News & Pictures

2017 Ground School Graduation - 10May2017

The students of the 2017 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, 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 8th with twenty-one (21) registered students and as usual went for fourteen (14) weeks and was completed on May 10th with thirteen (13) 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 year, for the first time in the history of conducting these classes, we were not able to hold the classes on the same night of the week every week which added a level of scheduling difficulty for both the students and the instructors. Thankfully our President, Mr. Dennis Mathis, has resolved this issue for 2018. The resolution will allow all fourteen (14) sessions to once again occur on the same day of the week.

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. One member of the 2017 class has already been out for a pseudo flying lesson and at least one member has already passed the written FAA Ground School exam in preparation for starting flying lessons. Additionally in the last week of June 2017, two former ground school students (2015 & 2016) who are taking flying lessons through the MFC completed their first solo flights! It is never too late to get started learning how to fly.

The classes for 2018 will start in February. Stay tuned to the website for details regarding the 2018 Private Pilot Ground School class.


Spring Scout Aviation Workshop - 22Apr2017

As you can tell from the pictures below Saturday, April 22, 2017 started out as a fairly blustery morning. The scouts enjoyed a thunderstorm on their Friday evening camp out (which turned into an inside event) and were greeted with some brisk north winds and cool temperatures on Saturday morning. You can also tell from the pictures of scouts in shorts and the adults in jackets and long pants which group received the weather memo. The Spring Scout Aviation Workshop for 2017 was another well attended and well run event.

Around fifty-five (55) scouts attended as well as their Scout Leaders and some of their parents. The Scouts started their morning with an introduction to Harry Andonian, our local aviation hero, and were held spellbound in the FBO while Harry told them about his aviation career and shared several of his many flying stories. Following Harry's talk, the Scouts were assigned to a variety of airplanes in order to learn how to conduct a pre-flight inspection which was followed by demonstrating their newly learned knowledge by conducting their own pre-flight inspection. At the conclusion of the pre-flight event the folks in dispatch began assigning the scouts to the five (5) flying airplanes and after several sorties all of the scouts who were eligible to fly and who wanted to fly got a ride! The girl scouts who attended also participated in the pre-flight event and a map reading event although their rules do not allow them to go flying. As the scouts finished their flight they attended and built model airplanes to satisfy the requirements of the badge. With the flights concluded, everyone including the pilots, the aircraft marshallers, the volunteers, the scouts, their leaders, and the parents enjoyed a Subway lunch compliments of the Scout troops.

It takes quite a few volunteers to successfully orchestrate and conduct this event and the Majors Flying Club is very thankful to the folks who donated their time and airplanes to help make this event successful and safe for the scouts and to the skilled photographers who documented the event.

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


Hangar Traffic Pattern - 10March2017

Our Maintenance Officer, Dennis Guinn, saw something in a hangar at the Gainesville airport (KGLE) that he thought would benefit our students receiving their primary flight training. Check out the traffic pattern he installed on the hangar floor on the left side of the Cessna. As you can see from the pictures the traffic pattern includes a 45 degrees entry to the downwind leg for both 17 & 35 as well as the downwind, base, and final legs for 17 & 35. The idea is for the students receiving their primary training to practice radio calls while "flying" the pattern in the hangar. There is a lot going on in those first couple of flying lessons and then the instructor wants you to talk on the radio all at the same time! The instructor, or another pilot, can act as a controller or another aircraft in the pattern when the tower is closed, to simulate radio calls as the student walks the pattern and makes the appropriate calls and adjustments to the aircraft at the appropriate places in the pattern. We temporarily disabled the video and audio monitoring in the hangar so don't be shy about practicing. It might save you a few dollars if you can get comfortable practicing on the ground versus in the airplane.


Wash & Wax Party - 04March2017


On the morning of Saturday, March 4th just a little before 10 a.m. the faithful started streaming into the Majors Flying Club hangars. It was a cool, breezy, and cloudy morning and not the best weather to wash and wax airplanes. Nonetheless ALL sixteen (16) folks who volunteered to help over the last couple of weeks showed up and got after it.

