Member Tom Draus passed away early yesterday morning after battling stage IV lung cancer. His family and our chapter are hosting the memorial and service in hangar 2 at M54 Saturday the 18th at 4:00. It will be a celebration of life in the place he loved to spend his time. BBQ and sides will be served and desserts are welcomed. Stories will be shared as well as pictures. If you have any pictures, electronic or printed and would like to share them with the family, please contact Bonnie McCrary at firstname.lastname@example.org A printed photo album is being put together as well as a streaming video of pictures. En lieu of flowers, you may make a donation in Tom’s name to EAA Young Eagles, EAA Chapter 863 or Alive Hospice. Anyone interested in a flyby or the missing man formation, please contact Paul Rotenberry (email@example.com) or Toby McCrary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our very special guest this month is Capt. Ryan Mudry. Ryan started hanging around our chapter when he was 9 years old. His story is a wonderful history of his involvement with every member, including a very special bond with Ken Poley. Read the article "Full Circle" below.
Join us for a meal at 6:30 and meeting following.
Farewell to a friend
By JACK HOKE and RYAN MUDRY
Life has a way of coming around full circle, just one of the many lessons learned through owning a Luscombe.
Another is that you never know where that Luscombe will take you and who you will meet along the journey.
Our journey began in 2007, when my wife Sally and I embarked on the search for an aircraft for our personal use. A licensed private pilot from the 1970s, I had taken a 20-year hiatus from flying while our children attended college. Sally, who soloed in the 1970s but then abandoned pursuing her license, was game.
The search was initiated looking for a Stinson, but we soon found a 1949 Luscombe 8-F. Not familiar with the Luscombe brand, we took to the Internet to find out more. Our research eventually led us to Bill and Sharon Tinkler of Tullahoma, Tenn., who became our mentors in all things Luscombe.
We were in Nashville, and the Luscombe for sale was in Lebanon, all very close together in the state of Tennessee. So we found ourselves on a cold winter’s day heading to Lebanon to look at the airplane once again.
Ken Poley and the Luscombe.
When I first spoke on the phone with Ken Poley, who had owned the Luscombe for 17 years, his first words to me were, “It’s not LSA,” and our rela
tionship never really got much better after that. He did reveal a few things: He had worked
for Piper Aircraft Co. in Lock Haven in his teens, had flown B-26s in the Air Force, and was an engineer. He was selling the Luscombe as he was of an age where he had chosen not to pursue his third class medical.
That first meeting with the Luscombe was dreadful. It was a raw, cold winter day and there we were on the tarmac, learning that the Luscombe was an 8-F Special, meaning it had the Continental 90-hp engine, which had no starter or alternator. Consequently, the engine had to be hand propped to start, a talent with which I had no experience.
Ken provided direction to me as the starter, while Sharon held the brakes, but we achieved nothing other than a fully warmed up Jack. We decided to quit, rolled the plane back into the hangar, and Bill, Sharon, Sally and I went to lunch.
Bill was strongly of the opinion this was an aircraft to avoid, noting that hand-propping would lose its attraction. Later, we learned that the Luscombe had been involved in an incident in which it got away from Ken while starting it by himself. It knocked him down and proceeded across the tarmac until it did considerable damage to a new BMW and a nearly new Mooney, requiring an engine overhaul due to the prop strike damage.
It is an axiom among Luscombe owners that their aircraft found them rather than the opposing consideration, and this Luscombe had spoken to me. Sally deferred to my desire, and Ken and I negotiated a deal, which included an IA’s review of its mechanical health.
Arrangements were made to fly it to Lewisburg, Tenn., to have the evaluation performed, which was then rolled into our first annual. While the annual was being performed, another prior Luscombe owner and CFI, Mike Kellems, entered the shop. He agreed to teach me how to fly the Luscombe. The Luscombe remained tied-down at Lewisburg as I received 25 hours of instruction covering changes in regulations over my hiatus from flying, transitioning to a taildragger and the necessary license endorsement, buffing the rust off of any piloting skills I may have had and, of course, the required experience to insure the aircraft.
Owning the Luscombe in Middle Tennessee was a wonderful experience. We promptly named the plane “Huckleberry” after Mark Twain’s character Huckleberry Finn. We became frequent attendees to the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter-sponsored Saturday morning pancake breakfasts in Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Moontown, and Winchester, and were welcomed into a new family of friends through the Luscombe.
