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PFA News & Info (6)

Navigating PiperFlyer.org

Steady improvements are rewarding PFA website and forum users with a great membership experience.

April 2015-

This PFA website column is published in order to alert you to recent changes in and improvements to our member website. This month I’ll be focusing on the forum.
Members who already use the PFA forum know that I really enjoy posing questions and responding to others. I am a 47-year pilot that’s owned five Pipers in the last 35 years, and as a 30-year association professional, I’ve been using online forums since 1986.

So it should not come as a surprise that my favorite place to be—other than the left seat of my airplane—is on the member forum at PiperFlyer.org.

I estimate that forum participation has tripled over the last couple of years. The website software has steadily improved in performance, stability, capability and content, and it now rewards our website and forum users with a great membership experience. Members have responded with an increased level of participation and satisfaction.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, the forum—which is included with your membership—is an online discussion medium that allows pilots and owners to ask questions, communicate with other members, staff and vendors, and share information related to Piper airplanes, Piper Flyer Association and the industry. You can access the PFA boards by clicking on the Forum tab at PiperFlyer.org.
Here’s a list of the topics recently discussed and trending:

“Aircraft Tugs”
A discussion on various tugs members are using to move their Pipers. If you have experience with tug ownership and have recommendations, join the discussion.

“PreBuy Inspection”
Besides a house, an airplane can be your most expensive possession. A pre-purchase inspection is hugely important. As a Piper owner, your experiences with pre-buys really matter; share them with other members.

“New App ‘Airport Courtesy Cars’”
This new, free app for Piper Flyers lists over 1,000 airport locations with crew and courtesy cars. The thread is the most-read topic in the history of the PFA forum with over 7,700 views; members are reading and participating often. Check it out!

“Gas and Hangar Prices”
For obvious reasons, this is the second-most active topic on the forum. Members from all over the country are voicing how much they pay for hangars and gas, turning this discussion into a mini-survey. Get online and share your hangar and gas price experiences.

“ADS-B: Has anyone installed equipment yet?”
Initially this topic didn’t get much response, but as the months go by, more and more Piper Flyers are installing ADS-B equipment. Radio shops are saying that you shouldn’t wait until 2019, and I’m hearing that equipment shortages and installation delays may get you grounded if you wait too long. Log in to find out what PFA members are installing and how much it’s costing.

“Best Fire Extinguisher for PA-38-181?”
Aircraft Spruce, Chief Aircraft, Sporty’s, Wag-Aero, SkyGeek and others have aircraft fire extinguishers for sale. Check out this topic and share what you’re using in your Piper.

“PA-28/O-360 Baffle Set for Sale”
Members are buying and selling avionics, aircraft and parts on PFA forum. If you are seeking a reliable buyer or seller, here’s the place. I can personally attest to the quality of PFA members when it came to upgrading my airplane panel and selling my older avionics through the forum.

“Recently joined member introducing himself”
What better way to get involved with PFA and interact with members, vendors and staff than by introducing yourself?

“Rough engine running in winter 1967 Arrow I”
Do you have your own nagging maintenance issue with your Piper? Get quick responses from your fellow PFA members and Piper Flyer contributing editors through the forum. We’re all here to help each other improve our Piper ownership experience.

“New PFA member and Saratoga owner”
Two new members introduced themselves on this topic. One sold his Commander 114 and another sold his Cirrus SR22, and both bought Piper Saratogas! Congrats to both of you and welcome to our association.

“For Sale: Garmin 530W, 340 Audio, Narco AT-165 transponder”
I’m proud to report that PFA members purchased my older center stack. All of the equipment was sold in record time, just a couple of weeks!

“Speed Brakes”
One member is contemplating installing speed brakes to his Piper Arrow III. He’s tired of the shock cooling that comes along with the ATC slam-dunk descents that we all experience from time to time. If you have speed brakes on your plane, it would be helpful to hear of your experiences on the forum.

