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14 February 2020 - Harry Andonian's 96th Birthday Party

As you can see, several of us had a great time celebrating Harry Andonian's 96th birthday. One of our members, Karen, who is known for her decorating skills, raided the local party store and completely set up the meeting room in Soulman"s BBQ with aviation decorations. You can't see it in the picture, but there were even airplane related things hanging from the ceiling. The club president, Dennis Mathis, supplied the cake which was pretty much devoured as you can somewhat tell by the picture. At least the cake wasn't dropped this year! We went around the room and we all had a chance to say something about our personal experiences with Harry. It was a nice party and as Harry says every year, "let's do this again next year".

Happy Birthday Harry!

















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Historic Washington State Park, AR - 14November2019






















Dave and Susan Wilson, Ian and Alysia Horbaczewski, Denis Rottler, Dennis Guinn, Kacey and Beth Dudenhoeffer, Dennis Guinn, Jackson Bean, Ned Howard, Dennis Harwell. Somehow Robert McEnaney and Vicki didn't make it into the picture.

Air to air shots of the Dudenhoeffer's Cardinal (left) and the Wilson's Glasair (right)





















Photo credits (8 pictures above): Dennis Harwell

https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/historic-washington-state-park/...

Our thank you note to our point of contact:

Mr. Henley,

On Saturday, November 16th the Majors Flying Club, based out of Majors Field (KGVT), Greenville, TX loaded up five (5) airplanes and thirteen (13) people and headed toward Hope Municipal Airport (M18) with plans to tour the Historic Washington State Park.

Thanks to your team, the event was an outstanding success for our group. In the weeks prior to our arrival, I spoke with Laura several times. She was always very helpful and tolerant of my multiple calls. I hope the paper she had to write over the weekend came out well.

As Laura promised, two vans and two drivers (Josh and Helen) we were waiting for us at Hope Municipal. We were a few minutes late as we had trouble getting one of the planes started at Majors Field. Helen is a most enjoyable person and we had fun sparring with her and learning about her volunteer work with the homeless people in the region.

Josh filled the roles of driver, coordinator, briefer, and photographer. Thankfully he had the foresight to let the Tavern know we were coming. They had a back room set up for us which probably saved our day. It was quite busy that day and we would have ended up spending quite a bit more time on lunch than planned and less time touring the park f it had not been for Josh.

Debbie was ready for us at the Visitor Center thanks to Josh and greeted us warmly and provided us with plenty of details about the park. I believe it was April who curated both the Weapons Museum and the Print Museum. Unfortunately I missed the name of the gentleman who was helping out in the Print Museum. They did print several nice pages with the magnolia tree for our club members which was fascinating to watch.

At the appointed time Helen and Josh were waiting for us at the Visitor’s Center to take us back to Hope Municipal. We even talked Josh into taking a group photo at the airport (see the attached; somehow we were short two people for the photo).

It was a beautiful day to fly and a beautiful day to tour the Historic Washington State Park. Thank you and your team for make the day a very pleasurable experience for us.

Sincerely,
Denis Rottler
Majors Flying Club
Majors Field (KGVT)

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Michael W. Smith: August 3, 1978 - November 14, 2019



















Remembering Mike

The Majors Field Flying club is based at Majors Field in Greenville, TX and not so coincidentally, is on the same airfield as L3Harris. We are a fairly small club with seventy members of which about twenty are pilots. We own and maintain two airplanes for use by the pilots of the club and around two thirds of our membership have an affiliation with L3Harris as either an active employee or as a retiree. We mention all of that to highlight what a natural fit it was for Mike, an employee of L3Harris, a pilot, and an Airframe and Power plant mechanic, to be a member of the club. What more could someone ask for than to be able to roll out of the parking lot at work, drive a mile south, and jump in a club airplane and go flying! What more could a club ask for than to have Mike as one of its members.

