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Whidbey Island Navy Flying Club Receives a New "Taildragger"

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070909-04
Release Date: 9/9/2007 7:51:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tucker M. Yates, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Det. Northwest

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- The Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island Navy Flying Club received a new American Champion 7ECA Citabria “taildragger” aircraft Aug. 29.

The aircraft was received from Kalispell, Mont., and is the newest addition to the training aides in the Bob Fraser School of Flight. It is capable of performing aerobatics, although that is not authorized at the Flying Club. The plane is expected to be used for spin training and general “taildragger” flight training, which the club hasn’t been able to offer since December 2005.

“I think it will be a fun plane to fly which will allow some good training as well as tailwheel endorsements,” said Aerographer’s Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Seth Parsons, Flying Club maintenance officer. “It also has appeal for people who want to try some bush plane flying like they do in Alaska and we’re close enough to draw that type of person.”

The Flying Club is a nonprofit organization that allows active-duty, reserve and retired military personnel along with government employees and contractors and their dependents to become members. The club’s mission is to provide its members with safe and affordable flight training.

“This facility is based on providing the most convenient and flexible scheduling possible for service members,” said retired Capt. Bob Frasier, chief flight instructor at the school and Flying Club Board of Directors president. “Individuals taking the courses establish their own schedules due to the tremendous amount of demands on their time. This why we’re successful.”

Since the club is a non-appropriated fund activity, they had to heavily rely on members for contributions to buy the aircraft from a private individual outside of Kalispell, Mont. The members contributed $12,500 to purchase the plane.

“I think the aircraft brings club members back the versatility, challenge and excitement of flying,” said Frasier. “It allows you to get away from the complexities of the aviation business, so you can just go out and have a good time flying.”

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