Board Chairman’s Comments
by Will Roberson
New Swift Museum Foundation President – Jim “Frog” Jones. It is a great personal pleasure to announce and introduce Swift’s new President… Jim “Frog” Jones. As you might recall, the board voted in November to start a search for a qualified candidate to spearhead Swift’s interests in the aviation community and to keep Swift focused on initiatives that will keep us moving ahead and viable as an organization for many years to come. We are indeed fortunate that Jim, recently retired VP from Dixie Industrial Finishing and a dedicated and passionate Swift owner for over 40 years decided that the relaxed retirement mode was not for him. His leadership in the metal finishing industry was known in both national and international circles… and his work with other companies, State and US Congressional figures made a positive and lasting impact. Now he will turn his talents to some of our pressing issues at Swift.
More importantly for us, he has been an ardent Swift activist in almost every aspect of Swift. Early in his flying career, Frog, seeing a Swift on the airport where he was learning to fly was overwhelmed by “the most beautiful airplane he had ever seen.” Buying a Swift was an absolute “no brainer”…. He had to have it! He bought his Swift in 1974, learned to fly in N3824K and immediately joined Swift because that was where the action was plus there was untold support and help in reconditioning and flying his Swift. Subsequently, Frog has participated in virtually every Swift event coast to coast. The memories are substantial: Kentucky Dam flying, many trips to California, Oshkosh, Sun n Fun, north to Alaska and all 4 corners of the USA with landings in all but 5 states. N3824K was pretty much stock when Froggy bought it but over the years he has made numerous changes: Lycoming 180 engine, sliding canopy, electric trim, sticks, Aux Fuel tanks, weight increase, custom instrument panel, auto pilot, wing tip strobes, Lischer gear doors, custom leather interior. Some of his awards are: National Aeronautic Association Award for World Records for “Speed Over a Recognized Course” in 1992. Many of you might recall this was the effort for Swifts to set speed records in aircraft class. This intrepid group was honored at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and included Charlie Nelson, Jim “Frog” Jones, Bud Brown, Scott Anderson, Bill Jennings and Drew Seguin.
Frog has also won the Swift National Grand Champion Award, Best of Type at Sun n Fun (2 years), and he is the undefeated champion since 1976 in short field takeoffs. (This is where he got his nickname because he sort of hopped his Swift and someone thought it looked like a frog. Must have been impressive since the nickname has stuck for 40 years.)
Jim has also served on the Swift Board off and on for years and was Chairman a few years ago. He and his lovely wife Carol live in Madison, Georgia where they are both very active in civic affairs, their church and their family which includes 6 children, I I grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
His favorite guidelines in approaching daily life and challenges include lessons from his father and grandfather:
Your word is your bond … if you make a commitment… keep it!
Any job worth doing is worth doing right … the first time!
Have patience, be persistent, persevere, and use prayer.
I have noted these qualities in Frog for many years and an excellent example is the fund raising he did for Swift at last year’s Swift National. His energy never flagged in pursuing our corporate benefactors and we raised over $12,000 in the Silent Auction and Raffles. I would also like to mention that Jim is also going to be our fund raising committee chairman and he is well along for this year’s event at Bowling Green. He has already represented us at a National AOPA meeting and provided an excellent interview with Channel 9 out of Chattanooga, TN. These and other efforts will undoubtedly help improve our standing in the aviation community.
As I mentioned last month, for a small non-profit organization such as ours… volunteerism is the heart and soul of Swift and the means by which we sustain ourselves. The Swift Board and I are grateful to Jim for coming aboard as President and anticipate a solid team effort in moving forward and addressing the challenges that lie ahead. Again, welcome aboard Frog, this should be a very active and exciting year for Swift. As we work through the next 12-15 months we will finish the construction of our museum building, start work on organizing and decorating the museum with our artifacts, build up our trust fund, move the flagpole, design and lay the Globe memorial bricks inside HQ, and lay the individual memorial bricks around the flagpole. We need volunteers for these projects and if you have some ideas… please … get involved and help us get these tasks finished. We are planning a “Homecoming” for Swift National in June 2016 at McMinn County….so the clock is ticking… and we need to get busy and be prepared. Working together we can and will make Swift an even better organization and one of the finest type clubs in US Aviation. Swift Pride!!!
