Urgent Special Call for Help: Marshal the Arsenal of Democracy!

As you surely know by now, our Chapter will be instrumental in pulling off the Arsenal of Democracy (AoD) 2020 Flyover of Washington, DC, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8 with a sky full of 112 WWII airplanes. What you may not realize is just how huge this event is going to be, and how much help we’re going to need.

We’ll be putting up information for volunteer sign-ups as we get a little closer to the event, but we have a critical need we must fill up front, right now. We’re slated to have 26 pieces of heavy iron – 26 big, multi-engine WWII airplanes! – on our east ramp, and controlling their ground movements to keep everyone safe is going to be absolutely critical. We need someone with large aircraft (preferably including big taildraggers) marshaling experience to head up our flight line marshaling squad throughout the event, along with enough team members to field at least four marshalers on deck (one communicating directly with pilot, one on each wing, and one positioned along the path) whenever planes are scheduled to move on the field. We can work in shifts if we can get enough people to fill in the squad.

Everyone volunteering specifically for the marshaling squad must be an adult (for insurance reasons, we cannot have CAP cadets or other children working on the field during AoD-specific operations) and will have to attend a training and drill session prior to the AoD, to ensure that all participants are using clear and consistent signals and can communicate effectively with each other. The AOPA will provide the instructor and training session. Our squad leader is the only one who absolutely must already have significant large aircraft marshaling experience; we can train other team members willing to commit to learn, but I’m hoping we might have some ex-military flight line folks eager to strut their stuff again.

I know this is a lot to ask, but we need people – and most particularly our team leader – able to commit to working multiple days. The aircraft are all due to arrive on May 4 and 5, 2020, hopefully not in groups; while the APP Jet Center line folks will be able to help, we’ll need at least a basic four-person squad to assist in getting them into their pre-assigned parking spots. On May 6, the FAA FSDO will be doing ramp checks on all the planes, and then some of them at least will be doing media flights; we’ll have a bit of a zoo on the field, because the media presence for this event will be massive!

May 7 will be our practice day for the flyover. Basically, we’ll be doing everything except having the airplanes actually fly over DC. We’ll practice sanitizing the ramp (which will be essential on the actual flyover day, when the Secret Service, DoD, TSA, FBI, and the rest of the alphabet soup will ensure that nothing on any of the planes could damage DC, and that only the pre-approved crews and passengers board the planes), handling the sequential launches of our fleet, and then recovering the airplanes upon their return. Hopefully, that should be enough for the day!

May 8 – weather permitting – will be the flyover day, when we do it all for real. We’ll need to be a well-oiled machine! Hopefully, our practice on the 7th will have everyone sharp and on the numbers for the ramp sanitization, aircraft checks, aircraft boarding, and aircraft launch schedule. And then things will get even more interesting – because when the planes come back, they won’t be parking in the same spots from which they left!

Here’s the thing. Some of the planes from the flyover – including our EAA B-17 and B-25 – will be staying on to do revenue flights and ground tours for the remainder of the weekend. I’m waiting on the final list of which other aircraft intend to conduct tour business at Manassas, and EAA Oshkosh will need to work out any revenue-sharing arrangements they might want to make with CAF and/or others about sharing the tour stop. But we’ll be parking those aircraft nearest the terminal and creating defined safe space around them where the public will be permitted to roam. During the tour stop setup, our usual ramp rules – not the special adults-only AoD flight line ones – will apply to our line crew, so we could include responsible young people in our ground crews

A bunch of the other planes, including a mix of all the different aircraft types participating in the flyover, will be staying overnight on the field at Manassas, but will then fly off early on May 9 to land at Dulles and go on public display on the ramp at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. We’ll park those birds in their own separate area, to facilitate their early Saturday morning departure. They won’t be coming back to Manassas; instead, they’ll depart from Dulles on Sunday, May 10.

Some planes may simply park and look pretty, without opening to the public, when they return from the flyover. Those would be furthest away from the terminal.

