Dear Fabric Piper Owner/Enthusiast
Thank you for your interest in the upcoming restoration seminar. As the fabric Piper fleet ages, and newer, younger owners and restorers take over, I find an ever increasing need to educate the current and future generation of owners and rebuilders on what the standards were when these aircraft were built, the oldest of which are now near 70 years in age. I can sense this lack of knowledge by the questions that I am asked and all the phone calls and mail that I receive. The “Type Clubs” are doing a great job passing on information and experiences among the membership, but there is still a restoration work to the side and go out in the field and conduct regional training sessions, along with various training aids, and work with small groups of people instead of “one on one” by mail or over the phone, as I have been doing for nearly 30 years now. By using slides, video tapes, technical diagrams, and text, along with some actual “hands on” methods of instruction and demonstration, there is not a more effective way to pass this information across. An additional advantage is the camaraderie and friendship among the participants and the sharing of information and experiences of other students. That’s what it’s all about.
Nearly nineteen years of my life was spent working for Piper Aircraft Corporation in such capacities as engineering drafting, technical writing, technical instruction, and product support on all the older models at the Lock Haven plant. I also worked as a manager and creator of the PA-18 Super Cub Kit program at the Vero Beach plant. In November of 2012 I was rewarded for my efforts by being inducted into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Hall of Fame. With all this experience and exposure, I feel well-qualified and capable of conducting these restoration and maintenance programs. I have also owned five fabric Piper models myself, consisting of a pre-war and post-war J-3, PA-12, PA-15, and the original prototype PA-16 Clipper. I have won major Oshkosh awards with my PA-12 and client’s 1938 J3C-50 Sport. This is my goal to preserve the past for the future, and pass this information on, so that these fine aircraft may be preserved, maintained, and enjoyed will into the future.
Now more about the seminar. By the way, if you don’t even own an airplane yet, this is a fantastic way to familiarize yourself with each of the models and find out everything from service problems to performance specs. We’ll begin the first day with a presentation on the genealogy of the early Pipers. We’ll discuss the FAA Airworthiness Directives that pertain to the airframe, engine, propeller, and accessories. As the class progresses, we’ll go over the whole restoration process in detail from tear-down to final inspection and test flight. We’ll discuss cleaning, inspection, fabricating parts, and where to get parts and supplies. We’ll also talk about covering, painting, upholstering, and final touches. There will be some demonstrations and a chance for some “hands on” experience. We will end up with an exercise on rigging. A few of the demonstrations will include rib repair methods, wing panel trammeling, and fabric covering and stitching. Each student will receive an information packet including a notebook, pen, and a generous supply of very informative handouts. Tail decals and some small parts that I manufacture will be displayed for sale during the seminar. Old photos and factory reference books, along with currently published books on Piper history will also be displayed. Videos pertaining to Piper history will be shown during evening hours and some will be for sale. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be supplied each morning.
Due to changes in FAA criteria and regulations, the class no longer meets the requirements for IA renewal.
Don’t delay and miss out. Class size is limited. The tuition for the year 2017 will be $425.00, with immediate family members under 21 years of age and spouses at $150.00 off the current price. As a courtesy to the host, and for planning purposes, a $50 deposit should be paid at least 2 weeks in advance. Checks may be made out to “Cub Restoration Services”. The instructor reserves the right to cancel a class if attendance is not sufficient. All funds received will be returned in that case. Your host will provide registration, lodging, and location information. Come join in and be a part of this friendly and informative session, and bring photos of your project or aircraft with you. I am looking forward to meeting you.
Clyde R. Smith, Jr.