Interaction with McMinn County. I am pleased to report we had good progress with McMinn County Airport Subcommittee this past month. They have approved our phased approach to construction and have agreed to waive any time requirement to complete phase III and IV. They have also reset our lease term to 50 years starting April 1, 2015. Also, they agreed to our original description of the facility footprint of 200′ X 300′. All of these actions are to our benefit and set our total facility plan for future years. They are excited about our getting the funding to complete our building and look forward to our return at Swift National in 2016. Once their attorney has reviewed these proceedings and approved the language they will submit it to the full County Council for final approval.
Swift President Comments
by Jim “Frog” Jones
As Will mentioned, I am indeed passionate about Swift….both the airplane and the hundreds of great friends I have met in last forty years. To me, Swift is, of course, about the airplane but as importantly it is about the people who make up our Swift community. First I want to thank all Swifters everywhere for your friendship over the years. It is part of my life and part of who I am. It is hard to focus on any one part of the past forty years as there is a myriad of exceptional moments that make up my Swift experience. We all have these experiences….the flying, the events, gatherings, reunions, trips, new places and new faces. It all seems to run together but when you have a moment to reflect it all becomes so clear. Our Swifts are indeed magic flying carpets that allow us the freedom to move about at our own pace and serve our own interests. It is that experience and fun that keeps us together I believe.
I am very proud to have been selected to serve you and Swift and I shall do everything I can to keep us at the top of type clubs in our aviation community. I echo Will’s comment … no one can do it alone and when we cooperate and help each other we just keep getting better. I sincerely look forward to the next few years with Swift….we have a lot of challenges… but we also have a lot of talent and “can do”. Do not hesitate to call me with any ideas, comments, critic isms….. it is all communication and the more we do the better we get. Many thanks … Jim “Frog” Jones.
Executive Director’s Comments
by Pam Nunley
Brick Program Donations: We are definitely making progress thanks to those of you who have stepped up to designate your Globe Factory Brick and/or the Replica Brick Programs. It is great to see more and more Swifters donating to’ the programs. To date we have received $30,000. in donations for the Globe Factory Bricks and $2,250. in donations for the Replica Brick to surround our flagpole for a total of $32,250.00.
Swifter Bryce Ulmer has designed a beautiful cabinet to display the Globe Factory Bricks. It will reside in the main headquarters entry hallway and will be 12′ long and will stand over 61/2′ high. All wood with a sliding glass front to protect the bricks and special lighting to properly showcase your personal message. Brick donations are steadily coming in so, if you are interested in being part of this historical presentation, don’t wait too long… The number of Globe Factory Bricks is limited. This is a once in a lifetime event. Your personal Swift Brick in this display will indeed be a memorable reminder of your Swift dedication. Many thanks to Bryce for this labor of love … the talent within Swift never ceases to amaze.
Fly In Date Changes: You will note on the Event Schedule a couple of changes:
Diamond Point Fly-in will be July 3 – 5 this year. This is a great fly in and a lot of fun and super food from the great Northwest. If you haven’t been … give it a try — great hosts and great scenery. Contact Ernie Hansen at: email@example.com or 360-808-1858.
Red River Swift Wing will be gathering at. Beautiful Pecan Plantation this year in Gran-bury, TX ….October 22 – 25. This is always a great fly in, lots of flying, fun and good Texas hospitality. Contact Steve and Barb Wilson at: SteveWlson@aol.com or 817-578-9877. (Editors Note: This might be a great year to venture forth to the West Coast. Gas prices are down a bit and these two gatherings are just terrific. Lots of old friends, good memories and fun. Grab a few friends and head west across America the beautiful… you will be glad you did!)
