I am delighted to say that your humble secretary earned her IFR rating on March 30th this year. My FAA Examiner, Mary Latimer, is also our chapter president. Our journeys toward the IFR rating are unique and special in their own ways, and they all lead to one goal: To have the knowledge to fly safely.
Your humble blogger at left, chapter president Mary Latimer, center, and a GIFT graduate participated in the event and both teams won highly sought after paper plate awards.
Meeting of the chapter on August 30th, 2014, Wichita Valley Airport (F14). We plan to focus again on scholarships and mentorships.
Left to right: Jessi, Pat, Carolyn, Elizabeth, Tamara, Emily, Mary, Torri, Harriet, Abby, and Pat.
The New Orleans chapter of the 99s hosted the international conference. Pilots from New Zealand, Canada, Germany, and all over the US attended. The seminars included a WINGS credit training in hypoxia, Elizabeth Street-Ely on how to use Foreflight to plan flights, meteorologist Major Kaitlyn Woods who flies in the WC130J to gather weather data, Continental Motors to show us how to care for our engines, Brett Stoeffel to emphasize safety training, among others. The tours highlighted the culture and history of New Orleans. Great thanks to the New Orleans chapter for a great job.
We started organizing another poker run. This one will benefit a great cause: The Girls in Flight Training academy in Vernon, Texas. The school provides free instruction for women who need to finish reaching their dream of flight. Click here for more information on the school and the altruistic people who manage it: http://www.girlsinflight.org/.
The route starts at Wichita Valley Airport (F14), then to Kickapoo (CWC), Frederick to view the C047 and visit with the paratroopers (FDR), then to Vernon, home of the GIFT (F05), then return to F14 for lunch (included in entry fee) and prizes for best and worst poker hands.
Update: I found some photos of the event, which I post below. Also, The lunch included a lecture by John Boatright, titled, "You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em."
Over twenty guests joined in the camaraderie at the local Thai restaurant, the Thai Orchid. Our guest speaker, Pete McElvain, characteristically entranced his audience with smart bits of aviation suggestions, and threw in some poetry, too.
Mr. McElvain suggested following five points that he learned from aviation to apply to life.
1. If your first reaction is action, then it is probably wrong. He cited the charming example of when his father's plane was turned over by the wake of a passing large aircraft. Calmly, his dad said, "Hm, we are upside-down." Then proceeded to right the plane. McElvain reminded us to analyze, assimilate, and then take the proper action.
2. No matter how good you are, an airplane can make a fool out of you.
3. If you have to tell someone how good you are, you probably are not.
4. Life is not a holding pattern. Here he stated that many people get up in the morning, drive to work, return, sleep, repeat, while pilots tend to enjoy life more by getting out of that "holding pattern."
5. It is still a beautiful world. McElvain spoke about the magnificence of sunsets, sunrises, or the moon shining on the clouds, all seen from the aircraft in flight.
He finished his talk with Hermann's poem, wishing his audience a Merry Christmas.
"Desiderata," Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
On my way to Graham to register my Cherokee I saw rain on my windshield. Oh, no, I thought, but the clouds parted and rose above us all through the day. The event, organized by our president, Cathy, ran smoothly, and participants seemed to enjoy the day and the novelty of the event. After registering in Graham, we visited the Cartercopter at Robert Stark's hangar, and some of his rotor-craft. From there, we flew to Breckenridge where we visited the WWII plane museum. The exhibit is exquisite. From Breckenridge we flew to Possum Kingdom. John and I landed third, after H.-P., who participated in the event "just for fun." He is in the spirit! We watched as the other aircraft arrived and landed, with the two smaller Pipers arriving last and landing on the grass. That's always fun to watch. From Possum Kingdom we flew only a few miles back to Graham for some of Clayton's good BBQ.
