News & Pictures

2018 Ground School Graduation - 03 May 2018

The students of the 2018 Majors Flying Club (MFC) Private Pilot Ground School class have successfully completed the course and proclaimed in unison, "...let them eat cake!" As is the tradition the conclusion of the ground school is celebrated with a guest speaker (this year it was Dr. Sparks and two of his nurses), the grading of the End Of Course exam, the handing out their completion certificates, and the cutting of the special cake.

The class this started year started on February 3rd with seventeen (17) registered students. The class went for the scheduled fourteen (14) weeks and was completed on May 3rd with twelve (12) students completing the course. The attrition is not unusual as work, family, and other life events typically impacts a small percentage of the students. Quite often however those affected students are able to complete the class the following year.

This class was similar to other classes in that there was a wide variety of reasons for taking the class, a wide range of aviation experience, and that they were all subjected to a wide range of bad jokes. Some students take the course to learn a bit about airplanes to help them in their job, some take the course for the knowledge, some take the course with the intention of learning to fly, some are already working on their private pilot certificate, some of them already have an airplane, but none of them took the class for the jokes.

In addition to being taught by several very experienced instructors over the course of the fourteen weeks, the MFC offers a short orientation flight to all interested members of the class as part of the package price. The flights typically fly a twenty minute leg for each of the students and typically land at either McKinney, Mesquite, or both depending on the number of students on the flight. The students get to drive for a while, experience at least one takeoff and hopefully at least one landing, listen to Air Traffic Control, listen to the control tower communications, and visit a couple of local FBO's. It is a really nice perk to attending the class.

The classes for 2019 will start in February. Stay tuned to the website for details regarding the Majors Flying Club 2019 Private Pilot Ground School class.


Harry's 94th Birthday Celebration - 17 February 2018

On Saturday, February 17, 2018, quite a few folks met at Soulman's BBQ in Greenville, TX around 11:30 a.m. to celebrate Harry Andonian's 94th birthday. Thanks to Karen Smith, the room was nicely decorated with patriotic table cloths, plates, and napkins. The room really looked good. Thanks to the organizer of the event, Dennis Mathis, a personalized, second iteration birthday cake with two candles was on display. The second iteration of the cake is another story all by itself. And as become tradition for all Majors Flying Club related events, and much to the chagrin of Gordon Hay, he provided yet another batch of his epic Ghiradelli brownies. Shortage of food and dessert was NOT an issue.

Folks started gathering around around 11:30 a.m. for the perfunctory howdy's before answering the siren call of the Soulman's BBQ food line. Good conversation ensued as folks enjoyed their BBQ lunches on the nicely decorated tables in the backroom of Soulman's. With the majority of the mastication being complete, Dennis Mathis stood to welcome everyone and to provide a brief introduction. Mr. Mathis mentioned, among other things, Harry's induction into the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor. The Walk of Honor is dedicated to recognizing one hundred distinguished test pilots who conducted test flights at Edwards Air Force base and other notable locations around the country. Check out the history of the Walk of Honor, the names of the other ninety-nine honoree and their pictures and profiles at the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor website.

Harry was kind enough to stand up and share several of the stories related to the pictures on his birthday cake. Included in those pictures is the notable picture of Bozo the Clown before his ride on the Vomit Comet, Harry in a pressurized suit, and his Debonair. The Bozo the Clown story is a classic. Of note, there is NO post flight Bozo the Clown picture. Harry talked a bit more about flying the Vomit Comet, flying the L-450 in a pressurized suit, the recognition the crew and passengers of a commercial airliner gave him on his way to his induction at the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor, and flying his Debonair. Always entertaining and good the hear any of Harry's stories.

The #9 candle and the #4 candle were lit and the crowd burst out in a heartfelt, if off key, rendition of the Happy Birthday song. The cake was cut and distributed, the brownies were devoured, and a good time was had by all.

Thank you for letting us be part of your 94th Birthday celebration Harry!


Membership Meeting - 25 January 2018

Minutes provided courtesy of the club Secretary, Mr. Dennis Harwell.

Convened in the Majors Field terminal bldg. @ 1722

Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 1722 by Dennis Mathis.

