by Steve Whittenberger
As you can see from the date of this issue we are entering a new Swift year a far as a newsletter goes. Having read some of those early newsletters it was apparent that many Swifters were trying to gain a foothold as an organization. Back in 1969 there were only a handful of folks who had come to the realization that if they banded together they would all benefit from shared knowledge of the Swift plus they got the added bonus of just having a common interest which led to a lot of good times. Well… the word got around and Swift rapidly grew over the next few years and we reached a membership of over 800 in the 1980s. Events over the years have shaped Swift to what we are today with our own facilities, museum, type certificate and so on. Our early leadership of Charlie Nelson, Ed Ermatinger, Porter Houston, Bill Shepherd, Pat Moore, Mark Holliday, Vince Fette, Clayton Sisson and many others kept growing and improving our membership and fleet. Well, you know all of this … but with the passing of Charlie Nelson this past summer it is important that you realize that new leadership has stepped up to keep Swift moving forward. And, as with all organizations we have a lot to do. Our Chairman Will Roberson is pushing forward on several new approaches and we are going to need volunteers to complete all the work to be done. Not all of the work must be done at headquarters and there are many areas that might fit your special interests and abilities. Chairman Will may call on you to help and we hope you will say yes. If you are not called but want to help out that is even better. We have a lot to do: raise funds for our endowment fund, finish the museum facility, revise and build a new operations and maintenance manual, help with the web site, finish moving parts, etc. We have a lot of talent in our Swift world and we want to make the most of it.
As we enter the Christmas Holiday season we want to thank each and every one of you for your support and wish you and your families and friends a joyous holiday. 2015 is right around the corner with its inherent challenges….and as the old country and western song goes: “….we have a long way to go and an short time to get there…” and if we all work toward the common good … we will get there. SJW
Board Chairman Comments
by Will Roberson
Swift Work Days: First and foremost I want to say how elated I was at the robust turnout for our workdays November 13 — 15. Off and on we had 15 Swifters arrive to help with the many tasks and we really made a dent in getting our parts moved. More shelves were erected, parts labeled and arranged and the whole organization of the new parts facility is terrific. Parts are now easily found and an inventory will be much easier to accomplish. Dave Carpenter estimated we have about 75% of new parts moved and about 50% of the total. It takes more time to categorize and price used parts mostly because of their uniqueness… but we are getting there. I do have to say I got a chuckle out of the work party’s comments as they examined all the parts we were moving i.e. “Wow, look at this 99, “What the heck is this?” “I haven’t seen one of these in years”, “I didn’t know we had these..”, “Boy we sure have a lifetime supply of these little knobs..” “These are pretty rare…” and so on … all in all a lot of fun.
Additionally a crew worked on the museum Swifts and I have to say our Swifts are looking good. Of course we had to air up tires, remove some batteries, and we even drained some of the birds oil (pretty thick as it was cold in the museum). I also realized that we have a lot more artifacts than room to display them all and it will be great to get the museum moved …hopefully in the near future. As good as the Swifts looked it was somewhat disappointing to see how far the museum has deteriorated. We replaced many ceiling tiles a few years ago but many more need to be replaced now. To do this we have to remove all the aircraft to protect them from falling tiles. We can do this for a time but we need to move in the not too distant future. The old museum is looking pretty shabby to put it bluntly….our Swifts are attractive but would look even better in different surroundings. My thanks to all those who helped out: Pam, Dave Carpenter, Paul Marcandetti, Roger Weber (all the way from Oregon), Paul Anderson (OH), Bruce Cameron (new owner of N3271K), Pick Freeman, Scott Anderson, Ila Moses (daughter of Brian Moses-TX), Jerry Kirby, Jim Roberts, Jan Skibinski (VA) and Steve Whittenberger.
Board Meeting: We had a productive Board meeting with all members being present locally or via Skype except two. We all stayed at the Comfort Inn and used their conference room as it has good Skype capability which greatly benefitted our discussions with Board members around the country. Some important decisions were made which we believe will help us toward our goals.
Fund Raising Chairman: Jim “Frog” Jones has volunteered to take charge of fund raising for Swift. Last year he did a bang up job getting corporate vendors to contribute and we raised $15,000 or so at Dayton in the raffles and silent auction. Obviously his duties are more than that and will include Swift National at Bowling Green, identifying and obtaining a Swift for raffle in 2015, keeping the Brick program moving along, soliciting donations of parts, memorabilia, aircraft, and personal donations….as a minimum. Frog will need help along the way and plans to solicit help from volunteers in various parts of the country. Please help!!! If you have ANY ideas for raising funds … LET US KNOW! Pitch in … you might be surprised how well you will do. If and when we get a raffle bird….it will be time for Swifters across the country to get moving and sell those tickets. Most of you can easily sell ten or more. So when we get going….dig in and help. WE can do it!!!
