Swift is moving forward to complete our new facility… This summer!
Board Chairman’s Comments
by Will Roberson
Due to a series of fortuitous events we are proud to announce we are on a path to complete our Swift Facility this year! This year!
We are in direct negotiations with multiple contractors to finalize numbers. We are working to insure that these numbers are in line with our projected estimate of $159,000. A few details need to be completed with McMinn County on the lease, but these are minor. All of these events are the result of the hard work of your building committee headed by Pick Freeman working closely with committee members Scott Anderson, Paul Barnett, Roger Weber and Pam Nunley. A huge THANK YOU to members Paul Barnett and Roger Weber for their generosity and ingenuity in “jump starting” our project and getting us started NOW!
At press time we had over $121,000 in the building fund (and growing …. due to the increasing number of “Bricks” of all types being purchased by you… the members). There are a limited number of the original Globe Factory Bricks, don’t miss your chance honor someone special and to help sustain your organization for generations to come. The plan is have the slab poured, cured and ready for building erection in June.
Note Paul Barnett posted on Globe Temco Swift Facebook page:
I have my brick…do you have yours?
Close your eyes and picture the completion of Phase 2 of our Swift Museum Foundation Building Project…. YOUR 80′ x 80′ Hangar has been approved by our Board of Directors… much information will be formally communicated to the membership, the purpose of my post is to encourage each and every one of us to buy our brick and/or make a contribution to this Very Important Project NOW!!
Ground will very likely be broken within 30 days yet we are very much in need of contributions no matter how large or small.
Our NEW Museum Hangar will display our vast array of historical artifacts along with our treasured display aircraft… guess what, we have incorporated the necessary structural strength to suspend up to 4 aircraft much like the Smithsonian and other nationally recognized aviation museums.
I would like to extend a challenge to generate the sale of 40 Bricks between march 1st and April 1st, 2015.
The Swift museum building is basically an 80′ X 80′ hangar with a 23′ eave height and it will have a 60′ X 15′ Higher Lift door plus electrical harness throughout and (3500 psi) concrete floor and full insulation. The building meets all Tennessee building code specs and is stressed so we can hang a Swift or two from the girders for dramatic display purposes. We plan to have construction completed by mid- summer. Without a doubt … this is a major step for all Swifters everywhere. Thanks to all for all the hard work, dedication and generosity in supporting your Swift organization!
I also want to thank all of our members who have to date, started their contributions to the facility through purchases of commemorative bricks of all types. As these funds continue to roll in we hope to pay off this building by the time construction is finished. If everyone contributes, not matter how large or small we will easily exceed the costs and will have some funds for the next phase which will be to have all of the Museum displays properly located and installed throughout the building. This is yours … Swift members… and we hope you will enjoy it and be proud of what … we together… have built. We are not done yet and we will be calling … once again … for people to step forward and chair various committees to finish the displays of Swift memorabilia and tell our own Swift story from the beginning to now.
New Swift President: Jim “Frog” Jones. The Swift Board voted unanimously to accept “Frog” Jones as our new President. Our search committee looked from coast to coast for a volunteer and was fortunate to identify Jim for our President position. His duties will consist of keeping Swift front and center in the General Aviation community via meetings at all levels and interfaces with EAA, AOPA, FAA, other type clubs and the Swift membership. This move is intended to relieve our Executive Director Pam Nunley of some of the far reaching issues that confront our organization and help reduce some of the ever present day to day issues for Swift. Jim will also be dual hatted in that he is also our fund raising chairman which is challenging but does go hand in glove with being President of an organization. Jim and I will work out the details of his duties to insure the best means to interface with the Board, our Executive Director and the membership at large. Jim’s Executive experience and national recognition in industry nationwide make him an ideal selection for Swift President. Additionally, the fact that Froggy has a long association with Swift in many capacities will insure all the traditions and mystique of Swift are carried forward. We are indeed fortunate to have a long time dedicated Swifter assume these duties to help insure the best for Swift and its members. Thanks, Froggy, for your time and effort.
Volunteerism. I am very encouraged to see the Swift community pulling together in so many ways to develop solutions to our (relatively minor) problems. Volunteers are stepping forward in many areas: assisting with transition to our new facility, contributing to and developing our newsletter; organizing fly-ins; serving on committees; volunteering at headquarters, participating on the board; donating funds; attending events; giving rides in aircraft; and the pinnacle that rises above all of those… just spending time fellowshipping with one another while enjoying the Swift and expanding our individual knowledge of what keeps it flying.
