This year, the calendars were mailed out one day before a snow and ice storm took our power for five days. We hope you enjoy them. They are individually numbered and a few of them have notes on the back as to what we were watching on TV, doing around the airport, or thinking at the moment we stamped them. It takes us 2 full weeks of stamping, sorting, stuffing, printing, and transporting the things to get them sent, and that's after collecting and storing all the parts in our living room for a month.
Also this year, we received calls and emails from all over requesting calendars and it's good to know some people really do like them. Unfortunately, most of them were already spoken for. But, if you really want one, a few come back each year due to old addresses and we'll put them on our online store. As for those of you donating to the cause, we cannot thank you enough for your support. We will continue to do everything in our power to provide you a safe haven, a wildlife sanctuary of sorts, for pilots. The calendars though will see a change.
These calendars have become such a big project that the allocation method is changing. Starting today, there are 1500 slots for calendars. As the year goes on and you attend an event, contribute to the airport fund, volunteer, or save the day for us somehow as so many of you have, your name will go into one calendar slot. Then as the year goes on, our list will make itself and when the slots are filled, there's no thinking left to do on our part...much easier.
The calendar photo (top) is of the three mail planes that visited here in September and it barely won out over the other photo seen here on the left. The motto? Look around for a calendar to see what it is.
LIMITED EDITION CALENDARS ARE AVAILABLE FROM OUR ONLINE STORE: CLICK HERE
As we mentioned in our calendar donation letter, a well managed stand of grass retains large amounts of carbon dioxide. Thus, we urged everyone to contribute to the airport fund so that we could better manage the turf and save the world (chuckle). But how do you spot well managed grass? One way is to use a test section and then compare it to other areas not managed and that's what we did.
Last year Ginger put together a turf management program for the airport that she was sure would help. To see how much and test it out, we then applied it only to the core of the runway. Expecting to see the results from this highly scientific study in March or April, we then proceeded to put it out of our minds for a while. But then one day back in early February, yes February, we were out walking the dogs when we noticed something about the runway. Easily discernable on that winter day was an amazingly rich green strip of grass right down the middle. It was so obvious that I had to take a photo to show you. Although it did not turn out as well as it looked in person, I think you will easily be able to see where we managed the turf (left side of photo) and did not. Thanks to all of you who contribute to the airport fund. Because of you, things are looking greener.
Speaking of Green, we have restocked our online store to include more "Grass Runways, The Green Alternative" apparel. These olive drab t-shirts with military type stenciling have been very popular and if you want something unique to wear while flying, be sure to order one from our online store while we still have them.
AOPA's Scubs Fly-In
The news of AOPA scrubbing their fly-in in an effort to reach more people may have seemed unbelievable to many, but for us the reaction was pleasant surprise. We are excited to see AOPA adopting a concept that has been missing from all our aviation organizations. Reaching out to the whole of aviation and beyond is dearly needed and this is why we have always pushed for it.
Marketing, real quality marketing, the kind that actually works, has been absent from aviation since before WWII (exception Cirrus). Basically put, the aviation companies that have been in existence since then get an F- on their report cards. The problem is that aviation was built on dreams and never moved beyond dreamers as its target market. Unfortunately though, for todays aviation companies, if they are to survive and thrive, looking beyond Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun for business will be required. Sadly, few of them are equipped to do so.
This is where the outreach part of AOPA's "Let's Go Flying" campaign could truly help. To make a real impact though, we feel the group should make one small adjustment to this effort. If AOPA truly wants this to work, it will treat it as if it were a market research team for all of aviation instead of a mere outreach group. AOPA's job is to promote aviation and to insure it has a strong and positive standing in society. We belive this is AOPA's intention but what good is a group without an industry? If the business of flying machines is to succeed, it needs to do so on its own legs and to do so will require much more than builiding good aircraft and relying on goodwill generated by an alphabet group. Perhaps this campaign could be more than goodwill and offer fresh insight into potential new markets and "intelligence" to the companies that wish to remain viable.
We look forward to learning what the folks at AOPA pull from their experiences. We also encourage them to visit more "real aviation" events and all the places that potential pilots may exist outside aviation. If the program stays on course and is refined, we feel it will provide many inroads to new owners and aviators, and more importanly, some great insight to our industry for marketing to the broader market.
One last thing, we love AOPA's motto for the outreach program, "Let's go flying". How sad is it that this is a unique idea in aviation???
Another Great Project & Mystery Possibly Solved
The things we get through email often leave me longing for a "CRAP - Auto Delete" function. Reality, though, dictates that we sift through everything to find the morsels of great interest. These items come along about once a month and really cool ones maybe three times a year.
Here's the latest really cool one. It came to us when a friend sent an email with a reference to parts being made for a replica aircraft being built from scratch. We quickly took a look at the website mentioned, sent some emails, asked for a reference, and eventually ended up talking to one of the builders of a Lockheed Altair.
If you don't know what this is, you are missing out. These planes are machines of legend and to see one being built is a great surprise to us and many others. Yet there's more to this story.
One of the two partners recreating this wonderful flying machine is none other than the NTSB's Director of Safety, Tom Haueter. He and his partner Steve Berkman, are moving right along on this project and we can't wait to see it fly.
