Category Archives: AVIATION NEWS

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EAA and FASF’s Bob Dockendorf Inducted into Hall of Fame

   Long time FASF and EAA Member, Bob Dockendorf poses proudly with his new Hall of Fame medal about his neck.

The FASF’s long-standing member from El Paso, Bob Dockendorf,  has just been elected by the Board of Directors of the El Paso Aviation Association and the local Aviation Community to be inducted into the El Paso Aviation Hall of Fame.  This past weekend celebrated this significant event with a special banquet, packed with area aviation celebrities and held at the Dona Ana Country International Jetport‘s famed War Eagles Air Museum (“WEAM”).

Most know Bob as the Executive Director of WEAM, but there is more you may not know:

Not just for his accomplishments as Director of WEAM, where, as its Executive Director, he has taken the historical facility to a new level of admirable excellence, but he was a key founder among the few local area aviators who started the highly successful new EAA chapter 1570 at the Dona Ana County International Jetport.

He also directed the start of the John and Betty MacGuire student Pilot scholarship as part of that same EAA 1570 project. This student contribution provides both an aircraft and flight instruction for young adults up to and including their first solo flight.

Those are but just a few of his aviation contributions to our local communities.  Besides his personal membership in the FASF, Bob’s beloved WEAM is one of our proud Local Business Supporters, too.

Here is a quote from the official Aviation Hall of Fame Award plaque created in Bob’s Honor:

Even in his childhood days, Robert J. (Bob) Dockendorf had a passion for history,
aviation and museums.  Born and educated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, several job
promotions and opportunities eventually brought him, his wife Mary and their
family to El Paso, Texas.

He served proudly as the Squadron Leader of the Sun Country Squadron of the
Commemorative Air Force as well as an Officer of Chapter 1570 of the Experimental
Aircraft Association.

While completing his career as a property and casualty insurance broker, he served
in a professional advisory capacity to the newly formed War Eagles Air Museum.  When
he retired from his successful insurance career, he was offered the opportunity and
challenge to serve as the War Eagles Air Museum’s Executive Director.

Being armed with aircraft, automobiles, memorabilia, and a deep desire to succeed, he
led the staff and volunteers at War Eagles to the accomplishment of the mission of the
museum, “To Educate and Encourage,” paying specific attention to youth.  All those efforts
helped bring new life and energy to the Dona Ana County International Jetport at Santa
Teresa, New Mexico, adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

The following photographs were taken this past weekend at the ceremony and Banquet held in Bob’s honor, where Bob was inducted into the El Paso Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

L to R: John Keithly, President of the EAA Chapter 1570 chats with Virg Hemphill, FASF Aviation News Scout and Volunteer Docent at WEAM.  To Virg’s right in background, is FASF member and also Docent, Charlie Overstreet.

L to R: Docent Charlie Overstreet talking with Mario Campos, also a Docent at WEAM. Both are members of the FASF.

L to R: Ammber Valverde, Daedalian Aviation Scholarship winner, engaged in a lively discussion with her table mate, former El Paso, TX Mayor and renown local Aviator, Suzie Azar, who is also one of the FASF’s Advisors Ammber is a Junior at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and also a member of the New Mexico State University (NMSU) AFROTC.  She plans to be an Air Force Pilot.

L to R: at the Daedalian Society Table is: Virg and Jenine Hemphill, Roger Nichols, Mayre Sue and Charlie Overstreet, and Mario and Judy Campos.  All are active FASF members.

The El Paso CAP Table with two prior Hall of Fame awardees, Roland and Debbie Torres, along with some of their Civil Air Patrol Cadets, who conducted the Flag Ceremonies at the opening and closing of the event.

L to R: Virg Hemphill, Honored Hall of Famer, Bob Dockendorf, Roger Nichols, and Jenine Hemphill.

                           Bob Dockendorf after accepting the Hall of Fame Award, speaking to the guests.

                                                      View of the tables and attendees at the Banquet.

