7S5 Pilot Memorial Planning Meeting

February 9, 2009


The meeting was called to order by Tom Ritchey at 7:00 PM.  Present were: Pete Weber (OPA), Andy Andersen (OFF), Dave Martin (ISAS), Robert English (IAHA), Mitch Swecker (ODA),  Tralee Knapp (ODA), Paul Gilman (CAP), and Gary & Elaine DeVore (AMVETS).


Pete said that the FAA fly-over has been approved.  An earlier stipulation about a pilot briefing has been waived.  The Coast Guard helicopter has not been approved yet, but given that they have participated every year it will very likely happen.  The plan is for both organizations to grace us with their presence sometime between 10:30 and 11 AM.


The flag will be lowered to half-mast by the AMVETS, with the CAP cadets leading the pledge.  Veterans used to have to be "covered" to participate in the salute, but that requirement has been lifted as of this year.  Suzanne Bladow will sing the Star Spangled Banner if she has to, but her deteriorating condition could make that difficult.  Reverand Roach is available to give the invocation again.  Dan Clem's availability is not known yet; Tom said he would check on that.  John Bruning will be contacted to see if he is available to make another speech this year.  He's written several books and does a great job of relating history to some recent events.


Pete said that someone else, likely from the EAA, should act as the safety officer this year.  The AMVETS said they could print up some more "no smoking" signs, and they have their own laminators.   The 99s have to be contacted about the wreath for the Pilot Memorial, though some folks remembered that they'd said they would do it again this year.  Dennis Krummell said he would help organize the Missing Man Formation if he is not called away to work.  Steve Springer is going to bring his PA and medleys of war tunes.  Danielle Ritacco will be asked again to play "Taps."


Senator Kurt Schrader’s staff, who now occupy the Representative's office, is largely new but there is one who remembers our event and has agreed to bring it to the attention of Mr. Schrader.  The initial statement is that he will do it if he happens to be in town.  There may not be any flyable “warbird” planes for the display, but there is new leasee by the name of Robin Reid who has flyable late 20s planes. 


Andy circulated a tentative list of deceased pilots to honor at this year's event, which includes former Airpark resident Gordon Clappison.  Tom said that he would seek a dozen flags, ones with certificates that they had been flown over the Capitol.  


Last year's situation with the vendors (unannounced set-ups, etc.) will not be repeated.  The AMVETS will be invited to have a table in the vendors’ area, with membership applications on one corner.  99s will be asked if they intend to sell ice cream again.  Paul asked if the CAP could give a demonstration of search and rescue, using an ELT, and those present thought that was a good idea.  Scheduling will be worked out as the event takes shape.


There will be newspaper articles leading up to the event, and the ODVA can also place an ad for it - this is a new avenue for publicity.  Tralee is available to help write any article required.  Harry Malette will provide the Port-o-Potties this year as he has before.  Ron Hanna (retired FAA tower controller) will monitor the radio during the event. 


Tom asked if we could meet again in about a month.  The 9th of March was suggested and that worked for everybody. 


The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 PM.  Respectfully submitted by Robert English, secretary.