|A Word from our Strike Leader|
State of the Chapter Address
On behalf of myself and the newly elected officers, I wish you all a happy and safe New Year. Have you noticed that the days are getting warmer and the sun stays brighter just a little longer each day? Now if the snowbanks would just cooperate and melt down to below the 4 foot level I might consider venturing out of the hanger.
The intent of this message is to detail, as a chapter, where we were, where we are , and where we wish to be. The Mid Hudson Aerobatic Club has been and continues to be an active and vocal chapter both regionally and on a national level. The club has been fortunate enough to have the diversity of being led by both national figures and authors to the non aerobatic flying enthusiast . I thank them for the hard work, dedication and volunteer spirit that has elevated this fine organization to its current status.
Our early membership roster is a veritable who’s who of aerobatic personalities. Such notables are Patty Wagstaff, Daniel and Montane Heuligion, Gerry Gerdes, Leo Laudenslager to mention a few. Today we are proud to claim two US team members (unlimited gliders) and three time World Aerobatic Contest participants, Charles Kalko and Walt Parrisch. Our roles also include such air show greats as Mike Mancuso of the "Northern Lights" and the dueling Ron’s, Dr. Smoke and Captain Spencer of the "Split Image Aerobatic Team". To balance out these public personalities there exists a dedicated cadre of competition pilots, judges, and volunteers that make an impressive contribution to regional competitions in the northeast....( As Kathy would say... the world’s aerobatic center of gravity)
Throughout the 1999 season, from Orange, Mass to West Hampton, LI, the B52's brought home a virtual forest of WOOD. We were well represented in the top three slots from basic thru advanced. From "The Mad Russian, Alex Belov The Conqueror" to "Iceman....he never makes a mistake, he just wears you down , you get bored, and then he’s got you...Larry Willson". From "Was I really that Low? Bubbaron Chadwick " to our ever-present and favorite "Toastmaster", Ron Spencer. Trust me, If you’ve never seen these guys in action you’re missing a lot.
The Y2K Season is already upon us ushered in by CIVA’s Contest of The Americas being held in late March in Arizona. The New Year offers new challenges and opportunities for chapter members. Many of us will be advancing to higher categories, some will be exercising their newly earned title of regional judge, while some of us will be entering our first competition.
Whether you are Basic or Unlimited, a recorder or a judge, a pilot or a bystander I trust you will be safe, you will enjoy yourselves and continue to uphold the best traditions of the chapter.
Aside from the eight regional contests this year, the is plenty to keep our members occupied. We will be hosting our 2nd Annual Kathy Jaffe Challenge in August. Many of us will seek out and obtain formal Spin training and unusual attitude exposure. We will continue to promote our Spin training initiative , both locally and on a national level.
We can rejoice in the generosity of so many of you that have made the perpetual Kathy Jaffe Spirit of Aerobatics Award a reality. The National 1999 award will be presented to a deserving individual at this year’s US Nationals competition in Texas. Special thanks goes to Ron Sag for all his hard work in making this happen.
I for one know of one person somewhere saying a silent thank you.
I wish to thank all of you who supported me as your interim president last year and will strive to perform to your expectations this year. I do, however, have a request. It is simple and compliance is a snap. My request is to "Get Involved." Every organization has a core nucleus of over achievers that tend to burn out from continued use. Our’s is no exception. I invite you to participate in "YOUR CLUB". Attend our meetings, engage in electronic debate, submit articles to our web site and newsletter.
But most of all, share in the fellowship of other individuals that mirror your passion for flying........no matter what the attitude.
Finally I’ll close with a simple prayer, often said by a dear friend over an open unicom channel after a particularly enjoyable day of flying.
Lord, thank you for the ability and the opportunity to fly with you this day, Amen