Guest speaker and aviation enthusiast, “Doppler” Dave Spielman, long time Chief Meteorologist for the ABC Network TV Channel in El Paso, TX, KVIA.

   Ammber Valverde with Daedalian Flight Captain, Roger Nichols.  Roger’s flight is helping mentor Ms. Valverde

 Amber poses with Mr. Dockendorf along with Laura Ditlevson, former winner of the EAA MacGuire Student Pilot Scholarship.

 

Ammber intently listens to former FASF Trustee and present FASF Advisor and Chair of the Dona Ana County International Jetport’s Board of Directors, Col. John Orton.  An ex USAF JAG officer, John continues to fly his own Experimental Aircraft.

Watch the One-And-Only Svetlana Showing Off Over Russia

Svetlana Kapanina

      Svetlana exits her plane after a show.

Kapanina was born on December 28, 1968 in Shchuchinsk,  Kazakhstan.   And, now at 50, she remains active in the European and American Air Show circuit.

She dedicated herself to a number of different sports at school and always enjoyed motorcycles – and  other motor vehicles, as well. She enrolled at medical school in Tselinograd, where she graduated in medical support sciences. She started flying at 19, in 1988, in a Sukhoi Su-26M3,  (see below right) while working as a technician at the Kurgan Sports Aviation Club.

The Sukhoi S-26M in which Svetlana learned aerobatics.

By 1991 she was already an instructor pilot at DOSAAF‘s (Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Navy) Irkutsk Club, and then went back to Kurgan. In 1991, she became a member of the Russian national aerobatic team. In 1995 she graduated from Kaluga Aeronautical  Technical School.

She is now lives in Moscow with her husband and two children.

in aerobatics Kapanina was World Aerobatic Champion in the women’s category in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011 and has won the title more times than any other pilot in that (women’s) category.  In addition, she was overall World Air Games Champion in 1997 and 2001.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, poses with Svetalna after awarding her National Order of Courage

Together with Mikhail Mamistov and Oleg Spolyansky, she won the team gold medal in the 16th FAI European Aerobatic Championships in 2008 in Hradec Králové (Czech Republic). She placed fourth overall and was best female participant.

In 1997, she received the Paul Tissandier Diploma by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).  In 2005 she was awarded the Sabiha Gökçen Medal[2] and the Centenary Medal by the FAI. She was awarded Russia’s Order of Courage by President Vladimir Putin on December 22, 2014 (see photo immediately above to the left), just 6 days before her 46th birthday.

Watch Svetlana run through one of her Airshow routines over her home country, after greeting the crowd over the loudspeakers.  This video is about 17 minutes long.  Turn your sound up and go to full screen to fully appreciate the excellent high-resolution videography.

And also, below, watch her airplane cavorting through the sky with her hallmark precision in one of her World Aerobatic Competitions.  You will witness Svetlana performing some extremely difficult manuevers with astounding accuracy. It’s a short clip, only 3:57 in length.  Like an accomplished Prima Donna ballerina, this woman aviator may make these manuevers look easy, but they are, as you might expect, extraordinarily difficult – often involving Svetlana pulling fairly severe positive and negative “G’s” (Gravity Forces).

CAP Squadron Commander, Natalie Franc, Briefs Daedalians

Major Natalie Franc, a native of Glenhrothes, Scotland, is the current commanding officer of the El Paso, TX Civil Air Patrol (CAP) “Composite” Squadron. As distinguished from a regular squadron, a Composite Squadron includes a CAP Cadet Corps, along with its Senior Members.

Natalie began her career with the CAP when living in Hawaii after having been in the Royal Air Force (RAF), in which she enlisted when 18 years old, after having first served, since she was 13, in the Air Training Corps of Great Britain.  In the RAF she was assigned to Intelligence, where she used her skills as a linguist with a fluency in the Russian Language.

