Memorial Day Fly-By Planning Meeting

March 8, 2010


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Tom Ritchie.  Present were: Andy Andersen, Ron Hanna, Harvey James, Mark Matthews, Ken Hardwick, Mark Matthews, Robin and Maria Ried, Wayne Nutsch, Bob Zafran, Dave Martin, Robert English, and Debra Plymate.


Tom started by saying that the previous meeting went so well that he was afraid to jinx it by changing anything.  It was asked whether this was the 16th annual event this year or whether we had been counting properly; this year is actually the 17th as it turns out.  Tom said he would be master of ceremonies again.  Stanton Rickey, who gave the tribute to pilots last year, is in the process of writing a book and we wondered if some material from the book would be good fodder for a speech this year. 


Suzanne Bladow will be available to sing the national anthem again, and we have a backup singer in the person of our PA guy Steve Springer if Suzanne is not available to sing.  The 99s would be providing the wreath again as last year.  Boy Scouts should be contacted to see if they can help again with the parking, as well as with the wreath, and Deborah Plymate said she could contact them to find out.  Denny Jackson was going to organize the RVs to fly this year, as Dennis Krummell might be on-duty to fly that day.


Andy had copied a tentative list of deceased pilots which he passed around, and went down the list to describe what he knew of each entry.  It was just about double the number of the pilots we have memorialized before, so there was some scrutiny as to how many were clearly not military flyers, not local, or had no local family and could be safely excluded.  Andy said he would contact the families.  Then we can know how many flags and vases to order.


Wayne Nutsch said that he had a bus, currently licensed as a motor home, which can help ferry passengers back and forth.  The YMCA bus had difficulty finding a driver in years past, and this one of Wayne's doesn't need a special license to drive as it only carries 9 passengers.  The bus for the First Baptist Church is also available this coming year.  The bugler may be a no-show, and an alternate was suggested by Paul Gilman.  Dave Martin said he would help organize the light aircraft and conduct the pilot briefing at 10 AM as he had before.


The picnic lunch will be held in Wayne Nutsch's hangar as he had before.  Ken asked if the $5.00 was enough to cover the lunch last year, and it turned out it was.  Harry Malette used to provide the port-o-potties, and Robin Ried was asked about that to see if he wanted to help with that.  Lois Martin is willing to help with editing the program, and Andy said he would contact Farnstrom's to see if they will print them for us as they have before.  There was a question as to whether the signs for parking that were used last year were still around; Al said if there wasn't, then some could be made up.  Cones from the public works department are still available from the City.  Tom asked if the City had any "parking" signs, and Andy said he would ask.


The military will be contacted again to see if they can provide a fly-by of the F16s.  The Coast Guard helicopter was scheduled last year but they did not arrive; they will be contacted again this year to see if we can get them out this time as they've played a good part in previous years.   Mitch Swecker of the ODA will be asked to make the request for both the F-16 and the Coast Guard helicopter. The fire truck and ambulance were on hand last year, and the fire chief will be contacted to see if they can make it out again.  They can be parked outside of Robin's hangar like before.


The start of the flag ceremonies was OK with all present, though there was some discussion about the timing of the F16 fly-over.  The jets make a circuit of the local airports celebrating the holiday, and Independence is the last on that list, so they can't be asked to fly over later.  Andy said he had the flags to hoist and lower, though he does need a new Oregon flag which he can probably get through AmVets.  Tom suggested that the flag hoist should be tested to make sure it works; one year it didn't, which no one wants to see again.


The next meeting for the planning committee was suggested to be the first Monday after Easter, which will be April 5th, and an alternate for the 19th.  May 17th, two weeks before the event, was mentioned as a possible last-minute meeting to make sure that everything is going according to plan.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Robert English, ISAS secretary.