“Removal of Rear Passenger Seats
in 1979 PA-28”
A member wants to know of any issues or problems removing the rear seats from his PA-28. Piper Flyer contributing editor and mechanical guru Steve Ells chimed in with his advice.

The PFA website is a content-rich dynamic source of information available for every member. Access it at PiperFlyer.org. It comes with your membership and it’s a major benefit to you!
If you would like to make website recommendations to correct errors, update content or improve functionality, click on “Contact Us” under the About/Contact menu, or email .

Piper Flyer Association member Scott Sherer is a multi-engine and instrument rated private pilot. He’s logged 2,600 hours and is the owner of a 1977 PA-34-200T based at Burlington Municipal (KBUU) in Burlington, Wis. Sherer anxiously awaits the day when N344TB finally gets new paint. Send questions or comments to .


Navigating PiperFlyer.org

PFA member Scott Sherer reports on what’s new and of interest to Piper Flyers this month.

February 2015-

We recently upgraded our PFA website’s software. If you visit PiperFlyer.org and experience any trouble viewing the site, please clear your browser cache and refresh your page. (For instructions on how to clear the cache, visit WikiHow.com and search for “clear browser cache” or visit clearyourcache.com. —Ed.) If you are still having trouble or note any problems with the site, please get in touch with us.

Piper Yellow Pages
PFA’s brand-new online database has 90 listings in 28 separate categories, and we invite you to check it out, play with it and make recommendations. When you have direct experience with a product or service, rate it! This way other members will know when you’re a satisfied customer. If you have an update to submit to the Yellow Pages, send it to .

The forum is an online discussion medium for members to ask questions and communicate with other members, staff and vendors. Use the forum to share information related to Piper airplanes, Piper Flyer Association and industry news.

Here’s a listing of the topics recently discussed:

“Gas and Hangar Prices”
With the recent dip in automobile fuel prices, are you experiencing a lower fuel bill at the airport? Let the rest of us know.

“Winter flying is here!”
Join your fellow flyers in describing the wonders as well as the not-so-wonderful realities about flying in the cold-weather months.

“ADS-B: Has anyone installed equipment yet?”
We’ve had over 500 views to this post alone. Take a look at the replies and offer your thoughts and experiences, too. We all benefit from this sort of knowledge sharing.

“For Sale: Garmin 530W, 340 Audio, Narco AT-165 Transponder”
A center stack upgrade means yellow-tagged equipment is available. Photos are online, too.

“Air Temperature probe”
Someone’s OAT was broken; someone else had a spare part. It’s that simple. Do you have extras, or are you looking for extras of any kind for your airplane? Consider this post the inspiration for you to post your own request.

“Replacement Fuel Caps”
As with so many of the forum topics, you’ll find great tips and information here, too.

“Suggestions for removing/installing new carpet?”
Have experience in re-carpeting a Saratoga or similar aircraft? Share your do’s and don’ts with a new PFA member and you’ll be giving us all some good insight on this winter project.

“New Member to Piper Flyer”
If you have experience maintaining or upgrading a mid-1960’s Cherokee 180, take a look at this post. One of our newest members is looking for advice and tips—let’s give him a friendly welcome and help him out using our incredible network.

The PFA website is a content-rich dynamic source of information for our members. Access it at PiperFlyer.org. It comes with your membership and it’s a major benefit to you!

If you would like to make website recommendations to correct errors, update content or improve functionality, click on “Contact Us” under the Contact menu, or email .

Piper Flyer Association member Scott Sherer is a multi-engine and instrument rated private pilot who is active on the PFA forums. Send questions or comments to .

A Different Sort of Door Prize

A Different Sort of Door Prize

January 2015-

The raffle prizes given away at the Gathering at Waupaca are typically a tangible item, such as avionics and other aircraft products. But occasionally there is a different sort of prize in the mix. Last summer, Piper Flyer's contributing editor Charles Lloyd offered an aviation photography session with Charles Lloyd Photography. Longtime PFA members Pam and Rich Busboom were the winners. Here is a brief recap of their photo session.

