7S5 Pilots Memorial Planning Meeting

March 7, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 7:07 PM by Danny Jaffer.  Present were Ken Hardwick, Dave Martin, Robert English, Andy Andersen, Danny Jaffer, Tom Ritchey, Doug Birge, Al Cleveland, Bob Zafran, Paul Gilman, and Joe Winter.


SECRETARY: Robert had posted the minutes on the web site after a few corrections, and everyone present had a chance to read them either on the web or in person.  Andy moved that the minutes be approved as posted, and Dave Martin seconded.  All approved by voice vote.


EVENT PLANNING: John Wilson had contacted the Air Force about whether they could fly over our event (weather permitting), and they have said they will do so at 10:50 in the morning, 1500 feet elevation.  Bob Zafran has called the Coast Guard about getting them to appear, but that has not been nailed down.  A helicopter from Fort Lewis is a good possibility.   Paul suggested a C-17 from McCord since they do flyovers a lot, and Bob said he would look into it.


The flag ceremony with the AMVETS is going to be at 11 AM, using a flag donated by the Addessi family which flew in Afghanistan.  Suzanne Bladow is singing the Anthem this year, as she will be returning from Arizona a day or two before.  Steve Springer, who is the PA guy this year, has requested to be the "backup singer" just in case Suzanne isn't at the event.  Staff Sergeant Dannielle Ritacco is going to play “Taps” again this year and everyone was happy about that.


The Boy Scouts, the Cub Scouts, CAP Cadets and Junior ROTC are being asked to help with the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Junior ROTC will assist with the Memorial Wreath ceremony.  Bob will contact the Junior ROTC.  There should be a representative from each group to meet with Dan and discuss logistics in advance.  There was some discussion about providing free lunch for the Scouts, Junior ROTC, and Cadets in return for their assistance, and this was agreed to by those present but it was unknown how many we would have to pay for.  We will talk about that again at the next meeting.


At this time, two people from the ODA will attend: one will do the welcoming speech and another will make the tribute to the pilots. Mitch Swecker is lined up to attend, and Joe Smith is to be contacted by Dave Martin, though which job each will do is to be determined later.   Flags in the past had come from Congressman Kurt Schrader's office, but when Dan phoned he talked to a new guy who didn't know how that was done in the past.  They need an exact figure of how many flags are needed, and that will become clearer by the next meeting.  The woman who keeps Kurt Schrader's calendar said this is the kind of event he would like to do, and they need a specific date and time.  Dan suggested a printed invitation to Congressman Schrader’s office instead of just an email.


The list of actual pilots to memorialize at the Event was examined, primarily to make sure that the description as received from the family or the press is accurate in regard to their actual military service.  Dan said that we should be able to adjust the list right up until Memorial Day, so he encouraged everyone present to do the necessary research about the honorees.


Denny Jackson is going to lead the RV pilots group in the Missing Man Formation if Dennis Krummel happens to be working on Memorial Day.  The antique aircraft fly-by is going to be run by Lynn McDonald, with the various aircraft flying below 1,200 feet. 


The Marquis Spa has said that we can use their parking lot again this year.  There are two busses that can be used to and from the lot, the Nutsch Aviation bus and one from the First Baptist Church.  Andy has procured an easel for the display of the pilots names and faces; all we need to get now is actual pictures.  News releases should go out by the First of April, so Bob and Andy will be writing some before then.


Dave Martin said he found the signs that he hadn't been able to find before; they were over the kitchen in the EAA hangar.  Brandt Sanitation will provide a dumpster, and the port-o-potties are on line to be brought in by Marici and Robin Reid, FBO.  Andy said he would get traffic cones from the City in time for the event to start.


We still need an Event Safety Officer.  Doug Davis has done it in years past, and he might be available for it this year.  Pete Weber is no longer available as he has already sold his house and will be moved out before the event takes place.  There will be a few more people from the EAA to help out with directing taxi traffic, with six being an ideal number.


LAST WORDS: There is an ODA requirement that we have emergency vehicles on the property for the event.  The Polk County Fire District #1 will be contacted so that a fire engine and an ambulance will be here that day.


With the event planning going so well, the question came up as to whether we need to meet in April at all.  Dan suggested keeping the arrangement as it is for now, and talk in a couple of weeks to see if there is anything we need to meet about.  Ken suggested that Dan attend the ISAS meeting a week later, in the EAA hangar at 7, to meet everyone, and Dan said he would.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:14 PM.  Next meeting is Monday, April 4, same place at the same time.  Respectfully submitted by Robert English, secretary.