Planned Programs and Speakers

A West Coast Adventure – SWPC Convention 2014

June 22 – 27, 2014

From the NorCal Convention Committee
also published in the Jan-Feb-March issue of the Short Wing Piper News

Currently, eight aviation speakers are planned to address SWPC Members and guests at our Santa Maria Convention. Topics promise a wonderful adventure for all. Presentations will be in the Radisson Hotel and/or on the Ramp. Updated agendas will be available online at the SWPC Website and at registration.

Programs are planned to begin on Sunday afternoon, June 22, and end on Friday Morning, June 27, 2014.

Sunday begins with Young Eagle Flights sponsored by the Lompoc EAA Chapter, coordinated by EAA and SWPC Member Ed Mandibles. This event features the first collaborative educational effort with Short Wing Piper flights and EAA Young Eagles. Participate from 10 am to 2 pm and see how easy it is to coordinate Young Eagles with SWPs. Take this knowledge and effort home with you and get those SWPs out there and flying kids across this great country and please keep score! Collecting data may bring additional grant monies into our Education Foundation and students, too. And your Young Eagle may be back in a few years to help with another SWPC Convention ….

Sunday afternoon presents Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) President, John McKenna, Jr. He and the RAF are devoted to saving airstrips on public and private lands. John plans an overview of RAF’s operations, a progressive status report, and hopes for the future of forgotten airstrips.

Monday holds an exciting and informative afternoon Vendor Presentation & Workshop by Jeppesen regarding “I-Pad Use and Flight Planning Applications.” This workshop promises to challenge even the most fluent of iPad users with the latest aviation Apps available while calming the new user with the ease of introductions. This is a hands-on workshop using their recently announced VFR Flight Planning system. Fun!

Tuesday opens with a 0900 Topic of “Oh S_ _ T, Now What?” Presented by Ed Mandibles, local PA-22 owner/pilot and SWPC NorCal Chapter Member. This topic will cover those moments we have all experienced – at least once. Ed will begin with his Tri-Pacer’s altitude duel with a P3 on long approach to VAFB descending over Lompoc. Your experiences are encouraged for all to listen and learn about those unmentionables that may have happened, hypothetically speaking. Following Ed is the SWPC Tech Committee in Panel format leading Tuesday’s second Program, Hangar Talk. This is your opportunity to bring it on! Your Tech Committee will field your maintenance and repair concerns from one to another as the questions are tossed about and discussion presents a resolve.

Wednesday greets two more Tech Programs: Clyde Smith’s Short Wing Piper Rigging and Jim McCloud’s “How To … with Short Wing Piper Floats.” Clyde will present relative rigging information and then, step out onto the Ramp to give interested attendees an evaluation of their SWP’s rigging. You will come away with Clyde’s “5-minute Inspection” that will assist in your future rigging evaluations. Then, Jim will be sharing his PA-22/20 on Floats experiences and the joy of Splashing puddles. He may have you considering the Float alternative.

Thursday’s first program is planned with Mike Busch, a writer for EAA Sport Aviation. Mike will take us into the magneto world: how to check for acceptable contact, problems and performance expectations. Then, out onto the Ramp we will go to review a hands-on activity for checking magnetos and their readiness to perform. Our evening Banquet guest and Jeppesen sponsored speaker is Brian Shul, former Sled Driver, current professional photographer, and a forever survivor. Buckle up as Brian takes you into the cockpit of the SR-71 and shows you the sights that only astronauts enjoy. His published books will also be available for purchase and signing following his presentation.

Friday requests the pleasure of your company at our breakfast meeting. Evaluating this convention and discussing what you would like to see and experience in Branson MO 2015 is the goal. Your assistance will help your Club to develop our Annual Meetings into what you prefer. We want to see you every year. This is our Reunion. Let us know how we can keep you coming back.

There will be a survey distributed at the Banquet. Please, complete it with your comments and suggestions. On Friday morning we will begin with those results.

See the World from Above – Pictures from Larry Jenkins

One of the greatest things about attending a SWPC Convention is the adventure in getting there, especially when getting there involves flying in a Short Wing Piper. Larry Jenkins, our Education Foundation Director and Manager of our SWPC Store, had a great flying adventure flying his Clipper from his home in Tennessee to our convention in Saratoga Springs and back home again. Larry sent in many wonderful pictures of his flight home and is letting me share  them with all of you. Thanks, Larry!

Larry’s pictures are a great inspiration to get out and fly and enjoy the world from above. So sit back and take a look at the slideshow – and then get out and fly or start planning your next flying trip to see the world from above.