Swift President. As I was preparing for the board meeting I felt I needed some help in clarifying our goals and decided to reach out to past Board Chairmen for ideas and methods of transitioning Swift for the next decade or two. One of the issues was to examine our current structure at Headquarters to see if we could take some of the huge load off of Pam and create more efficiency. The result was a proposal to get a volunteer to assume the duties of President. With modern communication in mind the group felt that Swift needed to re-establish the position of President and that person need NOT be in Athens. This then opens up the position to any Swifter anywhere in the USA. Accordingly I have asked the past Board Chairmen committee chaired by Bud Brown to identify people from across the country who would shoulder the duties of spokesman for Swift in the General Aviation community and be our “front man” so to speak. The current Board agreed unanimously to pursue this idea and we are now in the process of finding the right person to meet our needs and defining his/her specific duties. This person will obviously need to be able to devote considerable time and energy to fulfill the duties of President but with the advantage of having an on site manager at Athens to handle day to day activities. If you are interested please give me or Bud Brown a call. We need to get started as soon as possible.
Swift Brick Program. We are getting going on this and it promises to be a good fund raiser for Swift with the added advantage of honoring a spouse, good friend or family member. Later in the newsletter you can see examples of both the Globe bricks and the replica bricks. Since there are only 150 Globe bricks and they are a bit more fragile they will be displayed inside the Swift facility and the replica bricks will be used to highlight the area around the Globe flagpole outside the entrance. Please give full thought to participating fully in these worthwhile projects. With Christmas upon us, this might be a great time to get signed up and use this as a gift.
Volunteers. We are always looking for volunteers. Presently Tracy Rhodes manages our web site SWIFTMUSEUMFOUNDATION.ORG for us and he has put in untold hours on our behalf inputting data. As with any web site… it is only as good as the data on it. Accordingly we need a volunteer to provide input data to Tracy to be installed on the web site for all to enjoy. If you like tinkering with data, the internet, and all things computer….we really need someone to fill this position. Please give me a call and help out … your fellow Swifters will greatly appreciate your help.
Swift Maintenance and Operations Manual. We are also looking for a Swifter, knowledgeable of the Swift to re-organize and revise our M&O manual. It is somewhat dated and needs a fresh outlook and we also need to add to it newer information that we take for granted but new Swift owners may not be aware of. We have a lot of information on the web site, past Jim Montague articles and information by others that has been transposed by newsletter. But….this data is not all in one place and readily accessible to all. We at headquarters can help format it, get it printed and such … but we need someone to collect as much as they can, organize it so we can reprint a new manual. Please give this some thought.
I will close with my personal thanks to Bruce Cameron from Maine who purchased our “For Sale” Swift N3271K. Bruce is an experienced pilot and was a good volunteer at Swift work day. Subsequently he got with Sam Swift and finished his orientation rides in N3271K. This is a good pairing … a really good Swift and an experienced pilot with a refreshing positive attitude. Well done Bruce and thanks from all the Swifters everywhere. We will look forward to seeing you at many Swift activities.
Again, many thanks for all your efforts on behalf of Swift this past year. It has been a fun and busy year and most of all a great time with the Swift community. Merry Christmas to you all and may you have a blessed and happy new year. Will Roberson
Executive Director Comments
by Pam Nunley
I would like to thank everyone who participated in our Work Session last month. Your help was much needed and greatly appreciated. A special thank you to Ila Moses for her extended 10 day stay and assistance in the Parts Department. We received some feedback from a few who were not aware of the Work Session. Please make note of your newsletter Event Schedule on Page One as we always post all activities there. We will make an extra effort to post these events on sites like Facebook as well.
All volunteers are always welcome anytime you can fit it into your schedule.
Please make note of our Christmas and New Year schedule. As in years past, we will be closed on Christmas Eve and will re-open on Monday, January 5th. If you have a Parts Emergency during that time. Please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make every effort to help if we have the item in stock.
We are ever thankful for all our Swift family and for your dedication and continued support of SMF and each other.
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Swift Filled New Year!
We are getting into high gear on the Swift Brick program. These mementos are part of our Swift tradition and the Globe factory bricks date to 1942. As you can see from the picture below they cleaned up nicely (thanks to the superb effort of Jack Nunley) and the brass plaque really stands out. As mentioned before, these will go on a wall inside headquarters in an attractive display of our Swift heritage. There are only 150 of these and we have sold almost 20 already. We want to complete the sale of these as soon as possible as the funds from these will push us along to our goals. Also depicted below are the replica bricks that will be placed around the Globe Swift flagpole that was rescued for us by Hal Cope, Stan Price and the rest of the Red River Swift Wing. This will be a very nice and unique display of both 8 x 4 and 8 x 8 bricks honoring family members, Swift members, and friends. Christmas is right around the corner and these will make a very nice and special gift. If you cannot locate the forms that were included with a previous newsletter, please see the Swift Web Site or contact Pam at Headquarters to have one sent to you.
