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Graduation - Private Pilot Ground School - 10May2016

The final class of the 2016 Private Pilot Ground School was held on Tuesday, May 10th. After fifteen weeks of bad jokes, the dissemination of tons of information, the consumption of countless sacks of chips and cookies, and some good times, a hardy eleven souls received their Certificates of Completion. Congratulations to the class, they outlasted the instructors. The Majors Flying Club (MFC) President, Dennis Mathis, once again conducted and organized a well orchestrated Private Pilot Ground School. The MFC offers the class every year from February to May. This year Mr. Mathis was once again able to recruit some very experienced pilots and instructors to assist in teaching the classes. Many thanks to Mark Armstrong, Clarke Erwin, Clint Logwood, and Joe Rector for their help this year in the teaching effort.

Mr. Mathis invited Dr. Robert D. Sparks of Sparks Clinic in Rockwall to speak on the last day of class. In addition to being an entertaining speaker, Dr. Sparks is an FAA certified Medical Examiner and a good local resource for those looking to get the physical required to obtain a medical certificate. As has become a tradition, Mr. Mark Armstrong was on hand to demonstrate his prowess with his impressive sword from his days at The Citadel. Mark busted a few moves with his sword before deftly slicing the graduation cake into twenty scrumptious morsels. It is an entertaining way to cut a cake.

The evening ended with Mr. Mathis handing out of the Certificates of Completion and the requisite photo op with each of the students. As you can see from the photos below, there were ten very happy students and one student who was too cool for words.

Congratulations to the Private Pilot Ground School students of 2016!

First Row of Pictures (left to right) : Dr. Sparks and Dennis Mathis, Mark Armstrong, "The Class", Mark with Joe Rector in the background
Second Row of Pictures (left to right): Abbie, Daniel, Jackson, Jason
Third Row of Pictures (left to right) : Manning, Michael, Ned, Shon,
Fourth Row of Pictures (left to right) : Theo, Tyler, Zach

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11 February 2016 - Harry Andonian's 92nd Birthday

Majors Flying Club (MFC) President Dennis Mathis, organized and coordinated a lunch celebration of the 92nd birthday for our friend and local hero, Harry Andonian on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at the Chili's restaurant in Greenville, TX.

The event was attended by twenty-six people. The pictures show an engaged and a somewhat vociferous and opinionated bunch of folks sitting around celebrating with Harry.

As Mr. Mathis said, "A BIG thank you for all of you who were able to attend the informal gathering at Chili's today (Thursday, 11 Feb ) to help celebrate Harry Andonian's 92nd birthday. It was quite an event. I think Harry was honored by the 26 of us who showed up for this. Of course, the honor is really ours to be able to say we sat and dined with a legend.

My thanks to Dave Claud, the Chili's manager, and Sara Lopez, the waitperson, who attended to our little function and made it the success it was."

Happy 92nd Birthday Harry!

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02 February 2016 - Private Pilot Ground School

The first class of the 2016 Private Pilot Ground School was held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 in the McCullough Room of the Rec Center at the L-3 facility in Greenville, TX. The class will meet every Tuesday from 1800 - 2100 for the next 14 weeks. The Private Pilot Ground school has been offered annually by the Majors Flying Club (MFC) for the past 10 years. It has proved to be a very well attended and successful event due in no small part to the organization of the material presented in class as well as the depth and breadth of the knowledge and experience of the instructors. It is one thing to sit down and read the Private Pilot Handbook and a completely different experience to sit in the classroom and enjoy the benefit of the material being presented by instructors with real world knowledge on the subjects being presented and who have a ton of flying experience (i.e. - lots of cool stories).

Sixteen fresh faces with a lust for knowledge (or some spare pocket change and a bunch of spare time) showed up ready to drink from the fire hose tonight. The MFC President and organizer of the MFC Private Pilot Ground school, Mr. Dennis Mathis welcomed the students, made some introductory remarks, and introduced the instructors that were present. Each of the instructors, including Mr. Mathis, gave the class a bit of background on themselves and their experience as it relates to flying. The instructors present were Clarke Erwin, Joe Rector, and Clint Logwood. Mark Armstrong will introduce himself to the class when he teaches his module.

