Dear Pilots, 

Well, how did your morning end? Mine? Not so well. 


I was on left downwind for runway six left at KRYN, after having performed a requested left 360 to allow traffic to clear. I received the transmission - N966EZ cleared to land on runway six left, following a Cessna on final. I had not yet turned left base when I looked up and saw the underbelly of a Piper crossing at right angles, apparently on base, only feet above me and then heard the disastrous impact. His left main had struck my left winglet. A few feet lower and he would have taken out my engine with his left main and taken off my head with his right main.

The pilot in the Piper immediately declared an emergency, and was given clearance to land on any runway. I followed by declaring an emergency, and was given the same instructions. I replied landing on six left. The pilot of the Piper replied I am already lined up for six left (after all, he was already on base). I volunteered to take six right. Oddly enough, I don't think that my heart rate ever jumped or that my adrenalin level ever changed. At that point I did not know that I had no rudder authority and had left winglet drag. My left winglet had been severely damaged. My left rudder had departed, and, unbeknownst to me at the time, my left brake had been set.


My gosh. What a great little plane to fly. I maneuvered with the ailerons into a left base and then into final. The approach was standard LongEZ, but the touchdown was not. With the left brake set, the plane jerked into a left ground loop. Somehow, I was able to break the ground loop and keep the aircraft on the runway and depart onto a taxiway. I taxied back to the hangar without a problem.

The rest of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon was filled with conversations with FISDO, the FAA, the Tucson Airport Authority Police and a visit to the Tower. I was told by the Tucson Authority Police that the pilot of the Piper claimed that he had been cleared to land. The tower assured me that he had not been cleared to land until after he had declared an emergency. It will be interesting how this works out. I now have to write up a description of the morning from the time I departed from San Carlos Apache until I landed at Ryan Field. I have an appointment Wed. morning to meet with the NTSB inspector to evaluate the damage.

I no longer have the tools or equipment to rebuild my winglet, so my flying days may be over. I am attaching photos of the damage.

Blue Skies,


April’s APA Happy Hour at Harold’s!

by Mary James & Susan Wearly


Our Spring Social at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek on Thursday, April 28th was loaded with fun, food, and lots of stories! We hosted sixty-eight pilots, spouses, aviation enthusiasts, and honored military people. Guests came from all over the Valley and even from Tucson. It was wonderful to see old friends chatting and new friendships forming. Tables were set with red, white, and blue flowers, toy and wind-up airplanes, flags, and more. APA President, Tommy Thomason, welcomed everyone and helped announce the winners of the Question Board Raffle. Two questions were posed and Question #1 had 6 correct answers. Tommy drew from these 6 and congratulations went out to Tim Greer for correctly answering the question of who founded the Arizona Air National Guard – Barry Goldwater. Tim and his wife Lynell took home a liter and a half of Maker’s Mark Bourbon as their prize. Question #2 had 3 correct answers and kudos to Robin Gerblick for her winning answer to the question of who owns the Gray Ghost – Tommy Thomason. Robin and her husband Jim walked away with a fifth of Glenfiddich Scotch. Way to go, Tim and Robin! The party went on well past our 7 pm ending time! It was a great way to welcome in the Double Circle Ranch Fly-In scheduled for April 29-30.

Organizers Susan Wearly and Mary James wish to thank Tommy and all of the APA staff for allowing them to run with their party planning and for helping. $140 was raised toward our Scholarship Program. We had a great showing of just how impressive the APA is as a volunteer organization.

Watch for news of a Fall social later this summer – this could be habit forming!!


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