The photos you see here show the fuselage in its jig and when I talked to Tom, they were ready to start the sheeting. Look for this beauty at Lee Bottom in the future...I made him promise to bring it.
Last Minute Addition: The photo to the left is of the Lady Southern Cross, arguably the most famous Altair. It has been missing for a very long time and somebody thinks they've found it. [CLICK HERE]
Changes Happening at EAA
Those of you with complaints about EAA now have reason to speak up. As I'm sure you all know by now, the legendary Paul Poberezny has stepped down from the EAA Board of Directors and Tom will be filling his position. Paul, the last holdout of real aviators in Headquarters, takes with him the only dissenting voice ever heard by Tom. Unfortunately, this also means Tom's position will have to be filled.
Why did I say unfortunately? Here's why; it has long been known to the corporate world that you never let the President choose his successor. The tendency of humans in this position is to select someone, consciously or sub-consciously, who will not outshine them. Responsible boards who have the organization's best interest at heart know this and never let this happen. Unfortunately though, I believe this is what will happen with EAA.
What you will likely be told is that the board will choose this person. Yet please remember it has already been announced that Tom, as Chairman of The Board, will lead the effort to find the new leader. On the surface this sounds alright but as a good many people seem to believe, the other members of the Board would not be on the board in the first place if they didn't have Tom's approval and high dollar memberships to this exclusive club. So what can you expect and what can you do?
Expect to see candidates (if we're allowed to know before the vote) that are similar to the current board members. These would be CEO types described as successful, real leaders, experienced at working with Washington, and as having some low level attachment to aviation that will be tailored to sound much greater than it really is. An example of this would be, "Richard Cranium III earned his pilots license while going to law school and early in his career at AIG (Chase, General Motors, other failing company, etc.), Richard strategically used his father's Bonanza to fast track depositions".
If you are still awake, what you can do is call EAA HQ and chew on their ears, and from here on out when you renew your membership, do not sign the line that gives certain EAA directors the power to vote for you by proxy. Again unfortunately, since EAA will not allow you a easy method with which to vote for important matters, you will then have to go to Oshkosh and vote. And since this too is difficult for many people to do, yet you should instead tell them you want ballots in the magazines. That's what I see as the future and your options.
Last Minute Addition: We are and have often been told by the people who run the companies in which we hold stock, the country in which we reside, and the groups in which we participate, that ivy league educations, experience at the helm of large companies, and large bank accounts indicate a mysteriously indescribable but present ability to take care of you and make everything better and great. This, I believe, is total horse-crap and if you are willing to look, you can see the examples all around us.
How many businesses are failing right now under the watch of these people? How many of them did you watch two years ago as they told the world that they saw no problems ahead? Meanwhile, while you of lesser education, experience, and bank account sat there saying to yourself, "B___ S____, a house cannot go up 30% in value each year indefinitely"? Yet as citizens and members, we have been and repeatedly are told that we simply do not stack up against these great talents of the world and thus we should get out of their way and let them take care of us.
I don't know about you but I'm pretty F'N tired of these people and am ready to see some real leadership, from real people, with real life experiences. How about you?
Great Restoration Shop
Ever heard of the Posey Brothers restoration shop? If not, you are not alone.
Often the best restoration shops are the ones you've never heard of and this one fits firmly in that category.
The folks at this shop have been cranking out some of the most beautiful, rare, and exciting aircraft returned to the air in recent history. Yet, when I asked around I was surprised to find many people had no idea who they were.
This was no surprise to Mike Posey when I mentioned it to him. He said that for the most part, they've never advertised and never had to. "Somehow, the really unique ones seem to find their way here on their own", was the reply. To me though, what was great about his response was the total lack of arrogance behind it. Often seeming amazed that people show up at their shop with these airplanes, he sounded more like a kid that had yet to realize the talent he and his brother possess. While I was there, these guys had a line-up of numerous projects that included among other things an Alexander Eaglerock, Bird, Pitcairn Auto-gyro, Pitcairn Mailwing (model), and the last of its kind Stearman M-2 that is soon to fly.
Thanks to the guys for showing me around and inviting me to stay longer. Knowing one of the biggest obstacles to completion of projects are the impromptu tours that always seem to materialize, I turned the offer down but vowed to return another day. I can't wait to see all those Pitcairns out in the sun.
Check out the Posey Brothers' website to see their great work.
Lee Bottom Flying Field Heroes
At the 2008 Wood, Fabric, & Tailwheels Fly-In, we had more volunteers than there were attendees at the first fly-in only 12 years prior. It is this group of people that allow us to continue to grow the amount of activities, events, and amenities that we offer during events. In addition to the fly-in event, there were volunteers helping throughout the year with other events and airport upkeep.
Take a look at our updated webpage for volunteers [CLICK HERE] and watch the video tribute to our 2008 Volunteers!
You are the Lee Bottom Heroes!
Everyone appreciates the small things that you do to keep this general aviation airport operating for everyone to enjoy.
Of course, we could use your help again this year. . .
