The Boeing B-17F "Flying Fortress" AFA-317th Chapter Aircraft

"It has served, unlike any other bomber, through all of the Second World War. It had become a legend in its time. A tribute to the men who had conceived, designed, and built it-and a monument to the remarkable young men, most of them boys who flew it. These men, and this plane, accomplished one of the most frightening missions ever demanded of men and aircraft. Together they helped end history's last "Glorious War".


AFA-317 Blogspot created and maintained by Benny F. Benitez, FAA -Airframe / Powerplant and FCC-Ham Radio Lic.) VFW Life Member, Former Chapter President (2009-2010). Current Chapter Vice President of Special Projects

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Air Force Association Miami Chapter, The 317th Talks Merger With The Homestead Chapter The 385th

Miami Chapter, 317th President Benny Benitez shown here pictured with the 482nd FW Command Chief Master Sergent Clarence S. Tears, the most senior enlisted personal of Homestead Air Reserve Base and Vice President of the Homestead Chapter, the 385th The Group shot of the leadership of both the 317th and 385th Chapters. Shown from left to right are: Lt. Col. Rodrigo Huete (USAF Ret.)-Chapter Vice President 317th, Sara D. Warren ( USAF Ret.)-Treasurer 385th, Lt.Col. Ray de Arrigunaga (USAF Ret.)-President 385th, Benny Benitez, President of the 317th, 482nd FW Command Chief Master Sergent Clarence S. Tears-Vice President 385th, Catherine Smallwood Chapter Secretary of the 317th and Lt. Col. Stan Bodner (USAF Ret.)-Vice President/ Board Member Aerospace Education of the 317thThe leadership of the AFA Homestead Chapter the 385th shown left to right are: Lt.Col. Ray de Arrigunaga (USAF Ret.)-President of the 385th, Sara D. Warren (USAF Ret.)-Treasure 385th and the 482nd FW Command Chief Master Sergent Clarence S. Tears, Vice President 385th

Homestead, Florida 6th February 2010: (Homestead Air Reserve Base) "Consolidation" is a buzz word that is often heard within corporate America, especially in these tough economics times and one that is now applying true toward the Air Force Association Chapters of South Florida.
Like most companies or corporations, consolidation is a virtues of shear survival so as to preserve what has been created by one party and to enhance another for an overall good.
With that said, the leadership of the Miami 317th Chapter and the Homestead 385th Chapter, the two Southern most Air Force Association Chapters within the Continental United States met to discuss a seamless blend of the two for the overall good of the Air Force Association.
The Homestead Chapter, the 385th has in the past years has experienced a slow down and despite the tremendous effort that the leadership at the 385th has done, the time has come to join forces with its neighbor at the 317th. For the past few years and despite the woes of the global economical down turn in 2009, the 317th experienced slow growth, but growth nonetheless and its membership forecast for 2010 / 2011 looks strong with a 1st quarter in 2010 of seven (7) new members. With its newly installed leadership of local aviation business personal with a pure entrepreneur business mind set, the 317th welcomes and see the possible merger with the 385th once approved and sanction by the State Leadership an asset to growth.
This pending merger shall place the 317th with a rank and file of about 550 plus members, elevating it to a "large" Chapter status which shall include the Common Wealth of Puerto Rico. The name once consolidation has been achieved, shall be "The Miami-Homestead", 317th Air Force Association Chapter.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Air Force Association Miami Chapter, The 317th Leadership Maintains Their Airmen Proficiency With Scheduled Flight Training

With their external pre-flight checks completed, both Rod and Catherine commence their pre-flight cockpit check list prior to aircraft engine start Having assisted the crew with the ground pre-flight and act as a ground safety observer during engine start and taxi Chapter President Benny Benitez stands by to see the crew off Chapter Vice President Rodrigo "Rod" Huete conducts a fuel sample check during his ground pre-flight of the Piper Arrow Chapter Secretary Catherine Smallwood herself an FAA CFI, CFII, MEI, Gold seal Flight Instructor also undertakes the duties of pre-flight inspection on the Piper Arrow With charts in hand as well with his well worn active duty "red chart pouch" Chapter Vice President Rod instructors both Catherine and Benny as he goes over a few safety tips while undertaking the pre-flight duties of the Piper Arrow
Derived from the Cherokee Archer II, but with a more powerful engine, retractable landing gear with automatic extension and untapered wings is the Piper Arrow aircraft N808ND belonging to Silver Express of Tamiami Airport (KTMB)
Prior to heading out to the flight line Chapter Vice President Rod and Chapter Secretary Catherine review their flight plans and identify the various "Warning Areas" to be aware of during their training flight

Miami, Florida 4th February 2010: (Tamiami Regional Airport KTMB) : As the most active AFA Chapter in South Florida concerning the flight training of its leadership, the AFA-317th Vice President Rodrigo "Rod" Huete and Chapter Secretary Catherine D. Smallwood maintains the Chapter flight proficiency with scheduled 90 day flight training events. Having conducted Glider training back toward the end of the 4th quarter of 2009, Rod and Catherine conducted various "touch and goes" utilizing a Piper Arrow at Homestead General Airport known as X-51 and at Tamiami Regional Airport (KTMB). With a clear day, high broken clouds, the leadership at AFA-317 conducted a safe and valued training flight. As a licensed FAA Airframe & Power plant Mechanic, former Airline Maintenance Director, and Squadron Safety Petty Office during his days when associated to U.S Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron VP-64, Chapter President Benny Benitez was also present to assist with the duties of ground pre-flight of the aircraft and acted as ground safety observer during engine start and taxi out.