September 2020

Nick Hellewell has died in a plane crash

A new member of our chapter, Nick Hellewell had recently gotten his pilots license and purchased a Piper Pacer. He was in poor weather conditions in the Shenandoah Mountains when he crashed. The NTSB report has details on the flight and Kathryn’s Report has more details.

YouTube Recommendations

The History Guy has “short snippets of forgotten history that need to be remembered” on his channel. He has 50 videos about aviation that I found fascinating. All of them are worth watching but I was especially intrigued by the Journey of the Pacific Clipper at the start of WWII and Eddie Rickenbacker’s Raft. If you haven’t read it, his autobiography Fighting the Flying Circus is an interesting perspective on aerial combat in WWI. You can get it for Kindle for just $2.99.

Public Service Announcement—Get Your Vaccines

Pneumonia and Covid Rates

In addition to COVID-19, it’s flu season again. They are two different diseases so getting a flu shot won’t do anything to prevent COVID. But if you have the flu your immune system is weakened so you are more susceptible to other diseases. And since most of us are older, that means pneumonia as well. Seniors can get a “Super Flu” shot and there is a two dose series for pneumonia. Your premiums already cover most immunizations, so the shots won’t cost anything. Von’s and CVS will give you coupons for a discount on your next purchase, so you come out ahead on the deal.

While you are thinking about it, you should check on the last time you had your Tdap shot (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). You need a booster every 10 years. If you are around babies you should definitely make sure you are up to date since they are susceptible to whooping cough until they’ve had all their shots at 18 months or so. If you cut yourself as much as I do when working on planes, the tetanus part is a necessity.

Finally, there is a new vaccine for shingles, Shingrix, that you should get even if you’ve had an older vaccine. Shingles is a horrible 10 days of pain if you get the normal version. For many people (like my wife), it lasts months and reoccurs on a regular basis for years. If you are 60 years or older you should get the vaccine. Many insurance plans cover it or have a small out-of-pocket expense.

Fire Season Hit Close to Home

The South Hills—just off Rwy 29—caught fire on Labor Day Sunday and we got to watch the tankers and helicopter put it out.

South Hills Fire