2013 SWPC Saratoga Convention

Short Wings Over Saratoga – SWPC Convention 2013

July 1st through 4th

This article will also be published in the March-April issue of the Short Wing Piper News

The Northeast Chapter of the Short Wing Piper Club is excited about hosting this year’s convention in Saratoga, N.Y. The dates are Monday July 1- Thursday night July 4th. I must say that I saw a post on our SWPC Facebook page from a member who is planning to get to Saratoga the weekend before we start. His hotel rate was quite high and the hotel was sold out! Rest assured that the Holiday Inn Saratoga still has rooms for our convention at our special rate starting on Mon. 7/1. If you are planning to attend this summer’s convention, I would suggest you make your reservations ASAP. They can be made online at: www.saratogahi.com or 518-584-4550/ 800-Holiday.l Be sure to use the convention code: PIP. If you are looking for alternate lodging, there are plenty of options and require you to go on the Internet and search Saratoga, N.Y. Lodging. Please remember that the Holiday Inn is where all the convention activity will be based (registration, meet & greet social, members luncheon, business & Board meetings, seminars, & banquet). If you find a hotel/motel in a neighboring town or county that will save you some money, remember that you’ll have to find transportation to the Holiday Inn & airport (5B2).  This also applies to those folks who want to tent camp. There are several campgrounds in the area. Remember that the airport does not allow camping on the field. The Holiday Inn has given us a good rate for the Northeast in the summer. They do provide a free shuttle service for its guests. We will also have some shuttle van service between the airport (5B2) and the hotel.

By the time you read this article, our chapter will have (hopefully) had its January fly-in to Saratoga for lunch and tour of the hotel to see the renovations to the convention area. The long range forecast is for snow. Rico Cannone, who lives here, has seen the renovations and can vouch for them. I am hoping that our new SWPC website will be up and running. If it is, we will be able to get out information in a more timely manner.  Please check it out, along with our SWPC Facebook page, for updates. While the Holiday Inn has a good restaurant, lounge, and patio area (meet & greet), remember that this town has some world class eating establishments as well as every other type of restaurant within easy walking distance. Along with the restaurants, there are many galleries and shopping galore! Many museums are in the immediate area. We have a bus tour of the Saratoga National Battlefield Site scheduled for Tuesday morning (7/2). The Museum of Dance is very close by as is the world famous Saratoga Spa, Raceway & Casino, Railroad museum, etc. All of these are a bit beyond an “easy walk” and we’ll try to help with our/hotel’s vans. A visit to the Saratoga visitors & convention bureau website will give you more information than can be digested, about what to do, see, and go to in this area.

Some folks have asked if we could use any help/assistance? The answer is a resounding yes! We’ll need volunteers for driving the shuttle vans, aircraft parking, manning the “hospitality area” at the airport, assisting with the Poker Run, manning the registration table, selling our convention attire, etc.  Here is a plea to all chapters and members. We are asking for donations of door prizes for raffles to be presented at the Members Luncheon and Banquet. These items can be anything from aviation related things (models, pictures, books, headsets, GPS units, autopilots), cash/$$ donations to cover fuel costs, anything else that you would want to accept & not throw away. The more door prizes the better. All registered attendees will be eligible for at least one door prize. All door prizes should be shipped/mailed to Andy Seligson, 331 Westchester Ave. Yonkers, NY 10707. The biggest help is to have you attend! We are aware of the higher prices in the northeast, but feel we have put together a good package for a fun flying vacation in an area chocked full of things to do and places to explore.

When we have a convention on either coast, we assume that many folk will forgo slogging across our country in our Short Wing Pipers and opt for the airlines (SWPs are more fun). Practically all the major airlines fly into nearby Albany, N.Y. This is a major commercial airport with all the usual amenities, including car rentals. We have been negotiating with several rental agencies for “convention rates”. The truth is, if you belong to AOPA or EAA (most of us do) you will get the best rate. We are working with the FBO at Saratoga (5B2) and Enterprise Car Rental for some kind of better deal at the airport. We will keep you posted.