Sun n Fun — John Drago has arranged an area for us in the type tent and Perry Sisson & Carolyn will be managing the volunteer schedule. If you are able to volunteer at the table for an hour or two, please contact Perry or Carolyn when you check in at the tent and sign up for a slot time. Also, we will have a Swift row for parking … so let me or John know ASAP so he will know how many are coming.
Brick Program Donors
Do you have your Brick? Join this list of supporting members in perpetuating the Swift and your organization!
Many thanks to those of you who have participated so far!!
|Globe Factory Brick Program||Replica Brick Program|
|Paul & Sandy Mercandetti||Candi Nunley Wilson||Mick Supina|
|David DeVries (5 Bricks)||Dick McNeil||Steve Roth & Lynn Dawson|
|Pickens Freeman||William H. Kientz||George Harrison|
|Dave & Debbie Carpenter||Paul & Jennifer Barnett||Garry & Linda Brown|
|Scott Anderson||John & Carol Davis||Pickens Freeman|
|Roger Weber||Red River Swift Wing||Steve & Joyce Whittenberger (3 Bricks)|
|James "Frog" Jones||Stan Price||Eric W. Bulger|
|Charlie Sidenstricker||Edward High||Dave & Carol Tenant|
|Roger & Ann Scott||Mark Holliday||Lowell Sterchi (3 Bricks)|
|Sam Swift||Southern Swift Air group||George Harrison|
|Pat Hockett (3 Bricks)||Guillaume Feral||Dot & Bessie Runyan
& Ginger Johnson
|Jerry Kirby||Will Roberson|
**Add your name to this very special list. Remember there is a limited number of Globe Factory Bricks, Order yours today. This is a wonderful way to honor your family member, friend or specific Swift in remembrance, celebration or appreciation. This is a great way to show your support of Swifts for generations of Swift caretakers to come.
Call Headquarters for information about the Factory Brick monthly payment option. (423-745-9547)
Building Update: Great News!!!
We will be moving dirt this month for the completion of Phase II (the new Museum portion) of your Swift Facility! All the final bids are in and we are well under our projected budget of $158K. Your Building Committee Chairman Pick Freeman has given the go ahead and at this moment our building is ordered and everything is in place to begin! This progress is the result of intense negotiation and diligence by your Building Committee and the willingness of suppliers and contractors to work with us to see this long awaited dream come to life. Keep a watch on your newsletters for updates and photos of our progress and any new information!
MMI Activities: MMI is acting as host location for the Pan American Gliding Championships. This event is the second largest soaring competition in North America. There are 28 gliders and a large group of really nice people. Swifters have a good reputation when visiting but situation causes me think of how it must be when the Swifts “converge” on an airport. Let’s always make sure we are as considerate and respectful of our hosts and their property as these folks have been to us here at Athens.
New Members Welcome!!
Kirby Mills—Melbourne FL
Scott Glover N7827 I —Mt. Pleasant, TX
Bill McLearran N44S—Tucson, AZ
Lawrence Lam— Rosemead, CA
Allen Wood N33TC—Phoenix, AZ
Michael Ford—Gainesville, GA
Allan M. Jones—Kettering, OH
Claude Saint-Martin C-GSWT—Canada
Doug Pilkington—Burnsville, NC
David Murray—Vacaville, CA
William Lee Rochester Hills, MI
Lyman Sharp N78096—Humble, TX
Charles Mouton—Gladewater, TX
by Michael Kennedy
As some of you may have heard there has been some changes in the National Formation Program by FAA and FAST. It is good news for Swift in that we will remain with FAST (Formation and Safety Team) who will be primarily concerned with Warbirds. Our comments and preferences were input to the FAST board and FAA that we remain with FAST. Most of the other formation programs will transfer to FFI and be administered by them. We chose to stay with FAST because we have more in common with them than the FFI approach which is more in line with larger formations and flying in waivered airspace. We do little of that and both FAST and FAA agreed we fit in better with FAST. This will mean that we will have to make FAST board meetings each year and also attend the check pilot meetings every two years. We have done this for years so it is basically no change for us. Many thanks to all of you who weighed in with your comments. It was unanimous that we stay with FAST.