I found a brief passage in the Globe Aircraft Workers Manual, page 10-1 1 that is the crux of all our volunteerism in Swift: “In order for a worker to advance, he should strive constantly to increase his knowledge concerning, not only the particular phase of the work for which he is responsible, but the work in general. One of the best methods of doing this is to be alert at all times for new ideas, observing especially those individuals of particular skill and ability around him Therefore, one should not turn a deaf ear to anyone, regardless of his station in life. Often a chance remark made by someone, even a stranger, has been the key that unlocks a big problem.”
I think Swift is following the principles set out in the above passage by constantly improving itself, taking ideas from the membership, and capitalizing on the skills and abilities of each member.
If you have a contribution you can make to the world of Swift … please don’t be satisfied with sitting at home and keeping it to yourself! Toot your own horn a bit! Get your point across … and err on the side of getting involved in making a contribution. And, as Rule #5 of the Globe Factory Rules states: “Do not wash up before quitting time!!”
We continue to move ever forward … and together we are getting the job done.
Executive Director Comments
by Pam Nunley
Web Site Support: We need a person to feed data to our website. You do not have to manage the site or know anything about web sites….we just need a person to provide data to our web host! No specific web site skills are necessary….Web Host handles all of that. Please consider volunteering for this if you would like to help in this area.
Swift National 2015: This event is only 90 days away. Please send your Pre-registration in as soon as possible. NOTE: Incomplete address on the form! Should read 223 County Road 552. The more we register in advance the easier it is for us to plan and execute in June. Sounds like a long time away but it isn’t. If you do not have the form or have misplaced it please call HQ’s for one or find it on the web site. [Download Pre-Registration Form Here.]
Swift National in Bowling Green promises to be great fun with a nice locale, lots to do, and as always just the fun of seeing old friends, meeting new members and the enjoyment of seeing a host of beautiful Swifts! Jerry Kirby and his group are really pulling out all the stops to make this a memorable and enjoyable gathering. Please work this one into your plans.
Sun n Fun. This fun event is just around the corner. John Drago has Swift set up in the Type Tent. Many thanks go out to Perry Sisson and Carolyn Graves for volunteering to host and coordinate volunteers at the Swift Table. Also, John needs a headcount of Swifts going to Sun-n-Fun so he can set up a parking row for us. So please, if you are going or think you might… HQ’s so we can add your name to the list with your approximate arrival date. This information will help us get and keep our parking row. Thanks for your support.
FOR SALE—Duane Goldings Swift Since we lost a long time Swifter last month we have been advised by Dorothy that Duane’s Swift N3283K, a GC- I B, SN # 1276 is for sale. It has a Continental 0-300D engine with only 400 SMOH and she is asking $35,000. If interested please call Dorothy at 210-860-1127. This good Swift needs a good home.
Brick Fund Raising: With the good news of rapid progress on the Swift building project we want to encourage those of you who have not yet participated to consider your purchase of a Globe Factory Brick or a Replica Brick. Many have commented they will use this project to honor and/or remember a particular family member or a close friend who is/was aviation oriented or perhaps a veteran who they want to highlight. We have learned that the Southern Swift Air Group (SSAG) and the Red River Swift Wing (RRSW) will purchase a Globe brick and then may surround it in the display with individual bricks for participating members. Thanks Swifters!
Editors note: Another way for a group to participate would be to purchase a larger (8×8) Replica brick and add member individual bricks under or around it. If all our various groups across the country would take some action such as this… it would be a nice way to support Swift and highlight your regional Swift organization. Taking that a step further, it could also be a state group, or a group of you Swifters that just get together periodically but not necessarily under the auspices of a named group. IDEA: Might be fun to see all the groups represented such as Diamond Point, West Coast National, St Louis Gateway, Florida, France, Canada, Europe, South America and any other. Please give this some thought. SJW
by Michael Kennedy
It seems like just a few short years ago the skies were blessed with the excellent flying and showmanship of our own Swift Magic Formation Team. They toured all over the country and displayed their “Magic” for thousands of onlookers. The following article by Michael Kennedy aka Magic Three… highlights just one of their many airshows… this one was unique… in that they journeyed down to Son Salvador. This particular show was also very poignant in that it was the lost major show for Magic Two… aka… Duane “Porchdog” Upton….who shortly after their return was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to continue.