Mike joined the flying club in March of 2017 and it didn’t take long for him to make an impression. At one of the first events he attended, which just so happened to be an airplane Wash & Wax party on March 10, 2017 and probably before he ever flew a club airplane, while sitting around after all the work was done and enjoying a little fellowship over lunch, someone noticed the nose wheel tire of the Cessna had gone flat. Our club mechanic was not around and the plane was scheduled to fly that afternoon. Mike, who most of us had just met that morning, offered to make the repair so that the plane could be flown that afternoon. So, no more than ten days after he joined the club and probably before he had even flown a club plane, Mike showed up to help wash and wax planes he had never flown, took a break to get some lunch, and jumped right in to repair one of our planes. We didn’t know it at the time, but as we would learn, that was not unusual behavior for Mike.

In July of this year, several members of the club organized a trip to THE airshow, Airventure 2019, in Oshkosh, WI. Mike and two other members flew the club’s Piper Archer and two associate members each flew their own airplanes and carried club members with them. We had a total of nine folks from Majors Field and the flying club and we met up with several other local friends of the club while we were in Wisconsin. Seven of us from the club shared a very nice rental home for four nights while we walked our legs off for three days on the grounds at Oshkosh. The shopping trips to the local Walmart were something to behold! On one of those days at Oshkosh, Mike pointed out a very complicated looking, award winning aircraft, and in his low key, unassuming way, casually mentioned it as one of the aircraft on which he had performed an annual inspection. We were getting to know Mike a little bit better each day. The trip was memorable for several reasons, one of which was getting a chance to get to know Mike a little bit better. To say that we were blown away to hear about his service on Air Force One and to see the pictures of him shaking hands with two different President’s, including pictures in the Oval office, is to put it mildly. His low key, unassuming persona belied all the success he had in his Air Force career and it wasn’t something he just blurted out or bragged about. It doesn’t get more prestigious than to be selected to be a member of the Air Force team that is responsible for maintaining the Presidential airplanes. It was taking a while, but we were getting to know Mike a little bit better.

In August of this year, Mike was offered and accepted a position on the Majors Flying Club Board of Directors as the Maintenance Officer. The club was very fortunate to have a person with so much integrity, experience, interest, and knowledge about airplanes overseeing our maintenance operations. The most telling thing about Mike from the club’s perspective is that he brought the same integrity, knowledge, and attention to detail that we assume he gave to the Air Force One fleet, to our general aviation Cessna and Archer club airplanes. We were having intermittent issues with a piece of gear on our trip to Oshkosh. Just guess whose long legs were hanging out of the airplane and whose head was under the instrument panel at one of our fuel stops!

While our loss as a club is nothing compared to the loss suffered by his family, Mike will still be missed by our club and its members. He was a good pilot, always ahead of the airplane and planning miles ahead, and we will miss having the chance to fly with him again. We will miss his integrity and the knowledge he possessed about airplanes and we will miss the chance to gain some of that knowledge from him. We were getting to know Mike a bit more each day, and we will miss the chance to grow that friendship.

But as this is a celebration of his life, we want to emphasize that we are all very thankful for the time we got to spend with Mike and for the friendships we had developed with him. He was a good man whose low key and unassuming personality hid a gem of a person you would be rewarded for getting to know.

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Majors Field Fly In - 02November2019

On Saturday, November 2, 2109, the Majors Field Aviation Manager, Ty Helton, with plenty of support from the Majors Flying Club, the local EAA chapter, generous donations from local businesses, and a slew of volunteers, hosted their annual Fly In. It was a well attended event with quite a few different types of airplanes on static display.



















































Photo credits: Dennis Harwell

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Membership Meeting - 31October2019

