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Friday, August 15th 2013



Farewell JJ


Low Flying Helicopter


Boy Scouts of America


Pilot Accomplishments 


 SMD News


Temporary Fuel Closure


Hobby Takes Flight


Zenith Takes Flight!



On August 28th Jim Martz (JJ) will be leaving our family at Smith Field. JJ is working the evening shift until his departure but will be coming in to SMD on the morning of August 29th to say goodbye to everyone.  JJ has accepted a position with SkyTech here in Fort Wayne working as an Engineering Technician.  This is an excellent opportunity for JJ and although we are sad to see him leave we are all very proud of him.  JJ has done an excellent job working at both SMD and FWA.  We wish him the very best.

LowFlyingHelicopterLow Flying Helicopter


Residents in the Fort Wayne area might notice a helicopter flying low over electric transmission lines for several days beginning this Friday.

A contractor for AEP/Indiana Michigan Power will be assessing and inspecting work involving transmission circuits in the area.

BSAEventBoy Scouts of America Aviation Merit Badge Event 2013
BSA Aerial 
For the fourth consecutive year Boy Scouts from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio will spend the day at Smith Field Airport (SMD) earning their aviation merit badge.  This year 200 Boy Scouts have signed up for the event.  To earn their badge, Scouts must perform a number of aviation-related activities, including learning about careers in aviation, airports and their runways, how to pre-flight an aircraft, and how to build a model aircraft.  Scouts will also be able to tour the airfield, see aircraft demonstrations, and take a flight with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).  The event will be held this Saturday, August 17th from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Historic Hangar Two at Smith Field Airport, 426 W. Ludwig Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
There will be a lot of activity this Saturday.  This event is for Boy Scouts only and required pre-registration to participate in the event.  The Airport Authority will be at the event for Registration, Airfield Tours, Career Education. EAA Chapter 2 is providing 12 pilots and 15 Ground Support personnel for the Flight Portion. Sweet Aviation pilots are assisting with Classroom Ground instruction and Pre-Flight. Shawn from Phils Hobby Shop is coming out to put on an RC Workshop and Dennis and Shari Murphy will be working the grill for lunch.   It is going to be a great event and we are all excited to be a part of it! Thanks again to all of our volunteers!

PilotAccomplishmentsSweet Aviation Pilot Accomplishments in 2013


Congratulations to all of our Pilots on achieving these milestones!

Dean Zimmerman
First Solo
Mike Hunley
Private Pilot
Samantha Williams
First Solo
Tahnee Butler
Private Pilot
Dave Dumas
Instrument Rating
Myron Yoder
John Nicklin
Private Pilot
Zach Clemens
First Solo
Jeremy Bowers
First Solo
Chris Lack
First Solo
Brian Peeper
Private Pilot
Bashirul Polash
First Solo
Chris Zee-Cheng
Instrument Rating
Ashley Plemmons
Private Pilot
Blake Cripe
First Solo
Robert Francis
First Solo
Tahnee Butler
First Solo
Gus Steigmeyer
Private Pilot


NewsSmith Field in the News
Published: August 11, 2013 3:00 a.m.

Plane rally lifts kids into the sky

Aircraft group hopes to inspire pursuit of careers in aviation

Paul Wyche | The Journal Gazette

Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette

Eight-year-old Michael Kuras, left, his sister Anna, 13, and brother Joey, not pictured, ride in a helicopter piloted Saturday by Chuck Surack.

FORT WAYNE - Don't blame 11-year-old Robert Bridegam for having lofty goals.

He's been flying for two years as a member of the Young Eagles, a program for aviation enthusiasts that offered free plane rides Saturday at Smith Field airport. Aspiring pilots must be 8 to 17. The effort was created by the Experimental Aircraft Association of Oshkosh, Wis.

The crowd of 100 had to use their outside voices to carry on conversations as the buzz of propellers and engines from 10 single-engine planes roared.

Robert is used to it.

"Roller coasters are nothing compared to this," he said. "You don't get to steer a roller coaster."

Experimental Aircraft Association volunteers included pilots, mechanics, ground crews and others who encourage careers in aviation. Last year, the program set a record in attendance as 1,300 youths participated. Organizers are hoping for similar results this year. The Young Eagles fly rally schedule began in May in Auburn.

The next events are Sept. 14 at Smith Field and Sept. 21 in Van Wert, Ohio.

The Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested youngsters an opportunity to fly in a general aviation airplane. More than 1.5 million youngsters have participated since Young Eagles was launched. Youths in more than 90 countries have flown with 42,000 volunteer pilots.

"The main thing we want to do is get them interested in aviation," said Laramie Resler, a coordinator for Experimental Aircraft Association of Fort Wayne. "They could be pilots, mechanics or engineers. We want to expose them to this career."

Jordan Shoemaker says he's ready. The 12-year-old Columbia City lad came to Smith Field with one thing on his mind.

