Rally Reports

Young Eagles Rally Reports – 2005

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January 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

Program Administration for Adult Volunteers Day

January 8, 2005 proved to be a very unusual day. It was cold and there was a low overcast with visibility at six miles. Flyable weather and Flight Service predicted that the conditions would improve as the day went on. So much for the prognosticators. Not to be outdone by the hangar doors at Gary being frozen shut by ice and no youngsters to fly, we turned the day into a very productive seminar on how to run a Young Eagles rally and got everyone checked out on the EAA Young Eagles print program installed by Steve and Tom Hammond on the computer, dedicated to our Young Eagles Program, donated by Rich Steinbrecher. From now on all of our Young Eagles Certificates that were once all handwritten by Moses Jones and Paul Wilson, will be printed out on the computer by the same named volunteers. The pilot database will be on the computer as well and will be updated monthly by Marvin Robinson with the data provided by our Regional Young Eagles Representative, Carol Thompson. The training session began with coffee and homemade chocolate cookies baked by Carol Thompson. We finished the day with our usual social hour and lunch. So even when we don’t fly we have a Young Eagles rally for the adults.

The next Young Eagles rally will be during Black History Month on Saturday, February 12th. Watch for the reminder for this one because I hear that the ladies are planning a Valentine’s Day treat. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot,

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

March 12, 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

A Terrible Forcast Turns Into A Beautiful Flying Day

March 12, 2005 was forecast to be a terrible day. Snow mixed with rain, low clouds, poor visibility and high winds. What were we blessed with? Sunshine, good visibility, light winds, a great group of volunteers, five willing pilots and 49 youngsters, nine of who came with Julius Jackson via the Chicago bus. The joyful volunteers assisted pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe and Dick Tennerstedt with the flights and after all of the youngster flew everyone feasted on our usual lunch of turkey subs and chips. Gourmet Gevalia Kafe was perked and provided by Karon Thompson to start the morning. We are clearly moving up in the world. The day closed with our circle of friendship giving thanks for the blessing bestowed upon our program. It was a beautiful day flying and fellowship. Once again you just had to be there.

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

April 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

A Beautiful Day Enjoyed by 64 New Young Eagles

Do you like beautiful weather? Do you like sweet treats? Do like fresh coffee? Do you like hot chocolate? Do you like hot tea. Do you like ice cold bottled water. Do you like subway turkey subs. Do you like fresh potato chips? Do you like happy, enthusiastic, smiling youngsters? Well, if your answer is yes to any of these questions, you should have been with the 21 energetic volunteers and the 64 youngsters that were treated to flights at Gary by pilots Butch Bejna, Victor Croswell, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe, Marvin Robinson, Russell Shavitz, Scott Taylor, Dick Tennerstedt and Booker Thomason. Russell’s dad flew out with him to join the festivities. Sweet treats were provided by Victor Croswell, Mike Hill, Judi Rapier and Karon Thompson and a good time was had by all. We’re still smiling and can’t wait for the Chicago DODO Chapter’s annual educational assistance fund raiser this Saturday: The Spring Fling. If you missed the Young Eagles rally you won’t want to miss the dinner-dance!

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

May 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

A Birthday Flight for our Educational Assistance Program Chair

The morning of Saturday, May 14, 2005 began with rain that ended at sunrise. By the time our Young Eagles rally began the sun had started to peek out, the winds were a gentle breeze and the temperature was 60 degrees. Perfect for flying all of the 29 youngsters that came out for Young Eagle flights. The Chicago bus was diverted due to a mix up in the group plans for St. Columbainus. We were a bit concerned about Julius Jackson, our bus escort, until we found out that he was busy judging a bus rodeo.

Volunteers Mike Askew, Alcus Cromartie, Carmen Crusor, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Melvin Knazze, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Judi Rapier, Ken Rapier, Debra Rice, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Karon Thompson, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson assisted pilots Vic Croswell, Ken Lozins, Keith Renfroe, Tim Sipples and Dick Tennerstedt. Vic Croswell gave Debra Rice a birthday flight and Tim Sipples treated Carmen Crusor to a flight while Mike Hill treated everyone to homemade oatmeal cookies with gourmet coffee treated by Karon Thompson and Marvin Robinson.

Everyone had our traditional subway turkey sub and chips lunch and then sang happy birthday to Judi Rapier and Debra Rice and enjoyed their birthday cake. Just as we began our volunteers’ meeting we were treated to a call from one of our pilots who was noticeably absent with our Young Eagles regional representative. Yep, that’s right, Mr. and Mrs. MacCabe (Steve and Carol) took time out from their busy honeymoon in Hawaii to call us and say “Aloha”. Everyone wished them well via speaker phone. They will be returning in June with a ‘new’ Gruman Tiger. The original Tuskegee Airmen, Bev Dunjill, Hilton Joseph, Bob Martin, Milt Williams and Dan Williamson complimented all of the Heritage and New Generation members on the wonderful job they have been doing with the Young Eagles Program and continuing the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. We let them know that with respect to the Tuskegee Airmen preserving their legacy is an honor and a privilege.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

June 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

International Young Eagles Day

Saturday, June 11, 2005 was International Young Eagles Day. Young Eagles rallies were conducted all over the world including our regular rally held at the Gary-Chicago International Airport. We were once again blessed with beautiful weather for pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Steve Hammond, Steve MacCabe, Pete Murphy, Keith Renfroe, Russell Shavitz, Dan Skoda, Richard Steinbrecher, Scott Taylor and Dick Tennerstedt to fly 49 Young Eagles.

