All posts by Jeff DeMello

Warbird Group Meeting – November 16th

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, November 16th at the Stockton Field Aviation Museum, 7432 C.E. Dixon St. Stockton Metro Airport, 7 PM.

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Our next speaker will be NASA SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) 747 Flight Engineer Christopher Farinha. Chris was born and raised in Auburn California, where he started in aviation restoring Warbirds. He started his airline career in 1985 flying the Lockheed Electra, L-188. Chris has flown the civilian model of the Hercules the L-382 as well as the DC-8 for Southern AirTransport. He finished his civilian career at Evergreen International Airlines flying the B-747. Chris has been with SOFIA since January 2014. He also flies the GE flying testbed 747, which tests the next generation of jet engines. So, come on out and bring a friend!

SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes. During its planned 20-year lifetime, SOFIA also will inspire the development of new scientific instrumentation and foster the education of young scientists and engineers.

SOFIA is an 80/20 partnership of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), consisting of an extensively modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a reflecting telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters (100 inches).
The observatory is based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, manages SOFIA’s science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA; Columbia, Md.) and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI; University of Stuttgart).

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! 2017 dues are due. Your $12.00 Warbird dues also get you membership in the Stockton Field Aviation Museum! With many activities coming up in the new year!

WW II Warbird Group: President, Ken Terpstra (209-838-8680); Treasurer, Ed Ashcraft (209-772-1890); The WW II Warbird Group meets five times a year March, May, July, September, and November on the third Wednesday of the month at the Stockton Field Aviation Museum, 7432 C.E. Dixon St. Stockton Metro Airport. Each meeting features a speaker who flew in any of the military services during our nation’s conflicts, WWII to present. Visitors are always welcome. Membership is open to anyone interested regardless of military service, age, or gender. Dues are $12 per year and include mailed newsletters. Send application to Stockton Field Aviation Museum, 7432 C. E. Dixon Street, Stockton, CA, 95206.

Warbird Meeting & BBQ

You are invited …

The Stockton Field Aviation Museum is proud to host the annual BBQ Dinner & Monthly Warbird Group meeting on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at the 7430 C.E. Dixon St. at the Stockton Metro Airport. This get-together is open to the public.

Our guest speaker will be Korey Wells, Hawker Sea Fury Air Racer and one of a very few people in the world that is type rated in the Messerschmitt ME-262!

Mr. Wells has been flying since he was 10 years old, a total of 44 years! He owned and operated a charter business in Nevada where he did desert bush flying. Using Cessna 310s and 400 series twins to fly in and out of short dirt strips and dirt roads. He competed in the International Aerobatic club, flying a Pitts Special. Mr. Wells is an Unlimited Division pilot flying Hawker Sea Furys in the Reno National Championship Air Races. He is also one of a handful of individuals type rated and can fly the ME262! When it comes to vintage iron he really knows his stuff! Come on out armed with all those questions, he’d love to answer ‘em for you!

ME-262

The BBQ dinner starts at 6PM and our Speaker starts at 7PM!

There is a $5 donation for the BBQ dinner to help cover our costs.

See you there!

Election of Board of Directors

The membership of the Aeronautical Educational Foundation, doing business as Stockton Field Aviation Museum, held an annual election for the Board of Directors. Upon a duly authorized election, the Foundation is pleased to announce our 2017 Board:

  • President – Jeff DeMello
  • Vice President – Nick Veronico
  • Secretary / Treasurer – Sydney Ramey
  • Bill Meehleis – Director at Large
  • Taigh Ramey – Director at Large

Rare Gathering of Patrol Planes for Memorial

Family - 2
Photo courtesy of Sagar Pathak

A very rare “family photo” … the Stockton Field Aviation Museums PV-2 “Harpoon”, surrounded by the P2-V “Neptune”, the (newest) P-8 “Poseidon”, and the P-3 “Orion”.

This gathering of Patrol planes was to honor VP-50 Crew 2/11, who all died in a tragic mid-air collision on March 21, 1991 (link). The Memorial service was held at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, CA.

Moffett Memorial
Photo from San Jose Mercury News / Karl Mondon

Read more at the San Jose Mercury News site.

