From the President June 2024

Newsletter JUNE 2024

As near as I can tell, it’s been 15 years since I’ve had the privilege of taking the helm as President of the Northeast Bonanza Group. There have been challenges but mostly great times with great people.

Volunteer organizations like this do better when new blood brings new ideas. The board of the American Bonanza Society is forced into constant turnover by their by-laws. The president is only there for 1 year with him being on the board prior and staying in an advisory role for a few years after.

Northeast Bonanza Group is in fine shape with money in the bank, a good web site and solid membership. Thanks to the team of:

  • Brian Seltzer, Treasurer
  • Aram Basmadjian, Secretary
  • Paul Stavides, Web hosting.

Our next election is in November in Reading. Hopefully someone else will be interested in taking the helm. I will still be around to support.


Newfoundland is one of the places I have enjoyed the most in my travels over the years. In a few weeks a group of us will be going there again. 4 couples are signed up and committed reservations. You can still go, contact me if you are interested.

We plan to fly into Deer Lake airport (CYDF), spend 3 nights in Twillingate and 3 nights at Gros Morne National Park. Twillingate is the iceberg capital of the world, and a boat trip is already booked for the 8 of us. This is iceberg season. We are also booked at a dinner theater comedy event.


May 30 to June 2, Michael Madigan, my wife and I spent a lovely weekend in Chatham on Cape Cod. Beautiful beaches, and a great little town with fabulous seafood restaurants were enjoyed. We went to the shark museum and found out that Chatham is the Great White Shark capital of the world. The good news is that real sharks are not as big as the one in the movie Jaws.

Michael Madigan asked about ocean swimming. The shark expert at the museum said, if seals are around, get out of the water. Sharks eat seals.

We also learned that sharks are snowbirds. They stay south until the water warms up.

We also took a nice boat ride out to the deserted Monomoy islands to see the seals and we visited the Marconi Museum, which was very worthwhile. There are several nice beaches worth visiting.


On May 11, Michael Shehl and I visited the great little EAA museum on the field and had lunch in the restaurant in the terminal building. The museum has a great collection of flying airplanes, and the members spent a lot of time showing us around and discussing the various aircraft. I picked up Michael at Poughkeepsie; his airplane is in the process of having the engine replaced.


On May 11, with very nice weather, I flew from my home base at Pottstown, PA to Quakertown to fly Young Eagles; then to Poughkeepsie, NY to Westfield, CT to Poughkeepsie and home. Great weather.

I run 3 GPS systems, a Pro Max Iphone on the yoke, an Aera 660 hard mounted, and my trusty Garmin 530W, installed 18 years ago. I also keep an Ipad in my flight bag. I have power cords for both the Iphone & Ipad. My airplane has a backup generator. What can go wrong?

The first indication was my Iphone, which lost position at my first stop in Poughkeepsie. By the time I got to Westfield, the Iphone was back but Aera lost position. By the time I was on my last leg I lost all 3 GPS position sources including the Garmin 530W. I learned that when the magenta line goes away on the G5s, the GFC500 autopilot reverts from NAV mode to ROLL mode. Interesting.

Because this was happening across several states, I ruled out a ground-based problem, so I knew the problem was in my airplane. I had installed nothing recently. I decided to look out the window and find my way and land.

Apparently, avionics shops know of this problem where old Garmin 530W antennas have a failure mode where they turn into GPS jammers. I didn’t. It is an active antenna. Check the weather seal around the antenna (mine was deteriorated). Ask your local avionics guy about the antennas prior to a certain serial number that do this.

Mike McNamara