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  • 03/21/2019 11:51 AM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    Wandering down the road, in the America of the 1920s, you might have seen a number of "Tin Lizzies", or Model T Fords, chuffing along the highway. And looking up in the sky, you might have also seen a "Tin Goose" grinding along overhead. Certainly a bygone era. However that era is going to make a brief visit to Auburn in April. The Experimental Aircraft Association's Ford 4-AT-ETri-motor will be here giving rides from Friday the 26th until Sunday the 28th. This airplane is truly a flying piece of aviation history. The first of these three-engine transports came off the assembly line in 1926, and they were a mainstay of the U.S.commercial aviation industry until they were ultimately replaced by the DC-2 and -3 some years later. Today there are only 18 Ford Tri-motors left, and less than half of those are currently flyable. At a time when we take it for granted that we can fly in shirt-sleeve comfort, and have a glass of wine with our hot dinner as we cruise along at Mach .85 above the weather, the Tri-motor is an anachronism. Unpressurized, noisy and bumping along at about 100 mph in your wicker basket seat, it was a different world. Or, to look at it another way, the airplane has approximately the same performance as a Cessna 150. So, imagine a coast-to-coast flight in a two-place Cessna, and that's about how long a trans-continental trip in a Ford Tri-motor would have taken back in the day. Amazingly, as ubiquitous as this icon of American aviation history was, there were actually only 199 of these Fords ever built. The EAA owns and operates NC8407, a Tri-Motor that was originally flown by Eastern Air Transport--a forerunner of Eastern Airlines. Seats will not be reserved, but will be available on a first come, first served basis for the day of purchase. Only 180 seats will be available over the three days of their operation here in Auburn. Purchase tickets online here. If you are interested in a springtime aviation adventure right here in Auburn, maybe this is the opportunity you are looking for. It is an exciting event for our airport!

    Blue skies, Doug

  • 03/15/2019 6:36 PM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From President Doug Fee

    This month I'd like to use this space to bring you up to date on some of our organizations current activities, and to send out kudos to one of our own. Don Wolfe is a guy who is doing double-duty for the Auburn Aviation Association. Not only is he our Vice-President, but he's also serving as our Scholarship Chairman. He has a long history of, and a passion for, mentoring young people who are pursuing their interest in aviation. It's a fairly regular event around the Auburn Airport to see him taking one of our scholarship recipients flying in his shiny Citabria to help hone their skills in a taildragger, or aerobatics, or some other area where help is needed. Now, as Scholarship Chairman, he is taking the opportunity to lead us in some new directions with that program. He is spearheading a drive to update our record keeping and to move much of our data to digital on-line storage. This will provide for significantly wider and more convenient access to all of our information. It will also give us better long term continuity. Ten years from now, when we want to know what scholarships we gave out in 2019, the information will be conveniently available with no more that a quick search of our database. I find this entrance into the digital era to be very promising for us. Another area where he has been re-thinking our Scholarship program relates to how we fund it. As many of you know, historically, a big portion of our funding came from our holding of the Auburn Air Fair. And while most of us would love to see the Air Fair continue, it's such a massive event to organize that we've had trouble coming up with adequate volunteer leadership to make it happen. So Don has been researching and trying to bring to fruition an old idea of our establishing an endowment that would become a permanent source of funding for our scholarships. It's a complicated endeavor that would most likely take a few years to phase in, but I also see promise in that. You'll probably be hearing more about the idea of an Auburn Aviation Association endowment in the months to come. Aside from his passion for mentoring, Don is a very energetic guy who is brimming with ideas, as well as a willingness to pursue them. So yes, coming into office, he has really "hit the ground running". Two thumbs up to Don Wolfe. Blue skies, Doug

  • 02/01/2019 6:08 AM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From President Doug Fee

    Who Are We? Someone on the airport a while back asked me just what it was that the Auburn Aviation Association does. Which got me to thinking (yes, a painful process). What, and who, are we? What is our reason for being here? After thinking it over, as I see it, AAA serves three separate and distinct functions at our airport:

    Airport Advocacy. We are a user's group. We work with the city and our airport manager to address the needs of the airport facility, as well as the wants of the airport users. I believe that we are fortunate to, at the present time, to have city leadership who has a positive attitude toward what the airport can contribute to the greater Auburn community. I say "fortunate" because there are many small airports today who are under siege from the local community. Not all small airports are as fortunate as we are in having a largely cooperative relationship with the local community's leaders.