We held our Fall General Membership meeting on Thursday, October 31, 2019. A membership meeting was conducted with reports from the various members from the Board of Directors. Mr. Robert McEnaney was recognized and presented with his Private Pilot placard (not the official one!) by his CFI and president of the club, Mr. Dennis Mathis. Well done Robert! Our guest speaker, Mike Montefusco, who is a former member of the club, flew the gyrocopter he built to Majors Field and gave a very informative presentation on how those little buggers work and what it takes to build one. Thanks Mike. Everyone enjoyed the presentation and a change to look over your beautiful machine.


















































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Scout Aviation Workshop - 05 October 2019

The Majors Flying Club, with a lot of help from friends of the club, tenants on the field, and the FBO, held their Fall Scout Aviation Workshop on Saturday, October 5, 2019. It was a beautiful fall day for forty-eight scouts to pre-flight airplanes, go on a discovery flight, build and fly model airplanes, get some lunch, and display their aviation knowledge to the folks who interviewed and quizzed them about the material they were taught during our onsite ground schools. To say it was a busy day it to put it mildly.

Thanks to the smooth talking club president, Mr. Dennis Mathis, there were around fourteen planes available for the scouts to use for the pre-flight event. The scouts get shown how to do a pre-flight inspection and then one by one they conduct the same pre-flight. It is very fun to wander around and listen in to the conversations between the pilots and the scouts. When all of the scouts had completed a pre-flight, the first round of discovery flight began. With five airplanes and fourteen seats per sortie, it took a few sorties to give all of the scouts there twenty minute tour of the area southeast of the airport. As you can see from the post flight pictures, there were a lot of grins and happy faces. As they finish their flight, the scouts transition to model airplane building hangar. The goal is to build and fly their plane a specified distance in order to get signed off. The next stop is the interview process where the scouts sit down and have a chat with other pilots to be certain they learned what they needed to learn from ground school to earn their merit badge. Mixed in was a nice Subway sandwich lunch and a demonstration by the Major Field Fire Department. They can shoot out a bunch of water through the water cannon in a hurry.

We enjoy the opportunity to introduce scouts to aviation. It is a labor of love and it would not be possible without the behind the scenes work of the coordinator, Jan Weatherbee and a slew of volunteers from our club, the local pilots, and friends of the club. For example, local pilots provide their airplanes and their time as well as a hangar (thank you Mr. Crumpton), the Sulphur Spring TX450 Composite Civil Air Patrol squadron provided their support for the event, the FBO guys were busy fueling planes and keeping the FBO clean, and our club members and friends of club helped in run smoothly by escorting scouts and helping with anything that needed to be done.

It was another, safe and successful event and we are looking forward to the next one!










































































































































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Oshkosh 2019 - 21July2019


















































The Majors Flying Club, along with several local friends of the club, were well represented at AirVenture 2019 in Oshkosh, WI this year.

Ten members of the Majors Flying Club along with two friends of the club were in attendance at Oshkosh this year. This year the Archer, Clarke Erwin's 182TC, and Kacey Dudenhoeffer's 177RG were all flown to Oshkosh and Jon Bottorff drove from Indiana. On an even more encouraging note, all three airplanes returned safe and sound! The Archer was flown by Dennis Guinn, Denis Rottler, and Mike Smith. Clarke picked up his passengers, Ian Horbaczewski and newly minted pilot, Robert McEnaney in Rockwall (F46). Kacey and fellow club member Ned Howard flew in the Cardinal.

Kacey and Ned got a head start and headed out on Thursday, July 18th. They were anxious to get a good parking spot for their camping adventure and it turns out they did get a great spot. Unfortunately, they received quite a bit of rain Thursday through Saturday with some heavy winds mixed in for an exciting couple of days. It sounded like it was a bit of a mess but survivable. They took one for the team and we appreciate it. It was clear skies Sunday through Thursday for the rest of us.