Anyway, that’s the concept in a big nutshell. You’ll be hearing a LOT more as we get closer! But we really need to be certain as early as possible that we’ll have enough qualified marshalers to manage the ramp throughout the AoD, from May 4-10, 2020. If you want to volunteer specifically for the marshaling team – particularly if you’d like to be the official squad leader of the marshaling team – please send an email to mary@bardicvoice.com, and be certain to detail your large aircraft marshaling experience!

One last heads-up. I know that people in this Chapter ALWAYS turn out to volunteer for the B-17, and that would apply in spades to having 26 WWII planes on the field! But for this monster event, it will be absolutely essential for anyone who wants to participate on the AoD ramp to register in advance. For obvious security reasons, access to the ramp during the event preparation and execution will be strictly controlled. AOPA will be operating a master registration database for all volunteers, and will issue ramp credentials appropriate to the different security levels associated with specific duties. This time, you won’t be able simply to show up and volunteer; you’ll need to jump through the right hoops first. Please, do!

And thanks!

Here Comes Oshkosh 2019! You goin’?

Who is going this year?! We’ll be there and hope to see lots smiling faces. EAA Chapter 186 will meet for breakfast on Tuesday, July 23 at 8:00am near the forums/workshop area. Area K-9 on this 2013 map.near the forums/workshop area. Area K-9 on the AirVenture map. This used to be Ace’s Bistro or Buca di Beppo, but now it’s called The Heart of American Group — Happy Joe’s and Johnny’s Italian Steak House. We’ll be there…will you!?

We will also have our trailer setup in Camp Scholler as a “home base” for 186 members and friends. We’ll be bringing our chapter banner, a canopy, and several chairs. Stop on by to say hello, relax by the camp fire, and enjoy a beer. Once we know who is going to be there, we’ll try to come up with some sort of meeting times.

Let’s hear from you! http://eaa186.org/oshkosh-airventure-2019/

Blue skies,
Danny and Sande

Big Bomber BBQ!

Once again Our chapter will host a catered deck BBQ during the B-17 visit — Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Ranch Beans, Buns and a Drink. Prices are $15 to general public and $10 for B-17 Volunteers. Be sure to reserve your seat early so we can get a head estimate for ordering food and have enough tables set up. Come meet and Greet with the B-17 Pilots and Crew!


Here are the details:

Friday, September 29, 2017
6:00pm to 9:00pm
EAA 186 Chapter House deck
Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF)
10629 Observation Road Manassas, VA 20110

If paying by PayPal: You can pay by PayPal when you make an online reservation. just following the instructions.
If paying by check: After you make an online reservation, please make checks payable to EAA Chapter 186 and mail to:
EAA Chapter 186
Attention: Dan Botzer
10629 Observation Road
Manassas, VA 20110

No matter how you purchase your ticket, an online reservation is REQUIRED: Since this is a catered event, we must have an accurate head count in advance.


More info? Contact Sande Miller-Long

Fly the B-17 – Manassas Tour Stop!

B-17 FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Sept 29 – October 1, 2017 MANASSAS, VA

Join us for an unforgettable experience aboard one of the few remaining airworthy B-17s in the world. You won’t want to miss Aluminum Overcast when it visits an airport near you!

Climb aboard the 65,000-lb. B-17 bomber and step back in time to the World War II era.

Feel the might of this magnificent flying machine as it soars through the sky on your mission flight where you’ll discover why it’s called the Flying Fortress.

Stand in the footsteps of the bombardier, the navigator, and the waist gunner and relive history by experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly in one of World War II’s most vital and magnificent aircraft.

People of all ages will appreciate the history associated with this airplane that helped the Allies achieve victory. We invite families to visit and learn all about our aircraft and our organization

Revenues from the B-17 tour help cover maintenance and operations costs for the aircraft and aid our ambition to “keep ’em flying” for many years to come. Our tour stops are also hosted by volunteers who are passionate about sharing the B-17’s stories.

