WEST COAST SWIFT WING
EDITOR: CAROL & GERRY HAMPTON AV8RGNH@SBCGLOBAL.NET 530-676-7755
We have had several nice Swift fly-ins this year which are described below. Next major Swift fly-in is Westover Field, Jackson CA for the West Coast National Swift Fly-in 19-22 Sep followed by the RRSW Fly-in at Pecan Plantation, TX 31 Oct to 3 Nov.
Westover 2013 Sept 19-22
This year’s theme is Cowboys and Cowgirls. Get your outfits together and put this event on your calendars. Be sure your left elbow is in good shape for the Wine Tasting Tours J Amador Best Western Inn, 209-223-0211, is the hotel of choice again this year–they do an outstanding job each year in providing the transportation and hospitality room for our group. Swift rate is $69 per night and we have rooms blocked until 1 Sept, please tell them you are with the Swift group. Please get your reservations in now—if something comes up, you can always cancel, but if you dally and get past the time the rooms are blocked, the rate returns to normal.
Swift National June 5-8 Athens TN
Despite adverse weather, Swift National was well attended with over 100 folks at the banquet Saturday night, even though only 15-20 Swifts made it thru the weather.
Pick Freeman, Building Committee chairman, gave a guided tour of our new Office/Parts facility—it looks like occupancy will occur sometime after October this year.
Paul Mercandetti and crew did a great job on the Friday night steak dinner—in the rain.
Rain was the “sound” of this fly-in, but everyone attending had a great time with the camaraderie and fellowship of the Swift community.
There were two teams for the formation competition—winning flight was Sandy Mercandetti, Jerry Kirby, Charlie Sidenstricker, and Tripp Smith. Alas, the “Burrito Brothers” were not there to defend their title.
President Emeritus Charlie Nelson attended every day of the fly-in. It was great to see him and chat with him. Charlie was honored with the first “Globe Factory Brick”, of the 150 total bricks rescued by the RRSW folks.
In addition to the Formation Competition, there was a poker run, won by Bill and Buddy Kientz, and Spot Landing by Dave Carpenter and Terry Bloom.
Swift National 2014
The Southern Swift Air Group is sponsoring Swift National 2014 at Wright Brothers Airport, Dayton, OH. June 4-8. The theme is “The Wright Place to be in 2014 in Your Swift”. Pre-registration forms will come out with the Jan 2014 newsletter and continuing each month. Put this on your calendar—we will tour The National Museum of the United States Air Force”—it will be a wonderful time.
Diamond Point NW Swift Fly-in Jul 5-7
The following is from Swifter Don Thomson:
Pardon the less-than-personal-email-everybody approach, but I wanted to send this out before falling back into the grind at work tomorrow.
First off, a hearty THANK YOU to all the Diamond Pointers for hosting probably one of the best-attended Swift gatherings in some time. A special thanks to Susie and Johnny for opening up their hangar as “Swift Central”…
I think the total count on Swifts was somewhere around 30 planes on the field. We missed regulars like the Hamptons, the Hooks, the Koesters, the Lindleys and Tracy Rhodes (just to name a few and I probably left off someone important – so please forgive me)…
The accommodations, decorations, food, snacks, drinks, cracked-crab appetizers and camaraderie were over the top!
I was very impressed with the fact that Swift board members Will Robertson and Pick Freeman came all the way from the East coast to join us and see how those west of the “big river” celebrate the Swift with our gatherings. I think they enjoyed themselves. I know I enjoyed talking to them and hearing about all the progress at the Swift Museum.
With all those Swifts at the fly-in, we were bound to have a few mechanical issues, but thanks to Harley Howell and Doc Mahoney, everybody’s issues were either being taken care of or scheduled for repairs in the near future. I want to offer my personal thanks to Harley Howell for giving up so much of his weekend to getting my Swift airworthy enough to finish the flight to Diamond Point. I’ll be even happier when it’s back home in my hangar!
Again, thanks to all who made this weekend so special.
