VG-21 Squadron





NEWSLETTER #48 - May 15.2004


We're back. "We" are Pat (Patricia) and Lee Beery , founders of the VG-21 Squadron. For those who have started flying Vargas since we started the VG-21 group in 1990 or 1991, we retired from United Airlines in 1989. After five years we were burned out and Max Bishop kindly volunteered to take it over. We can't thank Max enough for all his time and effort. We can also understand why he is now burned out and wanted to hand it back to us.  Thanks Max, a million times, for all your hard work and expertise, lím sure we can count on Max to continue to lend a helping hand. He's the one we go to for information that deals more with the production of the airplane. As you may recall, he was instrumental in the production of the airplane under the certification of [Montanair]. Unfortunately, this venture failed and only two aircraft were produced.


Now we're starting in again from scratch. This means that there is no money in the cigar box. This is strictly


Lee started at United as an apprentice, got his A&P licenses and retired 35 years later as a supervisor in Engineering. I started out as a clerk, worked 13 years for a Senior VP as an executive secretary and was in a management job in Sales when I retired after 30 years.


We purchased our Varga in 1987 and flew it back from Akron . Lee claims that one of the Wright Brothers the FBOs as we don't com pete with people who make their living working on airplanes!


Lee has made seven pre-buy inspections for prospective Varga buyers and ferried a number of Vargas to their new owner's local airport. Again, this is all done at NO COST. He does ask that his expenses be paid (fuel, food, motel, return transportation).


In the past, we have hosted Maintenance Seminars where Lee shares his knowledge and everyone shares their experiences, problems and solutions. Those efforts were well-received and always had a number of attendees from western states. If there's enough interest, we can do that again. We're here for phone calls and e-mails, as well. We would prefer to receive your phone calls between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Please


Pat & Lee Beery

3450 Shoreline View Way


Phone: 707-279-0259

E-mail: varga~mchsi. com


The purpose of the club is to simply help each other. We all have had experiences, problems, solutions that will help some other Varga owner. It's also fun to contact other nearby members and get together for a fly-in. One of those $50 hamburgers.


One thing that has been brought up is to possibly have Chapters in areas where there are several Vargas. We could easily have a No. Calif. Chapter and a So. California Chapter, as an example. Each Chapter could contribute material for the Newsletter, which would be GREATLY appreciated!!!


You have probably already learned from your mechanic that there's a lot about our aircraft that's unique. We've learned that some of the problems are also unique and can be difficult to identify. The latest example is lack of sufficient elevator travel. After making the first ever horrible landing in a Varga, Lee discovered that the elevator wasn't adjusted properly and it was impossible for the airplane to flare on landing. More details


A Club For Many Reasons - This all began when my husband and I agreed that a Varga Kachina would be the best com promise between the Beechcraft Sundowner I wanted and the Piper Clipper he had. He gave up the tail wheel and I gave up the control wheel. He kept his other tail dragger, by the way; a Baby Great Lakes biplane.


We purchased the first Varga built and it had been used in the certification program.. It has a few one of a kind, hand-made parts, but overall, it is a Kachina. It was during the first year or so of ownership that I realized that a unique airplane I had. It was also during this tune that it became apparent that ownership of an airplane with such a limited production number could present serious maintenance problems. My mechanic husband and I concluded that what we were learning about the care and feeding of a Varga could well be shared with other Varga owners. We also felt we could benefit from their experiences and perhaps create new friendships. All of this proved to be true.


Although I'm sure no two type-clubs are alike, we feel the following are essential.


Purpose: This is a key com ponent in any club. After all, if they built five thousand of your type aircraft, the club is apt to be oriented more toward a social club. In the case of our aircraft club, we do our best to maintain longevity of the aircraft with social activities com ing in second.


Interest: Not everyone who flies "your" type airplane will have the same level of interest you have. You can expect a limited few that want the newsletter, maintenance information, and especially they want your source for those hard-to-find parts but can't make it to the scheduled events. I think this is normal in any club.


Intangible benefits derived from a type club are more difficult to define. Certainly a sense of doing something as worthwhile as keeping out-of-production airplanes flying is at the top of the list. Having several of these airplanes parked next to each other and watching the crowd of curious fellow-pilots form around them provides a lot of selfish pride and joy, too.


I can think of only one negative in forming or joining a unique aircraft type club. It's tough to tell people, "No, my Varga isn't for sale" and, "no, I don't know of one that is."