The location was to be Lake Waltanna Airport (SN65) near Wichita; however, Rich easily convinced my wife Sara and I to stop by Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal (KFNL) for the photo shoot as we were passing through on our way to Jackson Hole.
Loveland is the Busbooms' local airport and the home of their very nice 1978 Archer II N3069C, Charles.
In my experience, the golden hours for aviation photography occur twice a day, if you're lucky: two hours after sunrise, or just before sunset. I suspect most people, when given a choice, would select evening. But here are some good reasons to launch just before dawn: the air is calmer at first light; aircraft traffic is minimal to nil (at most locations); and the traffic pattern at uncontrolled fields is usually yours.
The night before the scheduled shoot, I held a briefing with Pam and Rich where we discussed various flight patterns in order to place Charles in the best positions relative to the sun.
The following morning, Rich and I opened the hangar at 5:30 a.m. We started the preflight and camera setup in the dark. Pam and Rich launched at 6:00 a.m. to be on station at sunrise to prepare for flying multiple approaches over my position on the airfield.
On the first low-level pass, the soft light at sunrise showcases Charles against the rolling terrain just east of the Colorado Rockies Front Range. (See figure 01)

FIgure 1 Low Pass 2

Setting up the camera to shoot multiple photographs allows me to choose the best one.
No, figure 02 is not five Piper Archer IIs in formation. This composite photograph captures several locations as Rich—the pilot of Charles during this session (Pam is a pilot, too)—flies a go-around.
The airplane's relative speed is faster on the right side of the photo than it is from the center to the left side of the photograph, so the right side images are at a one-second interval, while the last two on the left side I selected every second image (a two-second interval) to prevent image overlap.

Figure 2 Composite 2

Figure 03 (below) shows the magic of horizontal sunlight just after sunrise as it shines through the cockpit windows and underneath the aircraft's wing. You can see Pam and Rich in the cockpit as they taxi in at the end of the flight. Try as I may to describe shooting at this sun angle, you really have to see these images to appreciate the look it gives to those visible in the cockpit and to the aircraft.

Figure 3 Landing
After the session is complete, the suspense begins as we explore the creative work in the digital darkroom. Typically, I'll have around 100 photographs to choose from. For post-processing, I use Adobe Lightroom. To create a composite photograph and perform other specialty work, I use Adobe Photoshop.
For me, photography has become a fascinating avenue to explore art using a camera. And writing for Piper Flyer has motivated me to delve deeper into this medium so that I can better support my articles.

Charles Lloyd has logged 10,000 hours since his first flying lesson in 1954. He worked for Cessna Aircraft for 16 years, and retired as captain for a major fractional aircraft ownership company. His personal aircraft is a great business tool for his real estate investment company. Send questions or comments to .

Charles Lloyd Photography


Navigating PiperFlyer.org

December 2014-

One of the great things about websites is they rarely stay frozen in time.
Because we want members to have the best and most timely resources available to them,
PiperFlyer.org is being updated regularly. PFA member Scott Sherer will be reporting
on what's new and of interest in this space every other month.

As we continually improve our online presence and resources for members, we'll be alerting you to the content, structure and functionality changes occurring on PiperFlyer.org.
I suggest you check out the website to get familiar with all of the web pages available to you with your Piper Flyer membership. The menu structure of the site has recently been updated, so take a look around PiperFlyer.org today.

You can do this by clicking
on the following areas:

Clicking on the button at the top left of the header menu or on the Piper Flyer Association logo will always take you back to the main page.

Contains Featured Articles, Article Archive and Digital Magazines. Several years of Piper Flyer back issues are available digitally, and individual articles from the past 10 years are added to the archive regularly.

This is the space where you can log in, check your membership expiration and renew your membership. You may also edit your profile or password and change your address or contact information. This section is also where you'll find our Parts Locator request form and members' Photo Galleries.