Red River Swift Wing Gathering Oct 31-Nov 3
The RRSW folks will be holding their fall fly-in at Pecan Plantation, hosted by Steve and Barb Wilson. Info follows:
LOCATION: Pecan Plantation Airport 0TX1 is a residential airpark located 8NM south of Granbury, Texas 76049. On the Dallas/Ft Worth Terminal chart 45NM SW of DFW outside the Bravo. 3600’ X 50’ paved lighted runway – with PAPI (Currently 18/36 to be repainted to 1/19 this spring)
TIE DOWNS: There are a dozen permanent tie downs available.
I have a few sets of tie downs I can loan out. Suggest you bring a set, especially if you are not one of the early arrivals.
FUEL: NO FUEL available on the field, but Granbury Airport GDJ has fuel at a very competitive price.
ACCOMODATIONS: Contact Barb Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-279-1379 with your choice of option, number attending, and t-shirt sizes
Stay with a Pecan Plantation host family in an airpark home.
(Limited rooms available)
Pecan Plantation Clubhouse – I have all rooms blocked for this event (all non-smoking) 7900 Monticello Dr Granbury, TX 76049 – 817-573-2641
DBL Queen and King Rooms are available at a cost of $90.10 for weekdays and $100.70 for weekends.
Eye ball to eye ball with a “big bird”
On a different note, here is Don Thomson’s description of his encounter with a “big bird”:
Our morning started in Salem, Oregon with breakfast at my house and some preflight discussion between Jim “Doogie” Robison, Tom Numelin and me.
We’d planned a 10:30am departure of a 3-ship flight to the 4th of July Diamond Point Swift gathering, but soon learned we would be joined by two more Swifts; Alan & Janet Dicker and Steve & Barb Wilson. They were passing through the area on their way to Diamond Point so we made it a 5-ship gaggle. Alan and I playfully argued as to who would lead… I apparently lost that discussion…
The weather was VFR when we departed, but we encountered the forecasted 2000’ OVC ceilings just north of Hillsboro, OR. We had plenty of visibility under the clouds as we continued north on the smooth 2-hour flight along Interstate 5.
As we approached the Hood Canal, the ceilings started to improve. Barb Wilson was keeping us all updated on the weather ahead, using her Ipad and some great aviation software.
It was near Dabob Bay that I spotted the first sign of trouble. What initially looked like a small spec in the windscreen was becoming bigger and rapidly closing on us. It wasn’t moving left or right, so I knew it was either coming right at us, or going away and maybe we were overtaking it. The large wingspan, white head and gold beak tipped me off to the fact that it was coming at us and I was about to come face to face with a bald eagle. Things were happening very fast.
I had little time to do anything but announce to the flight that we had a bird at 12 o’clock. At the last second, I ducked my head and jammed the stick forward as it looked like he’d climbed to go above us. I feared he would come through the windshield. The next thing I heard was the bird slamming into my right wing, just inside of the wing strap. The plane yawed to the right, but otherwise continued to fly.
It took a second or two to realize what had happened; my mind wanted to deny what had happened in spite of the remnants of the eagle that were now clinging to the leading edge of the wing, flapping in the wind. The top of the wing was covered with feathers, blood and bird parts. I flew for about ten miles before the leftovers finally freed themselves from the wing. With a little extra power I was holding altitude.
The closest airport was Jefferson County (ironically, only 5 miles from our original destination). I chose it over Diamond Point because it was wider, longer and had clear approaches. Below us was nothing but water and trees. I wasn’t going to attempt a precautionary landing; I didn’t want to turn an incident into an emergency.
The others in the flight and I discussed the various scenarios that I might encounter, but the biggest concern we identified was whether the gear would come down. From my seat the leading edge appeared to be crushed into the right main tire. Both Doogie and Steve flew under my plane and came to the opinion that it looked like the gear would function as the damage was closer to the pivot point of the gear than the actual tire.
