Flight 99 Public Announcements
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!
We had a nice meeting in the “BIG” room. The meal was very good, and everyone seemed to enjoy the comradery and getting to see old friends. Each member introduced his guests, and the Flight presented roses to them and also to those who served us at the bar and in the dining room.
As usual for Christmas meetings we had no speaker, but we did have a business meeting. There was an explanation of the new way for non-retired members and friends to obtain visitor IDs. Paul Snyder has volunteered to help those affected individuals obtain their new cards. This is required since a Montana driver’s license is no longer viewed as a valid ID.
The next item concerned the new method of paying for our meals and table wine. Members will no longer be able to pay at the club with their own credit cards. We must complete the forms that the Club previously did for us, and then present them with a list of names and credit card numbers for each of the amounts owed, or a check, or cash. If you order a meal but cannot attend, you will still owe for the meal. We will try to streamline this by creating a Flight 99 credit card to which we can charge the dinners and the wine, then collect from members later. Please bear with us as we work our way through this one.
Our Cadet Flight Indoctrination Program for 2016 was another huge success! Applicants came from MTANG families and all 3 Great Falls high schools. We chose 2 primary cadets and an alternate, but our alternate did so well in Ground School that we elected to fund him to fly as well.
The cadets paid for their own books, materials, and third class medical certificates. Each had to pass three Ground School tests before beginning flight training. During Flight Camp the cadets worked 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. Brendyn Hewitt soloed after 19.7 hours. Just 16 years old, he will be participating in Junior ROTC next year. Tyson Patterson, 22, soloed after 16.5 hours and continued on to earn his private pilot certificate; he is seeking a USAF commission and an Air Force pilot training slot. Keegan Swanson, 18, soloed in 18.0 hours. She will be entering the Aviation program at Kansas State University; she also aims to attend US Air Force pilot training.
The total cost was is $11,086, of which the Daedalian Foundation reimbursed half. The Foundation supports two cadets per Flight annually, but it agreed to help us with three cadets this year. Next year the Foundation can support only one cadet, so we’ll need a plan to find other funds if we wish to solo two more cadets in 2017.