Knowledge Base
Our Piper knowledge base has all kinds of resources you can appreciate, like Latest Aviation News, Piper Aviation Alerts, a Piper model directory, videos and an annual inspection checklist, with more information added all the time.
Find Upcoming Events information and visit the Events Map to see all of the great activities both near and far.

Here is where you can see our mission statement, find out about us, get official company contact information, or take a look at our media kit.

Tell your friends we have two options for membership! Full Membership and Monthly Magazine Subscription, and Limited Free Online Account.

Piper Yellow Pages
This is PFA's brand-new online database. Check it out, play with it, make recommendations. If you have an update to submit, send it to .

The forum is an online discussion medium for members to ask questions and communicate with other members, staff and vendors. Use it to share information related to Piper airplanes, Piper Flyer Association and industry news.
Here's a listing of the topics
recently discussed:

"New Member to Piper Flyer"
This is the welcome mat. If you're new and looking for information, or have advice for newbies, this is the place to post.

"Gas and Hangar Prices"
Let us know what life is like around your local aerodrome.

"Combustion Heater Articles
in November Piper Flyer"
Use this space to comment about the recent heater articles and discuss your experience.

"1967 PA-32-300"
A member is looking for a particular Aircraft Flight Manual and Original Equipment List. Have a suggestion? If so, visit this topic and help your fellow member.

"Vags in the November Issue"
Were you glad to see the venerable Piper Vagabond receive some press in our pages? Add your two cents here.

"Oil Pressure, temperature
& fuel gauge replacement"
Without an STC for replacement of the cluster, your only hope is a Field Approval. This post offers some details and a photo.

"D Model Aztec ignition"
If you're an Aztec owner or have
experience with this airplane, log in
and participate.

"For Sale: Garmin 530W, 340 Audio, Narco AT-165 Transponder"
In the market? Have questions for the seller? Ask away.
The PFA website is a content-rich dynamic source of information available for every member. Access it at PiperFlyer.org. It comes with your membership and it's a major benefit to you!

If you would like to make website recommendations to correct errors, update content or improve functionality, click on "Contact Us" under the About/Contact menu, or email .

Piper Flyer Association member Scott Sherer is a multi-engine and instrument rated private pilot who is active on the PFA forums. Send questions or comments to .

Piper Flyer Association Timeline

Piper Flyer Association Timeline

June 2004 – The Cessna Flyer Association is launched. We set up shop in Jennifer Dellenbusch's basement at "The Ranch" in Iola, Wis. Sawhorses and 4x8-foot boards fill in for desks. Our first member, Sal Staiano, joins the association before we even produce our first magazine.

The ranch 1st day

July 2004 – We scramble to get the first issue of Cessna Flyer produced in time for Oshkosh. This includes meeting our printer's representative at the Planeview truck stop to pick up copies of the magazine the day before the show begins.

We take our place in the type club tent and begin handing out magazines that still smell of fresh ink. The type club tent's guardian sleeps in the tent every night to ensure the safety of everyone's booth (something he had done for years). It's a hot, sweaty show, but we meet many wonderful and helpful folks.

backup 045

2005 – Oshkosh, later named EAA AirVenture, becomes a regular yearly event for CFA, as does our pre-Oshkosh member event: The Gathering at Waupaca. We attend nearly every AOPA Expo (later AOPA Summit) and Sun 'n Fun fly-in, along with trips to Copperstate, Alaska Aviation Gathering, Aero Friedrichshafen and many regional events.

