director Andy Seligson is that Troy Hamon, author of the book 14 Days to Alaska, will be our convention keynote speaker.

Troy spent years working as a field scientist in Southwest Alaska, often being dropped off in remote places by bush pilots. Eventually, he decided he wanted to learn to fly himself. Finding no planes to rent in King Salmon, Alaska, he bought one of his own, sight unseen, rounded up an enthusiastic instructor (his brother) and set off to learn.2013 speaker October 2012 photo-1

He recorded the journey, both the learning and the traveling, and has since continued to fly the venerable white with red Piper Tri-Pacer N624A, using it to transport family, go moose and caribou hunting, and gain a grander perspective from which to enjoy the beauty of Alaska, the Last Frontier.

Troy then wrote the book about the trip and his learning experience. Flying a small plane to Alaska is an adventure many pilots only dream of, but one several members of our club have enjoyed, some more than once, and many for our convention in 2001. But they were experienced pilots. Not Troy.

In 2008, the author, a student pilot, and his brother, a flight instructor, embarked on this adventure in an airplane old enough to be their mother.

2013 speaker On the way to Alaska

On their journey, they examined how to fit twelve feet eight inches worth of grown men into one of the smallest cockpits on earth — for as many as eight hours a day. They visited places they had planned on going, to see friends and relatives, and made unintended stops in places they hadn’t ever heard of. They waited out weather, waited on maintenance, and wrapped the whirlwind of learning to fly into one of the grandest cross-country trips imaginable.

In the end, they covered in two weeks what takes commercial air carriers only a few hours to accomplish — but they had a lot more fun — and a much better view.

Not only is the club excited to have Troy for a guest speaker, but Troy is excited as well. “I would love to be a part of the convention,” he said.

This information was also published in the March/April 2013 issue of the Short Wing Piper News.


Children At The Saratoga Convention

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

July 1st through 4th

Are children welcome at our SWPC Convention? This is a question I’ve heard since I joined the Short Wing Piper Club in 1986 and started attending their conventions. Our Northeast Chapter has hosted 2 previous conventions. The answer is a resounding… yes!Swimming in Knoxville, TN

These conventions are huge “family reunions.” Aren’t children important members of the family unit? Isn’t youth the future of our world (including General Aviation & the Short Wing Piper Club)? Of course they are welcome. Board member Larry Jenkins (head of our SWP Education Foundation) asked if there will be any activities for youngsters? That is a good point. Some of you might ask ”How could a kid be bored with a flying convention with real airplanes to see, touch, and fly in”? The answer is – easy. Hey guys, not all our spouses are ramped up about spending hours at the airport discussing GPS, VGs, Brake Kits, Lift Struts, Ceconite, or Stewart Sysytems. All they have to do is make a right turn out the door of the Holiday Inn and they will find plenty to do (and spend $$ on).

While the Holiday Inn has nice facilities with a pool (indoor & outdoor) and restaurant to keep the kids busy, and our 2 trips to the Saratoga Battlefield & Lake Geroge Dinner Cruise will hold the kid’s attention, here are some other nearby places that are “Kid friendly”:

Children’s Museum At Saratoga – 60 Caroline Street Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 518-584-5540IMG_3080

Six Flags The Great Escape & Splash Water Kingdom – 1172 US-9 Queensbury, N.Y. 518-792-3500

World Awareness Children’s Museum – 89 Warren Street Glens Falls, N.Y. 518-793-2773

National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame 94 South Broadway Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 518-584-2225

Saratoga & Northcreek Railway – 26 Station Lane Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 877-726-7245

Carousel in Congress Park – in the park behind the Holiday Inn,

These are just some of the many interesting things that will keep the youth among us occupied. Whether you are bringing your children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews, or babysitting (why couldn’t my babysitter take me to a flying convention?), there will be many interesting things for them to do and experience.Then there’s just walking through the village of Saratoga. Anyone like ice cream? As they say in my neck of the woods … fuhgedabout it. There are so many ice cream places to choose from. This, coupled with all the shopping and restaurants from McDonalds to the places my folks couldn’t afford to take me to gives you a sense of what this town has to offer for kids and adults.