The Archer departed KGVT around 0730 on Sunday, July 20th and made stops at Hugh Robinson, MO (KEOS - cheapest fuel around) and Southwest Iowa Regional (KBRL) for fuel, leg stretching, bladder relief, pilot changes, and a burger at the KBRL stop. The fuel stops were uneventful and we pressed on to Appleton International (KATW). The first two legs were VFR and the last leg could have been VFR with some cloud dodging. Fortunately Mike has his Instrument Rating and we got to bust through a bunch of clouds without any course deviations. All was good until we got close to KATW. The rain earlier in the week had an impact on grass parking at KOSH and a lot of traffic was diverted to KATW. We spent an intense 30 minutes in an unpublished holding pattern outside of a KATW with a dozen of our "closest" airplane friends. Since there was not an established procedure, hardly any two airplanes were flying the same holding pattern. While Mike concentrated on flying, Guinn and Rottler watched for visual traffic and ADS-B traffic. It was pretty intense but without any ADS-B traffic warning alerts. On one of the laps, Mike announced our position and we were granted the magical "Clear to Land" call from the controller.

Clarke and his crew departed a bit later than the Archer but were on the ground, parked, had the rental car secured, and met up with Jon by the time we landed. Clarke had made arrangement for us to park in the grass but it was too wet. We parked on the concrete and got to stay on the concrete for the duration at the parking on the grass rate!

We rented a very nice house (4 bedroom, 3 bath with a basement) in Appleton that was only about five miles from the airport. Names were drawn, bedrooms and floor space was assigned, air mattresses were inflated, and a grocery list was made. Dinner at a Texas Roadhouse (yes, we were in Wisconsin) followed by a singularly unique shopping trip to the local Walmart with seven guys. We were set for the week.

Three very nice days were spent at Oshkosh. There is just so much to see and do. Lots of vendors were visited, some money changed hands, and airshows were watched under the shade of a C-47. Those fireworks on Wednesday night! We had front row standing spots and it was a spectacular fireworks show.

Departure was uneventful for the Archer on Thursday morning. Gas stops at the same two airports on the way home and the Archer was back in the hangar by 1830 on Thursday. A couple of minutes made all the difference for Clarke and his crew however. They were about 30 minutes behind us leaving the house and apparently the departure queue filled up in those thirty minutes. After an hour wait, they were cleared to take off only to discover they had a flat tire. Fortunately we had the house until Sunday so they were able to get the tire fixed that day and had a place to spend the night. They made it home on Friday.

After dropping us off at the airport, Jon safely made his way home to Indiana.

Kacey and Ned hung in there until about Friday before breaking camp and heading home.

During the week we met up the Karen and Brad Smith as well as Mike Montefusco. We gathered at the arch on three different days in order to get pictures of the NE Texas folks!

If not on your bucket list, you need to consider adding it!

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Wash & Wax Party - 14June2019















On a somewhat blustery morning, seven hardy club members showed up to Wash and Wax the club airplanes. The bellies were de-greased, the planes were washed, dried, and put away.

In the background, several more folks showed up, including some dude in a Chef's hat, to help clear out the clubhouse as part of the renovation project. Everything except the coffee bar and the refrigerator was hauled out and temporarily moved into the hangar or the dumpster. Even the toilet and the ceiling fans were removed to make it a bit easier on the flooring folks and the painters. The good news is the toilet was one of the items that made its way to the dumpster! Since the carpet came up very easily, it was decided to remove it and save a few bucks by not paying the flooring crew to remove the carpet.

There was a lot of stuff to haul out and between the airplane washing crew and the folks who showed up to help clean out the clubhouse, it was all over it less than an hour. The clubhouse was empty but the same could not be said for the hangar.

The dude in the Chef's hat was busy cooking in the background and the food was ready right on time. Thanks to Dennis Mathis for taking care of the lunch cooking chores. Dennis Guinn provided everyone with the promised opportunity to win $5000. As per usual, one or two folks won $2. The exception was Mr. Mathis who was the victim of a practical joke and "won" nothing but provided some laughs as he read the phony lottery card out load.

Thanks to all who showed up to help.

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Membership Meeting - 30May2019

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Ground School Graduation - 16May2019

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