When on active duty with the RAF she met and married her husband, Michael, who was also in the Intelligence branch of the U. S. Army.  When he was transferred back to the U.S. in 2002, she moved there with him.  Before finally settling in El Paso, Texas, Natalie had lived in Maryland, Hawaii, Arizona, and Germany.  As a civilian, in addition to her work with the CAP, she has worked in various capacities in Emergency Services and has been a volunteer with Army Family Programs and has also been an Armed Forces Caseworker.  Natalie now runs her own business in El Paso.

The Major showed a custom prepared Power Point slide show to the Daedalian Flight members, who are also members of the FASF.  The following photographs of this event are all in high-resolution, and can be seen full-size by simply clicking on them as they appear below.

L to R: Major Natalie Franc, Colonels Mario Campos and Bob Pitt.

L to R: FASF Aviation News Scout, Virgil Hemphill, Colonels Norman Rice (back to camera) and Alan Fisher. Colonel Fisher is also an active volunteer pilot for the Las Cruces, NM Squadron of the CAP.

L to R: Mark Pfluger, Active Duty Army Rotary Wing Pilot from Ft. Bliss’ Biggs Army Airfield, and his mentor, Flight Captain, Roger Nichols.

L to R: Maj. Franc, Col. Campos and his wife, Judy, Julie and Col. Bob Pitt, Retired USAF Colonels, Melissa and Alan Fisher, Virg Hemphill and Roger Springstead (USNR Ret.) Anselmo Rocha, Assistant to Col. Norman and Mrs. Ulla Rice, Jerry Dixon (USMC), Dave Ginn, Charlie Overstreet,  Jim Brandon, Col. Pete Brandon’s visiting brother, and just out of camera range to Pete’s left is his guest Skip Orrell.

Major Franc adjusts computer projector . . . as she explains that the CAP has the largest single-engined fleet of Cessna Aircraft in the world.  The powered aircraft total is about 560, and she reported that the CAP also owns 47 glider-sailplanes, which are used to train Cadet members, along with several Hot Air Balloons, which select Cadets are also taught to operate and fly.

The Major explains the National CAP organization’s composition . . . which inlcudes the Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

In this set of slides, Major Franc gives some examples of the CAP role in Search and Rescue Operatrions (“SAR” Ops).

L to R: Melissa and Alan Fisher and Virg Hemphill listen to Maj. Franc explaining her El Paso TX CAP operation . . .

Here the CAP Commander explains the role of the CAP in disaster Relief Operations, noting her own squadron’s heavy involvement in Hurricane Harvey, which struck East Texas, in particular, the Houston area.

In this slide the Major explains that the CAP mission also includes other roles in addition to Search and Rescue and Disater Relief . . . pointing out that her squadron plays an important role in Border and National Air Space Security.

Here Natalie describes the numerouis mission qualifications in which CAP members work throughout the Squadrons.

And here she shows the Daedalians and their guests how the CAP stays in constant radio contact with its mission personnel and aircraft during operations . . .

Major Franc sums up her presentation and takes questions from the audience . . .

L to R: Major Franc and Flight Captain Roger Nichols study one of the slides shown during the presentation.

L to R: Col. Bob Pitt, Major Natalie Franc, Flight Captain Roger Nichols, and Colonel Campos, who invited the Major to make the presentation . . .

L to R: Flght Captain Nichols and newly inducted Daedalian, Dave Ginn, and Colonel Bob Pitt.

Another Special Saturday Stunned Crowds at Oshkosh 2018

Every air show performance during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 was exciting, but Saturday found a way to take the cake yet again this year. Relive the excitement of aerobatic performers, big tankers, our latest jet fighters, and everything in between with this video recap of the action.  Remember not only to turn your sound on, but to also click the 2:41 long video clip to enjoy its high-resolution  quality in full screen!

Irene’s Awesome Russian Yak-52 Trainer Flight over Australia

Hunter Valley NSW Australia

Pilot Jamie Riddell

Make sure your sound is on, but know that there will nevertheless be little if any sound at the outset, but when Jamie connects the intercom, then you’ll hear them talking just fine, as they converse throughout the flight adventure.

