Tim's June 2022 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68! USAFA’s greatest class welcomes the Class of 2022 to the Long Blue Line. May you soar to great heights and gain the wisdom to consider a number of options before leaving your “tell-all” laptop in a Delaware repair shop.

"Big Sky Skiing Beckons. L-R: Dick Fast and Steve McPhail"

‘68ERS HIT THE SLOPES: In an email from Steve McPhail, he writes: Judi and I were visiting Big Sky country with our kids and had the opportunity to ski with Dick and Sherri Fast. We are spending a bit of our time outside of Vermont this year. After Montana, we will go to San Francisco to sit with our 15-year old granddaughter and then on to D.C., where I have been invited to speak at my grandson’s military history class. In April, we go to visit friends at Abaco Island in the Bahamas and in May we are renting a villa at Gaioli in Chianti. We will then return to Vermont to enjoy a beautiful summer.

55-YEAR USAFA REUNION: The Colorado contingent of our Class is already hard at work planning for our 55-year reunion. Chairman for this Class muster is Gary Hoffman. The reunion committee kicked off its first meeting in April.

MORE REUNION NEWS: The Reese AFB Class of 70-01’s 53-Year reunion is scheduled from 27-30 October 2022 at the St. Pete Beach, Florida Hilton Garden Inn. POCs for the event are Charlie Holland and me.

"Dick Ewers: “Any Landing You Can Walk Away From . . ."

In Steve McPhail’s email, he mentioned that Dick Ewers and Bill Brockett were in an aircraft accident in March. To get the “real skinny” I asked Dick to provide some details. Dick writes: “ I am very embarrassed about this whole thing. I am just hoping the whole world forgets all about it. We survived without a scratch, accomplishing a "dead stick", gear up, landing in the scrub desert just east of General William J. Fox Airfield, Lancaster, California. My pride and joy, a 1974 Cessna T210L, however was destroyed. This Cessna had been mine for 11 years. I had put over 1300 hours on it flying all over the country.  In 2021 alone, I flew to the east coast and back three times.  
As I turned through a 360 degree right hand overhead pattern everything turned to mud in a hurry. From abeam to final prior to the landing we first suffered a failure of the gear to come down which really got my attention since it had just checked successful twice. That was followed immediately by an engine failure We were rapidly descending below 300' AGL with a road, high tension power lines and a barbed wire fence to negotiate. I decided to go under the power lines and then hop over the 8' tall barbed wire fence before we settled into the dirt. The aircraft did miss the road and the wires, but we did not totally clear the fence. Neither Bill or I needed assistance in opening our doors and stepping out into the sunshine.” (Scribe Note: And, that is how a real pilot does it!)

"Wing Open Fans. L-R: Gary Vasek, Carl Janssen, and Mark Torreano"

I asked Carl Janssen to send some news about the 2022 Wing Open. Carl writes, “We got to watch C1C Maddie Lloyd win her fourth Wing Open Championship. Frank Moore and I had watched her box against Army. She took two standing eight counts in the first round against great pressure from Army's boxer. She came back in the second and third rounds to win on a decision. I met her mother at the Wing Open, pointed out our four-time champion, Gary Vasek, and told her that if I ever went back to war, I want her daughter, Maddie, in the foxhole with me. Our female cadets continue to do an outstanding job at our Academy.”

After missing gatherings due to the pandemic, Carl Janssen hosted, and Garry Dudley assisted, in throwing a ’68 Dark Ages party on 2 April. Those attending included: Barney & Sandy Mills; Ben & Karrel Stevens; Bill & Katie Wood; Carl & Debbie Janssen; Chuck & Joy Jones; Craig & Wendi Baer; Dale & Vera Oderman; Dave & Jeanne Allen; Dee & Doug Wilson; Don & Barbara Caughlin; Garry & Tina Dudley; Geo & Heidi Roberts; Steve & Connie Staley; and Jim Carr.

From October 2021 through March 2022 we lost eight classmates: Lee D. Kelley on 7 October; Vangel L. Perroy on 11 October in Fredericksburg, VA; Joseph “Jay” W. Barnes on 20 October in Pittsburgh, PA; Alan D. Dillman on 24 November in Morrill, NE; Gerald “Jerry” F. Wyngaard on 17 February in Amelia, VA; William A. Gauntt on 24 February in Lookout Mountain, TN; Dale V. Franz on 5 March in Port Orange, FL; and Roger A. Sindle on 19 March in Hendersonville, TN. Please remember their families and them in your prayers

THAT'S A WRAP: : Mind the flak; keep ‘em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Ciao for now. Tim

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