Welcome Pilots!

Sam Gibboney, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend met with pilots at Tailspin Tommy’s on October 15, 2016 to introduce herself and answer questions from pilots.

As a result of the positive interaction with Sam, there was general agreement that the JCPA should resume active monthly meetings. The Port Townsend Aero Museum offered their Library as a venue, and we have proposed meeting there on the Second Tuesday of each month, with the first meeting on December 13th at 4PM

Proposed agenda:

  • Election of Officers
  • The future of JCPA as an airport advocacy group.
  • Report from Port Commission meetings and gathering of group input to be raised at the next Commission meeting on behalf of the airport community.
  • The upcoming runway rebuild – Hopefully we will be having a meeting with Reid-Middleton (The airport engineering firm) and Port staff at a future meeting.

We would like to hear your comments. Leave a reply below.

Bill Putney – President – JCPA


About the Author



  1. Eric Taylor

    I think that 4pm weekday meetings will not be convenient or even possible for a lot of people due to conflicting with their work schedule. I’d suggest saturday meetings. Meeting in the PTAM library would be nice but not imperative. I’d also suggest that any december meeting be scheduled as not to conflict with the annual airport xmas party at Tailspin Tommys on Dec 10. Also, I suggest that (ongoing) meetings be scheduled as not to conflict with the Sequim EAA chapter 430 meetings, which I believe are held the third saturday each month at 10am.

  2. Sheri Suryan

    I am very happy to see the JCPA become active again. I used to be on the Board of Directors some years ago. I gained a lot of knowledge and tips from meetings and field trips to places like Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and Tracon in Seattle. I learned a lot of safety issues from other pilots, what and what cannot be done on personal aircraft and many other things that makes flying not only fun, but safe. I enjoyed fly outs and hangar BBQ s, also. Unfortunately, Tuesdays at 4 pm do not work, as I have a full time job, which I commute to Sequim and getting off too late to make a 4:00 meeting. It limits my participation. I wrote an email explaining this but never heard back. I was hopeful that I could participate in future meetings.

  3. Bill Putney

    Eric reminds me that I’ve been ignoring the group blog I asked Patrick to set up for us. No excuses except that we’ve been real busy here.

    My apologies to Eric and Sheri.

    Anyway, I actually like Saturday mornings too. When I asked Mike about using the Museum he was enthusiastic about it. It’s good to know that they support us. Unfortunately, upon further reflection Mike is concerned that he’s got a lot of irons in the fire on Saturdays and and he suggested another time outside the teaching time at the Museum. It sounds like that doesn’t work for people.

    I’ll check with Scott and see about using his hangar. I just hate to put him through all the airplane moving (and drying off in the winter). I’m open to other ideas too. I think a warm dry place on or real near the airport is best.

    As for what I’d personally like to see the rejuvenated organization become,
    1) Boosters for the airport. It’s the only airport in the county and it’s a nice one and I’d hate to see it go away (I know it’s an essential service) or become neglected. I’d like the members to find ways to encourage more people to fly to JCIA and visit area businesses. The larger community has to see a continuing benefit to the airport’s existence.
    2) I’d love to see fly-offs to other places. The last local pilot’s group I was in (at KOAK) was very active and while we didn’t have meetings at all, the email list posted a destination and departure time several days a month, weather permitting.
    3) We use to have a Holiday party and a Summer BBQ. Those went away with the regular meetings. I liked them but they were trimmings on a much more lively organization.
    4) In terms of educational opportunities, regular meetings would give us a set time to invite speakers. I have had a conversation with Sam Gibboney and she is trying to set up a meetings for the JCPA with Port Staff and Reid-Middleton (the Airport’s engineers of record) about the runway project. Other opportunities might be briefings from area traffic controllers, NWS aviation forecasters. Fly-out visits to Boeing, Dynon, Garmin/AT and other aviation related regional businesses.
    5) I’d like JCPA members to be more involved in local governmental/service organization meetings on behalf of the group. I have tried to be at every Port Commission Meeting and Port Commission Workshop. The Port operates the airport and seems to me to be the most important single body with an influence on the airport’s operations and future. The County Commissioners’ meetings, Port Townsend City Council meetings and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce are also important to us. 90% of the time the meetings I attend have little to do with the airport directly. But, it’s important that someone from the airport community be there to clarify why the airport is important and why it needs to be supported. Before I started going to Port meetings on a regular basis it was a widely held belief that the airport was a drain on the Port’s resources at the expense of other Port operations. I tried to make it clear that was not the case and that the airport is an important facility to all the county’s citizens. I know the other meetings need attention too but I can’t go to all of them. I’d hope that the JCPA could have a roster of representatives that would be at these meetings to keep an eye on things and report back at JCPA meetings.

    Keep the comments coming.