Warbird Group Meeting – March 16th

U.S.S. Lucid
U.S.S. Lucid

The Stockton Field Aviation Museum is proud to host the next meeting of the Warbird Group at 7pm on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016, at our hanger: 7432 C.E. Dixon St. at Stockton Metro Airport.

Our guest speaker will be David Rajkovich, President of the Stockton Historical Maritime Museum. Dave will be speaking on “Stockton’s Waterfront Contribution to the War” and the continuing restoration of the U.S. Navy wooden mine sweeper USS Lucid. Come on out to hear some of our interesting local wartime history. All are welcome, and bring a friend!

Background – WWII Warbird Group: President, Ken Terpstra (209-838-8680); Treasurer, Ed Ashcraft (209-772-1890); The WW II Warbird Group meets five times a year March, May, July, September, and November on the third Wednesday of the month at the Stockton Field Aviation Museum, 7432 C.E. Dixon St. Stockton Metro Airport. Each meeting features a speaker who flew in any of the military services during our nation’s conflicts, WWII to present. Visitors are always welcome. Membership is open to anyone interested regardless of military service, age, or gender. Dues are $12 per year and include mailed newsletters. Send application to the return address on this newsletter.

New Web Site!

Welcome to our new web site!  After many painstaking hours of archiving old photos, stories, and articles, the Stockton Field Aviation Museum is proud to feature our new web site.  It is much easier to navigate and find stories and topics of interest to our followers.

Thank you to Jeff DeMello for donating his time on doing this web update!  We are looking forward keeping our patrons and web visitors up to date with the museums latest activities and offerings.

-Taigh

Raymond Kinney – Guest Speaker

Raymond Kinney will be our guest speaker and will share his aviation experience with us.  His accomplishments are as follows:

  • c 1939 – I became interested in aviation just before and during the Battle of Britain. I began building and flying model airplanes – an activity that continues today
  • 1947 – I went on my first flight in an early model Luscombe Silvaire
  • 1949 – After high school graduation, I joined the Air Force Reserve at Hamilton Air Force Base. Served as an airborne radio operator in C-46 Commando Aircraft. I also flew in AT-6, AT-7 and AT-11 aircraft.
  • 1950 – Enrolled at San Jose State University Department of Aeronautics. I also enrolled in the Air Force ROTC Commissioning Program. Elected president of Alpha Eta Rho International Aviation Fraternity  (Two Semesters)
  •  8 June 1956 – Graduated from San Jose State with a BA degree in aviation and a commission in the USAF.
  • 25 Jan 1957 – Entered extended active duty in the USAF for officer pre-flight training at Lackland AFB, TX
  •  22 Apr 1957 – Assigned to 3301st Pilot Training Group at Moore AB, Mission Texas for primary pilot training. Soloed the T-34 A on 22 May 1957. Soloed the T-28 A on 8 July 1957. Graduated primary on 15 October 1957 and assigned to 3640 Pilot Training Squadron – T-33 A at Laredo AFB, Texas. I soloed in T-33 A on 15 January 1958. On 10 February 1958, designated pilot – day fighter
  • 16 May 1958 – My assignment to advanced training – KC 97 at Randolph AFB was cancelled, and I, along with 2 classmates were eliminated from further flight training
  •  2 July 1958 – Assigned to Harlingen AFB Texas for undergraduate navigator training in Convair T-29 aircraft
  • 30 Aug 1958 – I joined the first established aeroclub in the USAF. Flew Aeronca 7 AC, Piper PA-12 and PA-22, T-34 A
  •  6 Mar 1959 – I passed the flight check for a private pilot certificate ASEL. 
  • 6 July 1959 – I graduated from USAF navigator training and was retained as an instructor, eventually becoming a flight examiner for basic DR, day celestial and night celestial navigation. Elected secretary of Institute of Navigation 
  • 28 July 1961 – Reassigned to James Connally AFB after Harlingen AFB closed. Served as instructor and flight examiner for DR, day and night celestial and polar grid navigation. I continued to fly with the Connally Aero Club in Cessna 150, 172, 182 and T-34 A, becoming a check pilot in the T-34 and secretary of the Aero Club Board of Governors. 
  • 11 May 1963 – Awarded a regular commission, Line of the Air Force
  •  3 Mar 1965 – Assigned to survival training at Stead AFB prior to overseas assignment 
  • 7 Apr 1965 – Reported to 35th Troop Carrier Squadron at Naha, Okinawa as navigator and instructor in Lockheed C-130 A aircraft. For the next 3 years and 2 months I flew 255 combat missions and 755 combat hours over North and South Vietnam. Returned to the US 21 June 1968.
  •  29 Aug 1968 – Reported to Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Training Center, Eglin AFB, Florida as instructor/standardization flight examiner in HC-130 H/N/P aircraft.
  • 15 Nov 1969 – Began commercial flight training (GI Bill) at Enterprise Aviation at Crestview, Florida
  •  7 Sept 1970 – Passed multi-engine private flight check, Enterprise, Alabama,  Hoover Moore DPE 
  • 30 June 1971 – Reassigned to Hill AFB, Utah – 1550 ARR Training Wing with relocation of rescue school from Eglin AFB
  •  30 July 1972  – Reassigned to 41st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing  (MAC), Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Served as wing assistant chief of aircrew standardization, chief navigation flight examiner, wing staff navigator. Supervised the activities of 22 wing and squadron navigators in an area from the Mississippi River westward to the Indian Ocean. Flew in rescue precautionary orbit for “Eagle Pull” (evacuation of Phnom Penh). Acted as PACAF Rescue Advisor for “Frequent Wind” (evacuation of Saigon)
  •  21 July 1974 – Awarded Aeronautical Rating of Master Navigator 
  • 30 Nov 1975 –  Reassigned to McClellan AFB, Sacramento, California as Senior Emergency Actions Officer
  • 2 July 1977 – Resumed pilot training for commercial and instruments, Engle Flying Service
  • 28 Feb 1978 – Retired from active duty, USAF as Major with 21 years service
  • 15 Mar 1978 – Passed FAA instrument rating flight check, Martin Keane, DPE
  • 17 Mar 1978 – Passed FAA Commercial Pilot flight check, Martin Keane, DPE
  • 16 June 1978 – Passed FAA CFI-A flight check, George Roope, Sac GADO
  • 15 July 1978 – Hired by Engle Flying Service, Phoenix Field, as a flight instructor
  • 21 Sep 1978 – Passed FAA CFI-I, Howie Wheelock, Sac GADO
  • 26 Dec 1979 – Passed Assistant Flight Instructor check Part 141, Bud Andersen ,Sac GADO.
  • 19 Feb 1980 – Passed Part 135 Air Taxi check, Martin Keane, DPE
  • 2 Sept 1980 – 1st CFI renewal – Awarded Gold Seal. Total time as CFI: 2128 hours
  • 6 Dec 1985 – Engle Flying Service closed. Hired by Patterson Aircraft as CFI-Part 141
  • 4 Nov 1986 – Commercial multi-engine flight check complete
  • 6 Nov 1986 – Appointed Chief Flight Instructor Part 141 at Patterson Aircraft Company, flight check by Richard Neilson, Sac FSDO
  • 9 June 1989 – Passed CFI multi-engine flight check, Martin Keane, DPE
  • 26 Sept 1995 – Coronary Artery blockage requiring 2-way bypass operation; normal recovery, no heart damage. While awaiting a special issuance medical, I taught private and instrument ground school and simulator training at Paterson and Skywalk School
  • 16 Oct 1997 – Received a special issuance Class III medical certificate. I resumed flight instruction at Skywalk and flew another 1000 hours before officially retiring from active flight instruction on 1 June 2002 after 24 years.
  • 18 June 2003 – Last flight as a sole manipulator of controls RDD-SAC, T-182 RG 757HF, Dr. Renollett, PIC
  • 22 Sept 2011 – Flew at the Salinas Airshow in a Tora Tora Tora modified AT-6 “Zeke” five-ship formation with Commemorative Air Force pilot “Col” Mike Burke