2017 UFO Events
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May 20, 2017 - On Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, there were ten UFO members and assorted wives, friends and UFO wannabe's who showed up for the first ever Tri-State (FL, AL, GA) Regional meeting at Marianna Florida. The venue was a former AFB Base (Graham Air Base) and was held in conjunction with the 70th annual Armed Forces Day Fly In. Coincidentally, the event organizer, Retired General Jim Hart (who is the recently appointed Area Representative for Northern Florida), was born on the land now occupied by the Marianna Municipal Airport. The noon meeting on Saturday was preceded on Friday evening by an FAA FAAST presentation on BasicMed. Then on Saturday there was an encore presentation by the FAA spokesman for those who were unable to attend the earlier meeting. Plans are already underway for the Second Annual Friendship Meeting on May 19, 2018. Mark your calendars now for what will surely be an even better event.
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May 17, 2017 - Fifty-four UFO members and guests convened at the Danbury, CT airport for the UFO Northeast Region Annual Fly-In. Roland Toutant made the trip with his wife Helene in his Enstrom helicopter. They shared the ramp with eighteen other UFO aircraft that came to the event including Jack Bart’s beautiful Grumman Mallard sea plane. The cameras of Chanel 12 TV rolled while members climbed aboard for a close up look at the interior and the cockpit of this very special plane.
Next the TV crew focused on UFO member Jack Rosen and the award winning RV9A that he built just a few years ago and Tom Osborne’s Glastar that Tom built in a second floor room of his house in New Hampshire.
When the time came for pre-arranged visits to the tower they were unable to accommodate us due to an emergency in progress at the field. A plane enroute to Danbury was in trouble when the engine quit about 10 miles out. It turned out to be our own Russ McFarlan in his Cessna Skyhawk who made it safely to the airport with the help of a re-start in the air. Diagnosis – vapor lock. Later, Russ flew the plane home without incident.
The ramp was a beehive of activity with 18 planes, 1 helicopter, a fire truck, a bunch of firefighters all suited up, a television crew and UFO pilots milling about. Then it was time for lunch. Those who drove to the event transported those who flew.
The food was good, the conversation even better as we all sat down and, as Bill Weber would say, told stories to each other about how good we used to be. First timer Vince Calio summed it up in an email to Bob Barker - “beyond my expectations…totally enjoyable on so many levels. … a very successful and memorable event.”
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May 17, 2017 - Twenty-eight guests attended the NW Oregon UFO and Wright Brothers Master Pilot meeting at the Salem Airport. The weather was marginal but a few flew in to the meeting. Bert Zimmerly, our regional rep, brought some new people who will become UFOs. There were several new members including Steve Fusco (95) and his wife from Medford and a large group from Independence Air Park. Of course Bill Webber and his son Rick drove in from Spokane.
Rick Webber gave a presentation on the Basic Med program, followed up by Curt Cowley, the FAA man from Hillsboro, who talked about the newer gentler FAA and their relaxed enforcement program.
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May 16, 2017 - Forty-one guests originally signed up for the NW Washington UFO and Wright Brothers Master Pilots meeting near Paine field (PAE) in Everett. The weather was very wet with a new pile of snow in the mountains. We had 6 cancellations, but by the beginning of the lunch, 6 extras showed up so it was a wash. Al Powers is our local man who organizes and helps plan all of the meetings in Everett. So lots of folks drove, including Don Fleck, a new member from Wenatchee, and Bill Webber from Spokane. Lunch was provided by the great folks at the culinary school, Sno-Isle Tech Center called the Le Bistro.
Randal Franke, a local Physician/AME, gave a great presentation on the new Basic Med program. He covered all the points and answered many questions. Jean Impouli from the FAA talked about the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and how to apply. Basil Debnekoff attended and was our oldest member there at age 95.
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May 10, 2017 - Over 40 Texas UFO members and guests congregated in Fredericksburg (T82) to celebrate the first “Deep in the Heart of Texas” UFO meeting. It was a coordinated effort on the part of three Texas Area Representatives (North Central Jim Cavender, South Central John Larrison and Southeast Dan Nicholson) to spread the word and drive participation.
The weather wasn’t perfect (016 OVC), but the food, the company and presentations were. Fixin’s included BBQ, cobbler and iced tea (what would you expect in Texas?), and presentations were made to the oldest and farthest traveled participant. The day’s highlight was a “Basic Med” presentation by TxDOT Aviation Director, David Fulton, who encouraged us to all consider the new Basic Med program, a program which eases the medical requirements for casual flyers. (See AC 68-1 for detailed information.)
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Apr 5, 2017 - 20 of us gathered in SLO (San Luis Obispo) for good time, good food and some really great stories.
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Mar 22, 2017 - Eleven UFO members, three spouses and assorted relatives, preachers, acquaintances and well-wishers gathered at Woodring Regional Airport (KWDG) in Enid, Oklahoma on March 22nd to celebrate the birthday of Vernon Foster who, on that day, became the newest UFO centenarian member. In spite of iffy weather, five members in four aircraft flew in for the festivities. The love and camaraderie in the room was absolutely palpable. All of us can only hope that when we turn 100, we'll be as spry and alert as Vern! Happy Birthday, Vern.
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Mar 18, 2017 - A great group of UFO members from Southeast Texas met for lunch and a great visit on Saturday, March 18, at the Aviator’s Grill at David Wayne Hooks Airport (KDWH) in Spring, Texas. (Spring is about 17 miles northwest of Houston KIAH.) Those in attendance included Roger Hoestenbach, Bobby Jackson, Charley Smith, Albin and Annie Steiner, Al Dean, Hank Wunderlich (92) and John Steiger (who was flown in by his two grandsons in their Cessna 185). What a sight, Granddad and two young grandsons! Also, we had James Tyns and Harold Moore from Fairfield, uptown Dallas in East Texas! We discussed our upcoming statewide luncheon meeting in Fredericksburg, Texas, scheduled for Wednesday, May 10.
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Feb 13, 2017 - We had 14 pilots at our UFO Redding Airport lunch meeting. 5 new members flew in. Two of them have many Angel Flights to their credit.
Our scheduled meeting for Wednesday was to be another rain day! So today, two days early, we had a wonderful meeting and an excellent flying day.
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Feb 8, 2017 - WE'VE SET A NEW RECORD! North Texas UFOs gathered at the Spring Creek Restaurant in Burleson on February 8. There were fifteen members present along with one spouse (Ilse Williams) and one UFO wannabe (Norm Rathje). Dick Williams was there to give us the lowdown on ADS-B. Judging from the Q&A session, a lot of us have some serious learning to do between now and January 2020. Next up - May 3 (probably). Stay tuned.