Lowell Sterchi, Duane Upton and Michael Kennedy
Who wants to fly an airshow in El Salvador?
That was the question I asked Lowell and Dewayne after being contacted by an airshow producer in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. We all agreed it would be a neat adventure and after negotiating a fee we made our plans for the February trip.
Lowell got our repair spares kit together and I did a flight plan. We would meet up at Dewayne’s Outer Slobovia air field, MS and fly to Brownsville, TX to get ready to fly south. Get ready meaning we would put temporary 12″ registration numbers on the side of the Swifts so we would be legal to fly out of the US. Masking tape did a nice job. Checked with customs and then headed to Veracruz, Mexico on a VFR flight plan for our refueling stop. With the wing tanks we could make El Salvador with on stop. After checking with AOPA and others on flying to Central America, we each carried lots of Pecos to pay for the fuel and fees – and were ready for a different world in aviation. We were not disappointed. Refueling was the easy part. Now we had to close and file a flight plan to San Salvador, but first had to clear customs with our passports (waited 30 minutes for someone to show up at the office) and then take our flight plan to the airport commandant to be approved. We learned smiling and joking went a long way as did autographed Magic Team photos. We also met up with the late Greg Poe and decided to fly the next leg as a group of four.
In Mexico there is no night VFR, only IFR, and there is very little radar down south – only approach radar at low levels with a 20 mile coverage around major airport. So you are on your own but Garmin GPS has everything on it so we had a comfort level. Well a slight delay for early fog in Brownsville and then the run around at Veracruz put us a couple of hours behind schedule. Then a headwind made it impossible to make San Salvador before dark. No one wanted to try to find the airport in El Salvador in the dark! So we looked for an alternative on the GPS’s and decided we could make the only “international” Mexican airport nearby called Tapachula on the Pacific coast of Mexico. But even then we would not make it before dark….
As the dark grew we called Tapachula tower and asked for permission to land. They cleared us and now I wondered what kind of trouble we were in, let’s see – flying after dark VFR, unapproved deviation on the flight plan and…. gringos. As we taxied in I noticed a man with a clip board with two armed soldiers walking toward us. This does not bode well, oh my, at least we were on the ground alive for now.
What a huge delight to find our welcoming party very friendly and most accommodating. No problem VFR at night, no problem off flight plan and on top of helping complete the paperwork they called a cab and directed us to hotel rooms in the city. Not quite Motel 6, but okay. The food was superb.
We left the next day, again with great help by the airport folks and flew the Guatemala coast line to San Salvador. As we headed to Ilapango airport we passed some very tall volcano peaks and were really glad we did not try it in the dark.
The airshow was amazing in the lack of any rules or supervision. The next day we asked to practice in the airshow box and were told that the box was the whole airport. Ok, how do we activate the box to practice? Just tell ground control you want to practice…. Ok, Ilapango Ground, Swift Magic would like to practice aerobatics. Ground: “You are cleared to practice aerobatics, all aircraft stay clear while Swift Magic practices”. So we did.
Crazy flying abounded. The Salvadorian Air Force Squadron commander died the day before practicing aerobatics, crashing his jet on the runway. The local pilots had a custom of buzzing the aero club second story bar as everyone stood on the porch watching and, of course, expected us to participate. Lowell said “hang in tight and DO NOT fly lower than me”… I don’t know how low and close we went but our wives were not happy. On the other hand we did not have to buy any drinks that night.
Since the Swifts were packed to the gills, our wives flew down commercial to join us and we were given tours of all the sights. At our hotel I thought Disney has set it up as there were all these bird/parrot calls in the gardens — but no, the birds were all real and wild. It was a wonderful event. The trip home was less stressful as the weather was great, had tailwind and flew straight across Guatemala to Veracruz. Then back to Brownsville for customs. We did plan to fly to Dewayne’s that same day, but halfway up to Corpus Christy a fog set in and we had to turn back to Brownsville to RON. Our first hint was all the Navy pilots calling on the radio with missed approaches at the naval base.
This was to be the last airshow Swift Magic flew as a three ship as Dewayne was diagnosed with terminal cancer less than two months later. But what a great way to end our companionship and flying adventures as The Swift Magic Aerobatic Team.