Pat Moore’s 5O+ year Swift Just Keeps Getting Better
Please recall just a short while ago we reported on 50 year owner Pat Moore and N2387B.
As many of you know Pat has always had a beautiful Swift and he has continued work on it for years. He has now moved …as he calls it … into the 21St Century with his Swift. He was fortunate to find a sliding canopy owned by Steve Roman who for a number of reasons decided not to continue the restoration of his Swift. Fortunately for Pat that freed up probably the last uninstalled Nagle canopy in existence. Not content with that… Pat has also pushed on with the additions of sticks. Ergo … one more beautiful super Swift. Congratulations Pat on your latest modifications.
Sale and Solo of N3271K
by Sam Swift
I’d like to introduce the newest Swifter among our ranks. Bruce Cameron soloed his Swift today in Lebanon, Tennessee! Congrats! He just purchased N3271K from the Swift Museum Foundation, Inc. last week. We knocked out 10 hours over a quick 3 day period.
Swift Hydraulic Pump
by Steve Wilson (From RRSW)
A good question came up during the recent Fredericksburg gathering regarding checking the pressure on the Swift hydraulic pump. First and foremost you and/or your mechanic should have a copy of The “Swift Hydraulic Manual” by W. E. Commings, available from Swift Parts. I have a couple of suggestions. By no means are these to be assumed as the only ways to inspect, maintain, or repair a problem with the landing gear!
One thing not covered in the manual, is a preliminary check of the pressure that can be done without removing the pump from the firewall. To do this you can place the flap control in the neutral position, remove the aft hydraulic line on the left side of the pump (Port marked A). Attach a gauge like the one in the following photo and have someone select the gear to the “up” position. You will then be able to read the actual pressure for the pump. It should read something over 400 PSI. Preferably 425 to 475 PSI. If you are reading within that range, the pump is doing its job. Do not run the pump for more than about 10 seconds or so. If the pump does not obtain the minimum pressure then any adjustment of the pressure will require the removal of the pump from the firewall for adjustment on the bench. NEVER adjust the pressure anywhere at or over 500 PSI.
The actual question came about when someone asked why the amber (hydraulic pump) light come on periodically during flight. Of course there are at least a couple of answers. Most likely one or both landing gear are not retracting over center; however, this is not that unusual, and many Swifts are nearly impossible to get both gear over center for several reasons, mostly to do with wear and slop in the system developed over the years. A second reason is that the hydraulic pump is not holding pressure, and this is another test that can be isolated to the pump with a second test following the above pressure test with the pump running. After closing the master switch in the above test and leaving the gear switch in the “Up” position, continue to read the pressure held by the pump. According to the Commings manual, the pump should “hang on pretty good around 200 lbs.” I find that 20-30 minutes is my psi definition of “pretty good.” The one on N3876K held for 01:30 minutes. Probably would have held longer, but I had other things to do… Here’s what you are looking for:
100 Year Old Pilot & Swift’s Oldest Dealer
by Todd Bengtson (From RRSW)
We all know that Stan Price is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced pilots we know, but he is not yet 100. The gentleman next to Stan is Gene Engledow from Bolivar, MO. We were at the Swift booth in Oshkosh when Mr. Engledow stopped by to visit. He was a Swift dealer from New Bakersfield, CA in the late 1940’s. He had fond memories of the Swift and just wanted to visit. Turns out he is still flying a Champ solo and at the time was 99 years old. He has been flying for 77 years and celebrated his 100th birthday this fall. We enjoyed our visit and Mr. Engledow went on his way to enjoy Oshkosh. He had driven himself 650 miles to attend. Stan was kind enough to find a local newspaper article about his birthday celebration this fall. During the party someone asked Mr. Engledow what he had planned for the afternoon. He replied that he “might fly a little if the wind wasn’t too high”. He commented that in a tailwheel airplane, if it is too windy, the tailwheel wants to become the nose wheel. I would certainly second that thought. I don’t know if any of us will be flying when we are 100, but I do know we should all cherish the chance we have to fly now. Happy Birthday Gene and blue skies for your future flights.
Christmas With No Snow?
It was hot. Much hotter than normal for the southern US in December. It was a warm blast from Mexico, the Caribbean and Baja California. Nobody could remember such a heat wave for this time of year … it did not set a record but it did dash any hopes for a cool and pleasant Christmas. Up North things were pretty much normal … but no snow in sight. Not to worry said most … it will be snowing soon enough. Most Swifters up North had pretty well buttoned up their birds for the month and were concentrating on the upcoming holiday season. Christmas trees were going up, decorations were glowing and there were lots of lights everywhere. Scientists were all agog at the prospect of a potentially brown Christmas. What to do?