A great resource for finding more activities & events is to visit the Saratoga website –

I hope this will encourage many of you to bring the kids. If that is not enough incentive, I’ll probably play the tuba along with Frank Sperandeo on banjo and Adolph Svec on piano. Ok, Ok, – just rest assured the kids will be fine. – Andy Seligson

Rose in Jet - TN Convention

Ryan & TriPacer - KnoxvilleIMG_1746

2013 SWPC Saratoga Convention

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

July 1st through 4th

This article will also be published in the March-April issue of the Short Wing Piper News

The Northeast Chapter of the Short Wing Piper Club is excited about hosting this year’s convention in Saratoga, N.Y. The dates are Monday July 1- Thursday night July 4th. I must say that I saw a post on our SWPC Facebook page from a member who is planning to get to Saratoga the weekend before we start. His hotel rate was quite high and the hotel was sold out! Rest assured that the Holiday Inn Saratoga still has rooms for our convention at our special rate starting on Mon. 7/1. If you are planning to attend this summer’s convention, I would suggest you make your reservations ASAP. They can be made online at: or 518-584-4550/ 800-Holiday.l Be sure to use the convention code: PIP. If you are looking for alternate lodging, there are plenty of options and require you to go on the Internet and search Saratoga, N.Y. Lodging. Please remember that the Holiday Inn is where all the convention activity will be based (registration, meet & greet social, members luncheon, business & Board meetings, seminars, & banquet). If you find a hotel/motel in a neighboring town or county that will save you some money, remember that you’ll have to find transportation to the Holiday Inn & airport (5B2).  This also applies to those folks who want to tent camp. There are several campgrounds in the area. Remember that the airport does not allow camping on the field. The Holiday Inn has given us a good rate for the Northeast in the summer. They do provide a free shuttle service for its guests. We will also have some shuttle van service between the airport (5B2) and the hotel.

By the time you read this article, our chapter will have (hopefully) had its January fly-in to Saratoga for lunch and tour of the hotel to see the renovations to the convention area. The long range forecast is for snow. Rico Cannone, who lives here, has seen the renovations and can vouch for them. I am hoping that our new SWPC website will be up and running. If it is, we will be able to get out information in a more timely manner.  Please check it out, along with our SWPC Facebook page, for updates. While the Holiday Inn has a good restaurant, lounge, and patio area (meet & greet), remember that this town has some world class eating establishments as well as every other type of restaurant within easy walking distance. Along with the restaurants, there are many galleries and shopping galore! Many museums are in the immediate area. We have a bus tour of the Saratoga National Battlefield Site scheduled for Tuesday morning (7/2). The Museum of Dance is very close by as is the world famous Saratoga Spa, Raceway & Casino, Railroad museum, etc. All of these are a bit beyond an “easy walk” and we’ll try to help with our/hotel’s vans. A visit to the Saratoga visitors & convention bureau website will give you more information than can be digested, about what to do, see, and go to in this area.

Some folks have asked if we could use any help/assistance? The answer is a resounding yes! We’ll need volunteers for driving the shuttle vans, aircraft parking, manning the “hospitality area” at the airport, assisting with the Poker Run, manning the registration table, selling our convention attire, etc.  Here is a plea to all chapters and members. We are asking for donations of door prizes for raffles to be presented at the Members Luncheon and Banquet. These items can be anything from aviation related things (models, pictures, books, headsets, GPS units, autopilots), cash/$$ donations to cover fuel costs, anything else that you would want to accept & not throw away. The more door prizes the better. All registered attendees will be eligible for at least one door prize. All door prizes should be shipped/mailed to Andy Seligson, 331 Westchester Ave. Yonkers, NY 10707. The biggest help is to have you attend! We are aware of the higher prices in the northeast, but feel we have put together a good package for a fun flying vacation in an area chocked full of things to do and places to explore.

