Cutter Aviation in Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted this year’s gathering of the Twin Commander Flight Group (TCFG), and did a marvelous job. Six Twin Commanders were flown in for the meeting, and 30 attendees were present to hear speakers and participate in the ever-popular maintenance forum.
In addition to the Commanders present, Sanborn Map Company, headquartered in Colorado Springs, had four of their Commanders on Cutter’s ramp, with others out working on fire contracts. Twin Commander’s Brian Harbaugh was on hand to represent the factory, along with other speakers. It was particularly interesting hearing the story of how a long-time member from Australia finally obtained a Commander project, and the differences in Australia’s aviation regulations and inspections compared to the FAA.
There was a good deal of discussion about hydraulic failures and emergency procedures in the air and on the ground in case of a full or partial hydraulic failure.
The meetings were held in Cutter’s hangar with the Commanders parked just outside, and the awards dinner and auction took place at the Patty Jewett golf course. Patty Jewett has been open for play continuously since 1898, making it one of the oldest courses in the United States. This year’s auction raised $1600.00, with the proceeds going to the Francis Tuttle Technology Center to help defray the costs of the restoration of the prototype Commander (the Blue Goose) after many years of neglect.
In addition to the speakers, attendees were treated to a tour of the National Museum of World War II Aviation, where some amazing restoration work is ongoing. All of the work performed on these beautiful warbirds is done using only tools and materials that would have been available during W.W.II. This ensures the finest quality craftsmanship, and has produced the most authentic restorations found anywhere. A dinner was enjoyed under the wing of a KC-97 aerial tanker at the Airplane Restaurant. What a great time of food and fellowship in a truly unique setting.
The group also made the drive to the top of Pikes Peak. The switchback, twisting road culminated at the summit some 14,110 feet above sea level! The views were spectacular and not to be missed. The weather was perfect every day, and a great time was had by all.
Jim Metzger is Director of the Twin Commander Flight Group.