An emergency meeting was called and all the leaders were perplexed as to what to do. How could they possibly get the cold air up north to move south. Never had there been this serious a challenge to a white Christmas. Somethingmust be done….but what? There were some of the usual suggestions of cloud seeding, starting up a huge suction blower to coerce the colder weather to move south, sending rocket ships into the atmosphere to move the jet stream, and of course enlisting the help of comic book heroes such as Superman, Captain Marvel, Batman and Robin, Xena the Warrior Princess (remember lady warriors are always princesses), Spider Man, Wonder Woman and of course the final hope of using World Wide Wrestling hunks to hurl objects into space to force the weather to move. But the problem was… all of these folks were pretty busy helping Santa Claus get toys ready for children all over the world and they had all kinds of excuses: Superman was afraid that it was a plot and in fact Kryptonite might be up there somewhere; Captain Marvel… although he had a lightning bolt on his chest was secretly afraid that there might be lightning up there somewhere; Batman and Robin were useless as their Batmobile was in for maintenance and was under indictment from the EPA for spewing out all that smoke they used when chasing crooks; Spiderman was so overtaxed his magic web thingy was out of web thingy stuff; Wonder Woman’s bracelets were down for repair because she had deflected so many bullets the coating had come off the bracelets and she wouldn’t dare go out in public in her snazzy outfit with corroded bracelets; and well the WWW hunks were just as you always thought… totally clueless and just big bags of air. Oh yes, Xena had tired of running around saving things and had gone off to a mountain top to contemplate how to make one of those awful Christmas cakes full of that JuJuBee stuff and mince and yucky stuff that weighed a about a pound per slice. Hmmmmph. A fine lot.of heroes, indeed!
So what to do. Billy the clerk and note taker for the meeting kept raising his hand and jumped up and down. He was sure he knew how to solve this problem. Finally Dr. Von Frankenstein, the leader of the scientists and movers and shakers, got exasperated with Billy’s jiggling act and very bluntly said: “Billy, for crying out loud … what is your problem? Do you have to go to the bathroom? Are you nuts? What? What? You are driving me crazy … we are working a serious problem here!!!” Billy replied…”I know how to fix this!” Dr. X replied, “How could you possibly know the answer … you are just a clerk!!”
Billy rushed forward and whispered into his ear. Dr. Von Frankinstein listened for a long time and just said “Hmmmm….might work at that”. So he sent Billy scurrying out of the room to get started on his solution. Dr. Von Frankenstein then adjourned the meeting and stated they would go to Mt Shasta and climb to the top to witness firsthand the solution to the lack of snow. Once there all the scientists settled down to await the proposed fix. After a good bit they noticed several hundred silver specks in the bright blue sky as the sun reflected off the objects. What was it they all wondered… what was happening… were these UFOs? Then just a few miles behind the silver specks were some darkening and rather ominous clouds and this whole entourage was moving very fast. And then they could see that a large amount of snow had begun to fall and as far as they could see it was only snow. So they exited the top of Mt. Shasta and raced down the hill to their awaiting G-5s (Govt. scientists always travel in Gulf-stream G-5s) and raced to airports further south to see how far this phenomenon would travel. But as fast as they could get to their new stations they turned and observed the oncoming snow. Tons of snow, mountains of snow, “egad … I’ve never seen so much snow” one exclaimed. And on and on the clouds came until all of the United States was covered with at least one foot of snow and in some places it was as deep as 40 feet. What a snow!!!
Santa was happy, he could deliver all the toys and not scrape the paint off the bottom of his sled runners, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was happy because he was the hero again and guided Santa’s sleigh all night; parents were happy as kids got their presents and thankfully got out of the house to build snowmen and make snow angels in the snow; the scientists were happy because they took credit for saving Christmas although their solutions sucked; Billy was happy… he got a promotion to Asst. Chief Scientist; But not all were happy. Those snowbirds from the north down in Miami were not happy … they spent all that money going south and look what it got them … a foot of snow.
The colleges were not happy because they couldn’t get to their bowl games (most of which nobody watched anyway); and short people were not happy because they were up to their nose in snow (ever try talking with a mouth full of snow?). But HEY….deal with it!!
So what did happen? Simple, Billy just contacted the Swift Museum Foundation, Inc. and asked if any of their pilots would like to take a short trip and earn some gas money. Of course the answer was yes and 350 or more Swifts took to the air, went north (with air to air refueling) and gathered up the clouds and started herding them south. (I just made up that part about air to air refueling) … but they did get there and got ‘er done in true Swift spirit. And that friends is my story and I’m sticking to it. Merry Christmas, Noel, Happy Hanukah.
Signed. Billy Bob Bagadonuts.
(You may check the facts on Wackapedia, Goober or Yeehaw)