When we arrived at Jefferson County, Doogie, Tom and Alan went ahead and landed. I didn’t want to leave them in the air, low on fuel, if I had to land my Swift gear up.
We had some discussion about the chance the left main would come down and the right main remain in the well, but finally made the decision to give the gear a try. An argument could be made for just leaving the gear in the wells, but I would have hated to later find out they would have worked.
Following a short prayer of thanks for getting me this far, combined with another asking for just a little more help to get on the ground safely, I threw the gear switch. After what seemed like an eternity, I got two greens. Yes! Steve confirmed from his vantage point that everything appeared normal.
Feeling slightly relieved, I entered the downwind leg and slowed to about 80mph. While looking over my left shoulder to check my position against the runway for the base turn, the stick suddenly went limp in my hand; the plane buffeting. I was stalling.
Fortunately, my response was automatic, kicking opposite rudder, adding power and lowering the nose. I lost about 500’ in the recovery and found myself very low and needing to turn back toward the runway. The plane didn’t want to climb, so I accepted the level flight I could maintain and flew it until I intercepted the normal glidepath on final. I maintained 85-90mph until touchdown. Other than a long roll out, things were returning to normal.
The others in the flight met me on the ramp and inspected the damage. Admittedly, it was a close call. I couldn’t help but think about the “what if’s” but frankly the possible outcomes were not pretty. I decided to stick with thinking about what actually happened. I noticed that the pushover to avoid the bird registered -2 G’s on the meter…
Alan did approach me on the ramp at Jefferson and thanked me for leading… He can be so thoughtful!
In hindsight, I don’t know what I could have done differently to avoid the impact. The eagle didn’t seem to want to tuck and dive like most birds do. He held his ground to the end. I guess he paid the ultimate price for that decision.
The surprise stall on the downwind leg could have been avoided. I should have done some slow flight before entering the pattern to determine the stall characteristics of my damaged Swift. I think I was so focused on getting the gear down that when it finally worked, my mind relaxed and transitioned to being on the ground and tying down the airplane.
There are many things for which I am thankful. The Swift is an incredibly strong airplane. I had the support and experiences of those flying with me to help me trouble shoot the possible problems. Finally I want to thank Harley Howell III for stepping up to start the process of returning my Swift to the air.
I would be happy to answer any question you might have: Swifterdon@comcast.net
All, go to the Globetemcoswift, Swift Museum Foundation website to view the pictures.
2013 WCSW SWIFT FLY INS
Sep 19-22 Westover Field, CA West Coast Swift National
Oct 31-Nov 3 Pecan Plantation Airpark RRSW Gathering
2013 OTHER FLY INS/AIR SHOWS
Jul 29-Aug 4 Oshkosh, WI EAA Air Venture
Aug 17-18 Camarillo Camarillo Air Show
Aug 17-18 Santa Rosa Wings over Wine Country
Aug 24-25 Santa Maria Thunder over the Valley
Aug 24-25 Lake Tahoe Lake in the Sky Air Show
Aug 30-Sep 1 Watsonville Fly-In & Air Show
Sept 11-15 Stead Field Reno Air Races
Sep 21-22 Salinas Calif Int’l Airshow
Oct 5 Livermore Airport Open House
The above information is accurate as far as we know it, if we receive
notification of changes to date, time, locations, etc. we will update you.
The ANNUAL DUES for 2013 for a newsletter sent by e-mail is $5.00 and you must provide us an email address. If you want it mailed, US Post office, the dues remain at $15.00 – we still have to offset the expense of printing, mailing labels, stamps, etc. For our Canadian friends, we must continue to ask for $20.00 because of the higher postage fees.
****IF your annual dues are up for renewal, please send your check to Gerry Hampton, 3195 Bonanza Dr, Cameron Park, Ca 95682. Make the check out to Gerry or Carol Hampton, WCSW. If you have already renewed, please disregard this notice. HOWEVER, all correspondence should be sent to Gerry Hampton either at the home address or to the e mail shown on page 1 of this newsletter.****
Carol & Gerry Hampton J