When young Irene and the pilot speak to one another, you won’t want to miss the chatter.  It’s priceless, and the video gives an awesome insight into a young girl’s first great airborne adventure above Australia.  While you will hear the pilot and his passenger’s chatter, you will not hear any loud engine nor wind noise, since the hook up prevented those other sounds from being a significant part of the finished video.

You will watch as this young lady has an experience she’s not likely to forget, and it’s written all over her face as she is cavorted above the airfield at which the Yak is based.  Notice, on take off, what a good rate of climb this trainer possesses.

The Yak is a post WWII 1970s vintage aircraft, designed, built and used in the USSR after the war and now available surplus almost anywhere in the world.  Much like the earlier American equivalent, the North American T6 “Texan,” except that it has a tricycle landing gear.  Of course the tricycle arrangement makes it much easier to land than its American “Texan” counterpart.  The video is 13:44 minutes long.


And, here below, is a short (3″21 minutes long) video of one of these Russian Yak 52 Trainers.  Watch as it shows off its excellent rate of climb speed, and also as it performs some extreme aerobatics after take off.

FASF’s John Read Schools Daedalians on Punitive Expedition

By simply clicking on any of the below photos, they may be seen in high resolution, and either downloaded or copied, should you care to have them for your personal use.

John Read, one of the FASF’s original members, long time historian on the Punitive Expedition, and Chief Ranger at the New Mexico Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, looks out over El Paso and into Juarez, Mexico, from the El Paso Club, where he just presented a special progam to the Daedalian Society’s Flilght 24.

John takes in more of the spectacular view to the South over El Paso, from the El Paso Club’s picture windows.  The Daedalian Flight meets once a month to listen to educational presentations from local leaders.  John did a great deal of flying as a young man with his Dentist father, who owned a Cessna 182 Skylane.  Today, he regularly flies drones over SW New Mexico and shoots airborne videos, which can be seen on YouTube.

Mr. Read explains some of the little known background history behind the involvement of Germany in the Mexican Revolution during the early part of the last Century.

Daedalian members, all also FASF members, listen to Read’s description of the Expedition and why Pancho Villa may have rationalized or justified his attack on his former ally, the United States.

 John explains some strange and largely unknow history about the infamous Pancho Villa Raid on Columbus, which gave rise to the birth of American Air Power, when the First Aero Squadron launched its operations into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa from Columbus.

Another view of John, as he explains how the Germans tried to convince Pancho Villa and the Mexicans to make war on the United States, in order to keep it too occupied to bother getting involved in WWI in Europe.  Notice, to John’s left stganding by the window, one of the regular Mexican-American Club waiters, who was especially interested in learning things he’d never before heard about the Mexican Revolution – – – and Villa’s Raid on Columbus.  He expressed his appreciation to John after the meeting.

 John shows the Daedalians a copy of a “smoking gun” Telegram, sent by the Germans, to Mexico’s Revolutionary leadership.

At far left, FASF member and Daedalian, Charlie Overstreet (USAF), asks questions about the German involvement with the Mexicans during 1916 -1917 period.  L to R after Charlie: Dave Ginn (US Army), Colonel Mario Campos (USAF) and Colonel Bob Pitt (USAF).

At the end of his presentation, Colonel Bob Pitt (right) gives a token of appreciation to Mr. Read for taking the time to make the special presentation. To the left above is Flilght Captain, Roger Nichols, a former Air Force pilot.  Colonel Pitt , also a USAF veteran, was wounded while flying a jet fighter in combat over Vietnam during that conflict.

FASF PILOT MEMBERS VOLUNTEER FOR EAA YOUNG EAGLES

This past weekend, once again, EAA Chapter 1570, at the Dona Ana County International Jetport, produced its 5th successful Young Eagles event, an activity in which the Chapter members (most of them are also FASF members) gave free introductory airplane rides to children between the ages of 8 and 17.  All aircraft used belong to the chapter’s members.  The project’s Chairperson, once again, was Rotary and Fixed Wing Flight Instructor, Deb Rothchild.  Here, below, are some photos to show the popular youth education program in action.

