Varga/ Shinn VG-21 Squadron
No. 15 June 12, 1993
S.L.O. FLY-IN by John Vance
"The summer fly-in season kicked off with the San Luis Obispo fly-in which took place on May 15th. Located strategically mid-state, early predictions of a good turnout came true. Vargas from all over the state started landing as early as the afternoon of the 14th, and of course Del Lutz once again won the 'traveled the furthest' award. In all, there were sixteen owners and friends in attendance.
The crews from the L.A. basin had to contend with a freak summer storm which produced a strong squall line, though only about four miles wide, it stretched all the way from Catalina Island to El Monte. The storm produced driving rain and lightning as well as some strong turbulence. No one backed down, though, and all arrived safely and on time. The only casualty was the paint on John Vance's prop.
The skies over San Luis were clear and sunny. The tower personnel had been warned of our arrival in advance and did an outstanding job getting us all in and out in an orderly and safe manner.
By 12:30 lunch was well underway at the Spirit of San Luis Restaurant. During the meal, we met new members Ken Bunker and Keith Mashburn, and reunited with past acquaintanship. Ken recently bought Doug Donaldson's aircraft and has since added some nice NAVY BLUE ANGEL markings. You should see a picture of it (as well as Bill Clark's tail dragger) in an upcoming article about our gathering in the July Pacific Flyer. Keith is a new Varga owner who, for what I can tell, got the steal of the decade when he purchased his plane. With some work and patience he will have a plane that will give him years of enjoyment.
Though our goal was to have 100% attendance from the California group, we know that this is never going to happen. Though we were pleased at achieving the best mix of the north and the south yet, there were some notable members that were unable to attend. Our founder and maintenance czar, Pat & Lee Beery, were sorely missed by all. Lee's maintenance tips are always interesting and useful. Their Varga is in the process of being repainted, and though they first thought that they might make it, the painting process is still going on. Carl Sigg who is great at giving piloting tips was also absent. Carl is in the process of a complete, ground-up restoration on his aircraft. During this process he has found many things that will be of great interest to the membership once he is done. Many of you undoubtedly have seen the recent article in Plane and Pilot featuring John Morton's blue and yellow 2150-A. Rumor control has it that John (a professional race car driver) was in Indy qualifying for the Indy 500, Pat Baylor, also from southern California, is in the process of selling her home and was stuck all weekend at an open house,
Most of the discussions were informal, with changing the angle of incidence of the tail getting some attention. The main topic was the escalation in the value of Varga aircraft. John Vance passed around pictures of a beautiful 2150-A from Pennsylvania that is for sale. Price, $50,000.00 with the really good ones bringing between $40,000 and $50,000. If anyone has a collection of Trade-A-Planes dating from April 1992r please send any Varga for sale info to John Vance so he can update his
computer file. This file can then be used to give any prospective buyer a listing of what is available.
By 4:00 PM the last of the bunch had taken off, heading back for home or other stops enroute.
Several groups set off and participated in various forms of formation flights. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in formation flying within the group. Since we are largely of non-military flight backgrounds and because of the inherent dangers of non-standardized formation flight, anyone truly interested should invest $80.00 and purchase THE ART OF FORMATION FLYING video from Barton International. It is required viewing for all T-34, North American Trainer, and EAA War Bird Association members training to fly in formation with these various groups. Formation flight could be a topic at one of the upcoming meetings as well.
A list of all upcoming fly-ins and other events will be forthcoming.
Everyone involved in the S.L.O. event is truly looking forward to the next event."
Thank you, John, for hosting the SLO fly-in and for mailing me the write-up of the event. Sounds like you all had a great time and we are very sorry we couldn't make it. Even if the paint job had been done, we had IFR weather all that day so wouldn't have made it anyway!
Merced Fly-In - Lee and I were in Grants Pass, spending our third day putting 62V back together. The weather in N. California and Oregon was bad beyond belief, but I understand two Varga's made it. I don't know who you were, but let me hear from you and tell us all about it - please!
The VG-21 Squadron isn't totally idle during bad weather. Thought you might like to know the subjects of phone calls and letters we've received recently. They all had to do with problems regarding stiff landing gears, high oil temp, stiff fuel tank selectors, volt. reg. wiring, nose gear shimmy, intercom problems, fuel tank slushing compound, paint stripping, repositioning stabilizer, exhaust pipe positioning, wing rib cracks, and whatever else I've forgotten. But this does give you an insight on the types of problems and questions that are out there.
Speaking of intercom problems, did you know that Sigtronics has a high noise canceling and Lee in unit? After 19 years of good and faithful service, mine "went to lunch" and Lee installed this Sigtronics unit and it's great.
Plane & Pilot - The June 1993 issue of "Plane & Pilot" includes an article on the Varga featuring 5082V, owned by John Morton. John, the article is great and we all thank you for the time and effort you put into it.