    Scholarship Program. Many would say that this is our most important function. We are willing and able to help to foster the future of both aviation, and our local youth. When you look at the quality and commitment of our scholarship recipients, its hard to not feel proud about our part in helping these fine young people. What could be more important, and more fulfilling, to us as an organization?

    A Social Organization at the Airport. There are some who might discount the importance of this aspect of our organization. I would disagree with their assessment because the social component and the entertainment quality of our meetings draws members to the AAA. Why is that important? Because when we talk to the city or the FAA as an organization of 150 or so members of the airport community, we have credibility. If we had only twenty members, we could approach them and might not be taken seriously. Why? Because in a city the size of Auburn, twenty individuals is nothing. A group of only twenty would be seen as nothing more than a small batch of eccentric extremists who were "obsessed" with the airport and its issues. But as a group of 150 airport users, the city and the FAA will listen to us. In short, our numbers matter and give us credibility.

    When it comes time to renew your membership, please consider doing so. Not only do membership dues help to fund our scholarships, but also your keeping your name active on our roster helps to improve our membership numbers, which in turn helps the association do its job of airport advocacy. For the price of a few trips to Starbucks, you get entertaining meetings where you can mix with friendly, like-minded folks, and help your association do good work at the airport. Seems like a win/win to me.

    Blue Skies,

    Doug Fee

  • 01/06/2019 9:11 AM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From President Doug Fee:

    When I look back on Wayne Mooneyham's tenure as President of our association, I am awed by how much time he's put in to the AAA, and by what he's accomplished.  Frankly, it's pretty intimidating to try to follow him.  Upon being elected to the papacy, Pope Francis reputedly quipped to the cardinals, "May God forgive you for what you've done".  In a similar vein folks, are you sure you really want me to take the reins from Wayne's capable hands??  He's going to be a tough act to follow. 

    In my time with the AAA, I've become acquainted with most of our members, but I'm sure that there are some of you who may be puzzled as to who I am.  So, in a nutshell, this is me:

    When I was an eleven-year-old, my dad learned to fly.  He got his private pilot's license at Santa Monica Airport, where I would sit and watch the airplanes come and go while he took his lessons.  When he  finally received his license, I was his first passenger.  He only flew for about six or seven years, and had a total of a little over 400 hours.  However, I was with him for many of those hours.  We flew from California to Texas multiple times to visit Mom's family.  We flew my older brother to college in Utah.  I had a lot of passenger time.  Around the same time that Dad originally learned to fly, I also logged my first pilot time with a friend of his who was a CFI.  Over the span of the next eight years I accumulated a grand total of 2.3 hours of dual instruction.

    However, about the end of my freshman year in college, I started flying in earnest.  By my junior year, I had my CFI and was flight instructing.  After graduation, I continued instructing.  I also flew charters and ferried airplanes--mostly new Cessnas from the factory in Wichita out to Southern California. 

    At the tender age of 25, with just under 4,000 hours in my logbook, I began what turned into a 35-year airline career.  My airline years were pretty evenly split between the flying of domestic and international routes.  And, of the time I spent flying international, the majority of it was heading westbound to the Pacific Rim.  It was a good life. 

    But that was then . . . . . and this is now.  As a pilot, my heart and my roots have always been in general aviation.  Today, my flying is in a very fun little sports car of an airplane--an RV-6.  Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to working with the city to continue to improve our airport, to helping Don Wolfe in his efforts to modernize our scholarship program, and to interacting with the membership of our organization.  I think its going to be a great year!

    Blue skies,


    Next month:  Who Are We?     

  • 11/28/2018 11:32 AM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From President Wayne Mooneyham

    Holidays and winter have finally arrived with rain and cool weather clearing the smoke and haze. It has been a long dry summer and fall season and, as last year, a devastating fire season as well.