At around nine o'clock this morning, several aircraft converged on Graham. Pat and Dave registered first for the poker run, arriving in their classic 1946 Piper Cub from Wichita Valley. Carolyn and Tom flew in their turbo Arrow, and Cathy Pierce, our chapter president and organizer of the run flew in on of their Tri Pacers. Other participants arrived in experimental aircraft, Cessna high wings, a Luscombe, among others. We had about eleven airplanes with passengers all playing their hand at poker. Cathy and John won first place, and Mary's students won second and third. The remaining proceeds of the entry fees will add to the chapter's student pilot scholarship. Kudos to our president, Cathy, for planning a smooth event.
It seemed all a part of the fun of flying when we awoke Saturday morning to see our weather confirmed as a nice day. The wind blew at only four knots from the south, the clouds, if around, looked only like little puffs in the distance, and my husband came with me as my co-pilot. Perfect!
Pat hopping into Carolyn's plane to come along with us, and Tom serving as Carolyn's co-pilot, added to the perfect way the day began for our fly-in.
Left to right, standing: Tom, J.C., Beverly, John, Geils, Ellen, Jerry, Dottie, and Shirley.
Left to right, sitting: Julee, Eli, Carolyn, Betty, and Pat.
Beverly presented the visiting members of the Wichita Falls chapter with a cookbook, "We Can Cook but We Would Rather Fly," published by the Golden Triangle. The cookbook includes recipes named "Vasi Lights" and "Short Field Landing on a Muddy Field." Here we are perusing the recipes.
Shirley, Golden Triangle member, flew in from Fort Worth.
The Wichita Falls group just arrived in Gainesville and welcomed by Beverly of the Golden Triangle.
Carolyn pre-flghts her plane as Tom watches.
Our return flight home felt like riding on silk, for in spite of the increasing winds, we did not experience a bumpy flight.
Wonderful day, wonderful company, and wonderful flight to make a perfect day for our joint fly-in to Gainesville.
We were such busy bees today at my house. After a fine light lunch, Carolyn, Cathy, Pat, our guest Mary, and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work planning the events of the year.
1. The board agreed to resume the gift of books about women in aviation to schools. Mary suggested that the chapter donate the books to elementary schools. Cathy will look for appropriate books to suggest to the chapter. Treasurer Betty will reimburse the purchase.
2. The annual Christmas dinner on 4 December 2010 at the Thai Orchid was considered a success. The chapter will host again in December 2011. Pat suggested we ask Pete McElvain to give this year's lecture.
3. The board approved the chapter’s first annual poker run scheduled for March 19th, 2011, or April 23rd if the weather is bad in March. Insurance cost for a 99s event will amount to $125.00 and was approved by the board. Entry fees were set for $30.00 per aircraft, or $20.00 for 99s members and pilots under 21 years of age. Awards will consist of fuel gift certificates.
4. The board opened discussion about fly ins with sister chapters.
5. Nominations for annual awards were as follows: Award of Achievement for Contributions to the Ninety-nines: Pat Eby for her long-time devotion to the Wichita Falls chapter; Award of Achievement for Contributions to Aviation: Marion Stegeman Hodgson for her work in the WASPs and her subsequent biographical publication; Award for Achievement for Humanitarian Efforts: None. For non-members, the George Palmer Putman Award: John McMurray for his conscientious support of the 99s and all aviators, including the general public; Award of Merit recognizing contributions to aviation in general: Mary Latimer for her extensive work in the Civil Air Patrol cadets and other young pilots in the community.
6. The board opened discussion on the donation of a scholarship for a woman pilot’s check ride.
7. Events and calendar will be posted by Elizabeth on the new chapter web site www.scs99.com .
8. Quarterly chapter luncheons are set: April 4th, July 9th, and October 10th, at noon. Locations to be announced.
Elizabeth Hawley served as secretary and past president of the Wichita Falls chapter of the 99s. She established this Web site in 2011 and has administered it since then. She donated her Cherokee 180 to a non-profit aviation school, the GIFT, and now flies a Bonanza and a Luscombe with her husband.