To date we have flown 249 Young Eagles this year with a total of 946 Young Eagle flights at Gary Airport since we began Young Eagles there in September of 2003 giving us a monthly average of 43 Young Eagles.

6 youngsters came on the Chicago bus, 18 on the Chicago Police Dept. Explorer vans and the other youngsters arrived on vans from St. Columbanus and Second Baptist Church of Maywood with F-16 fighter pilot Lt. Keny Ruffin.

Our pilots were assisted by volunteers Carmen Crusor, Bev Dunjill, Will Johnson, Moses Jones Mike Hill, Hilton Joseph, Carol MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Judi Rapier, Ken Rapier, Carl Robinson,

La Vern Shelton, Rob Strickland, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Paul Wilson and Glyen White.

Everyone enjoyed coffee and homemade pound cake made by Judi Rapier for starters and turkey subs and chips for lunch which was followed by birthday cake. After we sang “happy birthday” to Young Eagles Regional Rep. Carol MacCabe, desert guru Mike Hill presented “honeymooners”, Mr. and Mrs. MacCabe, with an electric ice cream maker along with Mike’s special recipes.

The rally concluded with a question and answer session with 3 of our All Stars: Mike Askew, Carl Robinson and Lt. Keny Ruffin; call sign ‘Bishop’. Each of our All Stars are young men who have returned to give back to other young eagles. F-16 viper fighter pilot ‘Bishop’ answered the many questions from the curious about the aircraft, the life and what it’s like to fly an F-16 and break the sound barrier. ‘Bishop’ happily engaged in conversation about all aspects of the F-16 that are not classified. To say that a good time was had by all is truly an understatement. You had to be there.

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

July 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

Success, Success and more Success

July 9, 2005 brought success with the weather. It was a picture perfect day for flying. Further success with 100, yes 100 boys and girls arriving for flights. 40 came on the bus from Chicago with Julius Jackson. For the first time ever we did not fly all of the youngsters that came out. 2 had leave early and one changed his mind so we ended the rally still having flown a new record for Gary.

97 Young Eagles flown. Success continued in the form of home- made oatmeal-raisin cookies baked by the winner of the 2005 EAA Young Eagles Regional Representative of the year award, our very own Carol MacCabe. Success didn’t stop there. We were honored by CBS Channel 2 News coverage. A great story by Jim Williams about the Tuskegee Airmen, AirVenture and the Young Eagles appeared on the evening news. The greatest success of the day? Not quite.

Gary-Chicago International Airport Director Chris Curry presented Chapter President Bev Dunjill and V.P. Major Duane Hayden with the keys to the new Chicago “DODO” Chapter Headquarters. The administration trailers are now the official home of the Chicago Tuskegee Airmen and the Young Eagles Program. Other community programs will originate from ‘Headquarters’ in the near future. In conclusion: How did we manage to fly 97 Young Eagles? With the help of our usual cadre of volunteers who assisted the determined few pilots: Steve Applebaum, Butch Bejna, Rhonda Buss, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe, Marvin Robinson, Russell Shavitz and Dan Skoda. A hearty thanks to everyone who helped make this our most successful Young Eagles Rally yet.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

August 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

Feast or Famine

August 6, 2005 brought picture perfect weather and 16 pilots available to fly the mere 40 youngsters that came out to fly compared to the 6 pilots that were on hand to fly the 100 youngsters that came last month. Mox nix. a good time was still had by all, christening the new “DODO” Chapter headquarters. 38 pilots and volunteers to take care of 40 youngsters equals quality attention to those who did show up for flights even though the Chicago bus got “lost” and didn’t show. Let’s hope the bus doesn’t arrive this Saturday with 40 kids looking for Young Eagles flights.

The pilots that each flew 1 to 6 Young Eagles were: Steve Applebuam, Butch Bejna, Rhonda Buss, Greg Erikson, Steve Hammond, Ken Lozins, Steve MacCabe, Russell Shavitz, Dan Skoda and Dick Tennerstedt. Pilots on standby that did not fly were: Mike Askew, Vic Croswell, Pete Murphy, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe, and Marvin Robinson. Valuable assistance was provided by our special guest: Jeron Baker, Oscar Griffin and Welton Taylor along with volunteers Alcus Cromartie, Bev Dunjill, Tom Hammond, Cecilia Holland, Julius Jackson, Hilton Joseph, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Marshall Knox, Bob Martin, Judi Rapier, Carl Robinson, India Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Veleda Robinson LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland and Miss Jasmine, all under the capable leadership of our Young Eagles Regional Rep. of the Year, Carol MacCabe.