Canopy Glass Cleaning - It's such a chore that I'm guilty of getting the bugs off the windshield portion and forgetting the rest. Once in awhile, I'11 do the rest of the outside, but procrastinate almost indefinitely at doing the inside. But, I had to do a good job of it in Grants Pass before Gene Lattimer would let the airplane out of his hangar! He handed me a bottle of Mirror Glaze #17 (we have been using Mirror Glaze #lO), and what a difference. When 62V returned to Lampson, our local tire-kickers thought we had had new glass installed, too! Gene recommends that you use the #17 no oftener than every other time you clean the glass.
International Request - Received a letter from Mike Vincent in Australia who had been referred to us by David Neumeister. Mike is flying commercial to Calif. the latter part of August and wants to "hitch a ride" from California to the Chicago area. If you are planning such a trip or know of someone who is, please send Mike a note. He's a private pilot and will share expenses and the flying.
Mike Vincent 5 Coringa Court Knoxfield Victoria 3180 Australia
Photo Album - If you haven't already done so, please send your photos! The album has visited members in Wisconsin, Ohio, California, and Pennsylvania and from all reports, they loved it! If you want us to UPS it to you just let us know.
Form 337's - Have you mailed us copies of those that you have? If not, please do so. When we receive requests or questions, if we have a 337 on the subject, we make a copy and mail it to the member who needs it. So help your fellow Varga and Shinn and Morrisey owners - get those copies to us!
Fuel Guages - I know I sound like a broken record, but remember, DON'T TRUST YOUR FUEL GUAGES! At best, they're totally inaccurate. We don't want to read about you in the newspaper.
Membership List - There aren't many Carl Siggs in this world which makes us very lucky to have Carl as a member! He's the long-suffering member who updates and produces our membership list and deserves a heartfelt thank-you from all of us, but especially from me. He devotes a lot of time to it while continuing to get his Varga in top notch shape. One of his current problems is stripping off the old paint (sounds familiar). Let's face it, Mr. Varga not only built great airplanes, he also knew how to paint them.
New Members - The VG-21 Squadron continues to grow. Nine new members are being welcomed in this Newsletter, which puts us over the 50 mark. To all new members, please send photos for the VG-21 photo album. Each member has a "page" of 4 photos: 1 of the member standing at the left leading edge wing root area, 1 photo of the instrument panel, and 2 photos the member believes of interest, such as the aircraft in flight.
George Banks Box 1275 Salisburg, MD 21801 '79 Varga N8294J
Paul Blau 160 Winding Rock Rd. Goose Creek, SC 29445 "LOOKING TO BUY"
Frank Gulick 4629 Maddocks Rd. Sabastopol, CA 95472 '78 Varga N8262J
Donald Conley P. O. Box 1605 Amarillo, TX 97105 '78 Varga N82655
Thomas Grimm 909 13th St. Bremerton, WA 98310 '76 Varga N5074V
David Bernhard 20710 Edgewood Circle Castro Valley, CA 94552 '79 Varga N8268J (partner)
Harry Mertz 7938 Berkshire Lane Castle Rock, CO 80104 '61 Shinn N5112V
John Goodman 1094 Pinehurst Trail Grayson, GA 30221 '76 Varga N5069V
We also received a donation and a request for our newsletter from David E. Neumeister, 5630 So. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48911. Some of you may recognize his name as he is the owner of a Varga newsletter along with many other aircraft type newsletters. At first we said no to his request, but then relented when he assured us that his publication would only help spread the word about our club. The word is-- I mail out 3 or 4 newsletters a year, including a "Maintenance Item" page which Lee authors. In addition, we have a collection of copies of 337's which members send to us for the file, AD Notes, Illustrated Parts Catalog, Maintenance Manual, FAA approved flight manual,--owners manual, plus a listing of special tooling and extra parts. Also, we receive countless letters and phone calls from owners having a problem and asking if we can help or do we know of anyone who has had a similar problem and how they fixed it, etc. etc. It is a labor of love and I emphasize - STRICTLY NON-PROFIT!
Maintenance Seminar - Our annual Maintenance Seminar is set for September 25 at Lampson Field, near Lakeport, CA, at our hangar. We'll begin at 10:00 AM, break for lunch at noon in the Skyroom Restaurant on the field, and continue for as long as you want - even the following day if anyone wants to. It's also the weekend the seaplanes have their splash-in on Clear Lake so there's plenty to do and see. Come prepared to ask questions, talk about your problems and solutions, and have a good time! If you need help with overnight accommodations, rental car, or whatever, let me know and I'll make arrangements for you. Please let me know as far in advance as possible because there can be a shortage of local motel rooms!
Have a great summer, and see you in September!