Our Maintenance Officer, Dennis Guinn, had all the towels, soap, buckets, hoses, washing pads, belly degreasing stuff, and cleaning materials laid out, organized, and ready to go. Around 10:10 a.m. we started on the interior and the belly degreasing effort with the airplanes in the hangar. Alysia Hall took on the interior of the Cessna and worked hard to get the windows and upholstery cleaned and the carpet vacuumed. Mike Smith, our newest member, tackled the interior of the Archer and worked equally hard to get it all clean and shiny. In a parallel effort, two swarms of folks attacked the belly of both the Archer and the Cessna for the degreasing effort. Last year Mr. Guinn experimented with mineral spirits and one of those gas station window washing squeegee/foam pad things with a handle that are normally sitting in brown water at the gas stations as a way to degrease the belly. It works so well and it so much easier than towels that it is now our standard method of degreasing our airplanes. In any case, two folks per airplane were using the tool to apply the mineral spirits while several other folks with towels were wiping off the excess and making the bellies shine. Around 10:40 a.m. the planes were pulled out of the hangar and the washing began. It was very cool to see both airplanes on the ramp at the same time, with six (6) to eight (8) people per airplane working on the planes. The airplanes were dried off and back in the hangar by around 11:10 a.m. Fresh towels, applicator pads, and bottles of wax were broken out and the wax job commenced. Again, it was very cool to see that many folks working on both airplanes at the same time.

Somewhere between the washing and waxing effort, Joe Rector, our Assistant Treasurer and head Chef, showed up with the goodies for a scrumptious burger, brat, and hot dog lunch. Chips, potato salad, sausage queso, a full tray of lettuce, onions, and cheese, relishes, and condiments were all available to dress out a nice plate of food. Cookies AND a tray of the inimitable Gordon Hay brownies anchored the dessert end of the food table. It must have been the wonderful aroma of burgers, brats, and hot dogs on the grill that helped us get across the finish line because we were essentially finished with the Wash & Wax effort for both airplanes by noon! Chef Rector lead us in a blessing and the chow line was open for business.

As you can see from the pictures, no one liked the lunch. We set up some tables under the Cessna wing and commenced with some of that hangar camaraderie stuff and the devouring of Joe's offerings. The President, Dennis Mathis, said a few words and thanked the folks for showing up in force. But really, it was the Chance at $5000 that everyone was waiting for. The 5X Cash Scratch Off tickets were passed out and it seems like there were three winners of $1 each. It turns out it was not much of a chance at $5000.

A couple of follow on notes of interest:
During lunch, we heard air "escape" from the Cessna. Upon further review, it was discovered that the nose wheel tire had gone flat. Check out the pictures of the clean and shiny Cessna with its nose wheel off the ground. Mike Smith and Dennis Guinn took care of the repair. It was particularly fortuitous timing as the Cessna was scheduled for a 1300 flight. It looked like the valve stem had gotten misaligned over time with the opening in the wheel rim which ultimately sheared off the valve stem at the inner tube. Better for it to fail in the hangar than on landing.

Check out the shine on the red paint of the Cessna! Gordon Hay brought his "stuff" which included a polishing compound and an electric buffer. In a relatively short period of time, Gordon had the red paint popping on the Cessna. It has not shined like that in more than a couple of years. Excellent job Gordon. Have a brownie on us!

As you know, the club has an arrangement with Harvest Aviation and their Cherokee. Regular club members have access to that airplane just as if it was one of the club airplanes. The owner offered the club a generous donation to wash the Cherokee so since we had everything set up and some extra people power, we asked Tom Hubert to taxi that bad boy over to the wash station so we could wash and dry it. By this time it had gotten a bit cooler and even though the volunteers had already satisfied their commitment, several of them pitched in to help get the Cherokee washed.