As you can see from the pictures, it looks like the class is in full swing. The name tags for the desks have been created, lots of course material is laying around, nobody is paying attention to the instructor, and a nice selection of snacks is available as well as copious amounts of coffee. Except for the two clowns in the back right, everyone else looks like they belong in the class.

Graduation is just 13 weeks away!

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28 January 2016 - General Membership Meeting

The first Majors Flying Club general membership meeting of the year was held on Thursday, January 28, 2016 in the clubhouse. Pizza was provided and available at 1645. Gordon Hay supplied his own version of a very delectable batch of killer Ghiardelli brownies for dessert. They were cut into very generous portions and everyone was up to the challenge.

The Regular Members portion of the meeting for the purpose of conducting the annual elections was convened around 1715. Kurt Muller graciously conducted and oversaw the election process. The list of nominees (Mark Armstrong, BJ Finney, Dennis Harwell, Don Van Kleek, Dennis Mathis, and Denis Rottler) was presented by Kurt. The floor was opened for nominations and none were proposed. The election was held to vote for the nominees and all the listed nominees were elected by unanimous vote. Thank you Kurt.

With the election process concluded the meeting was opened up to the rest of the membership and guests.

The first order of business was to congratulate the newest member of the pilot community, Bryan Hamel. Under Dennis Mathis' tutelage Bryan successfully completed his check ride on January 13, 2016. Congratulations and welcome to Mr. Hamel.

The President, Dennis Mathis spoke for several minutes regarding the status of several projects. The Cessna is progressing nicely toward the completion of its annual inspection. The project this year included the replacement of the engine with an overhauled engine from Custom Aeromotive. The removal of the engine uncovered several other items that needed to be addressed (LH muffler shroud, spinner bulkhead, RH muffler, and mixture control cable) as well as planned items such as new hoses, new starter, new engine mounts, getting the propeller cleaned up, and the radio repaired. Mr. Zimmerman has been a particularly busy man during this annual.

The annual for the Archer is scheduled to start on March 6, 2016. No major upgrades are planned but flap and aileron seals as well as an STC'd dimmer circuit for the panel and radio lighting will be added during the annual. The electric trim switch will be removed and evaluated but it is unlikely to be a repairable item and due to the cost it is unlikely to be replaced if not repairable.

The Avionics Upgrade account that was created to begin saving money to support the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate was discussed. There are several viable options available to the club based on the planned budget but there is still quite a bit of discussion regarding the best way for the club to proceed. The board is looking to Kacey Dudenhoeffer for guidance and technical expertise to help us evaluate the offerings and guide our decision. The near term goal is to select a system early this year potentially with a portion of the system installed in the Archer later this year.

At the conclusion of the business portion of the meeting, the President, Mr. Dennis Mathis introduced the mystery guest speaker, Mr. Dennis Mathis. They could be brothers. Mr. Mathis presented a very interesting Part One of his military career. Although he is known as a pilot, that is not how his career with the Air Force began. Like most folks, he trained at a variety of bases early in his career but by the time we got to the end of Part One he was the Defensive System Operator in the Air Force's first operational supersonic bomber capable of Mach 2 flight, the Convair B-58 Hustler. What an awesome looking delta wing bomber. Mr. Mathis is apparently a quick learner and quickly discovered it is not a good idea to touch the structure to see how hot it gets in supersonic flight. We are looking forward to the rest of the story, including his transition to becoming a pilot, at a future date hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Fall 2015 Rallye - 14Nov2015

On Saturday, November 14, 2015 the Majors Flying Club hosted its Fall Rallye. The event was planned and coordinated by the President, Mr. Dennis Mathis with the help of several volunteers. The event was well attended by about twenty people which included the pilots and crew members from the four aircraft entered in the contest.