This shindig we’re organizing is a flying convention and I haven’t really talked about flying in these parts. There are so many great destinations within a couple of hours of Saratoga. The one organized flying activity planned is the Poker Run. It’s scheduled for Wednesday the 3rd, probably in the a.m. (weather permitting). We’ll push it to Thursday if need be. The route (as I remember it – I’m up in Boston for the weekend and forgot the deadline date) includes Saratoga,N.Y. (5B2), Rutland, Vermont (RUT), Glens Falls,N.Y. (GFL), Plateau Sky Ranch (1F2), & Fulton County airport (NY0). It’s an easy route with some great scenery and good field conditions. I believe Glens Falls & Fulton Co. both have eating facilities on the field. If your schedule and weather work out, Thursday the 4th could be a good day to fly up to the Basin Harbor Resort in Vergennes, Vermont on Lake Champlain. This place has a great 3000′ turf strip (like a carpet) with parking next to the Red Mill restaurant. If it’s a great day, bring your bathing suit. The resort’s beach is a short walk from the restaurant. The food here is worth the trip. The flight up over Lake George, Ft. Ticonderoga, and Lake Champlain, with the Adirondack mountains to the west and the Green mountains to the east adds to the experience (bring your camera). Some have suggested that this could be a “dawn patrol” fly-out. We get some early morning haze/fog in these parts. It’s an easy flight; check it out on the NY sectional and remember there is no fuel available at Basin Harbor. If you’d rather fly over/ through the Adirondacks (ant hills to you folks out west), Lake Placid, NY is a great destination with fine restaurants, shops, the lake, and winter Olympic facilities a short cab ride from the field. If you want to delve further into/over/thru the mountains, check out Sugarbush, Vermont. This lovely paved strip is a major soaring center in the northeast, has a wonderful airport diner (Dinersoar), and is home to one of our favorite and most enthusiastic SWPC members -Fabio Schulthess. Fabio has a fabulous home just off the east side of the field. He is a Lufthansa captain, lives in Switzerland, and bases a Pacer at Sugarbush. You think you have a long trip out to the airport? These 3 trips are about an hour from Saratoga. If you want to experience a couple of my favorite places, head southeast from Saratoga to either Montauk, NY (MTP), Block Island, Rhode Island (BID), or Katama Airpark on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts for the beach and great seafood. One of the big drawing cards for our 1993 SWPC convention at Ellenville, NY was the flight down the Hudson River corridor. You might consider this on your way to or from Saratoga this summer but do check out the airspace & Hudson River exclusion on the terminal chart. A very short flight from 5B2 is the Empire State Aero Museum at the Schenectady, NY airport just SW of Saratoga. I’m sure there will be plenty of buzzing around the pattern at 5B2. Be aware that Saratoga is a busy uncontrolled field with  glider operations. Chapter member Bill Natale does some towing for the gliders and is working out a deal for reduced rate glider rides. I’m sure we’ll be ruffling some rides away as door prizes. Peter Lubig will be doing aerial photography as he did at last year’s convention. He’ll also be doing a presentation on aerial photography.

Tuesday afternoon is our Members Luncheon with guest speaker Robert Fuller – SWPC #1. Wednesday evening the 3rd is our dinner cruise on Lake George. This is a popular outing. One should be sure to book this ASAP. Chapter member Amber McKernan is organizing a seminar on crafts/jewelry. This will be an interactive event and involve a walk from the hotel to the local craft store. It was felt that it is easier to go to ” the mine” than bring the mine to us. The day & time are to be determined. We are in discussions with an FSS briefer to do a seminar on aviation weather. Someone else suggested we have an aviation attorney do a seminar on aviation law/ dealing with the FAA. Speaking of the ….. , The Albany FSDO would like to do something with us as we’ll. All dates and times are to be determined. Of course, our closing banquet with speakers & fireworks is Thursday the 4th. President Peter Lubig has a couple of irons in the fire for this convention. By the time you read this, we hope at least one of them has come to fruition (speakers/media coverage).

Your Executive Board and Board of Directors has worked hard this year on dealing with all things SWPC. We can only hope that we are moving in the right direction. How would we know this? Not only feedback from you, but involvement. We have dormant local chapters that need revitalization/life support. We need members spreading the word and recruiting new members. We need people to get involved at the local and National level. While all new members are welcome, perhaps a bounty on new members under the age of 50? I say this partly in jest and partly in seriousness. We have a chapter member, Keith Flint, owner of a beautiful PA-22/20, who once wrote about something I’ve been saying for years; ” This Short Wing Piper Club is like an ad for AARP!” There are many Short Wing enthusiasts, both members & non-members, out there that are not “old and bold” pilots. We have to get this new blood flowing in our organization. This is the year 2013, not 1973. What better way to have meaningful discussion and interaction, than to come to one place, break bread, share ideas, thoughts, accomplishments, lies, aircraft, aspirations, etc. under one roof? We urge you to come to Saratoga, NY this July. It will be a great vacation and experience. Please feel free to contact me at: andytuba@optonline.net or 914-337-2968. The Short Wing Piper Club looks forward to seeing you this July. -Andy Seligson Pres. N.E. Chapter