Swift Magic Team – Part 2
by Michael Kennedy
Swift Magic is Born. At one of the first paying air shows Lowell and I performed in Louisiana a young enthusiastic pilot approached after our days flying. He wanted to show us his newly acquired Swift. He had flown to the air show so he could do so. A year later we again met Dewayne Upton at Swift National and a long friendship developed. We helped him get his first FAA aerobatic card at a show at Athens. A couple years later at another Swift National Dewayne informed us that he would like to join the team. He was very persistent and eventually Lowell and I said we would give him a chance. Great he said, I will fly lead as I do not know how to do aerobatics on the wing. I told him we already had a leader, Lowell, and he would be flying wing — the only concession I gave him was choosing which wing he wanted to fly. I was flying right wing, for some reason that seems easier than left wing to most pilots. Of course he choose right wing which meant not only would I have to train Dewayne to fly right wing aerobatics, I would also have to teach myself the same on the left wing. There is a big difference in aerobatic control inputs between the two so it would be a whole different world for me.
We did our first practice session while still at Athens and it went like this:
Me: Okay Dewayne, this is where I want you to hold position throughout the loop.
We did the loop and he fought to hang on all away around but slipped out a least two wing lengths away from Lowell. I told him that would not do and it would be easier to hold position if he stayed close as I had showed him. I demonstrated the position during another loop and gave him the controls. Once again he ended the loop way to far from Lowell.
Me: Dewayne, I showed you the position you need to hold and you need to work harder to stay there during the maneuver.
Dewayne: I know Michael, but I feel more comfortable out here. I will just fly out here until I feel more comfortable and then move in closer.
Me: No Dewayne that is not how it works. You fly where I told you and get comfortable there.
Well long story short that is exactly what he did and he became very comfortable up tight. In formation aerobatics the loop is the easiest maneuver to fly in formation. Aileron rolls are an entirely different animal and some teams never get them down. Having a great leader that consistently flies the same roll rate pattern is the key for the team. As expected, Dewayne had to work on his wing rolls — I did too as now I was on the left wing in a whole different formation world. Dewayne was a great pilot and never accepted “pretty good” in formation flying. Before the start of our first team season he had Lowell come to Outer Slobovia (his Jackson, MS private airport) to practice rolls. Lowell said they flew for three solid days doing countless rolls until Dewayne finally said “I’ve got it now and you will never lose me again in a maneuver.”
Earlier we had a weekend team business meeting in Coral Gables, FL at Lowell’s house to discuss the partnership arrangement – but did not come up with a team name. A few weeks later I met Dewayne at Tampa, FL where I was living and he was on an airline stop over. During lunch we talked team names and come up blank. I suggested we try a free flow dialogue where each says one word and then the other in rapid secession to see if anything jumped out. Off we went – lots of words … then Dewayne said “swift” and I followed with “magic” and we continued rapidly on for a couple more words apiece. We both stopped and looked at each other…”Swift Magic”, that was it! Dewayne said, I want to do the magic on the ground, I have always loved doing magic tricks. Perfect. I came up with the top hats and logo and we were on our way.
What followed was years of air show performances … coast to coast … that included about I 1-12 air shows a year. Plus, of course the wonderful trip to El Salvador. Great fun … great camaraderie… great Swift teamwork and memories for a lifetime.
Swift National – Bowling Green, Kentucky – June 10-14, 2015
by Jerry Kirby
Swift National is right around the corner … just 2 short months away. Yes that is right … just 2 months … time sure flies when you are having fun. Your Swift National committee has been working hard getting things set up for a really great fly in. We are doing our final preparatory meeting with Mr. Barnett at Bowling Green Airport on April 8th. The most important thing right now for all you Swifters is to….REGISTER … REGISTER … REGISTER!
