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By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, Editor and Canadian Council Board Member
November 2017 - By many measures, people who restore old aircraft have more skills than people who build from scratch. Granted, they don’t design their aircraft, but many do design new solutions to the problems of flying an ancient bird, like the 1930 Fleet Model 2 written about by a new contributor to Bits and Pieces, Geoff Pritchard. Also, they usually have to remediate a lot of deterioration before they even start on the rebuilding. We managed to persuade Geoff to make a series out of his article on what is perhaps the oldest flying aircraft in Canada. Does anyone know of an older one? What goes into such an ambitious project? How do you decide where to start? How do you find people who even know how to fix engines, rigging, and the like for such an old machine? Geoff decided to call the series “Fleet Dreams,” and as well as being a cute play on words, you will see that he has really produced a dream aircraft. Geoff is a member of Vernon Flying Club, and it’s great to have another contributor from BC.
Thank you to Ron Wood of the Regina Flying Club for telling us about his EAA open house. It’s a good reminder to us all that keeping a flying club active and alive involves getting the public engaged in what goes on behind (sometimes very) closed doors. It’s good to pause to think how welcoming your own airport seems to outsiders. Is your EAA chapter growing or shrinking? What happens when someone walks in off the street? Is there a ready smile and a welcoming handshake? Do you get their e-mail address, so you can tell them about future activities?
I’d like to thank chapters 266 and 245 for continuing to send me their chapter newsletters. Occasionally, we’ll include one of their articles in Bits and Pieces, but they’re always read with interest. If you have an EAA chapter or flying club newsletter, please include me on the distribution list. If you’d like others to be able to subscribe, you could include that information too.
As I write this, the temperature outside is in the single digits (Celsius for our American readers), so it looks like our unseasonably balmy September and October is drawing to a close, and the clocks will have changed by the time you read this. I know some of you have seen snow already, so all I can do is commiserate. Many of you will be planning those indoor projects, whether in a heated hangar or a nice warm basement. We’d like to hear from you. For those of you with first flights or last flights to squeeze in before de-icing becomes necessary, just go for it. Then let us all know how it went.
I just passed five years as your editor, and we’ve never had more articles than we could publish, so don’t be shy. Writing an article for Bits and Pieces can be as simple as an e-mail with a few paragraphs of text and a selection of nice photographs as attachments. The less formatting, the better! If you have specific expertise in avionics, engines, software, refinishing, or just about anything to do with building and flying an aircraft, we’d love to hear from you. Just send an e-mail using the Contact Us button at the top of this newsletter.
One last thing – some of our readers may have unwittingly unsubscribed. If you have friends who say they stopped receiving Bits and Pieces, you might suggest they go through the process of subscribing again. They don’t need to have a current membership with EAA, but they will have to create an account. Whatever the reason, a few people have come to me and asked why they haven’t received it recently. Bits and Pieces comes out monthly around the middle of the month.