Varga / Shinn VG-21 Squadron
NO. 9 Dec. 10, 1991
A huge thank you to those who made it to Lampson Field in Lakeport, CA on Oct. 12. We had 8 Vargas and 2 Shinns parked nose to tail on the ramp out front while their owners, sat down in the hangar for discussions on routine maintenance "by the book", mechanical problems and solutions, AD Notes, parts availability, and NTSB reports with each owner having the opportunity to discuss his maintenance experiences, their solutions, ask questions and hands-on comparison of specific areas on other Vargas and Shinns.
Del Lutz arrived from Dallas, TX in his Varga 2180 after 15 hours flying. Bob Foote and his son, Dennis, arrived from Paso Robles in Bob's Shinn, and John Vance and his wife, Nina, flew in from Orange County in John's just rebuilt Varga. Joe Conner arrived in his mint-condition Varga from Tracy. Len Peters in his Shinn from Hayward. Alex Vucetich and Rolf Lehman in their Vargas from Smith Ranch, Jack Skarratt and his wife, Lynn, in his Varga from Livermore and Carl Sigg in his Varga from Pale Alto.
My great A&P mechanic, husband Lee, chaired the meeting and shared his experience and expertise. While it's impossible to list all the points, problems and solutions discussed, a few stand out in my mind, probably because so many of us have encountered them: fuel vent problems, inop/inaccurate fuel gauges, high oil temp, gear inspections for cracks (Note: there is an AD on this for Shinns, but my Varga had the problem and required welding), wing cracks at aileron hinge point, and the need to service gear struts more frequently to prevent sticking. Lee handed out a maintenance record form to each attendee which, if utilized, is a great help to your AI as a condensed, concise record of all routine items accomplished as well as AD Notes, major repairs, etc. This is in addition, of course, to mandated log book entries. Some of us have more mechanic know-how than others, but I think everyone felt they learned something. It's easy to assume your annual will find and fix all problems. However, good routine maintenance as spelled out in the Maintenance Manual will prevent many problems. Lee and I were disappointed that due entirely to lack of time, we were unable to perform routine maintenance items on a Varga or Shinn while the group was here. We all enjoyed a lunch break at the Sky Room restaurant on the field. It gave us time for some good, old fashioned hanger flying and a chance to view Carl's photo album of his Varga vacation to Alaska and John Vance's album of his 8-month Varga-rebuild project. After lunch, as we wandered back to the hanger, it was evident our airplanes as usual, had drawn a crowd of "expert, pilot-type inspectors" with the most frequently asked question being, "what kind of airplanes are these?" Based on everyone's comments, I believe the day was worthwhile and we all went away feeling we learned something. For those of you who couldn't make it, we're sorry, but if there is enough interest, we'll do it again.
I would personally like to thank the non-flying people who attended: Nina Vance, Lynn Skarratt, and Dennis Foote. Since I'm relatively new at flying, following 25 years of being a white-knuckle passenger, I can truly appreciate the time you took to come and how much of it had to be totally boring to you. To all your non-flying back seat drivers out there, take it from one who really knows - don't miss out on one of life's greatest experiences. Find an instructor you like personally and take four or five hours of dual. I guarantee, you won't regret it.
I received a letter and several great enclosures from Bill Morrisey which, again, I am taking the liberty of sharing with you. If you are interested in the Morrisey 2000 or in playing a part in Bill's endeavor, please contact him directly. I receive at least one and usually two or three inquiries a month about our airplanes and where one might be purchased. The desire is out there. Bill, and I'm sure we all wish you the best of luck and every success.
With the holidays soon upon us, it seems unlikely many people could participate in a fly-in until after the New Year. Some suggestions I've received for 1992 activities include: Las Vegas because maybe Bill Morrisey would talk to us and show off the Morrisey 2000. Santa Ynez with an overnight in Solvang, flying AA Ranch at Ruth. CA, Santa Paula (where could we overnight?), Merced fly-in, Chandler, AZ (home of the Vargas, but there's not much at Chandler these days), and Mohave for the day with an overnight at Bakersfield (motel on field). Where would you people like to go? Let me hear from you!!!
If you have any suggestions, comments, problems, solutions or interesting flying adventures, please mail them to me so we can share them with everyone. This isn't "my" newsletter, it's yours!
The next Newsletter will be after the New Year. In the meantime, the happiest holidays to you and yours, and a happy, prosperous, safe 1992.