Corvair College is a valued experience
Dear Airport Board of Barnwell County,
I wanted to send a letter expressing how much I value the Annual Corvair College at Barnwell. I have attended every one of these, bringing a rust-covered Corvair core motor in the fall of 2010. I met so many wonderful people, some from Barnwell, and others who drove hundreds and some thousands of miles to get to Barnwell. In 20111 returned and ran my motor for the first time - a very wonderful event indeed.
Every year I have returned to assist other builders, do what P.F. will let me do to help him, Don, Tim and Reese. A few years ago, the EAA sent Charlie Becker down to take a look. The EAA created a wonderful 7-minute (and 15-minute version) film of what Corvair College is. The final few minutes are very inspiring, spoken by Mr. Barton Reddit in the company of his son and grandson. Please, if you have not done so already please allow P.F. to show it to you.
As a testimony to the people at the Airport, let me share a story with you. At the college in 2015, I had to develop an ‘emergency plan’. I was assisting a fellow EAA chapter member on his engine. We would be attending the college together. Due to a logistics snafu with a vendor, the essential part we needed to work on would be coming in a late arrival via UPS in Barnwell, I would need to find a hydraulic press locally. The airport had one and we made arrangements to use it. Alas the press was too small to accommodate the part we needed to install a gear onto. Unless we could find someone locally, our progress would be halted. Well as soon as they heard, Don Harper and Tim Freer began making phone calls. It was a Saturday and our options were limited. When Rees heard of our dilemma he called his son, and we were invited to come to his farm and use his press. It turned out this press was identical to the one at the airport! Before you could say “but these guys are Yankees”, Rees’s son was on the phone with his asking if a he could send a couple of guys over to use his press. This one worked! The assistance of the Barnwell Airport folks, their families and their friends saved our day (and weekend) for sure.
In March I will be returning for my Corvair College. When you compare the events at Barnwell to ANY OTHER aviation event it becomes so apparent so quickly that there simply is not another GRASS ROOTS aviation event like the ones at Barnwell. The time and energy spent by the volunteers to empty the hangar, setup the work tables and meal area, acquire the coffee, beverages, ice, doughnuts and snacks, arrange for on-site meals, is nothing short of fantastic. Your decision to have always allowed on-site camping is very much appreciated. All this, and the Airport never asking for a single dime!
I hope we, the attendees of these events, have treated the facility and personnel with gratitude and respect, I would be disappointed to find out we were not good guests! I hope we are welcome as long as there are Barnwell folks willing to continue this annual event, as it is the single aviation event I attend each year without fail.
President EAA Chapter 382