Perhaps Larry’s pictures will inspire you to fly your Short Wing to  the 2014 SWPC Convention in Santa Maria, California!


Here’s some information from Larry on his pictures:

The first group of pictures includes a few pictures from the convention flight line at the Saratoga Airport and the pictures taken on the flight home of the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty. The next group of pictures were taken on the segment of Larry’s journey  from the New York City area to Morehead City, NC.

Larry wrote, “I fulfilled one of my dreams to have taken every airplane I have owned to Kitty Hawk.  You can see the monument in the background.  I love the mystic of the outer banks of North Carolina.  The weather was beautiful, and you are along for one of the most awesome flights.  To keep my story short, I spent several days in Morehead City with friends I have known for more than 50 years.  Once I got a break in the weather, I flew as far west as possible, and the weather put me down in Rockingham, NC for several more days.  Again, I stayed with friends that lived in that area.  When the weather cleared, I flew west to Ft. Payne, Alabama, for fuel, and on home to H 75.  The trip was far more than what you have read about in this email and seen in these pictures. It was a trip of a life time!”

Click on any gallery image to view in a larger size or to view as a slide show. If you are viewing this post in your email, please visit the website to view the gallery.

Saratoga Flight Line Pictures

Short Wings Over Saratoga – 2013 SWPC Convention

Yes, the 2013 Short Wings Over Saratoga convention is long over but, guess what? We still have some flight line pictures sent in by Convention Chair, Andy Seligson, to share with you.

Because of weather that was beyond poor,  we had only a dozen airplanes at this year’s convention. Still, as you can see in this collection of pictures, the flightline was lively and volunteers were on hand parking planes and welcoming pilots and passengers when the weather was nice enough for arrivals.

Thanks again to the Short Wings Over Saratoga Convention Crew for all of your hard work to make the 2013 Convention a success!

Click on any gallery image to view in a larger size or as a slide show. If you are viewing this post in your email, please visit the website to view the gallery.


30 Years for SWPC

There’s a bunch of information about Short Wing Pipers and the Short Wing Piper Club out on the internet and in print. We’re gathering a collection of articles about Short Wing Pipers and the SWPC and will post a list of them on our website at our Short Wings in the Media page.

Here’s an article written by SWPC Member, Kenny Brown, that appeared in General Aviation News. It’s titled 30 Years for Short Wing Piper Club and it was written shortly after our 2009 Convention, Smoky Mountain High, which was held in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Click on the image below to view the article on the General Aviation News website.

You can also click HERE to read the story.

GA News story

Have you found other stories online or in print that have to do with the Short Wing Piper Club or our fun little Short Wing Pipers? Please let me know so we can add them to our Short Wings in the Media section of the website. You can contact me at our Contact Us page. I am listed under Website Content Manager.

2013 Hall of Honor Inductees – George & Tyke Klitch

In our 2013 Convention Wrap-up post, we had a short mention that George & Tyke Klitch were induced into our SWPC Hall of Honor. Here is a full article about the 2013 Hall of Honor inductees. This article, Two long-serving members selected for SWPC Honor Roll, was published in the September-October 2013 issue of the Short Wing Piper News and appears on pages 17-19.

For a full listing of Hall of Honor recipients, please visit our Honor Roll page.

Two long-serving members selected for SWPC Honor Roll

The club awarded a framed certificate to George and Florence (better known as Tyke) Klitch, Valrico, Fla., in honor of their inclusion in the SWPC Hall of Honor. President Peter Lubig presented the certificate to George and Tyke at the banquet Thursday evening.

Those who fly in and camp at Sun ‘n Fun probably meet George – or at least one of his crew –  since he is in charge of the aircraft camping area. And for many of our members, Tyke – or one of her crew – is their introduction to the Short Wing Piper Club, since she faithfully mans the club’s booth in the type club tent, handing out Short Wing Piper News magazines and brochures, answering questions about the club, and sometimes signing up new members or taking renewals.

In addition, George has been the long-time president of the Florida Chapter.

President Peter Lubig presents SWPC Honor Roll plague to George & Tyke Klitsch, 2013 recipients of the award.
President Peter Lubig presents SWPC Honor Roll plague to George & Tyke Klitsch, 2013 recipients of the award.

The nomination for the honor came from a current Honor Roll member and another long-serving member of the Florida Chapter and the Sun ‘n Fun crew, Iris Morris. Her nomination reads:
I would like to nominate George and Florence (Tyke) Klitsch to the Honor Roll.