Jen I

2006 – We buy a hangar at the Waupaca Municipal Airport (KPCZ) and name it "The Blue Hangar" because it's, well, blue. Many fun events take place here in the years we own it, including the first GA flights (and hangar flying) for some of our junior staff. Membership continues to grow, as does interest in our Gathering at Waupaca.

blue hangar office

July 2007 – Carrying along our fond memories of Wisconsin, the association moves to California, although some staff remains in Wisconsin to this day. We end up in an office building that was a former Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) building and later find out that John Kounis, editor of Pilot Getaways magazine and an actual rocket scientist, had an office in the same building when he worked for JPL. In fact, he had the office next to ours. Aviation is really a small and interconnected world of its own.

view from pasadena office

February 2008 – Of course, being in California meant we needed to—really, we needed to—create our own wine label. And so we created a small batch of wine under the Blue Hangar label. Far from being the next Opus One (it's more like "Oops One") we find it's not very good. But the label is nifty and we had a lot of fun. Thankfully it was a small batch.

blue hangar wine h2

2009, 2010, 2011 –Events and our annual Gathering keep us busy throughout the years, but we're not complaining.

IMG 1710

January 2012 – Cessna Flyer contributing editor Daryl Murphy goes west after a short battle with leukemia. In the early days of CFA, Murphy graciously (and perhaps, sometimes, ungraciously) acted as a mentor for publisher Jennifer Dellenbusch. He authored the "Bumps & Circuits" column in this magazine, and was a talented aviation writer and illustrator with a prestigious career in aviation and the media.

April 2012 – We continue our outreach to members throughout the world and attend our first Aero Friedrichshafen event in 2012.

Jen and Kent

July 2014 – The association continues to grow, with many new members coming on board in 2014. CFA recently moved to a bigger office in Pasadena.

August 2014 and beyond – We've met a lot of great people over these past 10 years, some of whom have become friends. We look forward to meeting more of you in the coming years.

IMG 3163

Dues That Do You Good: The value of Piper Flyer membership

Dues That Do You Good: The value of Piper Flyer membership


March 2014- For those of us that are Piper Flyer Association (PFA) members, we get it. For the cost of several gallons of Avgas each year, we’re members of this great organization. The value proposition is obvious; we get more out of the organization than it costs.

For those pilots and Piper owners who aren’t members, the value isn’t so obvious. After all, PFA is not EAA, nor is it anything like AOPA. Rather, PFA is a type club. Collectively, we are members that have Piper airplanes.

That alone—being a Piper pilot and/or owner—makes us unique in the world of aviation. There are something on the order of 144,000 planes that Piper has built over the years and 52,000 currently registered.

Also, there are over 313 million people in the United States and over 7 billion people on Earth. This means that of those of us who are pilots and Piper owners, we comprise 1/100 of 1 percent of the population in the United States. Computed globally, the number is far smaller.

Let’s look at this from another direction. The universe is purported to be about 13.7 billion years old. Alas, I wasn’t here at the time of the Big Bang, despite what my wife says. The Earth has been here about 4.5 billion years and humanity has been hanging around for about 200,000 years. In all of that time, humans have been able to fly like the birds for just the last 100 years. We’ve able to fly safely in our Pipers for far less than that.

So here we are, special, unique and rare as we may be, wondering how we make the most of our passion for flying. We have AOPA as our governmental and regulatory watchdog. We have EAA to promote aviation to pilots, vendors and the non-flying public. And we have PFA to help us stay in the air safely and keep our sometimes-way-too-expensive airplanes flying for decades.

When there are so few of us positioned at random inside such a large population and geographic area, it takes this triad of organizations to keep us all together. To be a member of either the AOPA or EAA doesn’t do the job. The organization that assists us the most is PFA. Let me tell you why.

First, our monthly magazine is part of a dwindling population of magazines in our country. Before Google and Yahoo were here, magazines were a mainstay of information dissemination.

Advertisers used to pay many thousands of dollars per month, per advertising page, because the only alternative was direct mail. On a per-reader basis, magazines are far less costly to produce and mail than individual mailing pieces—even 20 years ago when magazines abounded and postage was a fraction of what it is today.

In today’s world, many advertisers would rather choose digital advertising using Google or Yahoo (or Facebook or Twitter), as they pay a few cents for each click on their ad.

