Things at Mack are all good. Things are changing and moving fast!
At the end of November, 5 of the older HAWK kids and mentors made the trek to Rifle and disassembled, loaded, and trucked their new-well used-Donated 1973 Cessna 172 N13245 to Mack. (Thank you Russell Frank). The N number should be a mouthful except for people with dyslexia. The reversed 2 and 3 should play tricks with air traffic controllers. But they can relax for a while as the reconditioning of the airplane by the kids is going to be an extended project taking several years one Saturday at a time. The airplane was unloaded moved into its hangar and work started on it the first weekend in December.
The EAA Chapter 800 Christmas Party at the El Tapatio restaurant in Fruita ate up the 2nd Saturday. Anyone that missed the get together missed a really good meal and the election of the EAA Chapter 800 directors. Since a lot of the members of EAA chapter 800 are also members of HAWK it was decided to forgo any work on the airplanes to avoid conflicts. The next 2 December Saturdays were Christmas eve and New Year’s Eve so HAWK decided to forgo any official work with the Kids. The hanger was open and a few kids did show up for a short time but both weekends were mostly uneventful.
The push was on in December to get the Cherokee annualed so Braden Hobbs could do his Solo flight on his 16th birthday January 9th. Jerry F did his usual outstanding job and got the annual done in time for Sterling HAWK’s CFI to prep Braden for his big day. Unfortunately the weather Gods decided to introduce Mack and Happy Valley to an unheard of Ice storm on the 9th. Even the airlines were grounded at GJT. Jerry F had airline tickets the 9th to start his vacation in Florida and spent the day at the main airport trying to get out. He finally gave up and skated home. Jerry rescheduled and made it out on Thursday. You could ice skate on the runways at both GJT and Mack (10CO). No one remembers an Ice storm in the Grand Valley- they happen east of the Rockies. Braden finally made his solo flight on Saturday the 14th of January.
To promote HAWK, Braden requested the news media at his solo. Now that’s confidence! He did two flawless touch and go’s and a full stop landing with the media and about 75 people from HAWK, EAA chapter 800, and the Miata car club watching. The good part was the airplane was reusable. The Miata Car club provided lunch for everyone. Anyone that missed the Solo party missed a really good get together. Thanks Miata club for the lunch- it was very good. Sterling cut Braden’s shirt tail off and it will be framed as HAWKs first official kid solo. As a side note – Braden paid about $69.00 for his airplane time to solo. He traded Flying time for work in the shop. $69.00 was not a bad price for nearly 20 hours of flying time in a Cherokee. That figures out to about $3.50 per hour. Fuel and instruction was outside of HAWK and additional but still inexpensive (with enough donations someday HAWK will be able to cover these costs. Kind of like an internal scholarship). This is what HAWK is all about- introducing Kids to aviation so they can afford it. Heck last year Braden could not even spell Pilot now he are one! Below is the link to the news media on his flight. AOPA’s E-brief also mentioned his flight. Notice his Oshkosh 2016 hat
HAWK has been responsible for many rusty pilots getting back into aviation. Shay B has not flown in years but thanks to her involvement with HAWK, she purchased a 172 and plans to let HAWK use it while the Cherokee is in the paint shop. Franklin Insurance company has been very helpful is working with HAWK to keep the airplanes insured. THANKS BOB MACKEY WITH FRANKLIN! Shays 15 year old son Logan is working on his pilot’s license and hopefully will be able to solo both the Cherokee and their 172 on his 16th birthday. HAWK has several kids working on their pilot’s licenses at this time.
Caroline Ann, the channel 11 reporter who covered Braden’s flight, went for a ride in HAWK’s Dakota Hawk and also now wants to become a pilot. Pat W gave her a really nice fight in HAWK’s experimental 100% size wood model airplane.
The HAWK Build-s
Logan B has his tool box almost finished thanks to the help of Greg L. Greg has been traveling the world and shows up occasionally. He is an A/P and has been very instrumental in helping the kids. He was one of the people that really helped get the Dakota Hawk finished for Oshkosh 2016. Greg just purchased a 6 plex apartment on the east side of the Rockies where is family resides so he will only drop in and out occasionally. You will be missed Greg! So far 6 kids have completed tool box’s. 11 year old Ryan is Greg’s tool box instructor replacement. Ryan built his box in two Saturdays and it is one of the best box’s to date. Only problem is he wants to work on the airplanes. His Mom Sonja known as whirlygirl is a helicopter pilot. Humm! There has to be a helicopter just looking to be donated to a new home- Sonja would love to finish her instructor rating and do instruction.