Remember:  If you’d like to view any of the below photos in full high resolution, simply click on them.  Then, if you’d like, please feel free to download or copy them for you own use.

Above, Melissa Keithly, wife of the chapter’s President, John Keithly, and one of event’s principal organizers, with back to camera, greets, and begins to sign up first arrival parents and their children who want to get their Young Eagles Flight . . .

Helicopter pilot, Priscilla Porras, (pointing to her left) gives instructions to those signing up for their first flights . . .

A group of the volunteer pilots for the day talk over the coming flights – L to R: John Keithly (Chapter President), Mike Robinson, Jim Foster, Danny Carter, and Bryce Daniels.

Chairperson of the entire event, Professional Flight Instructor, Deb Rothchild, explains to the crowd the procedures and safety precautions . . .

War Eagles Air Museum’s (WEAM) Executive Director, Bob Dockendorf, looks on as project gets underway. Bob has been an active leader in the EAA Chapter 1570 since its earliest days and the Museum he directs is an integreal part of the Chapter’s success.

Chapter President, John Keithly greets his next Young Eagle for her flight.

Pilot John Signorino, El Paso business entreprenuer and Chapter Vice President, walks his Young Eagle to her first airplane flight in a Cessna Skylane.

Chapter Pilot, Dave Daniels, escorts his Young Eagle out to his plane, a vintage Piper Super Cub . . .

Pilot John Signorino, a former Army Air Services Pilot, helps his Young Eagle get belted in for her first adventure aloft.

Pilot Bryce Daniels, helps his Young Eagle adjust his seatbelt in readiness for his first flight. The plane is a Van’s RV 8 Experimental ship.

This Young Eagle gets his orientation before his flight from EAA Chapter 555 President, Wes Baker. His plane is a Classic 1948 Cessna 140, fully restored and in excellent ‘like-new’ condition. All General Aviation aircraft, regardless of age, must be fully inspected each year to assure that they fully meet established Federal Standards for their airworthiness.

Chapter President, John Keithly, describes their pending flight to his Young Eagle in his Chzech built “Dynamic” composite airplane. John and his wife, Melissa, just recently helped build their own new Van’s RV aircraft.

CEO and President of Red Arrow Flight Academy at the Dona Ana County Jetport, Tomas Peralta (R), explains how he has filled out his Young Eagle’s new Flight Log Book, while the young man’s father signs the Young Eagle Flight Certificate.

Chapter Pilot, Dave Daniels, completes his Young Eagle’s Flight Log Book as her father looks on.

Chapter Pilot, Danny Carter, poses with his Young Eagle and his Mother, before they take off in his Piper Commanche aircraft.

                  Pilot John Signorino and his Young Eagle pose before their flight in front of the Cessna 182 Skylane.

Pilot Dave Daniels, whose son, Bryce was also piloting the children in another aircraft, has just explained to this Young Eagle what they will do during her first flight in this vintage Piper PA-18 Super Cub.

Pilot Danny Carter, announces his departure over the radio, and taxis out from the loading area with his Young Eagle, as she happily waves to the Chapter photographer.

Pilot, Mike Robinson (R), in front of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane in which he just flew this Young Eagle and his father.

Pilot Wes Baker explains how to properly fasten the seat belt and shoulder harness to this Young Eagle before they depart.

L to R: Pilot Tomas Peralta, with his Young Eagle and young man’s father, after completing their flight in this Red Arrow Flght Academy Cessna 182 Skylane.

Dave Daniels walks back from his flight with this excited young lady, who has just completed her first Young Eagles airborne experience.

           John Keithly fills out this happy young lady’s Young Eagle Flight Log Book, after her first experience aloft.

                     A view of a somewhat inpatient group of Young Eagles awaiting their call-ups for their first flights.

