• Skipper Candidate For The Beech Heritage Museum

    Just a brief update on the second candidate for display in the Beech Heritage Museum.Most of you are aware that a special event was recently held at the Beech Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, TN (the location of the annual Beech Day event). The Museum, with the leadership of member and strong contributor Harold Bost, voted to include the Beech Aerocenter Aircraft in the Bonanza-Baron segment of the BHM (other segments include the Staggerwing and Beech 18 groups). The special event was held to welcome the Baby Beeches to the Museum. It also included a welcome for the first donation, an A23 Musketeer, received from BAC member Robert A, Clark in Miami, TX. The Musketeer will require very extensive repair, to be placed on display. Harold Bost is investigating the possibility of it becoming a project for a local aviation training school, or technical college; probably for a year or more.<br />
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    Since then, another new BAC member, Derek Povah, had an unfortunate hail event involving his new-to-him Skipper. To make a long story short, the insurance company totaled the plane. Derek and Harold worked together with the insurance company. A deal was struck in which Harold tendered a salvage offer, which the insurance company accepted, in order to obtain the plane for display in BHM.<br />
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    While much more went on than this note reports, the short story is that the Skipper has been successfully ferried to Laurens County Airport/KLUX. The mechanicals on it are quite good; and it has like-new windows and windshield. It is currently tied down outside, until we can get room to move it into our maintenance hangar. We will then commence the inside and outside cosmetic repairs. It will take a good bit of labor to remove all of the interior furnishings and plastics, carry out the refurbishment and any needed plastic painting, and then reinstall everything with decent hardware (mostly new fasteners).<br />
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    The outside has what I consider light hail damage, along with a few dings that will need fixing. The outside will require more labor than the inside, to get it into a condition to be painted. Harold hopes to work out a deal with a paint shop somewhere, where we would fly the plane for paint, as we cannot do painting at KLUX (terms of the lease). The main gear tires are like new. The wheels and brakes will need refurbishment for display, and we'll need to install a good used nose tire (which I may already have).<br />
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    I had received several volunteer offers for the Musketeer work, which was (and still is) located in Tullahoma. The Skipper work will be going on at KLUX. Those who can still help, please let me know of your interest and possible time windows.<br />
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    While it isn't up to me, I am hoping to see the BAC Board authorize, and set up, an independent donation mechanism that would be tax-exempt, for the BHM restorations. That would enable any interested members to help with the project, even though they may not be able to assist hands-on. This activity with the BHM is the only chance our wonderful airplanes will ever have, to live on in posterity. I will personally be doing whatever I can to help that happen. We will have some methodology to recognize all those who have helped, physically or financially, at some point. I will be starting a volunteer log at the hangar, to keep track of everyone’s efforts who come by to help.<br />
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    I would also like to encourage everyone to be aware of the possible benefits to a tax-deductible donation to the BHM, when the time comes to divest your airplane, or that of someone you know or hear about. You never know when it will prove more advantageous to make a tax-deductible donation, rather than trying to sell the plane, based on your circumstances at the time. Donations and salvage are sure to be our most likely avenues for obtaining additional models for display, as opposed to trying to buy examples on the open market (relatively expensive). We hope to eventually see an example of each model of our planes, including a Duchess twin.<br />
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