What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postings about organizing, and reporting on, informal gatherings of UCAP listeners.
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mvbluegrassflyer
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What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postby mvbluegrassflyer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:44 pm

Early this January I found myself flying down to the Sebring Light Sport Expo to perform as a member of the Flying Musicians Association at the behest to Gary Filip, and wife Jana who produce the event.

This time, rather than last year, I decided to “represent” in uniform as I serve as a member of the US Coast Guard in a division that few people know about, no less people in aviation: the Coast Guard Auxiliary Aviation Division, knows as AuxAIR. As a GA pilot and qualified Air Crew, member, which allows me to serve on missions including Search and Rescue, Ports Observation, Waterways and Coastal Security, Marine Safety, Pollution Response, Aids to Navigation, and Ice Reconnaissance. As a certified “Observer” the position requires me to do all but fly the airplane: that is look for, document and report issues, and communicate with Coast Guard stations along route.

So this year I wore two hats: as a Flying Musician, and an AuxAIR member. I was proud to find myself describing the two organizations many times throughout the event, and look forward to a time when both are represented adequately to the public. Both are in need of some PR help, that’s for sure.

A side note surprise that weekend was to find “Dakota” Fred Hurt, from the TV show Gold Rush, standing alone during the opening ceremony. Being a fan of the show I introduced myself and found Fred a welcome companion throughout the event. A big SHOUT OUT to Fred: “Hi Fred! Hope my introductions did you some good!” He’s looking to integrate aviation into the shows future- which is a good thing for us all, but wondered just why the Hoffmans, who own an airport themselves, aren’t doing the same... or are they? We’ll just have to see.

As the weekend progressed I spent most my time performing at various Flying Musicians featured functions. I’ve been a musician all my life and played with duo’s, bluegrass groups, rock and blues bands, playing keyboards and guitar, but most of the time I sing and play drums, but at Sebring I brought my guitar. Shout out to John Zapp, who runs the Flying Musicians Association, for working so hard to fulfill our commitments at the event.

At one point I meandered over to watch Dave Shallbetter do his thing, as he brought Sun ‘n Fun Radio with him on behalf of the Sebring Light Sport event. It was fun watching his team work around internet issues and made magic. And, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself asked to be part of an interview. Clearly Dave Shallbetter and I are “Twin Brothers From Different Mothers”! When it comes to the chime and banter of conversation, it sure felt like we had a lot of fun, and he’s since asked me to join him at Sun ‘n Fun with his team: Oh Yeah, I’ll be coming early and staying late again this year... seems to be some of the best times.

Later in the day I’m hanging out in the Aeroshell Tent, where the Flying Musicians stage was, and talking with some folks and having lunch, when I saw an old friend Turbo Ed- who I recognized from the LSA Expo last year, and his many contributions to Uncontrolled Airspace, my favorite aviation podcast. So I brought my sandwich over to sit with Turbo when who should I see but Jack Hodgson sitting right next to him! Earlier Jack and I had touched base with an invitation to the “UCAP Meet Up” for lunch the next day, but was pleased to find him there relaxed and enjoying the scene.

The next day’s meetup at the Sebring Airports wonderful restaurant was made more interesting with the addition of Jeb Burnside. Although Dave Higdon could not make the event, in his place was an often attending 4th member of the UCAP team James Wynbrandt, with whom I serenaded the UCAP legions who made the 2012 AirVenture Beer Bash this past summer performing James’s homage to OSH “Rock Your Wings”. We were joined by several other listeners of the podcast, and a pleasant mix-mosh of cross discussions and an hour later, I was off to perform for lunch at the Aeroshell tent.

Later Jack stopped by the tent and invited me to visit the UCAP crew for an interview in the podcast and talk about some of my activities in aviation. Flattered, thrilled, and anxious, I could hardly wait till 11:00 the next day. What was I going to talk about? How would I sound? Geez, hope I don’t come off as a complete idiot! I joked about what I envisioned would happen and had an enjoyable dinner with friends at The Sunset Grill, where the float plane contingent for the Light Sport Expo congregated. I got to taxi around in a Buccaneer 20 years ago, and float planes are passion of mine... a great time was had by all.

Sunday morning was a whirlwind experience. No sooner did we step foot in the tent than a friend from Sky Arrow, the Italian light sport fighter manufacturer came for my demo. Far too short a ride, I’m now convinced the Sky Arrow, with it’s narrow tandem fighter-jet like seating arrangement, is in my future, but there I was, much too promptly back in the tent again, performing and waiting for Flying Musicians Director John Zapp to return from an engagement so I could make my next meeting, with the UCAP gang.

