Flight 99 Public Announcements
Well, our two DFTS flight training candidates have been certified, frocked (flight jackets) and are on their ways in their flying careers. Bryce Brinkman is now attending Rocky and is enrolled in the flight program there. Logan Reiman is in his final year as a Bison and then will be off to college, ROTC, and then a military flying career.
These fine young men may both become Daedalians one day, but our Flight’s needs are a bit more immediate. During the last year I have attended more Flight 99 funerals than I have the swearing in of new members. Flight 99 is shrinking. This despite the newly expanded definition of those who are eligible to be members. We really need to attract new, young members. To that end, I plan to meet with the commander of the 40th Helicopter Squadron based at Malmstrom. I will ask him to survey his squadron and find out what the young pilots might want in an organization such as ours. Based on that input, we will try to make a few changes and some additions to our offerings to make joining our Order more attractive. We’ll give that a try, assess the results, and tweak as required.
I hope to see a big Flight turnout in September for General Head’s renowned presentation about the brief but amazing life of the WWI German Ace, Oswald Boelcke. Pilots and non-pilots alike enjoy this tale, so please bring guests!
We had a really good turnout in July, considering the heat, wind and the smoke. The dinners were well received. I think that for the price, Good Eats is a much better deal than was Golden Corral. I did make time to visit with the Good Eats owner and assistant about shortening the advance time required for notifying them of a cancelled meal. They were very much opposed to changing from the 9 day notification limit that we now have. I got the feeling that they felt that they would upset Marvin if we were to deviate from the contract. A work in progress.
The big news is that in August we will be hosting Bryce Brinkman and Logan Reiman, along with their guests. These two young men were the recipients of our 2017 DFTS flying scholarships. We will hear from them, and in turn we will be presenting them with their flight jackets, their solo certificates, and some no doubt wonderfully decorated shirt tails, by which Friend of Flight 99 Pete Dascoulias will prove that he is not only an expert pilot, skier, and rifle shot, but a fine artist as well.
Plan now to also attend our very special September meeting; our guest will be R.G. Head, BGen USAF (ret) who will speak of the German WWI fighter Ace Oswald Boelcke, the Red Baron’s mentor.
Twenty of Montana’s finest Big Sky Flight Daedalians gathered for a social hour, dinner, a short meeting, and finally Mike Buck’s presentation regarding the recent National Convention in DC. You can read his article about it in the new Daedalus Flyer. The social hour was fun, and the collection to cover the cost of the wine worked out very well. For the first time in quite a while the number of meals and the number of Daedalians were the same. There was a little discrepancy about the number of chicken dinners, but in the end it all worked out fine and everyone there enjoyed a very good meal.
Dinner was followed by a short meeting where Chef discussed the trials and tribulations of trying to sell airplane rides with the FAA overseeing the operation. In the end we decided to pass on fund raising and just focus on publicity. Pete Dascoulias shared that our cadets were in their academic phase. I just found out today (27 June) that they both have soloed. They and their families will be our guests at the 10 August meeting.
I talked with Ted Cogswell and he is very much looking forward to getting out of the rehabilitation facility at Benefis. He hopes to go home shortly, and he will continue his treatment as an outpatient.
The May meeting was a success, with a combined 43 members and guests attending. Although there was no “formal” meeting, we did discuss several items: first, we all recognized that we had missed nominating, and then voting for, our new Flight Officers. A motion was made, seconded, and then passed that we should henceforth conduct our Flight 99 elections semiannually so that elections will take place in the even numbered years. We will thus hold our Flight 99 elections next year, in 2018.
We have two Daedalian Flight Training Cadets who are to begin academics the first week of June. They will then both start flying during the middle of the month. We made this decision based on how much money we have in the bank, plus the offers for donations of additional funds. We are just at the point where we can afford to do this. Any and all ADDITIONAL DONATIONS will reinforce our account and help to ensure the success of next year’s program.
The coffee can wine fee collection system worked fairly well, with 20 out of our 40 people contributing, including some nondrinkers. The can will be located near the gent collecting the dinner fees. Easy to use, the can has directions in English, Norwegian and Spanish, so… Drop five bucks in the can!