When we have a convention on either coast, we assume that many folk will forgo slogging across our country in our Short Wing Pipers and opt for the airlines (SWPs are more fun). Practically all the major airlines fly into nearby Albany, N.Y. This is a major commercial airport with all the usual amenities, including car rentals. We have been negotiating with several rental agencies for “convention rates”. The truth is, if you belong to AOPA or EAA (most of us do) you will get the best rate. We are working with the FBO at Saratoga (5B2) and Enterprise Car Rental for some kind of better deal at the airport. We will keep you posted.

This shindig we’re organizing is a flying convention and I haven’t really talked about flying in these parts. There are so many great destinations within a couple of hours of Saratoga. The one organized flying activity planned is the Poker Run. It’s scheduled for Wednesday the 3rd, probably in the a.m. (weather permitting). We’ll push it to Thursday if need be. The route (as I remember it – I’m up in Boston for the weekend and forgot the deadline date) includes Saratoga,N.Y. (5B2), Rutland, Vermont (RUT), Glens Falls,N.Y. (GFL), Plateau Sky Ranch (1F2), & Fulton County airport (NY0). It’s an easy route with some great scenery and good field conditions. I believe Glens Falls & Fulton Co. both have eating facilities on the field. If your schedule and weather work out, Thursday the 4th could be a good day to fly up to the Basin Harbor Resort in Vergennes, Vermont on Lake Champlain. This place has a great 3000′ turf strip (like a carpet) with parking next to the Red Mill restaurant. If it’s a great day, bring your bathing suit. The resort’s beach is a short walk from the restaurant. The food here is worth the trip. The flight up over Lake George, Ft. Ticonderoga, and Lake Champlain, with the Adirondack mountains to the west and the Green mountains to the east adds to the experience (bring your camera). Some have suggested that this could be a “dawn patrol” fly-out. We get some early morning haze/fog in these parts. It’s an easy flight; check it out on the NY sectional and remember there is no fuel available at Basin Harbor. If you’d rather fly over/ through the Adirondacks (ant hills to you folks out west), Lake Placid, NY is a great destination with fine restaurants, shops, the lake, and winter Olympic facilities a short cab ride from the field. If you want to delve further into/over/thru the mountains, check out Sugarbush, Vermont. This lovely paved strip is a major soaring center in the northeast, has a wonderful airport diner (Dinersoar), and is home to one of our favorite and most enthusiastic SWPC members -Fabio Schulthess. Fabio has a fabulous home just off the east side of the field. He is a Lufthansa captain, lives in Switzerland, and bases a Pacer at Sugarbush. You think you have a long trip out to the airport? These 3 trips are about an hour from Saratoga. If you want to experience a couple of my favorite places, head southeast from Saratoga to either Montauk, NY (MTP), Block Island, Rhode Island (BID), or Katama Airpark on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts for the beach and great seafood. One of the big drawing cards for our 1993 SWPC convention at Ellenville, NY was the flight down the Hudson River corridor. You might consider this on your way to or from Saratoga this summer but do check out the airspace & Hudson River exclusion on the terminal chart. A very short flight from 5B2 is the Empire State Aero Museum at the Schenectady, NY airport just SW of Saratoga. I’m sure there will be plenty of buzzing around the pattern at 5B2. Be aware that Saratoga is a busy uncontrolled field with  glider operations. Chapter member Bill Natale does some towing for the gliders and is working out a deal for reduced rate glider rides. I’m sure we’ll be ruffling some rides away as door prizes. Peter Lubig will be doing aerial photography as he did at last year’s convention. He’ll also be doing a presentation on aerial photography.

Tuesday afternoon is our Members Luncheon with guest speaker Robert Fuller – SWPC #1. Wednesday evening the 3rd is our dinner cruise on Lake George. This is a popular outing. One should be sure to book this ASAP. Chapter member Amber McKernan is organizing a seminar on crafts/jewelry. This will be an interactive event and involve a walk from the hotel to the local craft store. It was felt that it is easier to go to ” the mine” than bring the mine to us. The day & time are to be determined. We are in discussions with an FSS briefer to do a seminar on aviation weather. Someone else suggested we have an aviation attorney do a seminar on aviation law/ dealing with the FAA. Speaking of the ….. , The Albany FSDO would like to do something with us as we’ll. All dates and times are to be determined. Of course, our closing banquet with speakers & fireworks is Thursday the 4th. President Peter Lubig has a couple of irons in the fire for this convention. By the time you read this, we hope at least one of them has come to fruition (speakers/media coverage).