The day started around 0730 with a hangar breakfast that included Grand's Southern style biscuits, sausage gravy, Jimmy Dean's sausage patties, Cracker Barrel hash brown casserole, donuts, and orange juice. While the pilots, navigators, and other interested parties enjoyed breakfast, the President and his staff of volunteers were scrambling around in the background to overcome some last minute changes to the Rallye.

The briefing was presented by Mr. Mathis and started at 0900. The briefing included the tasks to be performed departing KGVT (soft field takeoff over a 50' obstacle), the initial destination (Mineola-Wisner - 3F9), the check-in points, approach (360 degree simulated engine out approach and landing), and the touchdown point for 3F9. Additionally an extensive list of rule infractions and penalty points was presented. There was a bit of discussion between the pilots and the briefer until all were satisfied. Instruction for the subsequent destinations would be received at Mineola-Wisner. The first aircraft departed KGVT at 093130 followed by the other three aircraft in a well spaced and tightly controlled sequence. The instructions at Mineola-Wisner made Terrell (KTRL) the second destination with a short field landing and the touchdown point at the numbers. The leg out of KTRL was short field takeoff and a trip back to KGVT with a touchdown point for a runway 17 landing at the intersection of the closed NW-SE runway. A total of about 100 nm was flown for the three legs and took just over 2 hours to complete all three legs.

It is always good to make it back to home base but it was an especially good sight on Saturday to taxi up and see the grill being fired up by Joe Rector with the promise of hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats. Along with a full tray of trimmings, there was potato salad, chips, brownies and cookies. Who knew a Rallye would work up such an appetite!

The points were totaled and the winners were announced. Mr. Buddy Crump, the Aviation General Manager for the airport, was on hand to represent the city and pass out some very nice prizes. The prizes included 20 gallons of 100LL, a Carbon Monoxide detector, and several gifts cards to places such as Sporty's, Chili's, and Walmart.

1st Place
Pilot Don Reeder in his newly refurbished Super Cub (N7565K) with an assist from Navigator Denis Rottler

2nd Place
Pilot Dale Crumption in his Centurion (N6557B) with an assist from all three of his grandsons. They may have had the most fun as they switched out the co-pilot spot on each leg.

3rd Place
Pilot Don Van Kleek in the club's Archer (N8367T) and his intrepid navigator and club Safety Officer, Mark Armstrong.

4th Place
Pilot Dennis Harwell in the trusty club Cessna (N19481) introducing Craig Wheeler to the joys of flying.

The good news is everybody finished in the Top 5.

It was a very fun event in terms of flying, navigating, and some friendly competition but as Don Reeder said, it was really the Fellowship before, during and after the event that made the day.

Many thanks to the City of Greenville and Mr. Buddy Crump for providing some very nice prizes and helping promote the event.

Many thanks to Mr. Mathis who coordinated and organized the event and to the judges (Jon Bottorff, Ian Horbaczewski, Dennis Mathis, and Tom Trower) who gave up a good portion of their day to help with the judging. Thanks also to Lupita and her crew at Mineola_Wisner for setting up the touchdown point markers, judging the landings, and passing on the instruction for the subsequent leg.

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General Membership Meeting - 28May2015

We held our Spring General Membership Club Meeting in the Club Hangar on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The featured speaker was Harry Andonian. The event was attended by around twenty people. The Club provided queso, pulled pork sandwiches, bratwurst, potato salad, walnut brownies, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for consumption by the attendees.

The Business Meeting was convened at 1700 for the Regular Members to consider and vote on BJ Finney as Treasurer. The current treasurer, Joe Wiser, recently changed to an Associate Member and as such is no longer eligible to be a board member. After much discussion and a hotly contested nomination process, Mr. Finney was voted in as the Treasurer of the Majors Flying Club. Thanks to BJ for stepping up and a huge thanks to Joe Wiser for his detailed and organized reporting system of the club finances. Joe's monthly reports, as well as his quarterly reports to the E-Club, are easy to read, detailed, and nicely formatted. Thank you Joe.

