Monthly Meeting Minutes – June 2023

Everyone Showed Up Early for Breakfast – 70 in attendance and 58 breakfasts were sold.  A couple new faces were helping out on the service.

Call to Order – Dick Keyt called the meeting to order and summoned all the breakfast crew to the front for special recognition.  Dick sought out the guests in attendance.  Jim Crain brought two guests.  Jim Cotter who was previously with the chapter and helped with simulators during Young Eagles.  Dave Leverton (sp?) who Jim played Tennis with.  Randy Garrett is new to the area working for LM in Computer Security and has an RV-6A.  Greg Lee attended the Flying Start program and recently moved from California.  Kris Jaeckle introduced Rachel Litchy and her two daughters who are interested in aviation.  Sabrina is in the Aerospace Engineering program at the University of Texas and Arianna is in the Mechanical Engineering program at Elon University.  Both are interested in internships.

Project Reports

Zenith CH 750 – Pat and Mary Hoyt reported they have begun a second Zenith, this time a STOL capable CH 750.  Pat mentioned they are nearly complete with the tail section.  They previously built a CH 601XL.

Christavia MK1 – Greg Walker acquired this project from another builder a couple years ago and slowly making progress.  The fuselage and control surfaces are welded and the wood wing is ready for covering.  He recently closed up a custom fiberglass header fuel tank that took several months to complete.  He will be soliciting advice from chapter members with covering expertise.

Glider Project – Dick Keyt reported they have been flying the glider over the last two weeks until the tow plane went down.  He is bringing the glider over from Chigger to raise awareness for Pecan residents who might be interested in giving it a try. (Note: The glider is operated under a separate entity from EAA 983)

Safety Minute

  • Tom Woodward described a preflight on Jimmy De La Garza’s Beech Musketeer.  Instead of just opening the oil access door he decided to open the cowl to see the entire engine.  He was very surprised to see a 2.5 pound breaker bar sitting next to the firewall.  Often during maintenance tools get laid on top of the engine.  Instead, they should be laid on a table or floor to make sure they aren’t inadvertently missed.
  • Dick Keyt mentioned a couple instances where a nosegear was stuck due to springs that had not been checked and replaced.  One situation was a Ballanca Viking that he was able to advise the pilot on a landing procedure to dislodge the stuck spring.
  • Don McDonald provided a plea that pilots look out for the well-being of other pilots.  If someone does not appear to be acting normal or sick convince them to stay on the ground and fly another time.  He mentioned a situation of an RV-10 pilot who was not feeling well never made it to his destination and perished.

September Fly-In –Greg Walker reported that the Fly In committee continues organizing and holding to the date of September 23rd.  He passed around a list of committees and volunteer signup opportunities.  Greg emphasized that since the chapter is doing the food prep and food service, we will need a lot of volunteers in that area.  Fly In leads should be finalizing their roster of helpers over the next month.  Greg mentioned that setup and takedown require lots of help.  Dick requested for members to sign up even if an unforeseen circumstance causes you to cancel.Bill Eslick is seeking donations for the silent auction Fly Mart – start cleaning out those hangers!  This is a big moneymaker for the Fly In.  

Other Announcements

  • Pecan GPS Approach – Bob Pastusek is taking over the care and feeding of the GPS approach with the FAA.  The current approach plate is dated July 2020 and is only available to Pecan Plantation residents.  It should not be provided to any guests.
  • Wright Brothers Award – Tom Woodward reported they have 27 submittals and 3 in work.  He is working with the FAA rep on a ceremony targeted for around Veteran’s Day in November.
  • Flying Start – Tom reported the event on May 20th was a huge success. It was intended to inspire future aviators by giving them an introductory flight and provide information on the steps to becoming a licensed pilot.  Besides the flying part, Tom setup several talks on different aspects of general aviation (powered airplanes, rotorcraft, sailplanes, etc.).  24 people were registered.  The 7 no shows were replaced by 7 walk ups to take their place.
  • Hanger Space – Bruce McJunkin will need to move his projects out of a hanger in California and is looking for temporary storage until he moves into Pecan.  Please contact Bruce if you are able to help out.

Featured Speaker – Following a short break, Bob Pastusek introduced Retired USAF General and Lockheed Martin Vice President for Customer Requirements, Gary North. Gary has over 4500 hours in the F-4, F-15, and F-16.  He previously served as the Pacific Air Forces Commander and Commander of the US Central Command Air Forces before retiring in 2012 and subsequently joining LM.

Gary started out by saying that we are closer to 1938 than we have ever been.  Instead of Germany and Japan from then, now Russia and China are making or getting ready to make big moves.  Ukraine is likely just a first step for Russia and China will be looking toward Taiwan in the not-too-distant future.  He noted China graduates more PhDs in Aerospace than the US does with bachelor’s degrees.  They are acquiring territory in Africa and Cuba.


Gary shared two F-35 videos that walk around the aircraft and give a pilot’s perspective on this highly lethal and survivable platform.  The APG 81 AESA radar is the most advanced radar on an operational fighter.  An AESA radar is a computer-controlled array antenna in which the beam of radio waves can be electronically steered to point in different directions without moving the antenna.  The Distributed Aperture System (DAS) has 6 IR cameras that give the pilot an ability to see in all directions including straight below the cockpit floor!  An Electro Optical Targeting System is built into the airframe unlike legacy platforms carrying a separate pod.  All this information gets “fused” into the helmet mounted display and significantly reduces the workload a pilot would typically have to manage with multiple cockpit displays.  In recognition of the Naval Aviators, Gary pointed out recent recoveries to CV carriers are so precise that a section of deck near the #3 wire touchdown point needed replacement.  This is all due to a precision landing mode implemented in the F-35 flight control system.  One capability Gary is very passionate about is Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System.  He is aware of approximately 130 F-16s and pilots that have been lost due to spatial disorientation, G-induced loss of consciousness, or controlled flight into terrain.  Since AGCAS was introduced to the F-16 there have been 11 recorded saves where the system took over and saved a life.  The F-35 recently implemented this same capability about 7 years ahead of schedule and provides the same level of protection.

At the conclusion of the talk Gary fielded a number of questions including how he got his callsign “Nordo.” Following the meeting cleanup, Bob Pastusek gave Gary the grand tour of Pecan Plantation featuring a nice lunch at the 19th hole.  Gary has since joined the EAA 983 chapter as a member!


In the interest of time and the hanger heating up, Tom Woodward deferred the scenarios and only introduced the question of the month for both the VMC and IMC club.

VMC: What do the blue numbers represent at various places on the sectional chart?  Answer: The number identifies the highest elevation in MSL within a quadrant on a chart.  Sectional chart quadrants are bounded by every 30 minutes of latitude and 30 minutes of longitude.

IMC: What is the accuracy requirement airborne for a VOR?  Answer:  The maximum indicated bearing error is plus or minus 6 degrees.  The VOR receiver must be checked within the preceding 30 days for an IFR flight.

About Walkergp

Retired Lockheed Martin Engineering Senior Manager

2 Replies to “Monthly Meeting Minutes – June 2023”

  1. buhwana

    Wanted to thank you for some very concise and thorough reporting. Nice job, often under appreciated

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