Tour Stop: Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF), Manassas, VA

Date: Friday, September 29, 2014
Flight Experiences: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m.
Book a Friday Flight
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2014
Flight Experiences: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m.
Book a Saturday Flight
Date: Sunday, September 28, 2014
Flight Experiences: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m.
Book a Sunday Flight

Ground Tours
2-5 p.m. (unless noted), weather permitting
$10: Individual Rate
$20: Family Rate (adults/children up to 17)
Free: Children under 8 (with paying adult)
Free: Veterans / Active Military

Mission Flights (weather permitting)
$409: EAA Members
$449: Nonmembers

$435: EAA Members
$475: Nonmembers

*** All passengers must check in at the B17 trailer one hour prior to the scheduled flight time.

Volunteers Needed for B-17 Visit!

We need Chapter members to volunteer to help out with the upcoming visit to Manassas of the B-17 on September 28 through October 1, 2017. We’re looking for help with both aircraft operations and the EAA 186 Grill. For Friday night, when we’re planning on hosting the Big Bomber BBQ at the Chapter House, we’ll also need some help to set up tables, chairs, and tents, and to clean up after the dinner ends.

The B-17 will be arriving early. She was originally due in on Wednesday, September 27, but the midweek stop prior to ours fell through; we’re expecting her to arrive around late morning or noonish on Monday, September 25, 2017. All she’ll do then is park and go to sleep, so we don’t expect to need any more help than I can provide. Still, if you’d like to be on hand to say hello and possibly help crew members get to where they need to go, let me know by dropping a line to mary@bardicvoice.com.

Thursday, 9/28 (Media day)

Thursday is a quiet day for the B-17: her only scheduled operation is the media flight (maybe two, if we’re lucky and get a lot of interest!) in the afternoon. Apart from media, she won’t be open for flights or ground tours, and while media folk are welcome to buy souvenir items, the merchandise trailer usually isn’t put into full operation.

We will need a few people on hand from about 12:30 PM until 3:30 PM to help greet media representatives, escort them to the trailer to get checked in for the media flight, assist in aircraft boarding and deplaning, and handle (very small) crowd control to keep visitors to the ramp safe both during and after the media flight operations. We’ll be setting up stanchions and cones to define visitor areas and set off the operating ramp for the remainder of the visit. Three or four volunteers are likely all we’ll need with the bomber for Thursday.

Friday Through Sunday, 9/29-10/1/2017

B-17 volunteers will be needed each day beginning around 8:00 AM until about 5:30 or 6:00 PM. Flight operations with the B-17 usually begin at 9:00 with pre-flight preparation, but we already know this year will be a bit different: we already sold out all the usual Saturday flights (10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 1:00), so Oshkosh is starting to sell a 9:00 AM Saturday flight! Since passengers are requested to report an hour before their flight time, that means we’ll have at least one early morning when we’re expecting guests to arrive at 8:00 AM. That is NOT typical; Friday and Sunday are likely to be sleepy until 9:00, so volunteers wouldn’t need to be quite so early.

Ground tours usually begin about half an hour after the last flight of the day lands. We advertise ground tours from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, but they could start earlier if we have fewer flights, as often happens on Friday, so we need to have ground tour volunteers available before 2:00.

We need two people in each shift from Friday through Sunday willing to work in the merchandise trailer. This is the one position that has a learning curve, so it would be best if we could have volunteers who could handle full-day shifts in the trailer. The ideal would be two people willing to work all three days, but we know that’s hard. The B-17 tour coordinators need to count up the cash we take in each day; our math has to add up for our Chapter to look good!

It would be a big help if we could have a couple of volunteers each day willing to work inside the terminal building, one at our EAA Chapter 186 table to greet visitors, direct them to the ramp, and talk about EAA, our Chapter, and our various activities, including Young Eagles. The B-17 visit is always a great opportunity to gain new members and raise the Chapter’s visibility! The second indoor volunteer would man the door to the ramp, using a gate card to open the door for visitors going out or coming in without setting off the alarm. We always ask the airport if they’d be willing to deactivate the door alarm, but the usual answer is no, so – the most boring position (sorry about that!) is inevitably carding the terminal door.

