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


Newsletter March, 2024


We have been working hard to flush out the details of our events schedule; it will be a busy year for those of us going on these adventures.

April 20 – we are still tentatively planning on lunch at Montauk, NY (KMTP) but the landing fee is $40 (more for Baron’s). Within a short walk is Inlet seafood, a great restaurant in a dramatic setting with ocean beaches and hiking trails adjacent. Land at 11AM, walk down to the area at 11:30, restaurant actually opens at 12noon.

May 11 (changed from May 18) – Westfield, MA (KBAF) for lunch and a visit to the museum afterwards. Mike Shehl is organizing I have Young Eagles that morning (I do it monthly) so depending on things, I’ll be late or on time or not at all. The museum has a great collection of old interesting aircraft.

May 30 to June 2 – Chatham, MA (KCQX). Great town on Cape Cod with nearby attractions including beaches, Wildlife Refuge, lighthouses, museums and a great little town with shops and restaurants. I am staying at the Chatham Wayside Inn downtown. There are numerous accommodations of all types. Since it is a little early season, there should be some availability. I reserved a rental car through National to be dropped off at the FBO.

June 6 to 9 – Formation flying at Barnes (KBAF), Paul Stavrides organizing.

June 23 to 29 – Twillingate. Being organized by Michael Madigan, Brent Hippert and I. There have been some changes to the itinerary, but the following is cast in stone:

— June 22 – Ginny & I will fly to Maine somewhere & stay overnight, TBD

–June 23 – Arrive in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, CYDF. They do have fuel. Leave the airplane
there all week. Stay overnight, I booked Madigan and myself in the nearby Holiday Inn Express. Michael Madigan & I will share a rental car, which I booked.

–June 24 – Drive 4+ hours to Twillingate. Twillingate, located on Iceberg Alley, is Newfoundland and Labrador’s ultimate outport experience and adventure. An ocean playground with icebergs, whales, rugged coastline and unique island culture – the island connected to Newfoundland by bridges and causeways at the end of Route 340. It is a small island and lodging accommodations are unusual.

o We will schedule an iceberg tour and hopefully get tickets to the playhouse.

o There are no big resorts. There are 2 motels, The Anchor Inn and the North 99. There are B&Bs and lots of houses to rent (surprisingly). The Madigans, Hipperts and I jointly rented a big house out of town on the water with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. I recommend contacting Outport Realty. I talked to Marie Magnin, 709-893-2160.

— On June 27, we are driving to Gros Morne (4+ hours). Soaring fjords and moody mountains tower above a diverse panorama of beaches and bogs, forests and barren cliffs. Shaped by colliding continents and grinding glaciers, Gros Morne’s ancient landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gros Morne National Park is truly one of the world’s most unique and spectacular tourism destinations.

o Gros Morne National Park is large, with seven different communities located in the South, Centreal and Northern section of the Park. Each area has numerous accommodations to chose from including B &B’s, Hotels, Inn’s, Cottages, Hostels, RV Parks, and Parks Canada Campsites. I have not yet made arrangements for lodging in Gros Morne.

I have been to both Twillingate and Gros Morne. And both are spectacular. Gros Morne is a national park on par with any national park in North America. Note that we are doing Twillingate first for the icebergs. They arrive in the spring and eventually melt. Many icebergs get stuck in the irregular coastline around Twillingate. The tourist season up there starts July 1, a holiday.

Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

From the President, November 2023


We had our meeting at Reading Airport on November 4th with many ideas discussed and lots of participation.

We look forward to another great year of flying and enjoying travel in our wonderful machines during 2024. Collectively we layed out these events for the coming year:

  • February 10 – Aram Basmadjian – will present, “Use of the Autopilot in Instrument Flying,” Lancaster, PA KLNS. Aram is a former airline pilot, current FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, and current owner of a V Tail Bonanza. 
  • April 20, Montauk, NY for lunch.  Walk to the great restaurant.  Michael Madigan to organize.
  • May 18, Westfield, MA (KBAF), great lunch spot and there is a museum to peruse.  Michael Shehl to organize (I’ll help).  Tentative date.
  • May 30 to June 2 – Chatham, MA (KCQX) on Cape Cod.   On the Atlantic Ocean, known for its beaches, including Lighthouse Beach near the landmark 19th-century Chatham Lighthouse. The Chatham Railroad Museum exhibits model trains and train artifacts in a former depot dating from 1887. To the south, Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge provides a vast habitat for migratory birds.  Michael Madigan and I will organize.
  • June 6-9 – Formation flying clinic at Barnes (KBAF), Paul Stavrides to organize
  • June 23 – 29, Twillingate Newfoundland and Blanc Sablon, Quebec (near Labrador).  I have been to Twillingate and it really is the iceberg capital of the world.  Twillingate is a 2-hour drive north from Gander which has good FBOs but no 100LL.  For those without Tip Tanks, Deer Lake has fuel.
    • Blanc Sablon does have 100LL.  In Blanc Sablon, the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2013. In the 16th century, thousands of Basque whaling ships swarmed Red Bay to hunt whales and export them to Europe, and today you can walk through the whaling town of Red Bay and rewind the history.
  • August 24 – KSCH Schenectady – Lunch and museum visit.  Michael Shehl to organize (I’ll help).
  • September 21 – Basin Harbor (B06) for lunch.  Maritime museum on site, great hiking trails, option to stay the weekend at the resort.  Runway is 3000’ of grass in good condition.
  • October – Harley Davidson factory tour, York, PA (KTHV).  They suspended factory tours for covid but plan to restart them for 2024.  Fly into York, PA airport & we’ll get ground transport.
  • November 2 – Back to Reading (KRDG) for our planning session. 

Mike McNamara