… The Swift Magic Team!!
Charlie was Swift member #1. The complete story of his passing is in the January newsletter but at that time we didn’t have some photos of Charlie and so we have them for this issue. Along with that we obtained information on his career as a pipeline patrol pilot.
Pipeline Patrol or Aerial Patrol was and is a very necessary part of keeping our vast pipeline system operating with the emphasis on safety. Charlie worked for Panhandle Eastern and Trunkline Gas Company throughout his career flying the C-172 and C-182. Panhandle’s 4 pilots patrolled the 13,000 miles of natural gas pipelines sprawling across 13 states and generally they flew about 6000 miles per week. It was a continual process to insure the pipelines were always maintained in operating condition and leaks were curtailed to insure the highest safety standard.
The pipeline patrol aircraft replaced the dozens of “walkers” that used to cover the lines at a pace of about 75 miles per week. Initially they flew like barnstormers at very low altitudes in all kinds of terrain and weather….i.e. treetop level. Later they developed more effective method and flew most routes at 500′ with occasional excursions down to tree top level as necessary. New machinery has been installed that can detect leaks in various sections nearly instantaneously but the pipeline patrol is still used to verify and more importantly ward off intrusions in/near the pipelines before trouble begins. This is demanding flying and it takes a few months for a patrol pilot to learn and memorize the terrain, obstacles that he encounters daily in the flights in his section. Many trouble spots are caused by men and machinery that “forget” that a pipeline is nearby and start digging before verifying locations. This is much like you do on your own property before installing anything underground.
Charlie used to say when he came home from a patrol of six hours or more he would just jump into his Swift and fly for 30 minutes or so to relax because Swifts are so much fun to fly. He said it was a bit like driving a truck all day and then enjoy going home from work in your sports car. What a great career and whatever the aircraft… flying is still flying…
BUT … it is more fun in a Swift.
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!!
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 special way for you to show your support of the Swift for the generations of Swift caretakers yet to come.
Call Headquarters for information about monthly payment option. (423-745-9547)
by Todd Bengston
I am sure you have heard the old adage stating that aviation is not inherently dangerous but it is unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect. There is some wise counsel in that phrase and distractions can be a root cause of all three. Distractions during preflight have been known to cause fatal accidents including fuel starvation from unsecured gas caps, uncontrolled flight on rotation from gust locks having not been removed etc. Distractions during flight may be the most dangerous in that we forget we must FLY the airplane first! Distractions could include a door popping open, gear that won’t retract or extend, unexpected weather, casual conversation at a critical time etc. Distractions during post flight period can lead to leaving the master switch on and thus a dead battery or forgetting to chock a wheel and the resulting unexpected rolling aircraft. I would like to share a recent flight that got my attention.
We had just departed our home airport in my C310 on a flight to Memphis. My wife was up front with me and we had 2 teenagers in back. We were on our way to a college bowl game and no one wanted to be late. Much to my wife and son’s dismay, we had to delay initially due to foggy conditions but I make it a practice to not depart in weather that I am not confident I can return immediately in. On departure our weather was still a relatively low ceiling of 300 ft. and 2 miles visibility. Shortly after liftoff….the door popped open.
In the 310, the door opens approximately one foot and stays there. It was cold, windy, loud and is accompanied by some mild buffeting. A definite distraction. I immediately concentrated on staying on the instruments during climb out … and once op top at 3000 ft. I requested to level off with ATC. I notified them of our situation and that we would try to get the door closed… but… we would mostly likely need to come back home on the ILS.
IFR conditions were widespread and there were no close VFR areas. With the door open, the altimeter and airspeed jumped around quite a lot and the airspeed did not seem very accurate. We slowed….and with both my wife and I pulling the door we still could not get it latched. Pulling the door partially closed did smooth out the altimeter and airspeed. I decided we would fly the ILS back to home and with my wife pulling the door closed as much as possible it was an uneventful approach and landing. I remembered to: Fly First… Navigate Second … and Communicate Third. So keep your distractions to a minimum and when something unexpected happens during flight….First and Foremost … FLY THE AIRPLANE!!!!
(Ed: This incident exemplifies an old saying of Dick Collins when talking about “near misses” and the value of flying experience. Dick always said: “Don’t let your ‘Bag of luck get empty … before your bag of experience gets full’.” Well done to an experienced Swifter….Todd Bengston!!)