The other non-merchandise ground crew volunteer duties in each shift vary depending on whether the plane is involved in flight operations (usually from 9:00 until 1:30) or in ground tours (from after the last flight until the end of the day, usually from 2:00 until 5:30). In each shift, we always need at least three ground crew volunteers, and particularly during ground tour operations, we need at least five. We can always make use of a few extra staff! If you enjoy getting your hands dirty, sign up for afternoon shifts – you could help clean the plane! When we transition from flight to ground tour operations, we need people to help move stanchions and cones to redefine the safe areas on the ramp.

During flight operations – typically in the morning – our ground crew volunteers handle crowd control and assist in getting people on and off the plane. Volunteers are asked to help carry the stairs to and from the plane, handle the chocks, and keep ramp visitors in safe areas.

During ground tours on the B-17, we need at least three volunteers dedicated to helping people on and off the plane, guarding the cockpit, and helping folk understand what they’re seeing throughout the plane. Are you an aviation history buff who can talk knowledgeably about the plane and answer questions? Consider volunteering particularly for the afternoons, when ground tours are usually in full swing! We need at least two additional volunteers to handle crowd control, because people tend to wander out of bounds looking for good photo angles, and if there are a lot of people in line, we’ll need to keep that line organized.

As always when you’re flying planes, weather and mechanical issues can throw curveballs. Normally, we plan to do ground tours each afternoon, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons are our biggest crowd turnout times – but those plans can change. Flexibility in scheduling is a prized commodity! We ask for your phone numbers so we can reach you if we need to adapt to changing circumstances.

EAA 186 Grill: Saturday and Sunday, 9/30 and 10/1

During the weekend’s busiest days, we’re planning on having the Grill operating to sell food and drinks to our visitors. This is always a good money-maker for the Chapter, so having cooks and cashiers is vital! Please take a shift to help our bottom line for the event. If you’d be willing to help out on Friday, just in case we have enough visitors to warrant opening the Grill, drop me a line at mary@bardicvoice.com.

Our sign-up lists for all the shifts are on our Volunteer page on the EAA186.org website http://eaa186.org/volunteers-2/; drop on by and sign up for the times you can work! We’re just one month away from the start of our mission, so – join the flight!

BTW, any and all Chapter volunteers are eligible to sign up for the repositioning flight on Monday, October 2, 2017, from Manassas to Hickory, NC. Depending on weather conditions and the comfort level of the pilot in command, ferry flight passengers sometimes get the opportunity to take the yoke and earn some B-17 left-seat time, so bringing your logbooks is definitely in order! Ferry passengers are responsible for arranging their own transport back to Manassas; folk usually split the cost of a rental car. Repositioning flights are always dependent on weather, mechanical, and crew travel conditions, so the date and time of the flight are subject to change on vanishingly short notice; scheduling flexibility is a requirement. We can typically name up to 8 passengers, although that isn’t guaranteed; it depends on how many crew or additional cargo EAA may need to reposition along with the plane. Our Chapter practice in the past has been to give priority to active Chapter volunteers who haven’t previously had the opportunity to make ferry flights, and I’d like to continue that. If you’d like to toss your hat in the ring for the ferry flight, please drop me a line at mary@bardicvoice.com, including the information about whether you’ve ferried before, and I’ll start assembling the list of potentials. If we wind up with more potential riders than we have seats, I’ll use a randomized computer program to pick the final winners.

I thank you all in advance; Oshkosh loves Manassas because all of YOU make this such a fabulous stop for both the plane and her crew!

The B-17 Ride Raffle Is Here!

EAA Chapter 186 is raffling off two seats on the WWII B-17 Aluminum Overcast during her visit to the Manassas Regional Airport September 29-October 1, 2017. The Chapter is a 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization, and all proceeds from the raffle will support Chapter activities. We can’t handle online sales, but tickets will be available in person (until they run out, that is!) at each of our upcoming Chapter events, including:

9/9/2017: Young Eagles Rally at Manassas Chapter House, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
9/16-17/2017: EAA Chapter 186 tent and aircraft display at Joint Base Andrews Open House
9/23/2017: EAA Chapter 186 tent at American Aviation Open House, Manassas Regional Airport

Check the EAA Chapter 186 online calendar for event details.

