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June 15, 2015 at 6:14 amCategory:Uncategorized

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Unfavorable weather forecasts prevented some from flying to Paul Spurgeons’s place Saturday (June 27, 2015), but despite the forecasts the rain held off and it was good flying weather. There were eight airplanes and about 40 people present, most of whom drove in. The food was excellent as usual, thanks to Paul and the ones who helped. See more photos in Photo Gallery.


I don’t know which is more popular at Paul’s: the food, the fellowship, the flying or the shade of that big elm.


The food line was pretty popular too.

On Saturday, June 13, six Chapter pilots finally got to fly 17 Young Eagles. Several others showed up to help in various capacities. A WCBI TV reporter was there to do a news segment, and the Starkville Daily News ran a story in the Sunday edition. You can see photos in ‘Photo Gallery’ at right.’

Pilots participating in the flights were:
Joel Graber (C-172)
Don Baker (Alon)
David Haney (Citabria)
Sam Suttle (C-182)
J.W. Bruce (Piper Warrior)
Thomas Sippel (RV-6A)


FBO Ken Assand gives some Very Young Eagles a ride around the airport June 13, 2015.


Carey Hardin departing 18 in the Stearman at Starkville.

Aero English receiving Master Pilot Award from FAA Representative Larry Wells on April 11.


Brig. General Robert Stewart, Retired

Top photo: Well-known pilot and Chapter 1189 member Aero English receiving the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from FAA Representative Larry Wells on Saturday, April 11. We also heard an entertaining speech from former Astronaut and retired Brig. General Robert Stewart.

Aero also received recognition from the Monroe County Board of Supervisors. And Aubie Pearman read Mississippi House Resolution 135 commending Aero for his long service in the State. These formalities were preceded by an Honor Guard presentation of the Colors and the singing of our National Anthem. We had a very good turnout, with about 30 airplanes flying in. See more photos under ‘Photo Gallery’.

From the archives: 2002.
Photo below was made on 9/11/02 in celebration of our freedoms and defiance in view of the one year anniversary of 9/11/01. Since it was a work day only three showed up to fly over to Oxford to eat at a popular cafe called informally “Mama Jo’s”: Stanley Gray and I were retired, and Mitch Hendrix had a day off from his Pilot job for Southwestern Airlines. Mama Jo was proud to greet her customers who came so far to eat there. Mitch flew his Cessna 140 while Stanley rode with me in the RV.

Below: Fayette, AL was a popular location to fly to when LB’s Barbeque – no longer there – was a short walking distance from the airport (M95). There are currently two fast-food joints there now, but we miss LB’s. Drew Fultz is the little guy between Andy and Nancy. Others are Paul Spurgeon, David Johnson, Alan and Jennifer Henley, Dale Weaver, Mitch Hendrix, and three unidentified. Yours truly was the photographer.

Home-building is alive and well in Chapter 1189. Starkville is the SmithMikeJrsite of a lot of that activity lately, but Mike Smith, Jr. of Tuscaloosa recently sent photos and an update on his Panther project. This airplane may not be too well known yet, but I predict we’ll be hearing more about it in the future. We’ve modified the menu item labeled “How-To Articles” to include member building projects. Check out Mike’s interesting story under “How-To Articles / Member Building Projects”.

The Panther

Jennifer Henley posted this photo on Facebook of Alan (our Chapter’s namesake) taking Harrison Ford for a ride a few years ago, and gave me permission to use it here. I’ll bet Alan let Harrison fly some too.


C195 - 4Small

Quenten Graber’s 1948 Cessna 195

It is a 1948 Cessna 195, which is the 190 with the original Continental 240 HP engine replaced with the 300 HP Jacobs.
 (Older post:) I checked on building progress on Legal Eagle no. two (or is it three?) at STF recently. Photo below shows Bill Page with wing construction; other wing is being covered by Bert Nail. Other photo shows Bill Page’s finished Legal Eagle, sporting new fiberglass cowl. Bill is well known in the area for his expertise in composite work, which was evident in his award-winning KR2.
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Paul Spurgeon’s place, June 28, 2014
  Menu additions:
The A & P’s, etc that were listed in this spot have been moved to the “Technical Assistance” category.
New: “Directions to Private Airstrips“.
Below: I rode in the front seat of Carey Hardin’s Stearman in 2008 in formation with these three other beautiful ships.
Stearman flight over Starkville

Stearman flights over Starkville, 2008


  (Early 2014 post)Chapter President Joel Graber sent the following project updates:

Billy and Greg at Lowndes County are deep into an RV-8 project.
Shane at Lowndes Co is building a Legal Eagle. Seems to be working on it every day. Project can be seen at Tom’s Paint (aka The Floor Gallery) on Gardner Blvd. Columbus.
Kedric Borntrager at Macon just ordered a set of Double Eagle plans.
Quinten worked all last week assembling the engine and installing it on his Pitts. Should be back in the air soon.
There is work every Thursday evening at Paul Grabers hangar where we are restoring the Protech Prostar.
Additionally, on Thursday evenings Gabriel Barnhart is building a Legal Eagle at Paul Grabers
Daryl Schrock is every weekday working on the Glassair III at Macon.
Bill Page and company appear to be still working hard on 2 legal eagles and 2 double eagles at Starkville.
Abolish third-class medicals? You’ve probably seen the EAA and AOPA sites this week. The big news is a bill introduced in the U.S. House Wednesday by Reps. Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Sam Graves (R-MO) that seeks to abolish the third-class medical certificate for many pilots who fly recreationally.
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013 (HR 3708), co-sponsored by Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Richard Hanna (R-NY), would require pilots who fly recreationally to hold a valid driver’s license in lieu of a third-class medical certificate and operate under specific limitations. EAA and other aviation associations worked with Rep. Rokita to develop and promote this legislation as part of a continuing commitment to lowering barriers to aviation participation.
 Some of the limitations:
 Not for compensation
Conducted in VFR operations only, at or below 14,000 feet MSL
No faster than 250 knots
In aircraft with no more than six seats and no more than 6,000 pounds gross takeoff weight.
 “The third-class medical certificate does little to evaluate the day-to-day fitness of pilots flying recreationally,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “There are better ways to maintain high medical standards for aviation and allow individuals the freedom to enjoy the world of flight.”

 The EAA and the AOPA have petitioned the FAA to allow such a provision.