In the early ‘80’s, George got his license and their first plane, a Colt, which George out-fitted for IFR flight. It was one of the first small IFR planes in the area. They flew it between New Jersey and the Florida Keys. The next was a Triple-tail Bellanca that he rebuilt from a basket case; next was a Bellanca Viking, which Tyke dearly loved, and then a Mooney and finally back to the “real” planes. a 1959 Tri-Pacer, which they still have.

About this time, they became involved with Sun ‘n Fun and joined the SWPC. Billy and Adair Henderson and Iris Morris, all Tri-Pacer owners and SWPC members, asked George to volunteer in Aircraft Camping, where Adair was chairman and Iris co-chair- man. By this time, there were several SWPC members volunteering with them.

The following year, George was asked to take over the duties of Chairman, which he has done ever since and has just ‘signed on’ for another year.

With most of our volunteers being Club members, when A/C Camping got a mobile home converted to a working building, Sun ‘n Fun named it “The Short Wing Piper Building.”

Back in the “Early Days,” Sun ‘n Fun had a small tent for Type Clubs, and the Florida Chapter asked to set up a booth. This is when Florence (Tyke) found “Her Place.” She sets it up, finds and schedules volunteers and has made it a place for members and others to meet, get information, pay their dues, post buy and sell items, etc. National members come here to meet up with friends, pay their dues, or sit and rest their tired feet.

Not long after George started as Chairman at S’nF, he was elected President of the Florida Chapter and has been re-elected over and over. He has helped to give this Chapter the honor of being the first Chapter to receive the “Outstanding Chapter of the Year” award in 2010 at the Middletown, Ohio, Convention.

We feel that George and Florence deserve to be honored with this award.

Iris Morris
SWPC #64
News Editor/Treasurer Florida Chapter

The board members agreed and asked that a certificate be printed to be presented at the convention. The certificate reads:

In recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Short Wing Piper Club and its goal to maintain and preserve the Piper Vagabonds, Clippers, Pacers, Colts and Tri-Pacers, George and Tyke have been selected to have their names included on the Short Wing Piper Club Honor Roll!

They are recognized for their service to their Florida Chapter and to the Short Wing Piper Club and aviation in general for their work each year at Sun ‘n Fun. In addition to leading the Florida Chapter George has led the aircraft camping group for many years and Tyke has manned the SWPC booth in the Type Club Tent for just as many years. Their service to their chapter and their club and its members has been invaluable and they are to be commended for their work for aviation in general.

They join the Honor Roll alongside previously recognized members Robert A. Fuller, Stephen W. Marsh, Edwin F. Wach, Kurt Schneider, Larry D. Smith, Lonnie McLaughlin, George Fruehauf, Iris Morris, Frank Rush, Charles H. “Chuck” Lewis, Bob and Eleanor Mills, Clyde Grant, Kent O’Kelly, John Wood, Ralph Gutowski, Tom Anderson, Cliff Van Vleet, John Beck, Doug Stewart, Art Weisberger, and Garry Butler.

Awarded at the 2013 SWPC
Convention, Sarasota Springs, N.Y.

George and Tyke’s names will be added to the SWPC Honor Roll plaque on display in the club’s area at the Piper Museum in Lock Haven. George said he knows just where to hang their certificate in the Short Wing Piper Building at Sun ‘n Fun.

2013 Poker Run Pictures

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

Despite rainy weather during some of the 2013 Convention, the weather cooperated enough so people could fly the Poker Run on Wednesday, July 3rd. Convention Chair, Andy Seligson, reports that 12 aircraft flew in the Poker Run. 22 hands were played. The winner was Kevin Weidner flying a Twin Comanche with Three 7s. Fabio Schulthess had the second best hand with Three 3s.

SWPC member Ralph Gutowski is one of the people who participated in the Poker Run. He rode along with Barb Miller in her TriPacer and took a large number of pictures along the way.

Ralph shared the pictures of his poker run adventure in a photo album that you can find on the internet at this link:
You do not have sign up or register to view the photo gallery.

Ralph was generous enough to let us to use some of his many Poker Run pictures here on the website. So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a number of the pictures from Ralph’s Poker Run album. Captions were taken directly from Ralph’s online slideshow.

The pictures shown below are thumbnail images so are somewhat cropped. To view full size, please click on any picture. Clicking on a picture also allows you to view the gallery as a slideshow. Enjoy!


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.


Day 4 Schedule of Activities

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

Today is the last day of our 2013 SWPC Convention. It’s a free day for us to do what we want then we’ll wrap up the evening with the Banquet featuring guest speaker Troy Harmon and cap off the evening with 4th of July Fireworks.

