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ChapterGram: September 2013

Chapter Earns Passing Grade of F+


By Joe Rossi, Vice President, Chapter 790

Note: This month we're sharing the following column from the latest Chapter 790 newsletter.

Whew! With EAA AirVenture Oshkosh finally behind us and out of the way, we can now get back to our normal lives. Wait a second - we don't have normal lives. Normal lives? See, that's the cool thing about our chapter and EAA as a whole. We attract some of the most interesting and intelligent people. I wouldn't say that EAA members live normal lives.

I can't think of another place where I can hang out with people from all walks of life: pilots, engineers of all types, lawyers, doctors, all types of mechanics, race car drivers, teachers, flight instructors, carpenters, photographers, car people, motorcycle people, inventors, aircraft builders, and, well, you get the idea. Yes, we're drawn to the chapter not only because of our common appreciation for aviation, but our varied interests, and far above all, our friendship.

A great example of this friendship is our monthly cookout that conveniently occurs at the same time and place as our chapter meetings. The food is excellent, although I can't confirm this because I'm distracted by all my new and old friends. I love hopping on my bike, heading to the hangar (thanks Ted Lipinski), and having a burger with some of the most interesting people I know. It's hard to beat friends and food.

Speaking of friends and food: I'd like to encourage the pilots in the group - especially the aircraft owners - to make a more concerted effort to invite the chapter members who are (thus far) without an airman certificate to come along for an unscheduled breakfast or lunch flight. I suspect that we have some members who don't get to fly as much as they would like to. I'm without a plane right now and I'm grateful when I'm invited along for the ride. Conversely, I've done plenty of flying alone and would like to have brought someone along. It's a simple joy that must be shared. I most certainly will have a steady stream of passengers once I again become a proud aircraft owner.

I'm not asking for a ride here. I've flown plenty on my own and with my very good friends. Let's try to get more of our members in the air. (Note to passengers: Show up to as many meetings as possible! You just can't beat friends and flying.)

Our Young Eagles program certainly is in the running for top spot of "fun Chapter 790 activities." How cool is it to see the smile of unrestrained happiness on the kid alighting from his first small plane ride? Sometimes it's his first plane ride ever. I suppose the greatest joy is experienced by the pilot giving that ride. Or is it the kid? I know I get a kick out of it even when I'm ground bound.

Nancy Blazyk has done a great job of getting some big crowds to the airport this year. She's had some great advertising ideas that have really paid off. Last month we had 105 sign-ups! Twenty had been considered a good turnout in previous years. She has something in mind to thank all who have made the Young Eagles program the success it has become. Nancy mentions the major contributors as being Rich O, Ted Lipinski, Ole Sindberg, and Lon Danek. Dave Boone stepped in with his beautiful C-182 and was a huge help last month. Bud Herod is always to be counted on, along with Tom LeGates and Larry and Bryan Blazyk. There are many others - you know who you are. The Young Eagles flights are some of the most meaningful flights we make. We're all looking for some extracurricular fun, right? You can't really top fun, can you?

Yup, for me, fun is really what it boils down to. Hanging out with interesting, smart people. Going on trips. Day/weekend fly-outs. Camping at Oshkosh. Flying. It's all fun to me. That's why my passing grade for the chapter is a big F+. F is for: friends, food, flying, fun, and more.

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