January 30, 2010

Dick Curtis to speak Feb 9 at Indianapolis Aero Club

The Indianapolis Aero Club will host Dick Curtis on Feb 9, 2010 at their monthly meeting. Mr. Curtis will be talking to the club about his experiences during World War II. Here is an excerpt from one write up on his book:

Book: Dumb But Lucky!: Confessions Of A P-51 Fighter Pilot In World War II - Second Lieutenant Dick Curtis arrived in Italy in May 1944- twenty years old and part of a shipment of P-51 Mustang fighter pilots so desperately needed that they were rushed into combat with less than thirty hours of flight time in their new high-performance aircraft. Six of the twelve pilots assigned to the 52nd Fighter Group were shot down in the first two weeks. By his ninth mission, Curtis was the only one still flying. A maverick, he barely escaped court-martial with his high-flying antics. Escorting bombers sent to pound heavily defended oil fields was risky enough, but strafing the enemy supply lines, ports, and airfields was even more dangerous. Curtis may chalk up his success to dumb luck, but these missions took exceptional skill and courage. This hair-raising account captures the air war in all its split-second terror and adrenaline-pumping action.

 The meeting will take place at the Marten House, 1801 W. 86th St, Indianapolis, IN.  

Below is a picture of Dick Curtis meeting Max Moga at the 2008 Indianapolis Air Show.  Maj. Moga was the F-22 Raptor pilot at the air show that year. 

January 29, 2010

January 2010 - Meeting Summary

After all the "Happy New Year" greetings were exchanged, our new officers and general board members were introduced and sworn in.  Click on the photo below for a slide show - and you'll get to see pictures of all our new officers, and a few pictures while members enjoyed each others company during dinner.

Visitors for our January meeting were Phil Brooks from Brownsburg, who is a former member, and Michael L. Tyra  from Indianapolis.  Hopefully, we'll be seeing them again soon!

One of the missions of The Indianapolis Aero Club is to help promote Indiana aviation history.  Ron Darrah presented "Clipped Wings:  Indiana's 181st Fighter Wing Stands Down" where he gave the history of the wing and shared some of his experiences while being a part of the fighter wing for 18 years.  If you'd like to review his power point presentation, we've saved it for you.  We had to break the presentation into two parts due to size, but it's worth a second look:  Part 1Part 2

January 20, 2010

Valentine Hangar Dance Saturday 2-13-2010 6PM to 10 PM

CAF logo


          The Indiana Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) cordially invites you to join us for our Annual Valentine's Day Dinner Dance. On Saturday, February 13, at 6 pm, we will celebrate Valentine's Day in the spirit of a 1940s era USO gala. As always, the hanger promises World War II combat aircraft and military vehicles and many new and old friends interested in aviation history.

Col CJ "Wink" Winkler, CAF



          The event also includes an era costume contest, dance contest, and silent auction. Uniforms or civilian dress from the era are welcome as is modern cocktail attire or dress military uniforms. The event will be held in a large heated hanger off the main terminal building of Montgomery Aviation at the Indianapolis Executive Airport.



          Indianapolis Executive Airport is located at 11329 East State Road 32 in Zionsville, which is 1.5 miles east of Hwy 421 and 6 miles west of Hwy 31. Additional details on the event and the CAF are located online at www.indianawingcaf.org.



          Tickets are $75/couple or $40/person include a finely catered dinner, cash bar and dancing to the swing and big band music of the 16 piece and vocalist "StarLighters". As always, the hanger promises World War II combat aircraft and military vehicles and many new and old friends interested in aviation history.



         Proceeds from the event benefit the Indiana wing of the CAF. The Indiana Wing maintains and flies a World War II primary trainer aircraft, a PT-26 Cornell & L-2A Stintson, to airshows around Indiana, educating the public and honoring the men and women of WWII, who built, serviced and flew military aircraft in defense of our great nation. Nationwide, the CAF maintains 150 flying historic combat aircraft, the world's largest collection.



CAF PT 26 

 flown by Col Gaston & Gibbs

CAF Tent Bethe Schell

Col. G "Bean Counter" Mahler CAF

with BT 13



Past Dance Photos


Quick Links...


Best Costume 2003

Cub at Dusk

1st Place Dance 2004

Cub at Dusk

2nd Place Dance 2004

Col E.M. "Bomb" Schell CAF

CAF Tent Bethe Schell

2007 Dance Contest

CAF Tent Bethe Schell

Col. CJ "Wink" Winkler

Jan Winkler

Cub at Dusk

Col. R."Nav & Abledog" Gibbs

 Val Flyer


January 14, 2010


Our Membership Page is under construction.