    Today, as I put pen to paper on what is called “Black Friday,” I am reminded that we have an opportunity to be generous and giving in this time of thanksgiving. The bleak outlook for those evacuees who have lost all their possessions, homes, and in some cases, loved ones, in areas both north and south of our community must be overwhelm-ing. Many of our members have provided generous contributions and support to those affected - awesome!

    It has been a busy year for our airport with all the activity connect-ed with the flight schools and FBO’s, Highway Patrol and helicopter operations. We now have a new “state of the art” AWOS System, LED runway marker lights and the long-awaited slurry sealing of the ramp area. However, the ramp/taxiways that serve fifty hangars on the west end - an area that is sorely in need of resurfacing, somehow got missed. That said…our airport community continues to thrive and our association is a key element in many of the activities.

    As your outgoing President (three different terms) I would like to take this time to thank my fellow officers and directors for all of their encouragement and support that has made our organization run so smoothly this past year. Our association will be in some new and very capable hands - President Doug Fee and Vice President Don “Wolfman” Wolfe. Outgoing longtime Scholarship Chairman Walt Wilson hands over the reins to Don Wolfe who plans to implement a mentoring program in conjunction with the existing program…a very ambitious and worthy cause and one that we can all support. My plans are to remain an active and participating member of our flying fraternity.

    My wish for you all is a wonderful holiday season and a New Year that brings happiness in all things. It has been my pleasure to serve…

    Keep the shiny side up…

    Wayne Mooneyham

  • 11/01/2018 2:41 PM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From Wayne Mooneyham, President

    It’s that time of the year again - days are getting shorter, autumn leaves are changing colors and falling like rain - summer is over. Other things also happen about this time every year - like changing our clocks to Standard Time; families gathering for special days - Election Day - November 6th, Veteran’s Day - November 11th; Hanukkah - December 3rd; Thanksgiving and then onto Christmas - it’s a busy but wonderful ending for 2018. In the midst of all these celebrations we have our own Association elections. We have a slate of well qualified individuals that the Nominating Committee has vetted and are recommending at this month’s meeting - Wednesday, November 7th. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor.

    Since this is a gifting and receiving time of the year, it is an excellent opportunity to consider donating to our Scholarship Program in order to help a deserving youth in their endeavors to pursue a career in aviation. Please keep in mind that our Association is a 501(c)3 organization for tax purposes. And, say… wouldn’t an engraved brick for the Bud Anderson monument, with a personalized inscription on it, look rather “keen” (an old school term) out there with Bud’s statue presiding over it?

    As a closing note just to keep things in perspective, I have a quote that we can all live by… “Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

    Wayne Mooneyham, President

  • 09/28/2018 12:25 PM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From President Wayne Mooneyham

    Volunteering comes in many different forms and different degrees of responsibility but the ones we, as a society, are most accustomed to are related to civic opportunities. Examples of this include the privilege of registering to vote, serving in a organization, church, or on various committees. Benefits of volunteering can work both ways - for the organization or group or for the individual that is the volunteer. Many of us have experienced the satisfaction of accomplishment and reward that goes with giving of one’s effort and dedication for a worthy cause. 

    Our association is a perfect example of a successful organization that is supported and run by volunteers - people who willingly give of their time and expertise for the benefit of the membership. Are their efforts appreciated? Oh, yes, you bet they are! Our association officers and directors positions are coming up for election soon and the time for consideration of some new faces and fresh input is upon us. If you have the required expertise and drive for one of these offices now is the time to let the Nominating Committee know of your interest.  Access our bylaws here.

    And, speaking of volunteering, many of us attended the “Biggest Air Show in California” this past September 21, 22 and 23. The event, the California Capital Airshow, coincided with the 100th anniversary of Mather Field as an active military airbase. A number of our members worked at the event - part of an army of several hundred - you guessed it…”volunteers.” Thanks to all who participated! 

