Varga/Shinn VC-21 Squadron
No. 17 Nov. 23, 1993
It is with deep regret that I advise that on October 10, 1993, Tom Grimm, one of our members and proud owner of Varga N5074V was killed during a fly-in in the alvord desert in southeastern Oregon. Margaret Mullen, his companion of 13 years, wrote to us advising of his death. She said that details are---sketchy, but the preliminary report from the NTSB indicates that there was no mechanical failure. We wrote a short sympathy note to her and thanked her for writing. If any of you care to send her a card or note, her address is: 776 NE Mesa Lane G304, Bremerton, WA 98310.
VARGAS FOR SALE. Received a nice letter from Keith Mashburn, but unfortunately, he advises that he is thinking of selling his Varga because he flew it only 24 hours last year. He would prefer to find a partner in the airplane and I'm sure we all hope he is successful in finding a Varga/Shinn lover who lives near Simi Valley.
Also received a nice letter from Dick Pedersen, one of our members in Tony, WI. He has a Varga-In-A-Basket rebuild project, or a parts plane. It's N8256J, VAC102-78, 1978 with all logs and papers and data plate. No engine, prop, instruments, or radios. New nose bowl, good canopy, entire tail cone, vertical fin and elevators good. Horizontal stab very minor damage in one leading edge by fuselage. Flaps and ailerons have minor damage, wings need lots of work, tanks good, 1 tip good, 1 needs minor glass work. Tube fuselage needs tube replacement in firewall area. Mount and gears shot. Center section bad. Has extra rudder and vertical fin and rear tail cone parts also. "Lots of good parts in this Varga and a good sheetmetal man could make a plane out of it without too much trouble. Asking $5,500." Dick went out to say that he plans to keep his other Varga (N8422J) for awhile although people keep trying to buy it. He asked us how much it's really worth. He turned down $36,000 last spring as it's loaded with nice King equipment.
And another nice letter from Del Lutz found its way to our mailbox. He had attended George Shaw's fly-in at Tyler, TX on Oct. 30th. Due to miserable weather, attendance was slim. A gentleman from Jacksonville, TX drove in and advised that RidgeAire, Inc. P.O. Drawer 361, Jacksonville, TX 75766 has a 1978 Varga 2150A for sale priced at $38,500, or $34,500 for a quick sale. He refused an offer of $25,500.
As previously reported, Don Sparrow in Novato, CA told us he was going to sell his Varga. We don't know how much he will be asking for it. He said he flew it only 10 hours last year and can't justify keeping it.
HUSBANDS DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING! Sometime back, Lee wrote about how to extend the life of your aircraft battery. Jane and Walt Ruehl bought their Varga new in 1977 and never replaced the battery until last spring! The only thing they did to preserve their battery and extend its life was to remove it from the aircraft at the start of winter and taking it home to their garage until spring. Enuf said!
MAINTENANCE SEMINAR. There were two Shinns and ten Vargas parked on the ramp and Bob Foote drove in. His Shinn was busy getting painted at the time. He has since phoned and advised it's now yellow and will carry a military scheme. We were happy to meet for the first time Harry and Diane Mertz who flew their Shinn from Castle Rock, CO. Their plane is beautiful and the interior makes mine look like something my cats dragged in! Janis Wild brought a special guest, Ron Mangon, an A&P from Petaluma, CA. He and his father have an FBO at Petaluma, have done several Varga annuals and want to become specialists for Varga and Shinn maintenance. He invited us to hold our next maintenance seminar at their FBO.
Many subjects were discussed at the meeting and I'11 try to highlight those that seemed to generate the most conversation. Dr. Jewell shared his booklet with us, "How To Service Your Landing Gear and Nose Wheel" with cover design and photos by Janis Wild. A lot of time and effort went into it and the results are excellent. I'm not sure but he may loan it to you if you're interested. Joe Conner reported that his starter solenoid had literally disintegrated. Also discussed were the installation of an oil pressure warning light, stuck fuel shut off valves, inaccurate fuel gauges, and stainless steel screws and fasteners. (More about this later.) Someone asked a question about fuel flow to the engine if one tank ran dry - would the engine quit - would it restart, etc. Lee made a test flight concerning this eventuality (see Maintenance Item 11).
The meeting started about 10 a.m., we broke for lunch at noon, and were back at it by 2:00 pm. People started leaving about 4 or 4:30.
CORRECTION TO MEMBERSHIP LIST. Len Peters pointed out that the Shinn model info on the membership list is incorrect. Every Shinn member's model no, shows the model no. as FP such and such. It is not FP I goofed! it should be SP. I'm sorry people,
HORIZONTAL STAB. SHIM. Dick Pedersen advises that a .080 shim resulted in a gain of only 2 mph IAS and DME readout; and at full power he gained 50 rpm. He didn't say if it improved trim capability, but does say his Varga flies hands off and at an uncorrected top speed of 138 mph. Jack DeMarsh phoned to report that his horiz. stab, shim improved his speed by about 5 mph and he can now trim nose down sufficiently. He said his Varga still flies right wing low and his A&P continues to work ona it. Jim Doyle phoned to get details on the shim installation. Be reported that his speed is a less-than-breathtaking 105 mph. He replaced his engine mounts (the bottom ones were garbage) and that improved his speed by 2 mph. If what Lee has done to mine is any indication, no one thing gives huge improvements - it's 2 mph here and 2 mph there, etc.
