SWPC Convention 2019

2019 Convention Details Emerging

Cliff Van Vleet

Clifford Van Vleet

Convention Chairman

   The dates for the 2019 SWPC convention are Monday, June 24, 2019, arrival day, through Friday morning, June 28, 2019, departure day.

   The convention airport is:


Colonel James Jabara Airport (AAO)

on the northeastern edge of Wichita.  CTAF/UNICOM 122.7.  WX ASOS 134.025 (316-636-2541),  home of EAA Chapter 88,   Jabara is an uncontrolled airport located just outside the Dwight D. Eisenhower airport control zone. There are several non-towered airports on the east side of Wichita which will encourage good map/GPS reading to safely navigate in to Jabara.

   The convention motto will include the words “Wichita, Air Capitol of America” and we had hoped to use a picture of B-29 Doc to be on the convention patch and convention shirts.  Unfortunately, it contains Copywrited material, and we cannot do that.

   Convention Chairman: Cliff Van Vleet 520-378-2517, ccvanvle@mindspring.com.

   Convention Registrar:  Carole Van Vleet, 520-378-2517, ccvanvle@mindspring.com.

Costs for events will be:

Registration:                                    $50.00 per person thru April 30, 2019

                                                           $60.00 per person May 1-June 1

                                                            $70.00 per person after June 1

Meet and Greet                               included in registration

B-29 Doc Tour                                 $30.00 per person

Membership luncheon                  $20.00 per person

Ladies Kechi Tour                            $15.00 per person

Textron/Beech Tour                       $20.00 per person

   may require TSA security clearance

Poker hand                                        $10.00 per person

Thursday Banquet                           $35.00 per person 

Convention shirts S M L XL XXL    $24.00 per shirt       

Others ?                                             to be determined

   As of January 2019, web site internet payment has not been programmed.  Information will be posted on the web site as soon as it is programmed.  Pending programming credit card payments onto the web site, the old fashioned way still works by mailing registration and payments to:

Cliff Van Vleet, SWPC convention 2019 

3705 E. Shawnee Drive

Sierra Vista, AZ,  85650



    The convention motel is the Best Western North Wichita Hotel and Suites, 915 E. 53rd St North, Wichita, KS, 67219, www.bestwestern.com, offering free hot breakfast, fitness center, indoor pool, guest laundry, pet-friendly, on-site Country Kitchen restaurant, free Wi-Fi, mobility and accessible features. The motel has approved us to bring in our home-baked cookies and goodies — provided we will share them with our motel management points of contact!  Sweet Deal.  Door prizes including home built crafts will be on display in the day ready room at the motel. 

   Motel Reservations; 800-528-1234 or 316-832-9387.  www.bestwestern.com. Ten rooms are blocked for Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 for early arrivals.  Fifty rooms are blocked for Sunday, June 23 through Friday, June 28, 2019, first come first served.  Room rates will be $82.99 plus $11.26 state sales tax and lodging local tax (sorry!) for a total of $94.25.   Make your reservations early to ensure snagging a room.  Be sure to request your SWPC convention rate. 

   Recommended overflow motels are:  Courtyard by Marriott Wichita East, (316)-636-4600 and Holiday Inn Wichita East  (316)-686-7131.

  The EAA Chapter 88 Jabara airport clubhouse facilities have been rented/reserved for Monday through Thursday.  The clubhouse has a complete kitchen plus meeting room capable of seating 50-75 people indoors.   We will have the Monday Meet and Greet at this facility.   It will also serve as the airport flight line hospitality facility.   It is not yet determined where airplane parking will be, the choices being either on the tarmac in front of the FBO or in the grass between the EAA club house and parking apron.   We are negotiating whether in-the-grass camping will be allowed.

    Some of the following details continue in negotiation so are subject to correction as we move ahead.

    Saturday-Sunday June 22-23:  Pre-arrival days for pre-convention sightseeing.

    Monday, June 24: Arrival day.

   Monday 1 pm: Board of Directors meeting.

   Monday 4 pm: Meet and Greet at Jabara airport, catered by the Best Western kitchen.

   Tuesday, June 25, 8:30 am: Bus, promptly, to General Eisenhower Airport to tour the B-29 Doc and visit the new Doc museum.   Frank Berry, Doc historian, and hangar tour coordinator will lead this tour.  

   Tuesday 12:00 noon: Membership Luncheon at the Best Western motel catered by the Best Western kitchen,  Frank Berry, Doc Historian, speaker. 

   Tuesday 2:00 pm: General Membership meeting and election at the Best Western motel. 

   Wednesday morning, June 26,  SWPC technical forum at the Best Western motel conducted by Steve Pierce, Pierce Aero, Graham, TX, 940-549-6415, stevepierce@pierceaero.net.  This is a reprise of the very successful forum Steve presented at the Branson convention.

   Wednesday morning “Ladies Tour” (though all are welcome to attend.) to Kechi featuring craft businesses.  Box lunch, please request either ham or turkey.  Possible chapter president’s breakfast.

(I expanded this italicized section about Kechi after talking to Cliff… Bob Finlay)

        Kechi pronounced Key-Chai, is a few miles outside of Wichita.  It is a bustling arts and crafts community.  There may be a chance to see a glass blowing studio.  There are Quilt shops, antique stores and a busy downtown.  In June there is a THURSDAY Farmers’ Market also.  This video shows some of the sites.  Kechi.

   Wednesday 1:00 pm:  Bus trip to the Textron/Beech manufacturing plant for a tour of the Beech facilities.  Attendees may be required to pre-register for TSA terror vetting.

   Thursday morning, June 27:  Fly-out/poker run from Wichita to B -29 Memorials at Pratt, KS and Great Bend, KS.  Gilbert Pierce will lead this fly-out.  Pratt and Great Bend airports were part of the B-29 “Battle of Kansas” where Boeing built B-29s were finished out in 1944 and 1945 and training of B-29 crews was accomplished for use against Japan.

   Thursday all day will be available for sightseeing in Wichita area.

   Thursday evening, 6:00 pm:   Closing banquet at the Best Western motel catered by the Best Western.  Paul Spranger, Service Center manager, and Chief Inspector for Midwest Corporate Aviation, pspranger@midwestaviation.com, 316-315-1911,  speaker.   

   Friday, June 28:   Departure day.

   Transportation available between Jabara airport and the Best Western motel, a distance of 7 miles.

    I am very enthusiastic about going to Wichita and playing off the B-29 program and, specifically the beautifully restored Doc.   Wichita is the most aviation minded city I have ever visited.   They are 100% aviation minded.  I encourage everyone to google B-29s on Utube and learn more about their history and their part in ending WW II.   Dovetailing with this B-29 story was our Southwest Regional visit to Los Alamos in September 2018 which also has a deep relationship with B-29s.  It was incredible how all concerned were able to create schedules, get hardware designed and built (B-29s and bombs) such that the programs came together so tightly in 1945.  Incredible.  

   Mark your calendars and pray for good weather!


You may register electronically and mail a check, and soon we will have the availability of Credit Card payments so it can all be done at your keyboard.