Project Police Invade Chapter Leadership Conference

Russ Erb

(Bob Mackey said that one hour after the Chapter Leadership Conference in Georgia with Chapter 690, pictures of the conference showed up on Chapter 690's web site. The gauntlet was thrown. Fortunately, we had the digital camera with us. Okay, Bob, so we didn't get it up within an hour of completion. It's more like 29 hours after completion. We'll claim the weak excuses of deteriorating weather, an IFR flight home, attending church, and putting together another month of one of your favorite World Class newsletters. Deal with it. So there.)

Our day with Bob and Bob started on 7 February 1998 with an 0700 show time at William J. Fox Field at Gary Aldrich's hangar. After preflighting the Cessna 180 Project Police Aerial Assault Vehicle and confirming the crew manifest, Gary, Russ Erb, and George Gennuso strapped in and called for engine start. The Project Police Tactical Assault Force (PPTAF) was on its way.

A normal takeoff (1600 feet, rolling takeoff (Old Flight Test Engineer (FTE) habits are hard to break)) and gentle climb toward Tehachapi started a VFR flight under the cloud deck into the San Joaquin Valley. We identified the famous Tehachapi loop and shortly thereafter saw a looooooong train with locomotives at both ends (Dr. Doolittle action?) that would certainly cross over itself at the loop. Joshua approach passed us off the the Bakersfield Meadows tower, who immediately cleared us to land on 30R. That's great, except we didn't even SEE the airport until a few minutes later!

Upon reaching the tiedown area, we shut down the airplane and immediately set about doing what the Project Police always do upon arriving at the site of a raid--we took pictures of ourselves in our dashing uniforms.

We called the hotel shuttle, and set about checking out the airport for violations. We found the XF-84H doing planesickle duty in front of the terminal, just like Barnaby Wainfan said it would be. We cited it for being the LOUDEST aircraft ever built, then hopped in the shuttle.

We arrived at the scene of the event, picked up our nametags (even though we had our official ones) and handout packages. We also happened to note some critical intelligence relevant to the upcoming Rubidoux Sundown VI raid, carelessly left laying about by some Chapter 1 member. We linked up with PPTAF Officer Charleen Beam, who had been entrusted with transporting the primary targets, Bob Mackey and Bob Warner from LAX to Bakersfield. We presented ourselves to Bob and Bob and they instantly knew they were in trouble.

Just before starting, the last member of our contingent, Miles Bowen, arrived, having driven in from Tehachapi in his Project Police Tactical Assault Vehicle. After another introduction, we started the conference.

1998 Chapter Leadership Conference

Gary Aldrich

Originally published February 1998

The Prez Sez…

Greetings El Niño survivors! (such is how we were greeted at the subject event) Please forgive the brevity of this month's President's column as your NLE is holding a large caliber weapon against my head for missing his deadline and I find it hard to concentrate. However, I will share with you a few thoughts on the Headquarters' Brainwashing Event (they called it a "leadership seminar") that most of your officers attended in Bakersfield last Saturday. In characteristic fashion, PPTAF troopers descended upon Chapter Executive Director Bob Mackey and EAA Executive VP Bob Warner by air and land assault. Chapter 1000 easily out-attended the other chapters with five representatives (including Charleen Beam of the Newport Beach sub-Det).

Amid the panicked cries of "Here come the Zeros" from Chapter 1 lackeys (including Jan "The Hammer" Johnson), troopers Aldrich, Gennuso, Erb, Bowen, and Beam upheld PPTAF tradition by emptying the buffet table of all the High Fructose Snacks (HFS) the HQ boys had carelessly left about.

The rest of the day was a HFS-driven blur, but we did learn a lot about creating visions and setting goals....something we (and the others in the room) tended to neglect at home. Numerous tips were shared on increasing membership and member involvement (watch out you slackers!) and I, at least, came to realize that many of the challenges that face our chapter are common to all. Overall, the experience provided a number of useful nuggets for the officers' cluebag and should result in even better service to the chapter membership.