Your Executive Board and Board of Directors has worked hard this year on dealing with all things SWPC. We can only hope that we are moving in the right direction. How would we know this? Not only feedback from you, but involvement. We have dormant local chapters that need revitalization/life support. We need members spreading the word and recruiting new members. We need people to get involved at the local and National level. While all new members are welcome, perhaps a bounty on new members under the age of 50? I say this partly in jest and partly in seriousness. We have a chapter member, Keith Flint, owner of a beautiful PA-22/20, who once wrote about something I’ve been saying for years; ” This Short Wing Piper Club is like an ad for AARP!” There are many Short Wing enthusiasts, both members & non-members, out there that are not “old and bold” pilots. We have to get this new blood flowing in our organization. This is the year 2013, not 1973. What better way to have meaningful discussion and interaction, than to come to one place, break bread, share ideas, thoughts, accomplishments, lies, aircraft, aspirations, etc. under one roof? We urge you to come to Saratoga, NY this July. It will be a great vacation and experience. Please feel free to contact me at: or 914-337-2968. The Short Wing Piper Club looks forward to seeing you this July. -Andy Seligson Pres. N.E. Chapter

Luncheon Speaker Announced

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

July 1st through 4th

Here’s a note from Short Wings Over Saratoga chair, Andy Seligson, about our Membership Luncheon speaker.

I am pleased to let you know that our guest speaker at the Membership Luncheon on Tuesday July 2nd is Robert Fuller. Bob is SWPC member #1 and is responsible for the birth of our fine type club. It was at a chance meeting between Bob and several other Tri-Pacer owners in New Jersey that “hatched the egg.” Many of us thought that it would be interesting to have the founder of the SWPC give a talk on how this club came about, what his expectations were, how the club started to grow, and where it has gone over the years. Perhaps he will even give a brief history about our planes. I know many owners that only know that these Short Wing Pipers are a low cost way to own an airplane. How they came to be produced is an unknown to many.

Bob has been flying Tri-Pacers since 1977 and has owned his current PA-22 since 1978. In 1980, he started flying for about five different charter organizations (Part 135) in C-310s, Navajos, Piper T-1020s, C-402s, & King Airs. His main job for the past 50 years has been in technical marketing communications and he still manages his own company. He now works for only 3 clients that he’s had for the past 35/40 years!

In addition to his flying and work, Bob is a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master Captain and owns a Mariner 42’ trawler, having given up sailing five years ago. He enjoys all types of fishing, Bonsai cultivation, bicycling, touring in his 1964 356C Porsche, and Z- scale model railroading. If that is not enough, he spends time trying to obey his West Highland white terrier. Today, Bob is a member of his local EAA chapter in Southport, North Carolina and involved with the Young Eagles program. Needless to say, he is a member of the Carolinas chapter of the Short Wing Piper Club. He should fit right in for our Membership Luncheon and a perfect prelude to our members meeting. We look forward to seeing and listening to Bob this July. – Andy Seligson

Interested in the History of Saratoga Springs?

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

Saratoga Springs, New York is the site of our 2013 SWPC Convention which will be held July 1st through 4th.

Whenever my family attends one of the SWPC conventions, I like to find out a bit about the history of the area. It sure makes for a more interesting trip for my family if we know something about the place we’re flying to and will be staying at for several days. So, I found a couple of  links about the history of Saratoga Springs. Did you know, for instance, that The Battle Of Saratoga, one of the fifteen most decisive battles in world history, took place in Saratoga Springs in September and October of 1777? And that Saratoga Springs is known for its natural mineral springs?

Are you interested in learning more about the history of Saratoga Springs, New York?

Click HERE for a link to The History of Saratoga Springs, an article at the website.

Click HERE to read History of Saratoga Springs on the the City of Saratoga Springs website

Have fun researching this great location for our 2013 SWPC Convention and feel free to share other Saratoga Springs links you discover along the way.

See you in Saratoga Springs!!