    I’m looking forward to seeing you all at our October meeting! Thought for the day - Endeavor to make someone’s day better…

    Wayne Mooneyham, President

  • 08/29/2018 3:56 PM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From President Wayne Mooneyham

        “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” was a product of all the fires in our state for the month of August which reminded me of a popular song by that title written in the early 30’s and recorded by many well-known artists.  It finally made Number One on the charts by the Platters in 1959, coincidentally, the same year that I acquired my Private Pilot’s License.   This whimsical connection to the hazy smoke conditions coupled with  some  record temperatures  made   for   unfavorable   flying   weather  - which meant mostly flight pattern practice for most of us.

         Mather Airport is celebrating its 100th anniversary of service in conjunction with California Capital Airshow this September 21st, 22nd and 23rd.   The USAF Thunderbirds are featured along with a lineup of world class performers and an amazing array of static aircraft and displays.   If you have never, or even recently, attended this annual airshow, then I suggest now is your opportunity to check off this Bucket List item.

         Friday Flydays at our airport has proven to be very well attended and the last one for the year turned out to be, financially, the most rewarding of all of them.  A reduction of the smoky air and cooler temperatures seemed to be key components of the well attended event. Kudos to all who organized and participated in this “airport friendly” gathering.

         Our  AWOS     (Automated   Weather   Observing   System)   is   scheduled   to   be operative   September   4th   or   5th   and   the   runway   LED   lights   installation   begins September 10th with completion by (hopefully) the 15th.  This LED lighting phase will be done during the night hours in order to minimize airport down time.

         Here’s  hoping   we   have   some   CAVU  (Ceiling   and   Visibility   Unrestricted) weather conditions for the month of September which will encourage us to fly a bit more!

         Enjoy your Labor Day holiday and be safe.


    Wayne Mooneyham



  • 07/24/2018 7:44 PM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    From Doug Fee Vice-President

    Long hot sunny days, warm evenings, and VFR weather . . . . . summer is in full swing around the Auburn Airport. And fortunately, we've had very little smoke so far this fire season (knock on wood). Here's hoping that the ethereal forces that control the weather and the fires continue to treat us kindly until we are rescued by the coming of autumn.

    This summer is also seeing another successful season of Friday Flydays put on by the Ben Foss and Diane Hammer team. Our thanks go to them for making this outstanding community event happen. If you haven't been to one yet, there is still time. They are held the 3rd Friday evening of each month, so the next one will be August 17th, from 6:00 until 8:00 PM. Each month has a different theme, and the August event will be a Law Enforcement fundraiser. Admission is free, so come out and enjoy the family fun!

    We also have numerous airport projects in the works to maintain and upgrade our facilities. In late July or early August, the runway will be closed from 10:00 PM until 5:00 AM, five nights a week for about two weeks, while crews install new LED runway lighting. Watch the NOTAMS for final scheduling.

    The airport experienced a brief power outage recently. It didn't last long but, unfortunately, the resumption of power service generated a spike that damaged some of the phone lines at the airport. This took down the credit card system at the fuel pumps, and also damaged some of the AWOS (weather reporting) equipment. While the credit card system is back working again, the AWOS still needs some new components to be installed before it will be back up to full utility. Those repairs are in the works, but might take a few more months. Meanwhile, we'll have to look out the window to see what the weather really is. I guess that's why we have windsocks.

    Airport management is also planning a new slurry seal on our ramp area. The project is currently out for bid, and its hoped that it can be completed before the wet season arrives. Additionally, an upgrade to the waste water handling system at the aircraft wash rack is in the works.

    So the summer marches on, and so do the seasonal airport projects. Our thanks to Walt Wilson and all of those at the City of Auburn who help to make these improvements happen.

    Blue skies & tailwinds,


  • 07/21/2018 5:29 PM | Chris Haven (Administrator)

    AAA Directory information is now available on your smart phone. Go to the app store and search for “Wild Apricot.” Select the version called Wild Apricot for Members.  Wild Apricot is the company we use to host our member information online.  Use the login you have created on the AAA website to login to the mobile app.  You can view your own listing and see and search a list of other member profiles and their information.  If you want to make changes to your profile or change your privacy settings, you can log in at your desk computer.  Chris Haven can help you with questions: or 530-401-6082.


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