John returned as planned and I scurried over to the relocated media tent, now with ample web bandwidth, and none of the events previous internet complications- both front and back office media staff were visibly enjoying themselves, as I met with Jim Wynbrandt and convinced him to play “Rock Your Wings” as a live duo with me, if given the chance... and we were. But not before the familiar humor and banter of Jack and Jeb was heard in a most unique fashion for this long-time listener: Live and in person right in front of me.

Dave Shallbetter was wrapping up a Sun ‘n Fun interstitial, when Jack waved us to the table, he and Jeb to starboard, Jim Wynbrandt and... me. 3...2....1... We’re Live! I’ll leave you to listen to the content, as the important thing here is the view from where I was sitting: past Jack to his left was the “engineering tent”, with all sorts of towers, laptops, miles and miles of wires, and an extra large monitor with a dozen screens on it, some video, the rest audio engineering porn.

Unusual I’m told, was a number of video cameras facing the hosts table- haven’t seen any video of the sessions, but sure they’re entertaining, as you could see Jebs expressions whenever he disagreed to something, or found it humorous. Jack is more stoic, but seems to have a smile at the ready, and responds encouragingly to ones statements, professionally acute to stoking the conversation.

It’s somewhat distracting as the crowds who meander by. I’m certain there have been larger ones, with hecklers amidst them, but not today. Seemed all watching were there for the entertainment and we did not disappoint.

What’s worth noting, is if you’re sidelined on another conversation, but find something to contribute, all one needs do is raise your microphone to your mouth, which triggers Jack to acknowledge that you’ve got something you wish to contribute. With proper timing you’re invited to chime in, and so integrated into a larger discussion. I’ve always enjoyed this “open seating” approach to interviews, inviting and engaging others among the group who may not be point on the subject, to freely add if found valuable. Well, mine may not have been of much value, but I’m prone to find humor in just about everything...

A confession, I lied about something. Being friends with the show producers made me pause and alter an answer after Jeb asked me about attendance at the show. Being there last year gave me a position to compare, but when asked I said “there appeared to be more feet on the ground”, which was true, if you count all the seagulls and peoples pets. But otherwise I did my best to be frank.

Supporting James Wynbrandt with “Rock Your Wings” live was a hoot, only because we had no stands for the microphones, a table in front of us, tent wall behind, and a pvc framed poster whacking me in the head with each flutter of wind! So I sat, microphone leaning off end of table, while James stood with Jeb holding his microphone. Without practice, James set out at good tempo. I’d brought a copy of the words, which caused us to laugh at each other, as his memory of some verses were different from what I’d transcribed, but all it did was make us smile, and I’m sure that came out over the music.

All in all it was a fantastic experience. Sorry Dave Higdon couldn’t make it, but I had a chance to talk about subjects I’m studying well and hold dear, and if given the opportunity, would be more than pleased to contribute what I can, next time.
Howard (Howie) Bruce Marlin AKA: Max Gross
Flying Musicians Association
USCG AUXAir D1NR
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Scofreyjet
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Re: What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postby Scofreyjet » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:07 pm

Thanks for the write-up Howie - that was worth waiting for (through all of the login problems...)
Jeff Ward
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turbo
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Re: What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postby turbo » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:05 pm

greetings howie. nice seeing you at sebring. any plans for snf? come on down.
summers s. windsor, ct/ winters stuart, fl RV-6/ R-44 / Gyroplane "The government is a body of people notably ungoverned." Image

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mvbluegrassflyer
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Re: What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postby mvbluegrassflyer » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:22 pm

Yo Ed! Yep, going to help Shallbetter with SnF Radio, work on my documentary and pray for no tornadoes! You bringing an egg beater?
Howard (Howie) Bruce Marlin AKA: Max Gross
Flying Musicians Association
USCG AUXAir D1NR
AOPA ASN for 1B2
Avitaionisland.info
Martha's Vineyard Community Services- DA24 Program Leader and Crisis Team member
508-687-0068

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turbo
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Re: What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postby turbo » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:12 am

yep, the expensive one and the rv one. commuting is fun. we will see you there.

just got home from utah skiing. nice to be still in one piece. :lol:

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summers s. windsor, ct/ winters stuart, fl RV-6/ R-44 / Gyroplane "The government is a body of people notably ungoverned." Image

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jackhodgson
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Re: What its like to be on the UCAP program

Postby jackhodgson » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:18 am

Howie,

It was great having you on the podcast that day. (Sorry for being so slow to reply. It's been a crazy winter.)

Sorry about the pvc pipe hitting your head thing. I should have noticed, and fixed, that.

My "stoic" expression is possibly the result of my co-hosts being such pains in the butt [joke!], but more likely it was because when recording I'm always listening to the conversation, but also thinking ahead to what we're gonna talk about next, or what segue I want to make, or how I can get a fresh beer without pausing the recording. It may not look it, but recording these podcasts are some of my happiest times.

And I thought you and James' performance was just terrific. I noticed nothing amiss.

Thanks.

Jack


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