  4. I would be on board for jcpa meetings to be held on the second weekend of the month. Or another great time could be Friday nights after work. I have no problem with meetings being held at tailspintommys as long as there is at least a few weeks to plan ahead. Also I agree with Eric on the first meeting being a shakedown for participation and voting for officers and the such can come at a later date. It will take some time for participation to reach all who would like to be included. The meeting dates should not interfere with chapter 430 meetings in sequim which are held the third Saturday of every month. If a weekday meeting is set we should schedule it for 6 o’clock in the evening or later.

  5. I’m very glad to see this reawakening. I think it is long overdue. I am a big Jefco Lover and appreciate its ambiance, activity, and friendly folks. Without involvement, we risk ongoing ‘bad surprises.’

    I was at Bremerton for 2 years. Jim Posner became Prez and re-energized that group (I still belong) to an amazing degree – membership tripled or quadrupled; they became tight with the airport and port management and are now included in all meetings and decisions; they have weekly fly-outs and numerous show-and-tell meetings, dances, pot-lucks, etc. Jim was the driving force behind the AOPA national meeting at PWT and has now become President of the WPA.

    I have now been at Jefco for 3 years and we need some sort of similar involvement – especially with the County and Port. The re-pave operation is of great concern if they do not make provisions for ops during the construction time frame. I was told Sam said “the train has left the station on that.” My immediate thought was “NO – IT HAS NOT!!!” I was out measuring the parallel taxiway, and the adjacent grass area and there is more than enough width for an interim strip, – paved, grass, or half n’half – as was done at TIW and other places.

    I will try to attend as many meetings as possible. I prefer a week-end meeting time as I live in Hansville (about 45 minutes) and don’t like driving at night in the rain during the winter.

  6. Gary Lanthrum

    The meeting with the New Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend was a success, then a follow-on meeting faltered over issues regarding timing and location. I’d hate to see the momentum die just as we built up some enthusiasm again. There seemed to be a consensus that getting a functioning group going again would be a good idea. There also seemed to be consistent feedback that meetings on weekdays were not a good idea because many pilots still work. Weekends seemed to falter over a viable meeting space. Now that temperatures are starting to warm up and the days are starting to get longer, I’d like to see us try for a get together again. Who’s on point to make that happen? How can I help?

  7. Rick Dunlap

    Why are pilots flying through the Olympic Mobile Home Park when it is designated a noise abatement zone? I have seen planes coming from all directions within twenty minutes of each other. Some pilots do as many as 15 touch and goes in a row in this noise abatement area. Why? God, those of us who live here are just trying to get on with our lives. The noise pollution added to the engines that have no particulate coverters shower us with black sticky stuff that land on our gardens. It has got so bad that I have stopped growing fruits and vegetables. How about following the correct procedures and quit flying through the park and other noise abatement areas? Rick Dunlap

  8. Gary Lanthrum

    Rick: Thanks for contacting us. I am the current president of the Jefferson County Pilot’s Association and we are sensitive to the fact that not everyone enjoys the sound of airplanes overhead. The noise abatement procedures for flying into, or out of Jefferson County’s Airport (0S9 is the FAA designation) call for reducing power when planes have reached the safe altitude of 900 feet. All of the pilots I fly with are aware of this request and comply with it.

    The flight path airplanes take as they takeoff and land at Jefferson County airport is dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA. You can see the details about the flight path from the FAA’s Airport Facility Directory. The details for our airport can be seen online at: https://www.airnav.com/airport/0S9. If you scroll down on this web link to the runway descriptions, there is information for Runway 9 and Runway 27. The runways are named for the compass direction they are aligned with. Runway 9 points due east or 090 degrees on a magnetic compass, and runway 27 faces 270 degrees, or due west by magnetic compass.

    If you read down further, Runway nine requires pilots to fly a right hand pattern (all turns to the right) and runway 27 requires pilots to fly a left hand pattern (all turns to the left). That means all arrival and departure operations are required to be conducted on the south side of the field. The planes you see flying overhead are complying with the official pattern procedures required by the FAA.

    The reason you are seeing and hearing so much traffic is because that is the way the FAA has set up the flight patterns here to maximize safety. The hill on the north side of the runway plays a big role in determining the safest approach to take off and land here. If you want to pursue your concern about the designated traffic pattern you can take up your issue with the Port of Port Townsend since they manage this airport in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

    Although you may not be a fan of airport operations here, the Jefferson County Airport is a critical part of the County’s emergency response capabilities. In the case of a national disaster (like the mega-quake that is long overdue for the region) this airport will be a major lifeline for emergency response. A major earthquake or other disaster would likely affect port facilities and bridges connecting the peninsula to the outside world. Helicopters and some fixed wing aircraft will still be able to get supplies into the area and airlift patients out of the area for medical care by using the airport. In the meantime, the general aviation community helps support the airport and offsets the cost of keeping it open. Aviation fuel taxes and land leases for hangar space paid to the Port of Port Townsend all contribute financially to keeping this facility available.

    I hope this helps explain the situation for you.

    Gary Lanthrum.

  9. Thank you so much for the great article, it was fluent and to the point. Cheers.

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