Jack Hoke and his grandson Brennan Maxwell with the Luscombe.
Along with a new plane, 2007 brought yet another challenge for our family. We became third generation owners of the Hoke family farm in Carroll County, Maryland. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to which we agreed sight unseen. While we bought the property in December 2007, it was 2009 before we could sell our home in Nashville and move to Westminster, Md. Exploration led us to 6W6, an airfield with a turf runway in Hanover, Pa., to house the Luscombe in a large common hangar.
We settled into our new community and learned our new roles as stewards of the farm. But little did we realize how much change we would experience, and how much it was to affect our use of Huckleberry.
Our close proximity to the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) around the nation’s capitol curtailed opportunities for flights to the south. Soon our much-loved Luscombe was to find itself a neglected orphan. While we kept legal with timely annuals, there was little aviating.
There were two exceptions: An attempt to fly to Oshkosh in 2013 (which ended in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as a result of IFR-only weather conditions) and completion of the “Explore Maryland by Air” campaign in 2013.
In late 2013 we concluded that our commitments to farm, job, family, and an aircraft not welcome in the SFRA meant that the time had come for us to find a new steward for Huckleberry. Advertisements “For Sale” produced a call from a young man who asked if this Luscombe had been Ken Poley’s.
A one hour conversation ensued during which I was to discover much about the caller, Ryan Mudry, and Ken Poley.
As we talked, I learned that when Ryan was just 9 years old, he scraped together $40 so he could join EAA. This membership allowed him access to the presidents of local EAA chapters, including Poley, who was president of EAA Chapter 863 in Lebanon, Tenn., at the time.
Ryan called Ken. Their initial phone conversation was reported to have lasted over one hour while the professional engineer-pilot and the 9-year-old discussed everything about aviation, including Bernoulli’s Principle and Ken’s experience in the Air Force, where he was qualified in the B-25, F-102, F-89, and F-94C. The call ended with the invitation for Ryan to join Ken for an aviation outing to an EAA pancake breakfast.
Thus began a friendship that was to last nearly 20 years, with Ken mentoring the wanna-be pilot, teaching him to hand prop the 90-hp Continental, introducing him to long-time friends as the Luscombe’s new starter, and allowing him training time in the Luscombe.
All of this led to introductions to three Congressmen from the state of Tennessee — Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bill Frist, and Rep. Jim Cooper — in a bid for the then-flying high school senior, with a perfect score on his SAT exam, for an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Alexander called Ryan on the day after Thanksgiving during his senior year and gave him the good news: He had secured the appointment.
Poley sold the Luscombe to us while Ryan pursued his aviation career at the academy, graduating as an officer and a pilot of the Air Force’s AC-130U gunship.
Ryan Mudry, the newest owner of the Luscombe.
While Ryan reached out to ask about the Luscombe, he wasn’t really in the market for an airplane, just curious. But I knew that Ryan was who the Luscombe belonged with, so I soon called him back with an offer he couldn’t refuse, and the sale was completed.
Arrangements were made for hangar space in Florida at Peter Prince Field, and I flew the Luscombe from 6W6 to its new owner.
And so yet another Luscombe friendship has been fostered, with the aircraft placed into the hands of a true steward.
November 14th we had a Young Eagle rally for Boy Scout Troop 747 and students from Winfree Bryant Middle School. The weather was perfect and our chapter, once again, was amazing. I am blown away by the participation and excitement our chapter displays at all our events. This event was no exception. We had six pilots and planes and 15 ground crew members. I was in the air most of the time and there may have been other around crew members who’s names didn’t make it on the list. If you were there and we missed documenting it, please let me know with a reply email@example.com . Our chapter is growing every month because you (all members) make it so. Be sure to RSVP to Deborah Baugh at firstname.lastname@example.org and come to our end-of-year event, the coveted EAA 863 Christmas Party. Details are on the flier above.
Below are the volunteers from yesterday’s event:
Howard Holmes - C-172
Chuck Johnston - C-172
Jim Jones - C-182
Gary Piper - J-3 Piper Cub
Larry Pung - Piper Lance
Gary Soloway - C-172
Our traditional November meeting featuring “The Great Chili Cook-Off” was fantastic. We had a record crowd and a record number of chili entries. Everyone had a wonderful time. We even grew the chapter with new members Gary Soloway & Tricia Yates and Trevor & Jasmine Wilson. Be sure to seek them out and introduce yourselves at our Christmas party.