L to R: Airline Pilot and author of the new aviation novel, “Quantum,” Roxanne Lambie, poses by her book-signing table inside the WEAM Shop, with Ammber Valverde, AFROTC student at New Mexico State University, and Daedalian Flight Scholarship winner, who plans to become an Air Force Pilot.

  Another photo of Pilot, Danny Carter, taxiing out for takeoff with two Young Eagles aboard his Piper Commanche.

       Pilot, Dave Daniels, fills out the Young Eagle Flight Certificate after completing a flight with this young man.

View through the Cessna 172 Skyhawk’s windshield of Pilot Mike Robinson and both his Young Eagle, in the Co-Pilot seat, and young fellow’s father in the rear.

          Dave Daniels poses with his next Young Eagle, who is adjusting his headset, as instructed by his host.

Pilot John Keithly and his grinning co-pilot Young Eagle, as they ready to start the engine in this Czech Dynamic.

                                       John Keithly fills out this same Young Eagle’s Flight Certificate.

Pilot, Wes Baker, President of the Las Cruces, NM EAA Chapter 555, completes this happy Young Eagle’s Flight Log Book.

L to R: Roxanne Lambie, and Ammber Valverde, who has an autographed copy of Roxanne’s new novel under her arm, busily chatting with EAA members outside the War Eagles Air Museum main entrance.

     L to R: Melissa Keithly, a Young Eagle’s father, Prescilla Porras., and Wes Baker at Registration Sign-In table.

L to R above:  Melissa Keithly, Young Eagle with his father and Priscilla Porras, helicopter pilot, discussing the event.

         John Keithly with another Young Eagle seated and ready to go, as young man’s father and brother watch.

Pilot John Keithly gets ready to take this same intrigued Young Eagle aloft for his initiation flight in John’s Czech Dynamic Experimental Aircraft.

Mike Robinson gets ready to close the Cessna Skyhawk’s door in readiness for this young lady’s first Young Eagle Flight experience.

John Signorino explaining how the elevator and rudder controls work on this Cessna Skylane as his next Young Eagle and his mother take it all in . . .

During a short break, (L to R) Volunteer chapter Pilots, John Signorino and Tomas Peralta talk over the ongoing Young Eagle event.

During the Young Eagle rally, many of the Young Eagles, their parents and visitors flocked in to view the great collection of airplanes, antique autos and motorcycles, and to also to buy souvenirs at the WEAM Gift Shop. Making change at the cash register is Kathryn Guerra, whose father, George, the Museum’s Operations Manager, is standing behind her in the light blue shirt.

Pilot Wes Baker listening to his Young Eagle trying to see if he properly understood Wes’ explanation of how an airplane climbs.

Piloting the helicopter back onto the tarmac, is Chapter Volunteer worker and chopper pilot, Priscilla Porras. The same model helicopter, owned by Chapter member Mike McNamee, gave some 17 Young Eagles their first helicopter ride during the project.

After an exciting first ride with both the Young Eagle, who’s also a Cub Scout, and his mother, Pilot John Signorino poses alongside the Cessna 182 Skylane with the happy pair.

After completing a flight, Pilot Tomas Peralta gets ready to make out a Young Eagle Flight Certificate for this young man and his mother.

EAA Chapter 555 President, Wes Baker, an Air Force Academy graduate, gets ready to take this Young Eagle into the sky in his vintage Cessna 140.

                After the successful flight, Wes completes this Young Eagle’s paperwork, as Wes’ wife, Carol, looks on.

Volunteer Pilot, John Signorino, walks out to the McNamee Cessna 182 Skylane with his next Young Eagle, whose mother also took the flight.

During another much-deserved break from the busy flight schedule, Pilot Mike Robinson (L) sits down to chat with fellow volunteer pilot, Wes Baker, on the Right.

Almost the end of the busy day of over 60 flights, the volunteer pilots were caught discussing the event. L to R: Dominic Austen (Pilot who conducted the Preflight Program), Tomas Peralta, John Signorino, Deb Rothchild, and Bryce Daniels.