19 members of Flight 99 gathered at Malmstrom’s Grizzly Bend for an enjoyable and very informative evening. We had five “no shows” for dinner. If you wind up unable to attend, just let us know ASAP so we can cancel that meal order.
Paul Snyder, Vinnie Bakke, and Faithful Friend of the Flight Pete Dascoulias recently interviewed our two CFIP applicants. Both of the applicants were found to be very highly qualified. In fact, our interview committee recommends that we award CFIP scholarships to both of them so they may solo. You may recall that last year the Daedalian Foundation provided matching funds to support the training of 3 cadets instead of 2, so this year we will have to pay the entire cost of our second cadet trainee. You will soon hear more about our Flight fund raising ideas. Additionally, if you elect to become a Life Member of our Big Sky Flight 99 your check will not only ensure that you never have to pay Flight dues again, it will be a big shot in the arm for our CFIP.
One final subject: our utter, abject failure to pay for the dinner wine service. Last meeting we had 19 members present, but only five of them paid for wine. Factoring out our (perhaps) two teetotalers, we wound up with a 65% no pay rate. At the May meeting we will try to collect the money as you pay for dinner. If we can’t get a better pay rate, we must eliminate the wine.
At our March meeting we were finally able to induct Lieutenant Colonel Jeff “Chef” Carlton into our Order. During the ceremony, Chef wore the green blazer of our departed member, Dick Munro.
We had yet another new caterer, “Good Eats.” The dinner was well received. We again donated our “extra” meals to the gate guards.
The Great Falls AFJROTC cadets have learned about the Order of Daedalians. I plan to invite their commander to join us for our April gathering to meet our members. He is familiar with our CFIP, and he is actively promoting one of his cadets to us. Paul Snyder made the superb suggestion that we invite the cadets to an AFJROTC /Flight 99 “Dining Out” to establish a relationship with them. Perhaps the cadets might even like to help us man our Flight 99 table at the air show this coming 22-23 July!
Our Flight table at this summer’s air show will be shaded by a tent awning, but the ramp will still be quite warm. In lieu of our highly-sought-after green blazers, a polo shirt (with embroidered Daedalian crest) might be more comfortable. These can be ordered through Mike Buck for $20, and they come in all sizes, in dark green or gold. Please order yours by the May meeting so as to have it by July.
Our weather was once again the limiting factor for our attendance. The people who are located west of the divide didn’t- and with very good reason- want to take on the high winds and drifting snow that we enjoyed that night. That said, despite the poor weather we did have eighteen members present.
The new sign up process for our meals seems to be working now, with Marvin collecting a payment for the dinner just inside the front door, and then members going to the bar to pay for their wine. The flow for this was much smoother this month. Also, Ray is going to try calling closer to the meeting’s date to ask for your intentions, in an effort to reduce the number of “orphan” meals that we have had.
I will let Mike Buck blow his own horn about the wonderful, highly educational, doubly entertaining, in-depth, far reaching slide show presentation that he gave us that night; he has no shortage of firm opinions regarding the fate of our glorious 186th Fighter Squadron.
As far as I know we have not had any of the “new” class of aviators sign up to join Flight 99. For that matter, we have not had anyone else join our merry band recently. I would like for everyone to look for some new members, be they old or young, retired or on active duty, as we need more members!
I look forward to seeing all of you at our next meeting on March 9th.
We had a good meeting, with 15 members and one guest present. After a run of poor weather we finally caught a nice day locally. Storms in the surrounding areas, however, affected our numbers.
The weather also seems to have added to the number of no-show members. In the end, we wound up paying for 7 uneaten meals, which cost the Flight $204. Gary Kasper stated that at this rate we will be broke within 6 months. If you are not sure whether you will be attending, then don’t make a reservation. The caterer can flex upward a lot easier than down; if you decide to attend at the last minute you may not get prime rib, but there will be other meals.
Marv took the payment for dinner at the door, and members who wanted to have wine for toasts paid the bartenders $4.50 to help cover the cost of the table wine.
There is good news! Jeff Carlton is the Wing Project Officer for the upcoming MTANG air show. As such, he coordinates the static displays and all of the performing aircraft for the show. “Chef” can arrange for aircraft rides, and we will also be able to promote our Flight. Better still, we can sell air show tickets, thus earning some cash which may give a significant boost to our funds. More soon!