Chili recipe winners were:
1st Place Bill McNutt
2nd Place Faye Haynes
3rd Place Janet Piper
I can use your help at all chapter meetings and events. It seems I just can’t get the camera pulled out to document our time together in pictures. So, I’m asking you to nudge me a little at our events and ask if I’ve gotten any pictures. And since most everyone has a “smart phone”, to not be shy about shooting some pictures and sending them to me so I can share with the group in emails and website.
Please review the flier above for our Christmas party and if you haven’t done so, RSVP to Deborah at email@example.com
Thanks to the many volunteers, our breakfast, once again, was a tremendous success despite the threat of unfavorable weather. Head count indicated that we had 127 guests. Averaging the $6 donation amount from money collected indicates 177. As always, generous folks continue to throw more than the suggested donation into our jar. We couldn’t possibly thank them enough. When you see the size of our volunteer list, you will agree that we have a very strong, active EAA chapter that just keeps getting better.
Volunteer List - October Breakfast 2015
Mike (Big Foot) Russell
It’s quite possible that there were others. If you helped and you’re not on this list, first allow me to sincerely apologize and thank you, and please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know who you are.
Next year there are five 5th Saturdays starting with January and ending with December. We will do the middle 3 starting with April, then July and October.
Our November meeting is “The Great Chili Cook-Off” and will be on Thursday the 12th. Bring your best prepared chili recipe and compete for thousands of dollars. Okay…Not quite that much. But, it is a lot of fun. Side dishes and deserts are welcomed. We also vote on next year’s board members and officers. If you have considered participating in a leadership roll with our chapter, now is the time to let a board member know so we can get you plugged in.
And, we are flying a group of Boy Scouts on the 14th at 10:00. We need planes, pilots and ground crew. Y’all come.
Start thinking about what you would like to see happen with the chapter, including events, fly-outs and guest speakers for 2016 and make those thoughts known to a board member. This is your chapter and you deserve to help shape it.
Our breakfast was an overwhelming success. Doing the math using only money collected for breakfast, and using our suggested donation as the per person collected, we served over 200 folks. There were some who threw more than the suggested donation in the kitty. We also enrolled two more chapter members and sold 3 Bob Hoover DVDs. The line was out the hangar door most of the time. We were unable to keep up with the demand, but kept the fires burning and food runners running. We made one trip to the store to re-supply eggs, sausage and orange juice.
We served 40 dozen eggs, 18 lbs hash brown casserole, over 300 sausage patties, a lot of pancakes, french toast, biscuits & gravy, pastries, banana halves and orange slices, 6 gal orange juice and lots of coffee as well as decaf and bottled water.
The volunteer list follows and may be incomplete due to the busy-ness and loosing control of the list:
If you helped in any way, and your name isn’t here, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
Thank you very much. It was a lot of fun.
Don't miss the next one on October 31.
Our very special guest was our own Bruce Bolton, Ret. FAA. His presentation was on owner maintenance and the new Circular AC-23-27 and was assisted by his grandson Alex. He introduced us to Scott James, a FAST Team maintenance inspector from the Nashville FSDO who also talked about aircraft maintenance and safety. It was a very good meeting with a good attendance. Lots of good information and questions answered.
42 pint-sized students from Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville came by for some aviation theory and fun. Janet and Gary Piper along with Myron Lasater made sure they got what they came for. We all had a very fun time.
John McMahon and Billy Payne shared their stories of building and flying the Just Highlander.
Below is the trailer of a great documentary celebrating our home airport and it's colorful history. Below that is an excerpt featuring our chapter.
Our own Mike McGrew won the Bronze Lindy for a "plans built aircraft" at Oshkosh this year. He, along with fellow member Nelson Willis, flew his beautiful plans built Hatz for it's first visit to EAA AirVenture. Congratulations Mike on a job impeccably done.
The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to providing the bulk of US industrial output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great Lakes and their related industry.
However there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked.
Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We could.
But how did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)?
We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan!
Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships!
Sadly nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story.
Check out the USS Sable and USS Wolverine and see for yourself.
Newsletter/Web Editor: Gary Piper Email: email@example.com Phone: (615) 480-6471