Varga/Shinn VG-21 Squadron
No. 13 Nov. 19, 1992
Again, we picked a perfect weekend for the Annual Maintenance Seminar! Sept. 26 saw the arrival of 12 Vargas and 1 Shinn at Lampson Field. Those attending were Del Lutz, Jay and Aline Humphrey, Joe Conner, Bill Clark, Rolf Lehman and his friend Darlene, Carl Sigg, Alex Vucetich, Jack Skarratt, Bill Gimple, Len Peters, Carl Sigg, Hart Jewell, and yours truly. Lee called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. A write-up on discussion topics appears later in this Newsletter. Those remaining overnight, came to our house for drinks and enjoyed our little house with the million dollar view. The next day Del Lutz, Jay Humphrey and Lee did a fly-by over the seaplane splash-in taking place on Clear Lake.
It was the first time most of us had seen Jay Humphrey's "Experimental" Varga which he had rebuilt from a wreck, turning it into a taildragger with a sliding canopy. Jay is a sheetmetal mechanic at United Airlines and his workmanship and attention to detail was awe-inspiring! Jay announced at the seminar that the aircraft was for sale. A month later he phoned to advise that he had sold it to Don Tate, a TWA Captain, in Jonesburg, MO, and has transferred his VG-21 Squadron membership to Don. Welcome Aboard, Don!
About the same time as Jay's call, we received a call from an acquaintance of many years ago. Ken Bunker called to ask where and how he could buy a Varga. Many of you probably received a letter from him. I'm pleased to add Ken's name to our membership roster as he purchased one of Doug Donaldson's Vargas in Phoenix, AZ. Ken was a United Captain until he reached 60 at which time he elected to continue flying as a Flight Engineer. Another Welcome Aboard to Ken!
Many, many thanks to Carl Sigg for the enclosed membership list! Not only does it take a lot of his time to do this, it isn't an easy task - especially reading my hand-written scribbles. Carl, I truly appreciate your efforts and from the many requests I've received for a new list, I'm sure all of us are grateful.
PROJECT PHOTO ALBUM - About a year ago, we started collecting photos and putting them in a VG-21 album. Each member has a "page" of 4 photos: 1 of the member standing at the left leading edge wing root with the photo showing the member and his/her Varga; 1 photo of the instrument panel; and 2 photos of the member's Varga/& member in any position the member believes of interest. Those of you who have provided photos, we' thank you. Those of you who haven't, PLEASE have someone take these pictures of you and get them in the mail to me. I'd like to have them no later than the end of January, so get busy! Starting in February, if any of you would like to see the album, I'11 be glad to UPS it to you - after you take an oath in blood that you'll return it to me within the week!
The photo album was on display last weekend when we accepted an invitation and flew the Varga to Beale Air Force Base. It was our first military open house experience and they really know how to treat their guests. We flew in on Friday, spent the night in the Visiting Officers Quarters, free dinner, and a group of U2 pilots took us to the Officers Club for more partying. The next day saw 12 to 15,000 people at the Open House and I estimate half of them stopped to
ask questions about the Varga, examine it, look in it, and look at the photo album. At the end of the day, 5062V was one huge mass of fingerprints and we were exhausted after a full day of the fun of showing off the Varga.
1993 SCHEDULE - A couple of things we're planning is a Maintenance Seminar in Southern California. Does anyone want to volunteer to host it? Let me know the time and place, keeping in mind that not all of us are gung-ho to fly too close to the LA traffic area. Also, there seems to be a lot of interest in having a fly-in to Santa Maria for a weekend. Come on, folks - let me know where and when you want to go in 1993!
SHIRT RAFFLE Loren Perry donated a "Varga" shirt to the Squadron which we gave away as a door prize at the Maintenance Seminar. Jay Humphrey was the lucky winner. He gave it to his wife, Aline, who got to keep it overnight. The next day, Del Lutz talked her out of it! If anyone is interested in buying a shirt, contact Loren Perry (see membership list).
NOTES ON MAINTENANCE MEETING - First on the agenda was a description of the 160 HP engine conversion we accomplished on my Varga. Of great interest was the fact that the "Airplane Operations Manual" which we carried in our aircraft was not the correct document! The FAA Approved Document is only 3 or 4 pages long and contains very little information. As it turned out, we had to submit to the FAA with "Beery Revisions", the 4 page "Flight Manual". Many of us have never carried that paperwork in the airplane and would be in trouble had we been subjected to a FAA Ramp Check. Strongly suggest all of you to check and be positive you have a copy of the "Flight Manual" in your aircraft at all times! Lee also spoke on airplane rigging for wing level flight and stabilizer adjustment to reduce the amount of down elevator required for level flight which has a positive effect on aircraft cruise speed. He also spoke on broken engine mounts (more have been reported broken) and what causes this failure. Carl Sigg told of finding lose attach hardware when trying to correct aileron free play. Carl also reports having a drawing that covers repair of aileron hinges. Dr. Jewel reported problems in the aileron hinge (rib) area. We know that Rick Kendall's Varga has had this repair, also. Del Lutz and Len Peters spoke on nose gear shimmy dampner problems and fixes. Del provided sketches on how this unit is constructed and how it can be rebuilt. Jay Humphrey told us a little of his Varga's history and the rebuild process. He gave us some details of his many, many modifications, which required 14 Form 337's to be submitted to the FAA. Jay also gave us a most interesting talk on corrosion, how it happens and how to prevent it.
NORTH TO ALASKA BY VARGA KACHINA - Carl Sigg has provided me 15 copies of their write-up on their trip to Alaska, how to prepare for it and items of caution. If anyone would like to have a copy, please let me know and I'11 get it in the mail to you.
Thanks to all of you for your support! Don't forget, this is your group and your Newsletter so keep in touch and let me know your ideas, problems, and suggestions.
A wonderful holiday season to all of you and your loved ones.