Many, many thanks to everyone who showed up. The primary goal was to get the airplanes cleaned up and that was accomplished very efficiently and with excellent results. You can't argue with around two hours start to finish to get two airplanes all cleaned up and back in the barn. The best part though is the chance to get to know the other members of the club, a chance for folks to get more involved in the club, and the buzz of the camaraderie from hangar flying. Clean airplanes are nice, but hanging out is what everyone would rather do. While not a goal, it is a nice benefit to this kind of an event and it seems like that square was covered as well.

Speaking of camaraderie, keep an eye out for details for the Second Majors Field Fly Out of 2017. We are currently working on a fly out event for Saturday, April 15th. Details to follow when we firm up some of the specifics. For the months of May and June we are working on a trip to Mt. Pleasant (KOSA) to tour the Mid America Flight Museum and a Happy Hour, Potluck Dinner, Hangar Movie night. Stay tuned!

Check out the flyer for the Spring Wash & Wax Party


Majors Field Fly Out - KDUA and the Choctaw Casino - 11February2017

The first Majors Field Fly Out of 2017 was a very successful and fun event. We picked Butterfields Buffet in the Choctaw Casino as our breakfast destination for several reasons. Since this was our first attempt at organizing this type of an event, we picked something fairly close and fairly easy to get in and out of to test the waters. The Durant-Eaker Airport (KDUA) is served by the shuttles from the Choctaw Casino so transportation was not an issue and breakfast was only $7.99. KDUA is only 54 NM from KGVT, just across the Red River, has a good runway, and a nice terminal. Besides, who doesn't want a shot at being a millionaire right after breakfast?

On Saturday morning around 0730 CST, people and airplanes started showing up at Majors Field. The initial plan was to fly the Archer, the Cessna, and the Cherokee but due to the windy conditions and expected headwinds on the return trip, we decided to leave the Cessna in the barn. Clarke Erwin flew his 182T over from Aero Country and we ended up in a three plane gaggle carrying a total of nine (9) people. It was fairly windy and gusty at Majors but it was pretty much down the runway. The clouds were at about 2100' AGL with clear skies reported around the Bonham area. Clarke led the charge with Ned Howard, Manning Mann, and Joe Rector as passengers. The Archer followed with Dennis Guinn in the left seat, Jason Anthraper in the right seat, and Denis Rottler in the back. Mark Armstrong had our backs in the Cherokee with Bill Schatz in the right seat. We blasted off around 0750 CST and stayed below the clouds for a while and got bumped around a bit. We used 123.45 MHz as our interplane frequency and received reports of clear skies ahead from Clarke. The skies cleared around Bonham, we got a little altitude, and the ride smoothed out. Pretty uneventful flight after that. Clarke had some issues with planes in the pattern at KDUA not being on the radio but it all worked out.

Getting a ride on the shuttle couldn't be easier. The direct number is posted in the terminal and just a few minutes later the shuttle picked us up for a 3 minute ride to the casino. The breakfast buffet was a breakfast buffet. Trays of eggs, sausage patties and links, bacon, tater tots, some fruit, and some pastries. It was okay for $7.99 but probably not a destination breakfast location. The siren call of the casino eventually made its way to our breakfast table and the hopefuls made a break for it. A meeting time of 1100 CST was selected and at 1100 CST it seems like there was one $15 winner in the group. The shuttle took us back to the terminal, we loaded up, and headed south. The wind was still up but again it was mostly down the runway. The skies were clear and the headwinds at 3500' and 5500' were negligible. On the return trip the Archer was the first to land followed by the Cherokee and then by Clarke and company. All three planes were on the ground by around 1230 CST.

The idea behind these events is primarily an excuse to fly somewhere with secondary goals of encouraging ride sharing in order to share the fun of flying and to stimulate some camaraderie around Majors Field. It seems like the event touched on all of those goals with the passengers enjoying the trip as much as the pilots.

We are already planning the next event. Stay tuned!