By the end of the day the combined will of the PPTAF had "turned" (in a Spy-vs-Spy sense) Bob Mackey to our cause and; in a secret ceremony in an isolated center of the room, he was inducted into the Project Police as our very own Headquarters Operative/Mole. Watch for subliminal communications in future Sport Av chapter news articles. Officers Erb, Gennuso, and myself capped the experience with a "raining pitchforks and hammer handles, black-as-the-inside-of-a-cow, Is that ICE on the wing?" return flight in the Skywagon. I'll let one of them describe the experience elsewhere (if they can get their hands to stop shaking). Remember, this month's meeting (Oops, sorry Bob, I meant gathering...) will be supplanted by the raid on Flabob. Intelligence sources indicate that they may be aware of our plans so prepare yourselves for stiff resistance and long steak sandwich lines.

Check Six, and Fly Safe!

Chapter Leadership Conference Project Police Tactical Assault Force troopers Gary Aldrich, Charleen Beam, George Gennuso, Miles Bowen, and Russ Erb with newly recruited EAA Headquarters operatives Bob Mackey and Bob Warner.

Chapter 1000 Leaders Hang Out With Bob Mackey

Russ Erb

Originally published February 1998

As stated by our esteemed Prez, Chapter 1000 was the best represented at the Bakersfield (officially named) Chapter Leadership Workshop. For only being 9% of the chapters there, we had 18% of the people there. EAA Fiefdom 1, our good friends and favorite targets, came in second with 3 or 4 members.

The PPTAF with the rest of the attendees, including Jan Johnson, Dictator-For-Life, EAA Fiefdom 1, immediately behind George Gennuso.

The first part of the session consisted of the Bob and Bob Show passing on important info from headquarters. They first cleared up a common misconception. Don't confuse the EAA and the EAA Aviation Foundation. These are two separate but connected entities which do not share finances. They exist separately due to a long story having to do with lawyers and IRS tax laws. We pay dues to EAA. Contributions to the EAA Aviation Foundation are tax deductible. EAA only owns two aircraft: A Cessna 206 primarily used as a photo plane and a Bell Model 47 helicopter used during the annual convention. All of the other aircraft are owned by the EAA Aviation Foundation. Therefore, unlike written by a confused person in some other chapter's newsletter, your dues DO NOT finance Paul Poberezny's P-51. In fact, Paul doesn't even own that P-51.

Another major decision you'll read about in Sport Aviation soon: a new name for the annual convention. Did you know that the previous official name of the convention was (something like) "The Experimental Aircraft Association Annual Fly-In Convention and Sport Aviation Exposition"? Try putting that on a business card! (And you thought "The Xth Annual Scotty Horowitz Going Away and yada, yada, yada Fly-In" was long!) It's no wonder that everyone just refers to it as "Oshkosh." Well, the folks in Headquarters finally went to marketing school and figured out that we had a problem--no control over the name of the event. It seems you can't copyright the name of a city. An example of the problems we run into is that a vendor can sit outside the gates selling T-shirts emblazoned with "Oshkosh '98" and EAA gets absolutely none of the profits, and it's all legal. Hence after months of Dilbertized meetings and focus groups and all of that marketing stuff, they have finally named that big to-do in July-August "EAA AirVenture Oshkosh." Get used to it--it's going to be around for a long time. In case you're wondering, the same reasoning is behind the new EAA logo that's popping up in various forms everywhere.

The other significant topic that struck me was that we can request address labels from headquarters of all of the EAA members in our area. After sorting out which ones are already members, we can use the rest to send newsletters to (say, 10 per month) to invite them to join our chapter. Who knows? The reason they haven't joined may be as simple as they didn't know we exist.

EAA is recognizing the importance of the "Web" in our future. Apparently the National EAA Web Site is a major source of new members for EAA. Either this year's or next year's chapter directory will include e-mail addresses for non-Luddite chapters.

Bob and Bob referred to EAA as "The Best Kept Secret In Aviation." We need to get the word out.

As for the flight back, everything was very professionally done and I learned quite a bit about flying IFR in real IMC. Gary even demonstrated to us his Navy carrier landing technique in the Skywagon. Unfortunately, Fox Field didn't have the arresting cable rigged. You can ask him about that.

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Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 18 October 1998