Annual Elections:
• The elections were conducted by Clint Logwood and were held in the MFC Clubhouse shortly after 1700, before the start of the general membership meeting.
• The existing Board members had all indicated that they were willing to serve on the Board for another year. There were no nominations for additional Board candidates from the floor, and Mr. Logwood then requested that a motion be made to close the nominations. Tom Hubert made the motion, and Robert McEnaney seconded the motion.
• The Majors Flying Club Board of Directors (BOD) were unanimously re-elected by the regular members present.
Introductions: Special guests were introduced by Mr Mathis, including:
• Ed Smith (Brad Smith’s father—Brad Smith was the evening speaker for the meeting.)
• Harry Andonian
• Ty Helton, the Majors Field General Aviation Manager.
• New Ground School students
Thank-Yous: The following people were recognized for their contributions to the meeting:
• Ty Helton and James Finley, for rearranging furniture and setting up additional chairs in the Terminal Building for the meeting.
• Joe Rector, for supplying the pizzas that were served.
• Tom Hubert, for recording the meeting on video.
• Denis Rottler, for additional “right-hand man” assistance.
• Brad and Karen Smith, for putting the evening speaker’s program together.
Safety Officer / Chief Pilot's Safety Briefing:
• Mark Armstrong spoke about Human Factors in aviation safety, including:
• Usually, multiple factors combine to cause an accident.
• The “I’M SAFE” principle: Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, and Emotion (or sometimes, Eating).
• Fuel Management: Plan on arriving at your destination with one hour of fuel remaining.
o Know your fuel burn rate. Don’t trust your fuel level indicator.
• Proficiency: See the Club operations rules on proficiency. Try to fly at least one per month, with at least three takeoffs and landings.
• Collision Avoidance: Keep your eyes outside of the airplane. See and avoid air traffic.
• There is an Accident Response Checklist in both aircraft. They are in the aircraft logbooks, just in case.
• Mr. Armstrong will be sending out a questionnaire via e-mail, and asked that everyone respond.
Treasurer's Report:
• B.J. Finney provided a handout with a summary of the Club’s income and major expenses for 2017, which was discussed.
Secretary's Report:
• Dennis Harwell provided a capsule summary of the minutes from the last General Membership Meeting, which was held on 28 September, 2017.
• Mr. Harwell announced that the new club membership cards were available to be handed out at the meeting.
Aircraft Status:
• Dennis Guinn announced that the Cessna is currently unavailable because it is undergoing its annual inspection. It is hoped to be available next week, after some parts (on order) arrive.
• Mr. Guinn also announced that the Archer will be getting a new engine during its annual inspection in March. Some small issues with the Archer will be looked at during the annual.
• Both aircraft will have engine oil pan heaters installed during their annual inspections. These will make oil changes and winter starts much easier.
Special Interest Items:
• Club Trips: Denis Rottler gave a capsule summary of last year’s club events:
o The Aircraft Salvage of Dallas (ASOD) tour Fly-Out in January was attempted, but scrubbed due to weather.
o Choctaw/Durant, Oklahoma Fly-Out in February had three or four aircraft flying for the event.
o The Wash and Wax party for both aircraft in March had good attendance and good food.
o The Mount Pleasant Fly-Out to the Mid-America Flight Museum in June was enjoyed by many.
o The Landing Proficiency Seminar with Mike Montefusco in August was well attended.
o For this year, Mr. Rottler handed out a survey sheet, soliciting suggestions for upcoming events.
• Taxiway Lighting Project: Mr. Mathis announced that this is currently underway, and is expected to be completed by the end of March. We may also get Pilot-Controlled Lighting (PCL), but this is not known for certain.
• WINGS Program: Mr. Mathis also spoke about the FAA WINGS program, which can make flight reviews easier.
o Start the program one year before your next flight review is due.
o You need to complete three knowledge courses and three flight activities with an instructor. The flight activities are fairly short, usually less than one hour each.
o Upon completion, your next flight review due date is then advanced by two years.
o Learn about the WINGS program at
• Dennis Mathis announced that Nathaniel Bennett soloed at the end of December.
• Mr. Mathis also announced that Zach Miller and Josh Stone recently soloed.
Guest Speaker:
• Our Guest Speaker for the evening was Brad Smith, the DPE at Majors Field. He presented an interesting program about his aviation career, which spanned the Military, Commercial, Airlines, and General Aviation realms, finishing with some interesting stories of some of his experiences as a DPE.
• Mr. Smith was presented with a customized “Thank-You” coffee mug after his talk.

The meeting was adjourned by Dennis Mathis at 1859.


Scout Aviation Workshop - 07 October 2017

View a slideshow of ALL of the pictures taken at the Fall 2017 SAW: Fall 2017 SAW


Membership Meeting - 28 September 2017

The 3rd quarter Membership meeting was held in the Majors Flying Club hangar on Thursday, September 28, 2017. The well attended event featured burgers and brats courtesy of Chef Rector, a Safety Briefing by Chief Pilot & Safety Officer Mark Armstrong, a Treasurer's report from the Treasurer B.J. FInney, a report from the Secretary, Dennis Harwell, an aircraft status report from the Maintenance Officer, Dennis Guinn, recognition of Mr. Young Lee earning his Private Pilot certificate, and best of all, Part Two of Mr. Dennis Mathis' Air Force career.

A while back, Mr. Mathis was the guest speaker for one of our membership meetings. At that time, he shared his experiences and stories about Part One of his Air Force career. Fortunately, Mr. Mathis agreed to finish his story and presented Part Two (1965-1980) of his Air Force career tonight. This period of his career was after his stint as a Navigator and his transition to a pilot. He has time in T-41's (C172F), T37B Tweet, T-38A Talon, the T7A Caribou and several others. Several of his assignments in the late 1960's to mid 1970's were in Southeast Asia.

It is always fascinating to hear these real life stories and experiences and to be reminded of what others have given to this country to make it safe for the rest of us.

View a slideshow of ALL of the pictures taken at the September 2017 Membership Meeting: Membership Meeting - Sep2017