"I want to fly," he said. "I've been to Cedar Point, but this will be more fun."

His sisters, Erin and Taylor, weren't as sure.

"Umm, I guess so," 9-year-old Taylor replied when asked if she was looking forward to it.

Her older sister was a little nervous, but eager. "I want to do it, I'm not scared," said Erin, 10.

Amanda Shoemaker said her girls probably would have been more confident if she could ride with them.

"It's just for the kids, though, so I can't go," Shoemaker said. "They have an uncle who's a pilot and this will give them a chance to see what he does. We've been to Kings Island and places like that, but this is new for them."


Phillips 66 Aviation Celebrates 20 Years Of Young Eagle Rebates

Source: Phillips 66 Aviation
Created: July 26, 2013

Some 5,000 pilots use the program to take hundreds of thousands of youths flying across the nation.

OSHKOSH, Wis. - Phillips 66 Aviation is celebrating 20 years of providing fuel rebates to Young Eagles pilots, who volunteer their time, aircraft and money to introduce young people to the joys of flight.

What began in 1994 to support a fledging Young Eagles program has now been used by some 5,000 pilots to take hundreds of thousands of youths flying across the nation.

"Phillips 66 Aviation is committed to spreading awareness and excitement about the wonders of aviation to the youth of America," explains Rosemary Leone, Director, Programs Development, General Aviation, Phillips 66. "Programs like the Young Eagles are essential to the future of aviation. We've found that the Phillips 66 Aviation Young Eagles rebate encourages pilots to take more Young Eagles flights."Take David and Laramie Resler, who have personally introduced 941 kids to the marvels of flying in their white Piper Cherokee 180. "We definitely use the Phillips 66 rebate," David says. "It helps encourage more Young Eagle flights."


With relentless recruiting of youths, coordination of rallies and regular flights, the Reslers are resolute with their Young Eagle volunteer work for EAA Chapter 2 at Smith Field airport (KSMD) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Phillips 66 Aviation-branded dealer. In 2012, the Reslers were honored for their Young Eagles efforts with Phillips 66 Aviation Leadership Award during AirVenture.

"The rebate helps," says Robert "Butch" Bejna, who's on an extraordinary mission to share his enthusiasm for flight.

Bejna has taken 1,843 Young Eagles flying - one at a time - in his diminutive Cessna 150 two-seater. The tireless pilot keeps his Cessna at an airport that sells unbranded fuel, but makes the trip to get Phillips 66 avgas and the Young Eagles Rebate at Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK) near Chicago. Bejna earned the 2009 Phillips 66 Aviation Leadership Award when he had
just 1,500 Young Eagles flights in his log.

For 20 years, Phillips 66 Aviation has provided $1-per-gallon fuel rebate to offset the cost of qualified Young Eagles flights throughout its network of nearly 900 fixed base operators. The avgas rebate helped EAA's Young Eagles program achieve its original goal of one million flights.

"EAA is on its way to taking 2 million kids flying with the Young Eagles program," Leone says. "We hope the fuel rebate will encourage more pilots to take more Young Eagles flights and help guide general aviation to a strong future."

For more information on the Phillips 66 Aviation Young Eagles Rebate, visit www.phillips66aviation.com/youngeagles.

FuelClosureTemporary Fuel Closure

Sometime next week the fuel farm will be temporarily closed in order to resolve some issues that we have been having. 


Streibig Construction will be cutting and removing some asphalt around the drains near the fuel farm and pouring new asphalt.  This closure should only last around 30 minutes. 


Jackson Oil will be re-running some electrical work in an effort to resolve our fuel system alarm issues and hopefully stop the system from consistently going into an alarm mode.  This closure will last between 3 and 4 hours.  We expect this to be done Tuesday morning.


We apologize if this will cause any inconvenience.

HobbyHobby takes flight

Local friends building plane in garage

Jaclyn Youhana |

 Zenith 1

Tippmann and Borton work on installing the mechanism for the plane's foot pedals in Tippmann's garage.

Photos by Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette

The barn in Patrick Tippmann's backyard serves as a kind of catchall for grown-up toys. Helmets hang from pegs on one wall. Mounted deer heads line another wall, with a mountain goat and a boar thrown in. There's a basketball hoop on yet another wall, and the abandoned efforts of a son's foray into brewing beer in a corner. Upstairs in the barn loft, there are pool and bumper pool tables.

On the pool table rests a rudder. Scattered on a card table downstairs are small pieces of cut and scrap aluminum. The brown paper lunch sacks on the work table have labels such as "folding wing," "rear fuselage," "controls," "tail" and "wing."

And then there's the most obvious thing in Tippmann's barn. The thing that kind of slaps you in the face when you walk in and makes you say, "Wait, is that ... an airplane?" Yes. Or rather, it's almost an airplane. Currently, it's the body of a machine that will eventually be an airplane when Tippmann and his friend, Patrick Borton, finish making the pedals and wings, the rudders and propellers; when the engine comes in; when the black, white-and-red paint job is finished; when any of a hundred details that go into making one's own airplane are complete.