My fervent hope is that each and every member of our club realizes how important their contributions are and how much the rest of us appreciate them.


The future of this group is up to all of you. If there's minimum response to this mailing, we' II bide away all the documents and files. If there's sufficient response, however, we'll plan to publish three Newsletters a year and schedule a social activity or two. Let

us know what interests you the most. As an example, do you want to fly in for a Maintenance Seminar next September or October? We can host it at our hangar, lunch at the Skyroom Restaurant located on Lampson field, etc. You folks -let -us know-what you want to do and we'll do our best to fulfill your interests.


We'd like to wel com e new Varga owners John & Barbara Wade. They bought 829QJ from Hillside Aviation, Benton Air Park , in Redding , CA . The seller flew it to Lee at Lampson Field ( Lakeport , CA ). Lee then delivered it to John & Barbara in Sedona AZ. Lee spent a few days with John checking him out with his new airplane. We just received a nice letter from John, thanking us, and he loves his Varga!


Enclosed is a questionnaire that will help us direct our com ments toward your interests. If you feel the requested information is nobody's business but yours, please just ignore it or answer just those questions you feel com fortable with.  (I didn't say my grammar was perfect!)


Now, here's the ringer: Send us your name, address, e-mail address, N number(s) -AND a donation of money to cover our expenses of copying and mailing. Please let us hear from you no later than June 15,2004.


Happy flying!







Recently, while landing a Varga (not ours), I found that with the control stick full back against the stop, it did not produce the normal, expected reaction. I made a perfect Fl 8 landing on a carrier! All three wheels hit at the same time, about a 2G hit, with no bounce back into the air.


Back at the hangar, a quick check of the elevator travel told the story. Elevator trailing edge up travel was limited to 9 to 10 degrees of travel. The Maintenance Manual calls for 16 up and 18 degrees down, +/- one. I question the difference between the up and down travel. The only time you would use that amount of down elevator would be at the halfway point in an aileron roll, and we all know you can't do that in a Varga. Reference Section V 5,6,5 Figure 5.3.  I was able to back off the stop screw at the rear control stick (Fig. 5.1 Torque Tube Assy) Item #12 to obtain the correct amount of elevator up travel. Subsequent test flights revealed that now elevator movement, even at stall speeds, produced rapid nose up motion as it should.


As it happens, there is a fairly large aircraft rebuild shop (insurance jobs only) at our airport and just recently they repaired a Varga that had experienced a hard landing which damaged both wings at the gear attach areas and deformed the engine mount I spent many hours looking over their shoulders as they did their repairs. We even rebuilt the landing gears and installed new seals. When the repair shop delivered the Varga to its owner, the pilot related to me that the aircraft did not want to flair so he had to jab on some power to raise the nose. I just had that owner check the elevator travel and sure enough, it is short on travel.


Would anyone care to guess what it cost this owner and the insurance com pany to fix this plane? It is my contention that this incident could have been avoided had the elevator travel been as per the aircraft specifications. This is just my "take" on the incident and I may be wrong as I did not see the landing. In closing, I would like to see everyone check their aircraft's elevator travels. Jt should be very close to equal, up and down. If it looks suspect, check it out with a protractor or a homemade template. Or give me a call if you have questions or I can help.

MEMBER INFORMATION - Newsletter 48 - May 15. 2004


Now that we are in the com puter age, perhaps we would find it interesting to gather some facts. If any of this is too personal, just ignore the questions. Later on, we'll write up a report on our findings. If your response below is "no", please provide details.


Still in factory colors?                                Y     N

Original engine?                                         Y     N

Plane hangared?                                         Y     N

More than one VHF radio?                         Y     N

A Loran?                                                     Y     N

ADF ?                                                         Y     N

DME?                                                         Y     N 

GPS ?                                                         Y     N

Any long trips?                                             Y     N

Your age group is: Teens__20s__30s__40s__50s__60s__70s__80s

What does your annual cost?                     $

Are you an A&P?                                        Y     N

Are you an AI?                                             Y     N

Are you Instrument Rated?                         Y     N

Fly at night to any degree?                         Y     N

Use your plane for business?                     Y     N

Should we do a survey on insurance?       Y     N


What maintenance items concern you the most?





What subject matter would you like us to cover in the future?





Do you have any information/stories we can incorporate in future Newsletters?





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