Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 2014, All Hands Meeting

By 2Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos courtesy of Lt Col Juan Tinnirello

At the June All Hands Meeting, we reviewed the Squadron’s May accomplishments, including:
Squadron members before the meeting

  • The successful Disaster Relief Exercise (DRE) in 3-4 May (read about it here)
  • Thanks to Lt Col Roger Glenn, and the friendly folks at Travis Air Force Base, several members had the opportunity to fly the C-17 simulator at Travis.
  • Capt George Michelogiannakis supported the Travis Squadron Cadet O-ride program by providing an aircraft/pilot for the event.
  • Capt Michelogiannakis flew 4 training flights and continues to provide flight training for those aspiring to become CAP qualified pilots.
  • 2Lt Eric Choate flew powered O-Rides at Byron.
  • 2Lt Mtthew Gast flew glider O-Rides at Byron.
  • 1Lt Patrick Bitz attended the Aerospace Education School in Alaska. 

Capt Lou Rivas leading the meeting

Congratulations to the following members for their accomplishments:

  • Level 3 training – Capt Kathy Johnson, who is now eligible for the Grover Loening Award
  • Planning Section Chief rating – Capt Steven DeFord
  • Logistics Section Chief rating – 1Lt Jordan Hayes
  • Mission Observer (MO) rating – Capt DeFord, 2Lt Choate, and 1Lt Robert Kraus
  • Airborne Photography (AP) rating – Maj Maggie Wang, 1Lt Rex Beach, and 1Lt John Stevulak
  • Mission Scanner (MS) rating – 2Lt Hollerbach and 2Lt Gast
  • Mission Radio Operator (MRO) rating – 2Lt Hollerbach
  • Mission Staff Assistant (MSA) rating – SM Tim Roberts and 1Lt Gene Rugroden

SM Michael Smith

Welcome New Member
A warm welcome to our newest member, SM Michael Smith!

Upcoming Events
Upcoming (June) events include:

  • Wing Led Exercise (WLE) in Concord, 7-8 June
  • Mission Aircrew Ground School in Oakland, 21-22 June

Safety Briefing
Major Frank Riebli led an outstanding discussion and accident analysis. Our discussion focused on the many things that were done well before and during this mountain flight, for example:

  • The pilot hired a very experienced local CFI.
  • The airplane was capable for the job and properly maintained.
  • The pilot ensured proper weight & balance, dumping excess weight in advance of the flight.
  • There was sufficient fuel.
  • The pilot and passengers carried two SPOT trackers and a 406 mHz ELT, with one set to auto-broadcast, pinging every 10 minutes.

Maj Riebli leading the safety briefing
Despite the precautions taken and the level of experience among the people in the aircraft, the accident led to the deaths of all 3 people on board. In our discussion, we also looked at possible factors that may have been involved in creating this accident, such as fatigue, weather, difficult mountainous terrain, turbulence and gusting winds in the vicinity, as well as standing waves at about 1000 AGL, and others.

All in all, an insightful analysis and a sobering discussion of the things that can go very wrong.

Stay safe!

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