SHINN BRAKE DISCS. Len Peters learned that brake discs for the Shinn are different than those for a Varga. Part No. for Cleveland brakes is P/N 164-9. Cleveland Brake Lining is P/N 66-58. Beechcraft brake lining is P/N 35-204. Len said the Beech linings were half the price of Cleveland lininqs and cost him $3.70 each x 4 = $14.80. The wheel assy is P/N 40-11. Torque is 90 in. lbs. (Varga is 150 in. lbs.)
LOREN PERRY - SOUTHERN MACHINE & TOOL. Received a nice letter from Loren. He recently remarried and he and his new family had just returned from Europe. His wife and one daughter are taking flying lessons in one of his Vargas! Our congratulations and very best wishes! And if you guys aren't careful, we're going to have as many lady Varga pilots as there are men!)
ILLUSTRATED PARTS CATALOG AND SERVICE (MAINTENANCE) MANUAL ARE AVAILABLE! Contact Thomson Aviation Library, HCR 10 Box 102, 20025 El Mirage Airport Rd., Adelanto, CA 92301. Phone 619-388-4216 (M-F 8 am to 4 pm); Fax 619-388-4236; Fax Only Toll Free 800-243-2640. Price $30-$35 each. If you don't already have them, do yourself and your A&P a favor - get them!
FUEL GAUGES AND SENDING UNITS are available from Varga Enterprises in Phoenix. I don't have a price.
FUEL SENDERS also available from Instrument Tech. Corp. at $89 each; phone 214-458-8785; P/N 7740-00147. Don Sparrow says grommets are not included.
STAINLESS STEEL SCREWS/FASTENER KIT FOR VARGAS are available from D&D Aircraft Supply, 4 Stickney Ter., P.O. Box 1200, Hampton, NH 03842; 603-926-8881; 800-468-8000; Fax 603-926-7855. The Kit Number is V801 priced at $28.90
A number of attendees at the maintenance meeting commented that their original screws and fasteners had "had it" and discussed the cost and difficulty in knowing how much of what to buy and where to get them. As a result, I wrote to D&D Aircraft to ask if they would be interested in making up such a kit for the VG-21 Squadron. Del Lutz was given the assignment of counting all the "nuts and bolts" on his Varga when he got home. He dutifully performed this task, and Doug at D&D has now set up the kit in their inventory.
Having persuaded these nice people at D&D to do this for us, can I please count on your support by asking you to order your kit?! Not only is this the time of year to give your plane a lot of TLC, tell Santa you want one for Christmas! - OR -
WIN ONE FREE! Doug sent a free kit to the VG-21 Squadron. I believe a fair way to "award" this to one of you guys is to hold a drawing. If you want your name in the hat all you have to do is send me a check for $2.00 to cover the cost of mailing. I'11 put all the names in the hat and the lucky winner will be sent a free kit. I'11 mail back the checks of the unlucky winners. The drawing will be done by a disinterested party. How about one of our friends who all own a Brand X airplane! Please have your checks to me no later than January 1, 1994 - we'll start the New Year off with the drawing! There's only one catch if you're the lucky winner you have to install it and let us know if it contains enough of everything! Whadda' deal!
VARGA HATS & SHIRTS are available from Loren Perry. and our thanks to Loren for mailing us two Varga hats! They didn't arrive in time to use as door prizes at the Maintenance Seminar and being selfish, we glommed onto them. Lee wears his a lot, but so far I'm resisting the temptation to wear mine so that we can give it away at next year's maintenance meeting.
TRANSPONDER/ENCODER CHECK - is yours due? Having recently had this accomplished, the best advise I can give you is to shop around for price! We found a huge difference among those who are certified to perform this, ranging from $75 to $150.
MORE ON MAINTENANCE SEMINAR. Due to my cluttered brain (I refuse to blame old age), I neglected to thank all you nice people who attended the maintenance seminar! Thank you Del Lutz, Ken Bunker, Joe & Marj Conner, Hart Jewell, Frank Gulick, Alex Vucetich, Rolf Lehman, Harry & Diane Mertz, Len Peters, Janis Wild & Ron Mangon, and Bob Foote and his son, Dennis. We hope you all found it interesting, informative - and fun, too. At that meeting, we handed out a couple of things we thought all of you might find interesting. So if you didn't attend, the hand-outs are attached. If you did attend, we don't think you'd want another copy!
THINKING AHEAD to next year's Maintenance Seminar- we think it's time we had this meeting in some other geographic, location - like in the Midwest, perhaps within the time frame of Oshkosh! We've enjoyed doing it here for the past three years, but feel it's time we had it someplace where members from other parts of the country can attend. All that's needed is a hangar or a room with enough chairs for everyone and transportation to and from a motel and someplace to eat. Anyone volunteer? Let's hear from you!!!
OSHKOSH '94. Max Bishop is asking all of us if there is an interest in flying to Oshkosh next year. We discussed this at the maintenance meeting and while a few members were interested, no one wanted to land at Oshkosh - even one member with a hundred, zillion hours flight time. He said he did it once and never again. This from a member who has landed in probably every major airport in the country - if not the world! We then tossed around the idea of flying to Shawno, Wisc. and driving to Oshkosh or some such. Every year different type aircraft fly-in to Shawno usually enroute or returning from Oshkosh. Lee's counsin lives there and this small town is truly aviation oriented and the airport is great. What think? Send your ideas to Max Bishop!
JOHN AND NINA VANCE. We have been concerned that you may have suffered the loss of your home in the fires in southern California. We hope you will contact us and let us know you're all right (phone 707-279-0259).
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!