The President, Dennis Mathis, kicked off the General Meeting around 1730. Dennis announced the new Treasurer, touched on the FAA Wings program, and mentioned the clubs progress on saving money toward the implementation of ADS-B for the Archer. The two members of the 2015 Ground Class who were not able to attend the graduation ceremony were presented their graduation certificates by Harry and Dennis. Congratulations to Brandon and William.

Dennis next introduced the well known and always entertaining Harry Andonian. Harry scrolled through several slides detailing his 200+ airplanes flown, talked about his struggles to get into the Armed Services as an aviator, his solo flight (including a dashing picture of Harry on that special day), the Vomit Comet, U2 flameouts, bombing Florida, and blacking out a city and causing car crashes on the highway. Always entertaining, always new stories. Great stuff. Thank you Harry.

Mr. Mathis presented Harry with the standard Majors Flying Club coffee mug but this one had a twist. The cup has that dashing picture of Harry on the day he soloed and the date he soloed. It is a very cool coffee mug. You can almost see the picture under Harry's fingers in the picture where Harry is holding the mug. Nicely done Mr. Mathis.

The meeting was adjourned around 1850.

Many thanks to the members who stayed around and helped put away chairs and clean up the place. It was much appreciated.

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Ground School Graduation - 05May2015

The successful completion of the 2015 Ground School class was celebrated on 05May2015 with the unique and traditional end of the course cake and the handing out of graduation certificates. One of the unique but not traditional aspects of the graduation ceremony included a well received and always fascinating presentation by Harry Andonian. Harry recounted his somewhat convoluted path to becoming a pilot for the United States military, his solo flight some seventy plus years ago, his first two zero visibility landings (the ground vehicles couldn't even see to drive around on the field!), a flame out at 57,000 feet in a U2, and his "bombing" of a coastal city in Florida. Additionally Harry was on hand to pass out certificates to each one of the graduates. Even more unique, certainly not traditional, and a first in the history of the ground school classes, ground school instructor Mark Armstrong was on hand to cut the cake with his sword from his time at the Citadel. It was quite the sight to see Mark slicing the graduation cake with his beautiful Citadel sword. The cake didn't stand a chance!

Congratulations to the graduates of the 2015 Ground School class.

2014 Instrument Ground School

The customary and customized EOC celebratory cake.
The 2014 IGS Class - BJ Finney, Brett Pelham, Denis Rottler
Instructor Dennis Mathis presents BJ Finney with his EOC certificate.
Instructor Dennis Mathis presents Brett Pelham with his EOC certificate.
Instructor Dennis Mathis presents Denis Rottler with his EOC certificate.
Quality Control expert and Weather Instruction Chief Joe Rector gets busted!

The 2014 Instrument Ground School class was successfully completed in November as documented by the cake cutting pictures.

Carbon Monoxide Presentation - 15 February

To promote aviation safety and awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly in aircraft, Mike Montefusco has agreed to come to Majors Field on 15 Feb and do a presentation about carbon monoxide (CO) awareness for not only the flying club but for the GVT aviation community as well.

This presentation will be a WINGS credit event for those participating in the WINGS program (all of us should be doing this ).

Here is the plan:

The event will take place in and around the Majors Flying Club hangar on 15 Feb. We will have hot dogs and hamburgers available at 1130 and Mike's presentation will follow shortly after noon in the club house. The presentation will include a "Show & Tell" on the various CO detectors currently available. After the Q&A, we should be finished NLT 1400.

Please spread the word to all aviators in the area. This information is important and could save a life or two.

There is NO CHARGE for this all though a small donation would be welcomed.

Mark your calendar: 15 Feb., 1130 - 1400, CO Presentation, Majors Flying Club

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Club Meeting This Thursday - January 30, 2014

This Thursday is the general membership club meeting. It is not limited to just club members. If you know someone who has an interest in flying or listening to tall tales, bring them along. Clarke Erwin is our guest speaker. Should be interesting.

The food will arrive at 1645 and when its gone, its GONE !

-- Dennis

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