Tippmann and Borton, both of Fort Wayne, met when they were training for their pilot's licenses at Smith Field in 2011. Tippmann shared his idea to build his own airplane, and Borton offered to help, knowing he would have free time - he does paintless dent repair, primarily from hail damage, and there isn't a lot of hail damage this time of year - and his wife would be out of town for six months, in massage therapy school in Milwaukee.

The two estimate they are about halfway done with the construction and hope to have the plane in the air this spring or summer.


Ways to go

The half-finished airplane in Tippmann's barn is a kit plane - a Zenith STOL CH 750. The pieces arrived in enormous wooden crates in multiple shipments; the men are still waiting to receive the plane's engine.


"I bought it in Mexico, Mo.," says Tippmann, who is in investment real estate. "Pat and I flew my other airplane out for the two-day course to train."


There, the men learned how to work with the metal, how to drill the pieces, how to assemble it, how to deburr it and how to reassemble it - because, yes, building a STOL CH 750 requires putting everything together twice. To create the hole where a permanent rivet will be placed, the men use a Cleco, a temporary fastener. After the hole is created, the men have to take apart the pieces, "deburr" the area (clean off the metal shavings) and reassemble the pieces with rivets.


"I wanna do one, OK? I wanna try," says Lydia, Tippmann's 2-year-old daughter, walking around with the Cleco tool. Her sister Sylvia, 8, wants to help, too, and she puts a number of the Clecos into the plane.


The plane will have folding wings, which will allow Tippmann to continue to store it in his barn after the wings are attached at the top of the plane. When the wings are folded, the plane will still fit through the garage door.


Kit planes range in cost from $25,000 to $200,000, and Tippmann says his STOL CH 750 was about $70,000. After the men finish the project, they guess they will have put about 600 hours into the 800-pound machine. They will need to fly solo for a specific number of hours before they take any passengers up in the two-seater plane, and a Federal Aviation Administration inspector will inspect the plane when it is finished.


"I think I'll have Pat go first," Tippmann says, laughing.

The plane - conversationally called a Sky Jeep because of how boxy it is - will fly out of Tippmann's backyard. He has plans to build a grass runway on his 30-acre lot. It will start back by the edge of the property, run past the barn, over the creek and up near Schwartz Road. The runway will be 1,700 feet long, Tippmann says, but the Zenith plane doesn't require a lot of land space: STOL stands for "short take-off and land."


People with enough property are permitted to have a backyard runway if they go through the federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration.


Tippmann Field

One day last week when the men were showing the plane to a reporter and photographer, Borton worked on some small pieces, hand-drilling holes into a square of aluminum that will serve as a foot pedal on the plane. As he worked, a newly framed certificate stood by. It read: "This is to certify that Tippmann Field (what Tippmann decided to call his backyard airstrip and barn garage) has met the administrative requirement and standards for a private-use airport."

Borton pulled up a map of private airports in Allen County and estimates there are six or seven. The hobby may not be commonplace, but it's more popular than one might think; Tippmann says there are a dozen companies that sell kit planes like his to anyone who wants to build one - not just people with a huge air-conditioned and heated barn in the backyard; Borton tells about one builder who put his kit plane together in his New York City apartment, one piece at a time, carrying them out to storage as he finished each section.

As short as two years ago, Borton says, he never would have thought he would have this hobby.

"Family and friends are like, 'What the heck? You're building an airplane and you're gonna fly it out of the backyard?' " Tippmann says. "Two years ago if you said, 'Do you think you're ever gonna build an airplane and fly it out of the backyard?' I'd say, 'Heck, no.'"


ZenithCompletion of the Zenith and it's First Flight!




The Zenith flew for the first time on August 14th 2013 at 10:46 a.m. I did not have the opportunity to be present for the flight however I did acquire some photos of it from Ashley Plemmons.  Congratulations on the successful flight Pat, and excellent work!


   Zenith 2  Patrick










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Fort Wayne International Airport

3801 West Ferguson Road, Suite 209

Fort Wayne, IN 46809-3142

(260) 747-4146


Smith Field Airport
426 W. Ludwig Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 489-5518


About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) and Smith Field (SMD). In the last few years, FWACAA has undergone an aggressive improvement plan at SMD which included the construction of an aircraft maintenance training facility in partnership with Ivy Tech, the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) in partnership with Parkview Hospital, the installation of a compass swing site in partnership with the 99's, the rehabilitation of both runways 13/31 and 5/23, the lighting of runway 13/31, the installation of a self-serve aviation fuel system, and various facility, electrical, storm water, and pavement improvements. The Authority is governed by a six-member board appointed by both the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit