News & Pictures

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!


Harry Andonian's 93rd Birthday - 08February2017

On Wednesday, February 8th a group of Harry Andonian's friends gathered at the Snuffer's restaurant in Greenville, TX to celebrate Harry's 93rd birthday.

Dennis Mathis and Karen Smith organized a very nice celebration for Harry complete with a custom made birthday card, a cake large enough to hold 93 candles (just kidding), and some special guests. The custom made birthday day included a picture of Harry's beautiful Debonair and the words "The Man, The Myth, The Legend" on the front cover. The birthday cake might have been able to hold 93 candles but we had to be out of the restaurant before the sun went down so a #9 candle and a #3 candle were used instead.

Mr. Mathis made a few introductory remarks (as if anyone could stop him) and presented Harry with his birthday card. Mr. Mathis then introduced Mayor Dreiling who had a few words to say before he read the City Proclamation to commemorate and recognize Harry's birthday. It was a very nice touch - The Proclamation. The Mayor was followed by the City Manager, Massoud Ebrahim. Massoud had a few words to say before he gave Harry quite a few gifts from his bag of City of Greenville stuff. Massoud followed up with a short, personal story about his friendship with Harry. Clarke Erwin and Joe Rector stood up and also had some kind words to say about Harry.

Lunch was served, iced tea was spilled, a few lies were likely told, and a mini-reunion occurred (Clint Logwood and Ty Helton). The candles were lit, a rousing but off key rendition of Happy Birthday was sung, the candles were blown out, the birthday cake was cut, and the sugar rush was enjoyed by all.

It was a nice celebration for a man we all admire and respect. And as a closing note that so completely defines Harry as we think of him, it should be noted that Harry's actual birthday was Saturday, February 11th. Why didn't we celebrate his birthday on Saturday you might ask? Because Harry was flying to Georgia that day in his beautiful Debonair to celebrate his birthday with his family. Way to go Harry!

Many thanks to Dennis Harwell and Theo Hughes for the pictures.


Club Meeting - 26January 2017

The Majors Flying Club (MFC) held a Membership meeting on Thursday, January 26, 2017 in the hangar clubhouse. The get together featured tasty pizza, board member elections, the presentation of a couple of certificates, delicious Gordon Hay brownies, and a presentation by Harry Andonian.

Six boxes of hot and tasty pizza were delivered to our door around 5 p.m. It didn't take long for the majority of the pizza to disappear in the first fifteen minutes. If you got there much later than 5:30 p.m., you probably would been out of luck (sorry about that Manning). In between gasps of air whilst chowing down on the pizza, several folks were spotted attacking the "stack o' brownies". Gordon's brownies were as spectacular as ever.

MFC President Dennis Mathis called the meeting to order at 5:40 p.m. and promptly banished the non-members to the hangar so that the board member elections could be held. Mr.'s Dennis Harwell and Joe Rector conducted the election with parliamentary precision and a strict adherence to the club by-laws. After a furious round of nominations and with the threat of a filibuster finally put to bed, the following list of nominees was presented: Mark Armstrong, Dennis Guinn, Dennis Harwell, Dennis Mathis, and Denis Rottler. The pattern should be obvious - three of the nominees spell their first name incorrectly and we aren't sure how the fourth nominee made it through the first name filter criteria for the board. Be that as it may, with unanimous approval of the MFC members present, the list of nominees was voted in to serve as members of the board for 2017.

Dennis Mathis presented Mr. Young Lee with his solo certificate (picture on the left above). Young soloed in the might Cessna on November 30, 2016 and is under the tutelage of Mr. Mathis. Mike Zimmerman was also presented with a very nice, etched, black glass plaque to commemorate Mike's 10 years of service as the primary A&P mechanic of the club airplanes (picture on the right above). We have Mike to thank for the reliability of the club airplanes due to regular maintenance, periodic inspections, and the annuals. Thanks Mike!

With the business part of the meeting concluded, the audience was treated to a presentation by Harry Andonian on his favorite of his favorite airplanes, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. As Harry said, "all of the planes I flew were my favorites, but the F-4 was my favorite of my favorites". As you know, Harry has had quite a storied career in aviation, is our local hero, has a road in Greenville named after him, and has too many accolades to mention. It seems like the logbook is now up to 27,300 hours!!! As usual, Harry entertained us with his stories about his time in a variety of F-4 models in the Vietnam era. Well done Harry.