Monthly Meeting Minutes – August 2023

BA Fan Got a Workout! – With a starting temperature of about 85 air movement kept the audience reasonably comfortable.  The guests and members rolled in slowly as many were confused about the start time – routines are hard to break!  We ended up with about 5o in attendance by the start of the program.

Call to Order – President Dick Keyt called the meeting to order and sought out the guests in attendance.  Jerry Wallace just moved to Pecan from overseas.  He is a commercially-rated pilot who is looking to secure hanger space before purchasing an RV type.

Project Reports

Glider Flying – Dick Keyt reported that the glider club flying activities have been at a standstill while the tow pilot, Carl Keil, recovers from recent surgery and maintenance to the tow plane.  Since putting in a freshly overhauled engine, the Super Cub has been experiencing excessively high cylinder head temperatures.  Dick’s theory is poorly installed baffling is not providing efficient cooling air to the cylinders.  He has undertaken a project to revamp the baffling and is enlisting help from the glider project team.  Following the meeting and lunch, about seven chapter members gathered in Dick’s Air Conditioned hanger for the afternoon to make good progress toward solving the cooling issues.

Auto Gyro – Ray Lewis is waiting on his aircraft to be delivered which is held up in Houston customs.  His son went through a builder assist program in Germany and will receive the Repairman’s certificate to maintain the gyro.  When received in his hanger Ray explained there is minimal work required to prepare it for flight.

AirVenture Air Academy Report – Tania Magallanes, winner of the 2023 Air Academy scholarship from 983, did a short presentation on her experiences during the week before AirVenture 2023.  She was extremely thankful to God, EAA 983, and her family for their part in making this fantastic experience happen.  She brought several projects that she worked on while at the camp – giving her hands on experience with aircraft construction.  This included an aluminum spark plug holder she riveted, a wooden wing rib that she glued and stapled, a styrofoam airfoil shaped with hot wire, a kneeboard made from laminated fiberglass, and several welding projects she seemed most proud of.

She spoke of career discussions she had with both Southwest and American Airlines.  Both airlines have programs offered that will take a young person through all their training to an eventual First Officer position with airlines.  She seemed to be leaning toward the Southwest program.  The committee made an outstanding choice choosing this young lady and her enthusiastic attitude will take her far in an aviation career.

Secretary Report – Greg Walker mentioned paid membership in the chapter is at 171 which is 23 higher than this time last year.  He encouraged members to seek out additional members from the area, especially the Landings where there has been a large influx of new residents.  This has prompted the Board to investigate improvements to the restroom facilities in the hanger.

He mentioned that the chapter still has a bunch of “Sectional-themed” items for sale including the very popular aprons, coffee mugs, and coasters.

Greg reported that the Fly In date of September 23rd is approaching quickly.  Bill Eslick had a bunch of color flyers printed that are available for distribution to area airports.  Fly In leads are now responsible for their volunteers and those interested in helping should contact them directly.  He emphasized how important it is to have a large contingent available for the Friday evening setup and Saturday take down.  

Hanger Improvements – Dick Keyt discussed recent discussions among the Board looking at improvements to the restrooms which is one of the biggest deficiencies in the facility.  He reminded members of the financial commitment to pay back the investors who put up the balance of money to complete the purchase of the hanger and home on the property.  That commitment and the chapter financial status will factor into the decision to move out on an improvement.  Fundraising is something everyone should engage toward making the chapter financially independent.

Fly In Aircraft Parking – Doug Crumrine mentioned that he and Keith Brown will be leading the aircraft parking.  He requested interested volunteers to contact him and enjoy the immense benefits of that activity (view of aircraft coming in and free water!).  No prior experience necessary.

Fly In Silent Auction – Karen Jensen mentioned she is responsible for gathering donations for the Silent Auction.  She asked members to pass on any contacts for donations from individuals or companies.  Members should start gathering up contributions that will be collected closer to the date.

Fly In Food – Karen Woodward reported that it has been decided to serve pulled pork as the lunch meal along with donated home baked cookies from the chapter members.

Young Eagles – John Bowen discussed plans to support Young Eagles flights during the Fly In.  He will be looking for at least 10 pilots flying from 9 am until noon.  He encouraged new Young Eagles pilots to get involved.  All that is required is to be current and have a valid medical.  BasicMed and Sport Pilot is eligible.  The only thing else required is 30 minutes of online training.  John is planning to do something different for signups this time to allow local kids a priority.

Treasurer – Bill Eslick said the chapter has about $52K in the bank.

Greece Firefighting – Dick Keyt prompted Rob Boyd to discuss his experiences fighting wildfires in Greece.  He goes over there three times a year flying an S-64 Skycrane now produced by Erickson Inc.  Rob explained how he is capable of using a Sea Snorkle that can fill a 2600 gallon water tank in 30 seconds!  Dick asked him to come back and give a program on his experiences at a future meeting.

Featured Speaker – Following a short break, VP Bob Pastusek introduced representatives from Causey Aviation to discuss their Drone Delivery service currently supporting the Granbury area.  Travis Hill is currently the lead for the Granbury operations which is one of four locations in Texas and North Carolina serving as test markets for this innovative technology.  Travis is a licensed pilot, so he is fully aware of the issues of mixing manned aircraft with UAS operations.  Wayne Worthington, a local Pecan resident, is also with the company and prompted this presentation to our chapter.

Travis went through a short presentation discussing the drone capabilities and current operating parameters.  Causey is using the Granbury Drive-in as their base for operations where four pads have been setup to launch the drones.  They expect to expand to 8 pads in the near future.  Each drone is equipped with a parachute that can be triggered by an external operator or when the drone detects an unrecoverable failure of its systems.  The drone has 2 GPS receivers and 6 batteries onboard with a range of 2.5 NM.  Their operations are currently limited to 2 NM to maintain some margin for delays in delivery.  They cruise between 240 and 300 feet AGL and are operated with line-of-sight view by the operators.

Pilots will notice a NOTAM for the Granbury area from the surface to 400 feet AGL.  Although the NOTAM area overlays the KGDJ airport, their operations don’t currently interfere with airport operations and company policy restricts them from operating in the approach or departure paths of airports.  In September all commercial drones with be required to have Remote ID to broadcast their position.  Travis said he expects EFB Apps like Foreflight and flight tracking Apps like FlightAware will eventually include UAS in their flight tracking.

Product delivery is based on addresses signed up with their App.  They are able to deliver product easily within a 10×10 foot square using a cable to lower a bag from 80 feet AGL.  Their deliveries are typically food and only a 10% premium is paid over the normal price.  Since starting operations, they have made 35,000 deliveries among the four locations.  Currently, the drone range will not support deliveries to Pecan Plantation but they expect more capable drones will enable that in the next year or two.

This was a very interesting presentation, and we thank Travis and Wayne for coming out and hopefully allaying the concerns of our local pilots.


The VMC and IMC club was deferred as the audience was anxious to depart the hot hanger.  Thanks to all who stayed to store the tables and chairs and help put the two airplanes back in the hanger.


REMINDER – There will be no Chapter Meeting during the month of September due to time consumed on the Fly In.

About Walkergp

Retired Lockheed Martin Engineering Senior Manager

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