2013 Hall of Honor Inductees – George & Tyke Klitch

In our 2013 Convention Wrap-up post, we had a short mention that George & Tyke Klitch were induced into our SWPC Hall of Honor. Here is a full article about the 2013 Hall of Honor inductees. This article, Two long-serving members selected for SWPC Honor Roll, was published in the September-October 2013 issue of the Short Wing Piper News and appears on pages 17-19.

For a full listing of Hall of Honor recipients, please visit our Honor Roll page.

Two long-serving members selected for SWPC Honor Roll

The club awarded a framed certificate to George and Florence (better known as Tyke) Klitch, Valrico, Fla., in honor of their inclusion in the SWPC Hall of Honor. President Peter Lubig presented the certificate to George and Tyke at the banquet Thursday evening.

Those who fly in and camp at Sun ‘n Fun probably meet George – or at least one of his crew –  since he is in charge of the aircraft camping area. And for many of our members, Tyke – or one of her crew – is their introduction to the Short Wing Piper Club, since she faithfully mans the club’s booth in the type club tent, handing out Short Wing Piper News magazines and brochures, answering questions about the club, and sometimes signing up new members or taking renewals.

In addition, George has been the long-time president of the Florida Chapter.

President Peter Lubig presents SWPC Honor Roll plague to George & Tyke Klitsch, 2013 recipients of the award.
President Peter Lubig presents SWPC Honor Roll plague to George & Tyke Klitsch, 2013 recipients of the award.

The nomination for the honor came from a current Honor Roll member and another long-serving member of the Florida Chapter and the Sun ‘n Fun crew, Iris Morris. Her nomination reads:
I would like to nominate George and Florence (Tyke) Klitsch to the Honor Roll.

In the early ‘80’s, George got his license and their first plane, a Colt, which George out-fitted for IFR flight. It was one of the first small IFR planes in the area. They flew it between New Jersey and the Florida Keys. The next was a Triple-tail Bellanca that he rebuilt from a basket case; next was a Bellanca Viking, which Tyke dearly loved, and then a Mooney and finally back to the “real” planes. a 1959 Tri-Pacer, which they still have.

About this time, they became involved with Sun ‘n Fun and joined the SWPC. Billy and Adair Henderson and Iris Morris, all Tri-Pacer owners and SWPC members, asked George to volunteer in Aircraft Camping, where Adair was chairman and Iris co-chair- man. By this time, there were several SWPC members volunteering with them.

The following year, George was asked to take over the duties of Chairman, which he has done ever since and has just ‘signed on’ for another year.

With most of our volunteers being Club members, when A/C Camping got a mobile home converted to a working building, Sun ‘n Fun named it “The Short Wing Piper Building.”

Back in the “Early Days,” Sun ‘n Fun had a small tent for Type Clubs, and the Florida Chapter asked to set up a booth. This is when Florence (Tyke) found “Her Place.” She sets it up, finds and schedules volunteers and has made it a place for members and others to meet, get information, pay their dues, post buy and sell items, etc. National members come here to meet up with friends, pay their dues, or sit and rest their tired feet.

Not long after George started as Chairman at S’nF, he was elected President of the Florida Chapter and has been re-elected over and over. He has helped to give this Chapter the honor of being the first Chapter to receive the “Outstanding Chapter of the Year” award in 2010 at the Middletown, Ohio, Convention.

We feel that George and Florence deserve to be honored with this award.

Iris Morris
SWPC #64
News Editor/Treasurer Florida Chapter

The board members agreed and asked that a certificate be printed to be presented at the convention. The certificate reads:

In recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Short Wing Piper Club and its goal to maintain and preserve the Piper Vagabonds, Clippers, Pacers, Colts and Tri-Pacers, George and Tyke have been selected to have their names included on the Short Wing Piper Club Honor Roll!

They are recognized for their service to their Florida Chapter and to the Short Wing Piper Club and aviation in general for their work each year at Sun ‘n Fun. In addition to leading the Florida Chapter George has led the aircraft camping group for many years and Tyke has manned the SWPC booth in the Type Club Tent for just as many years. Their service to their chapter and their club and its members has been invaluable and they are to be commended for their work for aviation in general.

They join the Honor Roll alongside previously recognized members Robert A. Fuller, Stephen W. Marsh, Edwin F. Wach, Kurt Schneider, Larry D. Smith, Lonnie McLaughlin, George Fruehauf, Iris Morris, Frank Rush, Charles H. “Chuck” Lewis, Bob and Eleanor Mills, Clyde Grant, Kent O’Kelly, John Wood, Ralph Gutowski, Tom Anderson, Cliff Van Vleet, John Beck, Doug Stewart, Art Weisberger, and Garry Butler.

Awarded at the 2013 SWPC
Convention, Sarasota Springs, N.Y.

George and Tyke’s names will be added to the SWPC Honor Roll plaque on display in the club’s area at the Piper Museum in Lock Haven. George said he knows just where to hang their certificate in the Short Wing Piper Building at Sun ‘n Fun.