The fact that PFA is able to attract and keep advertisers interested in a print magazine is a tribute to the outstanding job that the staff does. Vendors and members alike are put together in such a way that both can benefit. This is benefit number one, and worth a small fortune in dues. Fortunately, our association has the side benefit of keeping our dues very low while remaining very high in value.

Second, parts location service. Have you had difficulties finding a reasonably-priced part for your aging Piper? Perhaps price hasn’t had anything to do with your search; perhaps you haven’t been able to find a part at any price. You might consider giving PFA a call.

To give a good example, I’m restoring my 1977 Seneca II. It has a cracked glass lens on the ice light on the left engine nacelle, and Piper doesn’t have a part number for just the lens. The only solution seemed to be to buy a new ice light fixture—for $1,100.

That seems a bit pricey to me to replace a glass bulb cover. Solution? Kent called me up with the name of a local vendor that could replace the lens at one-tenth of the cost. I was out of town for a protracted time on business, and Kent phoned me—twice!— to make sure that I got what I needed.

This parts location service is worth the cost of membership all by itself. Don’t underestimate this service when you’re AOG.

Third, the PFA forum. It’s just like being a part of an EAA chapter. For those of you that aren’t familiar, EAA has more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.

I belong to EAA Chapter 838 in Racine, Wis. Every month I spend an evening with like-minded local EAA members. When I need a brain to pick, that’s where I go. When I need another pair of hands for a project, that’s where I go.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of Piper owners in my local EAA chapter. So what’s a Piper owner to do?

Use the PFA forum! Imagine being at a local chapter meeting—every day of the year—with a few thousand Piper owners all willing to share information and help each other.

The online forum is a proven piece of technology used worldwide to assist in keeping like-minded individuals together. Forums are decades older than other social media, and my ownexperience with forum software started in 1986 and used phone lines and modems to connect. Today we have high-speed connections and portable devices to keep us all together, anywhere and at any time.

I like to post questions to the Travel, Seneca and Avionics threads, as those are the forums that interest me. PiperFlyer.org’s forum has a category for each model of Piper out there along with many other categories for other specialized areas of interest.

If you have a suggestion for a new forum category just contact the PFA staff and let them know. Last month I made a request and the new forum topic was online the next day. Personally, I’m a very big proponent of forums and this is my favorite membership benefit.

Fourth, just belong. That’s it. Just belong. While you may not need anything from the association today or tomorrow, you might next month. You may trade in your old Piper for a newer model, or another model. You may have a question, or a need for others’ experience, or may be searching for a part. Perhaps you just want to know if the issue that you’re dealing with has been dealt with by another member in the past.

This is the insurance value of PFA. Just knowing they are there is worth much more than the dues that we pay every year. In order to have this organization ready and available when we need it has a cost. We need to provide Piper Flyer Association with a steady revenue stream—our membership dues—so that the staff can give us association service when we need it. The cost of annual dues is a small investment to ensure the future availability of the Piper Flyer Association.

Some months I belong because of the forum, but then two months ago I read a killer magazine article on adjusting Piper front doors that has resolved 20 years of frustration with my Seneca. Following the door adjustment instructions and investing a couple of hours of my time (and $10 dollars in parts) rewarded me with an airtight cockpit just in time for winter. While I would like to have had this article two decades ago, I’m grateful to have it now.

Next month, I may not need PFA on a daily basis, but I will still belong, secure in the knowledge that they’re there for me. And for you.

Help support our organization. Get your Piper friends to join and make the organization stronger. Use the forum; contribute your knowledge and experience and get the same in return. Use the discount program and/or utilize the parts location service. And read the magazine.

Greatness has found its way into the PFA and I’m very glad to be a very small part in it.

Scott Sherer is an instrument-rated private pilot with a multi-engine rating. He has 2,600 hours and owns a 1977 Piper Seneca II, N344TB. Sherer’s home airport is Burlington Municipal (KBUU) in Burlington, Wis. Send questions or comments to .

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