This will help us get the right amount of food and drinks ordered and keep the process rolling smoothly. So if you haven’t registered to come please do so this week if you can. We have a good agenda for this year and have had nice response on the trip to the Corvette Museum and Corvette manufacturing facility. The Hilton Garden Inn is just a very short distance to the airport and they have given us a great rate. You can contact them at 270-782-7700 … and be sure to mention Swift to get the $109 rate.
We will also have a Silent Auction and Raffle again this year and there should be many items you will want to bid on at great prices. Last year most items went for about 50 cents per dollar of retail prices. All of the money goes into our tax exempt funds so it is also tax deductible to you.
We are going to add a bit more this year to the silent auction and have members bring items that other Swifters will be interested in. A couple of items already are a set of Swift engraved chocks, we have two more Wright Flyer models autographed by Amanda Wright Lane etc. If you have a pair of socks you Aunt Tilly knitted for Charles Lindbergh but found out he didn’t wear a size I8 … bring them along. It should be fun so why not bring an item… anything will do … that someone might be interested in. It all goes to a good cause.
If you would like to volunteer in some capacity, please let us know. Volunteering is a great way to meet new Swifters and having more fun overall!
If you don’t have a registration form call Pam at HQ and she will email you one. This is going to be a really good fly in….so get registered and we will see you there.
Proxies— Please note your enclosed/attached Proxy form [download the pdf here]. If you think you will not be able to be at Bowling Green to participate in the Annual Business Meeting, please send in your voting proxy to headquarters to arrive not later than 12 o’clock noon on Monday, June 8th in order to be counted. You may mail it in to 223 County Road 552, Athens, TN 37303 or fax to 423-745-9869 no emails please.
Flying to San Catalina Island (The Airport in the Sky – AVX
You might recall that recently we asked if anyone had flown to Catalina Island off the coast of California. Well, at least one intrepid Swift has done it….Karl and son Alex Johanson took their Swift N78103 on this little jaunt across the San Pedro Channel to this rocky, craggy island. After viewing their video of the landing it is clearly not for the faint of heart. Not only must you cross approximately 30 – 40 miles of the choppy San Pedro Channel with its cold Pacific Ocean waters… you must then execute a nice approach to the airport… which sits near the coast but is at 1602 ft. elevation with rocky hills all around. The runway is 3000 ft. long and they recommend a steep approach to avoid the downdrafts often prevalent because of the rocky outcroppings and ask you “not to panic” on landing as there is a 2 degree upslope which will afford you plenty of time to get stopped. (Other than that … no sweat!)
The airport has a restaurant deck and you can enjoy your ($100) buffalo burger with a great view of the surrounding area. Karl and Alex also took a pass over the beautiful harbor at Avalon on their way back to the mainland. You can view the approach and landing
by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqu8dMb3NkU. on our website here
Karl’s Comments: I launched from our home field in San Diego at Gillespie Field (KSEE). Don’t forget to put 2 life vests in the plane before you leave. We departed the coast at Dana Point (VDLDP) at 8500 feet (remember… altitude is your friend over water) and I picked up Flight Following after departing KSEE. From Dana Point is is about 40 miles across but if you move up the coast toward Long Beach it is only 25 miles or so.
The airport is VFR only and they charge a landing fee of $25 and an overnight fee of $15. There is no fuel available and it is a long winding 2 hour bus ride into town. The airport “tower” is attended 8 am to 7 pm March to October. There is a nice restaurant and gift shop adjacent to the tower that features the famed “buffalo burger”. Seems there was a silent movie made on the island in 1924 and they imported the bison for that movie … they have been there ever since and the herd is controlled to about 150-200 head.
Staying in Avalon is the ticket with numerous B&Bs and nice restaurants tucked into the hillside leading down to the harbor shoreline. Avalon hosts a big jazz
festival every year in October (this year is the 29th anniversary). The landmark building on the harbor is the Avalon Ballroom which is the round building on the right corner of the last picture in the video. If you want to go I suggest you contact: visitcatalinaisland.com or catalinachamber.com. (Ed. This sounds like a great trip for your Swift… give it a try!)