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Williamsport, PA CFO Convention

With all the recent attention being paid to Cardinals by Lycoming, it seemed like a really good time to stop by and see what was going on at the Lycoming factory.

Of course that meant a visit to the east coast, specifically Williamsport, PA, where years of logging had ultimately given way to a small sewing machine company who saw a chance to build aircraft engines. Thus began Lycoming, the company who built all our Cardinal engines.

In addition, a frequent request of some east coast Cardinal Flyers had been to bring the events a little closer to that end of the country. We had come part way at Seven Springs, but it was time to see how attendance would be in an really eastern destination.

And so plans were made, the date arrived and a few dozen intrepid Cardinal owners found their way through the misty valleys to alight at Williamsport.

Our event started with a day trip up into those foggy hills, seeking scenery, local color and whatever might come our way. In fact, we were not on the road long when our bus driver started pointing out the local attractions.

I'll confess the only one that stuck with me was a small town known for it's annual rattle snake roundup. For some reason I thought rattlers were a western desert kind of thing, but it turns out there were more than enough of them in this part of the country to become a tourist attraction.
Soon enough we arrived at our destination: the Corning Glass works in Corning, NY. The tour started with just what we might have expected, a description of how glass is made. Turns out they don't make commercial glass products there, but got so many requests for information that they decided to add the exhibits.

Perhaps most interesting were the unusual examples of what can be done with glass. The 30 foot mirror, for example, one of two made for some telesope project. The one consigned to the museum was the lesser in quality.

There was also a display of some of the notes and early models from the fellow who invented fiber optics. It was interesting to see how this innovation came to exist.

Soon, however, we started to learn that the Corning Glass Works was far more than it seemed to be. Most of the items of interest here were around the story of glass itself, and its many applications to the world of art.

In fact, the museum was hosting a special exhibit of glass based art donated by a wealthy couple from Chicago, and their collection was impressive indeed.

The objects to the right are actually glass, and are a couple of feet across each. The process of making such art is hard to imagine, and the visual impact stunning.
As we moved through the museum it was clear (pun intended) that glass came in many more forms, colors and shapes than any of us had ever imagined.
Along with an extensive history of glass, there were countless unique pieces with shapes, colors and forms which were indeed amazing. Large and small, complex and simple, they were not what we expected, but were all that we could have hoped for.
Lunch in the cafeteria was quite pleasant, as it seems this company was prone to putting a lot of windows around their living areas, for some reason. We enjoyed a light lunch and caught up with our Cardinal Flying friends, new and old.

Meanwhile, Debbie was cooking up a bit of a detour in our plans. It turns out that we were dangerously close to a place very special to aviation which it would be hard to pass by. With a few calls she adjusted our schedule to pay a visit.
That special place was the Glenn Curtiss museum, at the location where this aviation pioneer first flew in 1908. It was also the location of the first seaplane flights and a number of other firsts.

In the excellent museum we learned that Glenn Curtis had first been a very successful motorcycle racer and manufacturer, and actually held the world land speed record for some period of time, having attained it on a Henderson 4 powered motorcycle.
Here's the group which visited the museum.
Our next step was the grand canyon of Pennsylvania, a rather impressive valley for the east coast. Some of us who had been to the 'other' grand canyon were surprised to see this canyon covered in trees, but it was clearly a lush area. One could easily imagine how it had once been a major logging area, and intrigued that all these trees had grown since that time.

We returned to Williamsport to enjoy an intimate dinner at a micro-brewery, after which we enjoyed desert at a reception, leading to a good night's sleep.
After a little confusion about rooms and phone numbers (as the hotel chose that night to split into two hotels!) we made our way to Lycoming, where an enthusiastic group of employees was waiting to take us on a tour.

Unfortunately pictures within the building were not allowed, so I can't bring you along on this excellent tour. It was very impressive on several levels, primarily in how clean, well lighted and forward thinking the factory turned out to be.

Some of our guides were union members, and they had as much enthusiasm as the management team for the company, their product and the new methods of quality and production management that had greatly improved their productivity and quality.

As a mechanical engineer with a great deal of Six Sigma experience, I was impressed by their practical application and the degree to which the entire company has 'bought in' to these methods. I left with a strong, new impression of Lycoming as just the company I'd like to have building the engine I fly behind.
After the tour we loaded onto a river boat for a tour up the valley and a more detailed discussion of the logging history of this area.

It seems that the loggers were hired by the mills to go cut trees and send them down the river. But they often came too fast for the mill, and had to be held back. Then they would become mixed in with the logs from all the other mills, creating mass confusion.

To address this issue, a giant fence was built diagonally across the river, stretching for 7 miles of the river's length. The logs would be sorted behind this fence into pens by owner, then released upon order by that mill for the final trip down to the mill intake.

There are still remnants of those works in the river, and seeing them first hand helped the story come alive.

One of the unexpected side stories was this little helicopter, who's owner was willing and able to give rides or lessons to anyone with an interest.

Debbie has a bit of a reputation for getting those photos which no one else can get, so this was more than she could let go by. With a little sweet talk (or so it is alleged) she was soon hovering over the airport getting great shots of the flight line.


Our usual walkaround was a pleasant experience, as it seemed that most of the aircraft in attendance were very well maintained and/or restored. It was a cool but sunny morning, a great day to hang round the airport and look at airplanes.
It was hard for Debbie to get far enough away to get all the airplanes without them all turning into tiny dots. Suffice it to say that there were a few more to the right... we see their noses poking into this picture.
That same helicopter pilot turned out to be an instructor at the technical college based at the airport, and he gave us a quick tour of the facility. As an extra surprise for all of us, it turned out that this was the day that the university was testing their furnace controls and systems, resulting in room temps in the low 90's!