We are looking for people to help with: - Sinful Sunday events (12 - 15 people) - Set up of the Sinful Sunday events on the day before (3 people). - Fly-in volunteers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (80 - 100)
The volunteer sign-up form is now available from the website. [CLICK HERE]
And, as always, if you have a special talent that you think would benefit the airport, please let us know.
In future editions of NORDO News, look for upcoming airport beautification and work days.
Lastly, Ginger is searching for 3 individuals that are willing to work with her to become responsible for specific areas of the fly-in: - Volunteers - Sponsors - Vendors Please, only volunteer for these if you have the time to make phone calls, attend meetings or teleconferences, and want to be responsible for the successful implementation of these areas! We have ideas and planning for each of these but the event has grown to a point we can't do it all ourselves. We are working on these things NOW and could use your help if you're up for it. Contact Us if you are interested.
IN THE NEWS . . .
You'll want to pop some popcorn and watch Aero-TV's production from the 2008 Wood, Fabric, and Tailwheels Fly-In. Aero-TV 2008 Fly-In Part 1 Aero-TV 2008 Fly-In Part 2 In 2002, Ray Johnson attended the Wood, Fabric, & Tailwheels Fly-In to film a production shown on Marion Indiana's community network called Fly-In Cruise-In (after the fabulous fly-in that is held at the Marion Airport as a fund raiser for the local band). These have recently been converted to online YouTube videos. It's interesting to see the differences made to the event in 6 years. Fly In Cruise In 2002 Rich Fly In Cruise In 2002 Ginger
Last year, Sam and Mindy Lyons gave us a few numbered prints titled "Lee Bottom Bird". They offered them to us to help in our fundraising efforts. We tossed around several ideas on how to use them and decided the first one would go to a person or organization who made a contribution to the airport fund.
We put everyone from last year's donation list in the hat, had a neighbor reach in to draw one out, and David and Beth Phelps are the winners. If you can't remember what it looks like, on the right is a photo of Sam and Rich holding the original. Congratulations to the Phelps for winning a numbered print of this great painting.
If you are looking for some great aviation artwork, be sure to visit Sam's website.
If not, it's time to get on it. We've already been getting calls about the event so be sure to make your plans early.
Everywhere we turn, we are reading about companies laying off employees but not us. Lee Bottom Flying Field has increased its staff by 25%. Sky, the Border Collie on the left, showed up on our doorstep and she fits right in as there is no room for gray areas in this house, only black and white. We'll be training her to stay away from props so you might see us working with her while you are working the pattern.
Ginger recently finished making her first ever batch of Maple Syrup. The majority of the sap came from the Maple tree next to the cabin and it's really, really good. Look for a few bottles to be available at an upcoming Sinful Sunday event.
It has been a while since the last issue of NORDO News. We took some time off and waited to see how people reacted to the Large Aircraft Security Proposal before deciding to continue with it. We were both getting pretty worn down from good people wringing their hands and doing nothing and had decided that despite all our supporters, if aviation as a whole didn't speak out against this ridiculous proposal, then it was not worth saving and we would stop the events and newsletter. Our thinking was that if nobody cared, why should we. To say we were very burned out would be putting it lightly.
Now though, it appears that aviation is finding its voice and we feel comfortable moving forward with even more ideas and new ways to have fun with flying. We hope you do too. Although a decision on the LASP has yet to be handed down, it is great to see good people speak up and put the pressure on these morons at the TSA, HSA, and FAA. Freedom is not free. Keep up the pressure and turn up the temperature. Now more than ever is the time to remind them that you will not stand for this garbage. Oh, and thanks for everything, past, present, and future.
Cub Crafters was a gracious sponsor of the 2008 Wood, Fabric, and Tailwheels Fly-In. Since they were unable to make it due to weather, we are running this ad for them to help sell one of their planes.
FOR SALE! • Outstanding 2008 Sport Cub S2 for sale. This aircraft is a factory demo, located in Atlanta, GA. 110 Hours TT, Continental O-200, with S2 package, Upgraded VFR panel (Garmin 496, XM weather, Garmin COM, and Garmin XPDR), Sensenich Composite Ground Adjustable Propeller, Lighting / Strobe package, AOSS Suspension, Alaska Bushwheel 26" Tundra Tires (may be exchanged for buyer's tire choice), Scott 3200 style Tailwheel. Lots of carbon fiber makes for very light, great performing airplane! Contact Chip Allen - Telephone: 770-364-1556 . 770-993-4392 . Fax: 770-998-2430
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2009 BARNSTORMER CABIN RESERVATIONS
We are now accepting reservations for the Barnstormer Cabin for 2009. We provide this quaint little cabin for weary travelers from Memorial Day Weekend until Mid October. If you plan to be traveling through the area, we'd love to have you visit. See information about rates and availability on our website. [CLICK HERE]
COKE MACHINE NEEDS REPLACED
One of Rich's first contributions to the airport was to help deliver and set-up a coke machine. He tells the story of George Pascal and himself hauling this thing to the airport like it was yesterday. However, it has set on the porch running non-stop for over 11 years and in the process has provided many a weary traveler with a cold drink. Now though, it has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced. If you know of one for sale reasonably in our area, please let us know as we are looking for one.