Here’s our lineup of events for the day. Of course, you can always jump over to the Convention Schedule page to see today’s events and see what else we have bee doing all week.

Thursday – July 4th

Free Day with many possible options! There are so many great places to see and super places to fly.

Click HERE to read Possible Convention Flying Opportunities for details on some flying fun you can have before, during or after the 2013 SWPC Convention.

Click HERE to see all of the July 4th events going on in Saratoga Springs during the All American Celebration. There’s a car show in Congress Park, a parade, BBQ and Dessert Fest and more!

5:30 – 9:00 p.m. Evening Banquet – Featuring guest speaker, Troy Hamon, author of the book 14 Days to Alaska.  Awards. Raffles for door prizes. Speeches. Election results, more speeches and a good time! Fireworks for the 4th of July to follow in Congress Park! Location: Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs. Cost $30/person. Please advise if you are requesting vegetarian cuisine.

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End of Day 3 – Convention 2013

Short Wings Over Saratoga – 2013 SWPC Convention

Just another quick update to wrap up Day 3 of the Short Wings Over Saratoga Convention.

We just enjoyed a wonderful dinner cruise around Lake George aboard the Lac du Saint Sacrement steamboat. The weather today, though quite warm, ended up perfect for our dinner cruise.

Lake George is near Saratoga Springs and tucked in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains.We had great scenery with the mountains and beautiful houses along the shore, good food and wonderful conversations with members of our Short Wing Family. All of these things worked together  for a perfect end to Day 3 of our 2013 Convention.

Day 4, Thursday July 4th,  marks the last day of Short Wings Over Saratoga. Saratoga will be full of July 4th activities including a parade that will go right in front of our hotel, a car show in Congress Park and fireworks to end the evening. Short Wingers have a free day to enjoy the festivities and the other great things Saratoga Springs has to offer us. There’s so much to do in this town!

Just to give you an idea of what kinds of things Short Wingers are enjoying, this is what  my family did today – we went to the Saratoga Springs Visitor’s Center for some info on the town then visited the Saratoga Automobile Museum  and the National Museum of Dance – both at the Saratoga Spa State Park. We drove down Broadway to look at historic houses then drove around the Skidmore College campus. We also had lunch at a great little deli called Putnam Market , ice cream at a Ben & Jerry’s and enjoyed a walk through Congress Park. I know many Short Wingers have found a Stewart’s Ice Cream right across from our hotel and have been getting ice cream! Others have been getting out to the airport to see our small, but still wonderful, flight line.  We’ve all been finding great places to eat along Broadway, the main street in town, and I’m hearing reports of people visiting many of the sites around this beautiful city.

I wish you all could be here to join in on the fun!


Here’s some pictures of the sites from Day 3. Click on an image to view in a larger size or to view as a slideshow.


Convention 2013 Day 3

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

Just a quick note about the convention and Day 3 before we head out on the Lake George Dinner Cruise.

The weather today here in Saratoga Springs is gorgeous, albeit humid and hot. After days of cloudy weather, even hot and humid is nice because we can walk around and enjoy the beautiful city and will have good weather tonight for our cruise on Lake George.

I know there was a briefing for the Flying Poker Run this morning at 10:00. I have yet to hear if the run was a “go” but I’m assuming it did happen because the weather was flyable. I’ll report in as soon as I know.

I don’t have a firm number on how many are registered at the convention this year but do have some convention numbers for you that you might find interesting:

  • Number of people registered for the Membership Luncheon – 104
  • Number of people on the Saratoga National Battlefield Site tour – 60
  • Number of non-Short Wings that flew in – 2 (both Pipers)
  • Number of Short Wings that flew in (as of my count yesterday) – 11
  • Number of natural springs in and around Saratoga Springs  – approximately 17
  • Number of eleven-year-old boys in attendance – 3 (Jason, Jacob and Ryan)
  • Number of 5 foot tall, pointe shoe sculptures found in Saratoga Springs – 24

Now for some pictures of Saratoga Springs so you can see a bit of what this beautiful city is like. Click on an image to view in a larger size.

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24 Pointe dance shoe sculptures dot the streets of Saratoga Springs. Here's cousin Chelsea, Ryan and Owen by one of them.
24 Pointe dance shoe sculptures dot the streets of Saratoga Springs. Here’s cousin Chelsea, Ryan and Owen by one of them.
Owen, Rose, Ryan and cousin Chelsea at one of the Saratoga Springs
Owen, Rose, Ryan and cousin Chelsea at one of the Saratoga Springs
Congress Park is full of beautiful monuments and water features
Congress Park, located right by our hotel, is full of beautiful monuments and water features