October Meeting Recap

What a great meeting and program October 12th! Around 30 of us turned out to hear a very informative and well-presented program on the Air Traffic Control facility at Asheville (and the airspace we live in) by controller and member Ricky Brown. Thanks, Ricky. There are a lot of appreciative comments floating around and I hope you’ll consider coming back as the airport and ATC improvements at Asheville continue.

Member Ricky Brown is, I believe, the only active pilot at the AVL ATC Facility

Ricky was joined by fellow controller Jimmy Snider and we appreciate his participation as well..

Bill Kemper said his left door was pinned by a tree branch and looking down from his right door he was pretty high off the ground, so he broke the left door window and crawled out to hug that pine tree.

We talked about member Bill Kemper‘s forced arrival via parachute just north of the Greenville Downtown Airport on October 10th. Bill‘s engine gave up the ghost after a loss of oil pressure indication prompted a turn back to the airport and the eventual loss of oil gave him an opportunity to join the Caterpillar Club. We’re sorry that he lost a very good airplane, but are very happy he survived to tell the tale without serious injury to himself or injury to anyone on the ground. The pine tree huggers are after him to apologize to the tree that broke his fall and left him hanging some 50’ in its loving branches, but he showed no hesitation in doing so. 

We couldn’t find a pin that was awarded to members of the “Caterpillar Club” (people whose lives were saved by their parachute) .. most chutes are synthetic material now, but the silk spun by the lowly caterpillar saved many during World War II and provided material for ladies to make all sorts of clothing items. We ended up giving Bill a toy caterpillar to hang on his Christmas tree!


Also, we are the proud recipients of a functional simulator, a gift from Ray Strong, a friend of members Jerry and Nancy Marstall. Ray owned a Cessna Columbia based at AVL which he sold in February; the sim is configured the same as his airplane and is a very realistic training platform. We’re grateful to Jerry for setting this up and to Ray for his generosity. The original intent was for the sim to be placed on permanent loan to the WNC Air Museum but those plans have been set aside and a permanent home is being sought. In the meantime, several members who are training up have expressed an interest in making it operational at their home(s) so it can be put to immediate use. The machine is not currently FAA certified but it is a terrific procedures trainer and will be a real asset to us.

Keith Plemmons reported that his Skyote project is moving right along.

VP Jacob Coby is exercising his 182 which is based at Marion’s Shiflet Field.

A couple of days after the meeting member Tim Higgins unloaded his RV-12 wing kit with the help of fellow members Owen Patton and Mark Cigal. No excuses now, Tim. The timing couldn’t be better with his workshop close to ready and winter coming on.

Make a date for our November meeting … it’s going to be November 9th, and will be pretty special … more on that as the days go by.

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