We will sell only 100 raffle tickets for each of the two seats, so the odds of winning are way better than most sweepstakes. Each ticket costs $10.00. If you were to buy that same ride on-site, the price would be $475.00 for anyone not already a member of EAA, or $435.00 for EAA members, so this drawing is a steal!

The drawings for each seat will be conducted separately, so each ticket you buy will be good for only one of the two drawings. Winning tickets will be drawn at random on Sunday, September 24, 2017, and winners will be contacted by phone that day. If a winner does not respond to that notification by 6:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 to arrange to claim their ride certificate, that first winner will forfeit the prize, and a second drawing will identify an alternate winner.

Each winner will be required to contact the EAA B-17 tour to schedule their winning ride; instructions will be provided when the winning certificates are claimed. The certificates will be redeemable for any available seat on any of the Manassas flight days. Be advised, some individual flights will have sold out by the time the prize drawing occurs. If the flight a winner schedules gets cancelled – for example, if weather doesn’t cooperate, or if some mechanical or other issue interferes – that winning certificate could be transferred to a flight at a different stop on the current B-17 tour, or even to a B-17 flight at Oshkosh during AirVenture 2018.

Please note that no certificate or raffle ticket is redeemable for cash; the only prizes are seats on B-17 flights.

If you couldn’t afford to pay for a ride and want to take a chance on winning one, come to one of our events with $10.00 in hand; you could win!

We’re Number 4!

From the new Young Eagles 25th Anniversary display in the EAA Museum.

EAA’s New VMC Club

Non-instrument rated pilots who want to improve their proficiency now have an excellent new resource through EAA’s VMC Club.

The VMC Club is modeled after the popular IMC Club concept which provides organized “hangar flying” focused on building proficiency in instrument flying. The VMC Club will do the same, but for pilots who are not instrument rated and fly primarily under visual flight rules and under VMC.

The VMC Club offers monthly meetings in which pilots can network and share knowledge and experience. The meetings use real-world scenarios to engage members, and allow a free exchange of information that improves awareness and skills. The intent is to create a community of pilots willing to share information, provide recognition, foster communications, promote safety, and build proficiency.

All EAA members are automatically eligible to take part in VMC and IMC Club programs in their local chapters. VMC Club is supported by Jeppesen.

Charles (Chuck) Kyle has offered to serve as VMC coordinator for EAA 186 to handle startup and organization/scheduling of monthly meetings. To operate meetings with EAA blessings, we need the coordinator plus a consulting CFI and at least three “founding” members. The purpose of having an associated CFI is to have someone to consult in case VMC club members have questions for which they need professional judgement. Chuck will give a short presentation to the chapter at our meeting on Saturday, July 15 about this new program. We believe that this programs will help make our members safer and more confident by sharing their experiences and learning from the experiences of others.

Special Presentation by Anne McCombs at July 15th Chapter Social

Anne McCombs has been working for the National Air and Space Museum in the restoration shop since 1988, beginning at the Garber Facility and currently at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar in the Steven F. Udvar­-Hazy Center.

The Hubble Space Telescope SDTV, Hughes H­1“Racer”, B­29 “Enola Gay”, and space shuttle “Enterprise” are among the memorable projects she has worked on.

Prior to her career at NASM, she worked for the EAA for eight years in Oshkosh.

Her presentation will feature a discussion of the Museum’s restoration philosophy and techniques, and how they have evolved over the years, as well as some “behind­ the­ scenes” anecdotes about a few favorite and not-­so­-favorite aviation and space artifacts.

Captain Don to speak at our Pancake Breakfast social June 24

Captain Don will give a presentation to our chapter about his Sea Plane, a A Grumman Albatross G1 11 named “Miss Splash” including a DVD about her rise from the bone yard. This is a must see story of passion & determination that prompted “Tales from the hangar.” Shot in High- Definition.
Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhAxg6ErCU4