Happy New Year GAAA Mates!

1:33 pm Mark

January 2009
Kenmore, WA

The GAAA is hitting the lecture circuit. Here is our speaking schedule so far this year:

Saturday, February 7th, 2:00 PM at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. (www.museumofflight.org).
The show will consist of slides and video from the trip with commentary from Mark & Doug . This event is first come, first served, open seating and we expect it to fill up quickly. If you would like to attend, please let Doug or Mark know by February 1st, as we are allowed to save a block of seats. The cost is $14 (less a variety of discounts if you qualify), which also gets you into the rest of the museum.

Friday, February 20th at the Embassy Suites in Tukwila, WA, Washington State Seaplane Pilots’ Association Grounded Hogs Banquet. Contact Jack Yager, Treasurer, 206-722-0254, jacky@wa-spa.org.

Saturday, April 18th 1:00 PM, Owl-on-the-Town event at Kenmore Air in Kenmore. This event consists of a tour of the Kenmore Air Beaver rebuild facility, a free copy of Marin Faure’s book “Success on the Step: Flying with Kenmore Air”, our GAAA presentation and hors d’oeuvres. The cost is $99 per person which goes to benefit the Overlake School in Redmond, WA. Please contact Doug Allen at 425-467-1014 or dougallen67@hotmail.com. Thanks to Doug Allen and Kenmore Air for donating time and space for this benefit event.

A couple of weeks ago I drove down to the airport to sweep the snow off the wings of N2SF. She sat patiently on the tarmac, a fresh white coat insulating her like an Inuit sled dog hunkered down in an Inuvik white-out. I’m not sure, but she appeared to be begging to be fired up and taken for a spin.

A fluffy buildup of 4-5 inches had warmed and became saturated by a slushy rain, making it heavy. As Beaver wings are designed for air pressure on the underside, it was time to remove the snow load on the top. Sweeping precariously from a slippery ladder, and float pumping kept the body warm, but driving slush and a cool wind required frequent interruptions of the work to warm exposed hands. Where have we been through this before?

I couldn’t resist firing up the Pratt & Whitney to circulate some warm oil through the cylinders. As she sputtered to life, the signature blue plume of exhaust smoke flurried around the fuselage and off into vacuity. We sat together in the rain, the familiar rumble bringing temperatures to the green arc for a quick run-up to charge the battery. We’re ready to go again! But on this day, that was the extent of it, and so goes the winter flying.

We have been putting several video clips together in preparation for the GAAA presentations. We still enjoy our meetings together, albeit they don’t carry the same sense of urgency as our decision-making chats on the GAAA trail.

Our thoughts frequently return to the Arctic and our friends in Canada. Thinking of Ozzie, our host in Resolute, I checked www.findlocalweather.com for the current weather there. It’s -35d.C with a north breeze at 24 km/hr. This puts the wind chill factor at -45d.C. They are forecasting a warming trend and it should get up to -29d.C by the end of the week. Sounds like a good time to break out the golf clubs Ozzie. The website lists the time of sunrise as “none”.

While our days here in Kenmore are already getting longer, we pause to express gratitude for them.

Until our February report,
With warmest regards to all our GAAA mates,

Mark and Doug

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