We began the day with homemade strawberry bread baked by Judi Rapier and gourmet coffee brewed by Vic Croswell. After the traditional luncheon we were treated to some very interesting stories from our guest and feasted on homemade cheesecake made by Rob Strickland to honor Dan Williamson Day. This was another rally that seemed like the adult volunteers had more fun that the youngsters that came to fly. Imagine that.

Until September 10th…Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

September 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

DODO Chapter Celebrates 2nd Anniversary at Chgo/Gary Airport

Tuskegee Airmen Celebrate Second Anniversary of Young Eagles Flight Rallies at Gary Airport

Saturday, September 10, 2005 brought unseasonably warm weather to the Gary-Chicago International Airport for the second anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program. 82 youngster were flown, 29 of which arrived on the Chicago bus along with their MADD Dads chaperones. The only glitch in an otherwise smooth rally was the total lack of professionalism on the part of the bus driver, from our contracted transportation company.

After dropping off the Chicago group, the bus driver departed the parking lot as if there was a J.A.T.O. bottle attached to his bus; not even taking time to ask when he should return, much less if his services would be needed at the airport as directed in writing by Terri from the Department of Aviation. Gary Tower personnel offered tower tours for our youngsters but the bus to transport them to the tower was nowhere to be found. It took him 45 minutes to get back to the airport from wherever it was that he took off to. This problem has been corrected. Mr. January will not be driving a run for us again.

Our grand total of youngster flown at Gary is now 1,165 making our monthly average 46.6 Young Eagles. The pilots that helped with the effort this month were: Mike Askew, Butch Bejna, Ken Lozins, Steve MacCabe, Mark Odeen, Dan Skoda, Tim Sipples, Dick Tennerstedt and Scott Taylor. Assisting were dedicated volunteer: Bev Dunjill, Oscar Griffin, Mike Hill, Julius Jackson, Will Johnson, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Melvin Kanazze, Marshall Knox, Carol MacCabe, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Judi Rapier, Ken Rapier, Carl Robinson, India Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, LaVern Shelton, Rob Strickland, Barbara Werner, Ernie Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson. A special thanks to all of our pilots and volunteers that make this program a success.

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

November 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

Steve Hammond Upsets Dan Skoda’s Record

November 12, 2005 was sunny, windy and unseasonably warm and 66 Young Eagles were flown in just 4 airplanes. How did we manage to do that on a windy day? With 2 helpful ingredients. The winds were 15 knots and gusting straight down the runway and Steve Hammond personally flew 27 youngsters, upsetting Dan Skoda’s July record of 24 youngsters in one rally.

There were several other pilots that helped to round out the number to 66. Vic Croswell, Steve MacCabe, Keith Renfroe, Marvin Robinson, Scott Taylor and Dick Tennerstedt (who holds the current record for Young Eagles flown at Gary this year at 80). You might be interested to know that these pilots are not really concerned with these numbers. They fly the youngsters because they love doing it. I keep tab on the numbers (with the help of Steve and Carol MacCabe and Marvin Robinson) and share them with you from time to time.

Speaking of which we have flown 578 kids this year and 1,275 since we began flying at Gary in September of 2003 giving us a monthly average of 47.2. That average continues to grow thanks to the assistance of volunteers like Carmen Crusor, Bev Dunjill, Tom Hammond, Julius Jackson, Wil Johnson, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Marshall Knox, Carol MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Judi Rapier, Matthew Robinson, Veleda Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Barbra Werner, Glyen White, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson, Paul Wilson and many other volunteers that were not able to join us for our day after Veterans’ Day, Volunteer Appreciation Day’. We regret that you couldn’t join us. You missed some delicious homemade oatmeal and chocolate cookies baked by Carol MacCabe and Judi Rapier. Maybe next time.

Happy Flyin’ and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

December 2005 – Young Eagles Rally

First Weather Cancellation in 27 Months

The weather forecast for Saturday, December 10, 2005 called for snow in the afternoon along with low cloud ceilings and increasing winds. With temperatures in the twenties the wind would bring the chill factor close to zero. Based upon the weather forecast and the fact that light aircraft are often difficult to start in the cold the call was made to cancel our regular Young Eagles rally for the first time since we began operations at the Gary-Chicago International Airport in September of 2003. This cancellation caused the volunteer group to regretfully miss out on a wonderful surprise birthday celebration for Victor Croswell planned by Karon Thompson and a bakery treat by Carol MacCabe.

Our next Young Eagles rally is scheduled for January 14, 2006. Have a safe and joyous Holiday Season and may you have showers of blessings in the New Year. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

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