The Fifth Annual Delta Golden Wings Fly-in/Drive-in May 16, 2018 Alexander Memorial Airport

Inclement weather challenged participation Only seven cars – No airplanes

The Fifth Annual Delta Golden Wings (DGW) Fly-in/Drive-in was held on May 16, 2018 at the Alexander Memorial Airport, Williamson, Georgia. The weather threatened all day so there were no aircraft and only seven cars to display. Jack Baker helped with the car parking. Attendance was respectable, considering the circumstances. The event opened at 10am with coffee and pastries available for early arrivals. A complete listing of the sixty-five participants can be found at the end of the article.

As guests entered the Candler Field museum lobby or hangar, they were directed to the registration table and welcomed by Anne Lindley, Carol Ballance and Becky Roberson. Everyone received a name tag, filled out a simple registration form, and was asked to donate five dollars to the Candler Field Youth Aviation Program (YAP). A beverage refreshment bar was available. A food line was operated by YAP serving hamburgers or hot dogs, chips, and drinks. Tables and chairs were arranged in the hangar. The proceeds help finance the education projects envisioned by Ron Alexander.

A total of $478 was donated at the registration desk and $519  raised at the food line. All the proceeds went directly to YAP. Use of the Museum facilities were generously provided by the Candler Field Museum. DGW shows it’s appreciation by maintaining an institutional membership with the museum. DGW members are encouraged to show their individual support by joining the museum.

The scheduled 11:30 Steerman fly-by was canceled. Never-the-less we appreciated the effort made by Jim Ratliff, Vic Syracues, Cal Tax, and  John Laughter.

Jim Hoogerwerf welcomed everyone and invited us to share a moment of silence in memory of our departed colleagues, friends and family. He then introduced the organizing committee: Julian Black, Bob Lindley, Harry Ballance, Jack Baker, Leo Roberson, Jim Ratliff, Connie Bowlin, Jim Hoak and Amy King. A special note of appreciation acknowledged the contributions of all volunteers and the grill masters, especially the help of YAP members who assisted with the food service! At this time the food line was opened.

Keven Sasser and his wife, Linda, are the new owners of the airport property and restaurant. They share Ron’s vision and passion and intend to grow the airport, upgrade the infrastructure and continue to run a fine restaurant. The Candler Field Museum’s vision and the Sasser’s vision are closely aligned.  The museum will continue to occupy the current hangar for the time being, and the youth program will continue its work in the Doug Davis hangar, inspiring young people’s interest in aviation. Keven introduced Cayla McLeod  and Bayley Kanavas, both Youth Aviation Program (YAP) participants. Cayla has earned her private pilot license and Bayley recently soloed.

Jim Sells spoke representing the Candler Field Museum. In the last year, there has been much change.  Although we lost our founder Ron Alexander, he left us with a wonderful vision for the museum, the airport and the youth program – which we intend to follow. Our plans include constructing our own museum building (on airport property that the museum already owns), creating a permanent endowment for the youth program so it remains financially viable and finally to expand the museum collections to represent the era of flight Ron was dedicated to preserving.

A short presentation was planned during the lunch period but due to the inclement weather, the presentation was extended to include additional speakers.

Ted Towne and Chris Clark gave a short overview of the benefits and plans for the Insurance Trust for Delta Retirees (“the Trust”). “‘The Trust’ is a non-profit organization with 24,000 policy holders, providing the best in group retiree medical, prescription drug, dental, and vision benefits to retirees, spouses, and survivors of Delta retirees who are 65 years of age or over (including pre-merger retirees such as Northwest). Benefits included with our Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans are a Silver Sneakers fitness program membership, travel assistance, hearing aid services, and much more. The Trust offers the financial security of stable group premiums that do not vary by age or state. Call a Personal Health Advocate at 1-877-325-7265, Option 2, who will, at no cost, compare the Trust Plan to any other you are considering.

Jeff Pickett represented the Delta Golden Wings. DGW is a  fraternal organization of retired Delta Pilots (and spouses) and active Delta Pilots who have reached the age of 50.  Annual events include the May  Fly-in/Drive-in; a Fall Reunion and Membership Meeting in a different city each year; and an annual Christmas party held in Dunwoody, Georgia.

Paul Talbott brought the attractions of the Delta Flight Museum, at the  Hartsfield Atlanta airport, to the attention of the audience. It is important

to check ahead for the hours as the museum may be closed for a private event.

Bill Alexander DGW

Sam Alexander DGW

Harry and Carol Ballance DGW, 1965 Thunderbird (original owner)

Jack Baker DGW

Julian Black DGW

Sam Bass DGW

Rocky Bailey

Camille C. Bell DGW, Clipped Wings

Connie Bowlin DGW

Allen (James A.) Campbell DGW

Chris Clark Guest (Insurance Trust Delta Retirees)

Bob and Sallie Costilow DGW

Thomas and Joan Couch Clipped Wings, 1971 Mercedes 250 (bought new in Germany)

John and Barbara Ellington DGW

Bill Fowler

Ben Frankland

Dwight Grandia DGW

Mal Harper DGW

Mike and Heidi Hein

Jim Hoak (Youth Program manager)

Dave Holec (Youth Program shop manager/A&P mechanic)

James Hoogerwerf DGW, Pioneers 1966 Mustang Coup

Ryan Hunt (Youth Program)

Cliff Judkins

Bayley Kanavas (Youth Program)

Amy and Jeff King (Candler Field Museum)

Fritz Kuhn DGW

Bob and Anne Lindley DGW

Andre and Margaret Lovas DGW

Tony Manzo DGW

Glen and Diane Marsh DGW

Dave and Lyn Matthews

Dave Mattingly DGW

Cayla McLeod (Youth Program)

Tom Morris

Max Parham

Don Pence DGW

Jeff and Karen Pickett DGW

Edi and Joe Reid DGW

Doug Riffey DGW

Leo and Becky Roberson DGW

Pete Saker Guest

Keven Sasser (Alexnader Memorial Airport owner)

Paul Schmoker DGW

Jim Sells (Candler Field Museum, BOD)

Pete Smart DGW

“Chick” Smith DGW

Paul Talbott Pioneers Museum of flight

Ted Towne Guest (Insurance Trust Delta Retirees)

David Turner DGW

Bill Voight DGW, Pioneers

Bob Wallace