In the meantime, if you have questions about membership, please email us and will get back to you shortly!

Or - give Mike Souders a call at 317-341-3444

Thank you!

January 4, 2010

Tusakagee Airmen - Rose Bowl Parade

Our local aero club received this slideshow/pdf recently via email. The document is saved in Google Docs and saved/made available here so we have it for future reference. It is far too noteworthy and honorable NOT to share with the rest of the aviation community. We tip our hats to the Tuskagee Airmen. They deserve this and so much more.

January 1, 2010

Airports make the case they're worth the state funding

indystar.com | Printer-friendly article page

January 1, 2010

Airports make the case they're worth the state funding

Industry leaders hope report of economic impact will help deter planned funding cuts

By Bruce C. Smith

Would Boone County have landed the Medco pharmaceutical facility without a general aviation airport close by?
Or would the distribution centers, hotels and retailing with thousands of jobs have grown in Plainfield and the Ameriplex business parks if Indianapolis International Airport wasn't next door?
However, aviation industry leaders think the availability of airports is crucial in the mix of reasons why companies chose one site over another for a new business.
An economic impact study recently made public by the Aviation Association of Indiana shows the 104 airports open to the public give a multibillion-dollar punch to the state's economy each year. And aviation industry leaders hope the newest report will encourage lawmakers in the coming session of the Indiana General Assembly to spend a little more and match federal grants for airport improvements, ultimately creating local jobs.
"I realize that money will be tight with the state. Funding has been cut for the aviation division of the Indiana Department of Transportation, which affects the state money available to match federal grants. But with airport revenues down and property tax limits becoming effective, federal grants are a great way to bring money and jobs to the state," said Bart Giesler, executive director of the state aviation association.
"What we're talking about is every dollar from the state can bring $39 in federal funds" for airport construction that ultimately encourages businesses to create jobs, Giesler said.
The state aviation association, representing airport operators and others in the industry, estimates Indiana airports had an economic impact in their communities totaling $5.2 billion in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are compiled.
The industry trade group's 12th biennial report estimates the direct and indirect impact of airport economic activity totaled $3.2 billion in 2007.
That includes payroll of $640 million for about 17,100 airport workers, plus operating and capital spending on the facilities. The study estimates some of those dollars are circulated locally for an additional impact of $1.4 billion.
The study estimates $600 million was saved in transportation costs because travelers and companies had local airports close by and didn't have to drive farther to get to an airport.
The total impact of Indiana airports of $5.2 billion in 2007 is up from $4.9 billion in the previous study, based on 2005 figures.
Some of the increase is attributed to the impact of dollars spent on construction at Indianapolis International Airport, Giesler said.
The next association report might show the recession has dimmed aviation's punch for Indiana. Air passenger travel is down 9.1 percent, and cargo weights are down about 14 percent this year at Indianapolis International.
In fiscal year 2009, Giesler said, Indiana's public airports -- not counting the 400 private airfields -- completed almost $80 million in construction projects. About $9.2 million of that total was at Indianapolis International.
Federal grants pay for about 95 percent of many projects at local airports. The state has contributed 2.5 percent, and local governments or the airport operators chip in the other 2.5 percent. Planned budget cuts would trim the state's share to about 1.25 percent, meaning less matching money would be available, or approximately half of the $1.38 million spent last year by the state to leverage federal grants.
"That's why we say that it would be hard to find a better rate of return for the state's investment," Giesler said.
Dan Montgomery, operator of Indianapolis Executive Airport, said that airport has made about $8 million in improvements in the past several years, including a new terminal and a canopy to shelter passengers boarding and leaving their planes. Other improvements were made to the runway and the safety and light systems.
All are perks that have made the facility north of Zionsville in Boone County, but owned by Hamilton County, a favorite with business executives.
At least 20 private jets are based there, and it is used by companies settling in the region, including the Boston-based planes operated by pharmacy company Medco, Montgomery said.
The investment and upgrades at Executive Airport, some of it matched with 2.5 percent funding from the state, created an estimated $87.99 million in annual economic impact, according to the state association's newest estimate.
Montgomery, who also manages Frankfort Municipal Airport, said any loss of state funding would ripple through small-town airfields more seriously.
"Frankfort is applying for federal funds for a new taxiway next year, but they may have to forgo that project if the state match isn't available. When you're talking $1.6 million for a project, the local match begins to add up, and it becomes very difficult when the cities are strapped."