The Dalt G family donated a nice Grizzly mill to the program. Dalt is the person instrumental in getting the tool box program up and running. And also contributes regularly to HAWK to keep the kids working and flying. Dalt owned a sheet metal shop in his younger years and his knowledge is invaluable. Thanks Dalt!
The Cherokee is going to be taken off line and all the cosmetic problems fixed before its new jet glow epoxy paint job. Thanks Pat Trim of Hightower Paint for donating the paint for the 701 the 172 and the Cherokee. At $400.00 per gallon it was a very nice donation. (7 gallons total for the 3 airplanes). The hardener makes it equal to 14 gallons. This is the paint WestStar spray’s on Jets. WestStar’s paint crew has volunteered their time to strip and paint the Cherokee. Two of HAWK’s lucky kids will be involved in the paint project with them. The Cherokee is an exceptional airplane and with a new paint job will look exceptional. Herman and Jean A, the family that donated the Cherokee, came for Braden’s solo and I think they were more excited than Braden. They are both retired teachers and are excited to see their old airplane teaching kids. As a side note-Sterling was Herman’s flight instructor years ago in the Cherokee. Herman was also my instructor in College and he remembered me- I never would have guessed I was that bad. It is a small world.
The Zenith 701 N838CP is proceeding nicely. The RH Pega Daedalus wing is temporarily on and the Flaperons are being fabricated and fit. Pega Wings are longer than the stock 701 wings and therefore the factory 701 flaperons are short. New Flaperons are being fabricated per Pega plans to make them fit properly. this has turned into a real project and is being overseen by Pat W.
Randy O has the Rotax 912 engine prop drive apart for sudden stoppage inspection- the engine has about 30-40 hours total and was partially donated to HAWK by Jim D. Randy has been a valuable asset to HAWK as he has been through Rotax classes and has built a 701 with a Rotax 912 he currently flies.
The new old 172 N13245 is in process of having everything firewall forward removed to change the lower firewall due to hard landing wrinkles. This has been Anthony and John C’s project.
The HAWK firefly balloon N90555 sn F7-624- Braden dismantled the burner donated by Dominic Chemello to install a new Blast valve and fix numerous other problems. Keith with the Firefly Balloons factory has offered to donate to HAWK a very nice 4.0 basket with in date fuel lines plus the re-coat for the envelope.
The balloon will get the younger kids flying and soloed at 14. Rob Shantz insurance “may” donate a year of insurance for the balloon. This has not jelled yet as the balloon is not together. Thanks Keith and Rob for your considerations.
Steve with 1st choice roofing donated a nice running 1993 1500 Chevy Pickup to HAWK to fix up and sell. It needs a windshield, the driver’s door hinges repaired, and the seat reupholstered. Plus general clean up. It has new tires and Aluminum wheels. Rich Bishop the Guy that did the Dakota Hawk and Cherokee seats has offered to reupholster the seat for $150.00- this covers materials. And Like the airplane seats will be very nice. The truck will be the mentors project as the kids will be working on learning aviation, not automotive. If the kids want to work on the truck they can. If anyone out there needs a truck it will be available shortly. Mitch the general manager owner of NAPA auto Grand Junction has offered to donate any parts needed. Thanks Mitch!
Lyle B the website administrator brought his balloon over from Utah for an annual and worked with the kids and the HAWK directors to make the website better. Watch for the website to be updated. The website is how the truck came about. Lyle is going to set the HAWK website up with a place for HAWK to accept donations. Most likely to be in conjunction with pay pal for cash donations for security.
There is a lot more exciting things happening with HAWK – time will tell. The kids interested in aviation keep coming, and HAWK keeps growing. HAWK now has 3 hangers at Mack so donations become even more important to keep the kids flying. Someday in the future HAWK would like to be able to do aviation related scholarships (like fuel and instruction). but that is yet to be determined. I do not know of anywhere kids can fly cheaper than HAWK. – not bad for an idea that has taken root. All the members of EAA chapter 800 should be really proud of what they have developed. HAWK is going into its third year shortly. If you include the time EAA chapter 800 was involved before the split, due to flying airplanes, it is actually over 4 years.
YOUNG EAGLES HAS A START now with HAWK-kids have a place to follow up on their interest in aviation. With the Young Eagles program, the kids get an awesome intro to aviation. But after the flights, the kids have no way of connecting to aviation due to cost and lack of availability. HAWK solves this dilemma. HAWK is also a way for old aviators and techs to pass on their aviation knowledge to kids in all forms of aviation. I might add everyone involved with HAWK donates their time-no one is paid by HAWK. Payment is the satisfaction of watching the kids grow and develop their aviation interests.
If the Last few years are any indication 2017 should be another banner year!
THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT HAS MADE HAWK A SUCCESS TO DATE.
And the build-flying continues.