In spite of the heat, the GM of Lycoming come out to talk to us about their perspective on engine operations, including lean of peak. It was during our visit that Lycoming first announced that it was OK to run their engines lean of peak, as long as the pilot had sufficient instrumentation to avoid peak. It was a great step to hear, and nice for them to do this during our event.
The afternoon brought an in-depth inspection of a Cardinal by Keith and Paul. As can be seen here, everyone pitched in with enthusiasm and we did a great job of finding every little detail on this airplane.
Tyler from Powerflow was in attendance and gave us an update on progress back at the exhaust factory.

After cleaning up, we retired to the hotel where we enjoyed a very pleasant banquet and further discussions from the management team at Lycoming. They really worked hard to make us feel welcome.
willpa09_b_02.jpg willpa09_b_03.jpg
willpa09_b_04.jpg willpa09_b_05.jpg
willpa09_b_06.jpg willpa09_b_07.jpg

The coveted 'Best Cardinal of Show' was awarded to Paul and Debbie Diamond from Nashua, NH

We really had a good time at Williamsport, and greatly appreciated the hospitality of Lycoming in hosting our visit.

Here are the airplanes which were in attendance at this event:

willpa09_planes_01.jpg willpa09_planes_02.jpg
willpa09_planes_03.jpg willpa09_planes_04.jpg
willpa09_planes_05.jpg willpa09_planes_06.jpg
willpa09_planes_07.jpg willpa09_planes_08.jpg
willpa09_planes_13.jpg willpa09_planes_10.jpg
willpa09_planes_11.jpg willpa09_planes_12.jpg
willpa09_planes_15.jpg willpa09_planes_16.jpg
willpa09_planes_17.jpg willpa09_planes_18.jpg
willpa09_planes_19.jpg willpa09_planes_20.jpg
willpa09_planes_21.jpg willpa09_planes_22.jpg
willpa09_planes_23.jpg willpa09_planes_24.jpg
willpa09_planes_25.jpg willpa09_planes_26.jpg
willpa09_planes_27.jpg willpa09_planes_28.jpg
willpa09_planes_29.jpg willpa09_planes_30.jpg
willpa09_planes_31.jpg willpa09_planes_32.jpg

The following people registered their plans to attend this CFO Convention:

Attendee NameRegistration NumberArriving fromComment
Keith and Debbie PetersonN177KP Hampshire, IL We\'re looking forward to a great event! 
Bruce HutchingsN52061 Lancaster, NH  
Bill & Leanna PovilaitisN30900 Aeroflex-Andover, NJ We\'ll have \"FUN FUN FUN\" cause we still have a Cardinal today! 
Kim Pe ckN1533H Needham, MA  
Paul MillnerN177SD Oakland, CA  
Richard FryeN177JA Hayward, CA  
Paul & Deb DiamondN30637 Nashua, NH  
Barbara RycquartC-FALY Straffordville, Canada  
Barbara RycquartC-FALY Straffordville, Canada  
William RuegerN34818 Batavia, OH First CFO fly-in as an owner! 
Mike SullivanN2056Q Manassas, VA  
Derek SharvelleN1419C Battle Ground, IN  
Tom BenensonN828JT Columbiaville, NY I\'ll be arriving on Thursday 
Rick and Chris VeachN82006 Liberty (GPH), MO  
Dick Dagle Lewisburg, PA I can drive to Williamsport about as easy as driving to my airport; so no N34542 
Jim EngbergN19821 Southbridge, MA  
Tyler Reed   Look forward to seeing you all again - The Power Flow Crew. 
Ray ReederN35069 Strasburg, PA  
Don BallN34346 Quakertown, PA  
Palmer GehringN35086 Winter Haven, FL  
Don Jeffers not sure yet,   
Wally JohnsonN3435T Little Rock, AR Looking forward to it! I have business associates on the field in Williamsport. 
Brian EstesN52944 Columbia, IL  
Joseph MatalonN7547V Belmar, NJ  
Michael JonesN52101 Churchville, MD  
Jon HublerN127JD Hershey, PA  
James BrookoverN19245 Akron, OH  
Jimmy & Sandy HoneycuttN177BS Mallards Landing/Locust Grove, GA Love the new date! Now we can be there! Looking forward to seeing you-all again. 
Jonathan BaxterN34221 Hyannis, MA Looking forward to another great CFO event! 
Winn & Phil BrownN29563 Horn Lake , MS This date works much better for us. Thanks! 
Lin DunnN234PE Franklin, TN  
Karl ThomasN20223 Mesquite, TX Looking forward to it !! Willing to either hitch a ride or pickup someone enroute from N. Texas for gas-sharing$$. E-mail me at  
Dennis PelletierN34242 PTW, PA  
Lindley JohnsonN20142 Baltimore, MD  
Daniel EberlN1351C Iowa City, IA  
David HillN7623V Delaware, OH  
Garth GoddardC-GPDW Toronto; Ontario,   
Minnetta GardinierN1351C Iowa City, IA  
Don & Susan JeffersN7VJ (not flying) not sure,   
Richard Frye  CA  
Henry OstmanN30797 Enola, PA  
Tom SaxonN478TC Leesburg (JYO), VA  

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