Thursday, June 28, 2018

All Hands Meeting June 2018

By Capt Karin Hollerbach

Safety Briefing:  Aircraft Maintenance

Earlier this month, at our June All Hands Meeting, we had an interesting 2-part safety briefing on aircraft maintenance, organized by Lt Baldwin.  The first part was presented by A&P mechanic, Ms. Kohler, who is also the Executive Director of Education at AIM (the Aviation Institute of Maintenance), located across the street from us on Earhart Road at Oakland airport. Many thanks to Ms. Kohler for spending some of her evening with us and sharing her knowledge. The second part was presented by 1st Lt Choate, who is also one of our aircraft managers.

Ms. Kohler discussed her own experience as an A&P, an IA and a private pilot, to provide context for her comments on maintenance, what mechanics are likely to do to and with your airplane during its 100 hour maintenance, and what things to watch out for.

The 100 hour inspections are required when an aircraft is used for compensation or hire, and have the same scope as annual inspections – both are defined in the FARs, in terms of minimum requirements:  14 CFR 43 – Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration. Added to those requirements, each manufacturer may add other/more detailed inspection requirements.

Besides taking us through what she would do in a typical 100-hour inspection, Ms. Kohler cautioned us that “not all mechanics are created equally… and not all pilots are either.”  In other words, as a mechanic, when she starts working with a brand new (to her) pilot, she will ask a lot of additional questions, and review prior history of the plane, to ensure, for example, conformity to all applicable AD; consistency of logbooks and actual parts on the aircraft; clear maintenance manuals; etc.

At the same time, Ms. Kohler cautioned pilots to be similarly vigilant. This theme was continued in Lt Choate’s portion of the briefing, when he discussed the pilot who picks up the plane from the mechanic and becomes a test pilot on the plane’s first post-maintenance flight.

Some of Lt Choate’s tips included:
  • Finding out what was done to the plane. Was it a 100 hour inspection? An annual? Was the gear removed? A new engine put int? …? 
  • Ensuring that what was worked on is the same as what was logged.
  • Since we (CAP) have a great discrepancy logging system, comparing the work done with the discrepancies that were logged for that airplane.  Did all the work get done? 
  • If any equipment was removed or installed, finding out whether the weight & balance was updated.
  • Although your preflight should be thorough on every flight, performing an especially comprehensive version of it on the first post-maintenance flight. 
  • Becoming a safe “test pilot” on the first flight – no nighttime or IFR flights! Depart from the longest available runway. Avoid flying too far from the airport; if you have to relocate the plane, do a few “laps” around the pattern first, and ensure everything is working properly. 

Missions this Month

We had several “real” missions this month, including:
  • Maj Michelogiannakis(MP) and 1st Lt Roberts (MO) were out conducting a proficiency flight when an ELT alert came out, and they were redeployed to prosecute it, resulting in a Find. Remember to monitor 121.5 on every flight! 
  • Maj Blank (MP) participated in a WADS mission. 
  • 1st Lt Hollerbach (MP) and Capt Stevulak (MO) participated in a routine SoCal mission. 

Squadron 188 hosted the three leadership development courses (SLS, CLC, UCC) at KOAK.  For details, click here.
  • 1st Lt Devine’s takeaway from one of the courses was that the greatest benefit for him was “networking with the people you’ll be working with.” These courses are one of the few opportunities for taking an entire weekend and working with other members from all over California Wing – people we otherwise only get to see on the few statewide missions or exercises (and usually under less relaxed circumstances). 
  • 1st Lt Fall also enjoyed the class he took, especially the conversations about various aspects of the CAP mission, as well as the “survival exercise” (which was really more of a team-forming and decision-making exercise than about survival per se). 

Lt Choate and 2d Lt Mello participated in cadet orientation flights on June 12th and 26th. This was Lt Mello’s first time doing o-rides; apparently, both he and the cadets liked it a lot!

Promotions, Awards, and ES Ratings

We now have 16 Form 5 pilots in Squadron 188, including:
  • Maj Brown completed an abbreviated Form 5 and how has added the G1000 endorsement. She also completed her first o-ride flight with 2 cadets.
  • Maj Blank, Maj Ironfield, and Maj Michelogiannakis all completed abbreviated Form 5s for the new 172.

The previous month was productive in terms of professional development and other training:
  • Capt Hayes completed Level III (Groever C. Loening Award) and completed the Master Level Communications Specialty Track. 
  • Capt Fenolio completed the Technician Level in the Legal Specialty track
  • 1st Lt Devine completed Level II (Benjamin O Davis, Jr Award)
  • 1st Lts Choate and Hollerbach completed Level III and each received a 5-year ribbon. 
  • 1st Lt Hollerbach was promoted to Capt.
  • 1st Lt Ettingoff completed the Technician Level in the Health Services Specialty Track and renewed his MS and UDF ratings. Lt Ettingoff came to us from the Virginia Wing staff, where he’d gotten out of operational roles – we are happy to have him renew his activity and ratings with us. 
  • 1st Lt Fall completed his AP and UDF ratings. 
  • 2d Lt Zherebnenkov completed the Senior Level Historian Specialty Track.
  • SM Vasquez completed her MS rating; 
  • SM Ganorkar and SM Pagels each completed Level I (Membership Award). Welcome and congratulations! 

Upcoming Events

June (yep, these have now been completed as I’m slow in getting this posting out! Keep reading for July and August events...):

  • AP Ground School at KOAK. Project Officer Capt Eichelberger.
  • Encampment in San Luis Obispo. Over 300 cadets are expected to participate, as will Lt Devine.
  • AEX STEM Academy at Edwards AFB. Maj Fridell will participate. 
  • Mission Aircrew School (MAS) Ground School at KOAK. July 14-15
  • MAS at Bakersfield. July 28-29
  • 5th Tuesday. Please plan for a joint activity with Squadron 18 at HWD.
  • The new Tri Valley Composite Squadron 156 will be starting up in Livermore, with about 10-12 of our members moving over to the new squadron.  You will be missed! For anyone interested in joining:  meetings will be held at Livermore on Wednesday evenings. 
  • National Conference + California Wing Conference in Anaheim. If you haven't yet registered for it, please do so by clicking here

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Former Squadron 188 Commander Retires from CAP

Lt Col Bob Gelinas
Lt Col Bob Gelinas retired this month on the 30thanniversary of his membership in CAP. 2018 also marks the 30thanniversary of Squadron 188’s charter.

Lt Col Gelinas was the fourth charter member of Squadron 188 and coincidentally its fourth commander from 2007-9. He was one of the key architects in establishing Squadron 188 as an active and viable unit in the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite a short term as commander, he accomplished several unprecedented achievements that positioned Squadron 188 for growth and success in the 21stcentury. 

With the help of then Finance Officer Lt Col Juan Tinnirello, he managed to relocate Squadron 188 to its first flight line location on Earhart Road. In addition to it being the largest squadron facility (over 20,000 sq. ft.) in California Wing (CAWG), Building L-130’s ample aircraft parking facilitated negotiations with Group 2 and CAWG DO, former commander and PACRDO Lt Col Mitch Richman. Lt Col Gelinas was able to set the path for Squadron 188 to eventually obtain permanent use and location of CAP aircraft. Squadron 188 is now an active CAP flying squadron because of his initiative.

Lt Col Gelinas was also the first commander to establish an annual SAREX hosted by Squadron 188, as well making Squadron 188 a Net Control Station. He was a master ground team member and leader for several years but quickly transitioned into mission base management as an OSC, PSC, GBD, CUL and MSO. During his command, he discovered and recruited George DiJeau back into CAP, and promoted him to honorary colonel status for the remainder of his membership. CAP Col DiJeau was a former CAP Pilot during WWII. An electrical engineer, IT professional and businessman by trade, Lt Col Gelinas also was first to create Squadron 188’s website. Future squadron commander, and current Group 2 commander, Lt Col Noel Luneau was able to expand and cultivate it into the dynamic website it is today.

Lt Col Gelinas achieved a Masters rating in the Logistics Specialty Track, with mentoring from former CAWG and PACR LG Lt Col Bob McIntyre. He was the first Logistics Officer of Squadron 188, and maintained that position for 10 years. During that time, Squadron 188’s asset value doubled, and it became the largest asset-holding squadron in Group 2. Lt Col Tinnirello and Lt Col Gelinas were able to acquire several vehicles, generators and high-value communication equipment during the early years of Squadron 188. Through the help of Squadron 188’s founding commander and his mentor, Maj Paul Groff (ret.), Lt Col Gelinas was promoted to Group 2 Logistics Officer, a position he held for over 10 years. In addition to managing the Group 2 assets and performing IG inspections, he was a CAWG CEMS Administrator and helped to implement CATS Wing-wide in 2002.

Lt Col Gelinas went into semi-retirement from work in 2009 and relocated to the South Carolina countryside. Still active in CAP, he was the SCWG Logistics Officer until 2011. After this time he did a short stint in the Okinawa Squadron, in Japan, until NHQ realized he was not on active duty, and moved him into the National Squadron in 2012 for the remainder of his membership. Lt Col Gelinas is currently living in China and in the process of establishing an aviation aftermarket business in the infant but emerging GA market there. As a parting statement, Lt Col Gelinas commented, “CAP has always been a big part of my life. I am saddened to let it go.”