North Bay CalDART Gathering

August 21, 2021 @ 11:00 am 2:00 pm PDT

As small airports in Northern California participating in CalDART (California Disaster Airlift Teams), we would like to invite you to the first of 3 planned events for this year for Everyone in North Bay DART. We encourage both volunteer pilots and ground assistants to join us.


  • 11 AM – Gathering, meet and greet, introductions
  • 12 (or so) – Lunch, hosted by the folks at KDVO
  • 1 PM – General Discussion: Where we are, what the plan is, questions and answers.  A couple of specific topics:
    • Training Plan
    • Membership/Insurance
    • Recent Events – Airlift exercises for Yurok Tribe – PPE
    • Communications – Update on amateur radio links, need for operators
    • Planned September tabletop exercise – work flow process, forms, familiarization
    • October operational event, possibly coordinated with other DART operators

Rides – We encourage fly-in ride sharing, or driving (car pooling encouraged!)  Pilots can use this trip as supporting CalDART.

Scanlon Aviation hangar

451 Airport Road
Novato, CA 94945 United States
+ Google Map

Marin County ALUC (Airport Land Use Commission)

July 12, 2021 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm PDT

The Marin County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) meets by Zoom to determine consistency of a subdivision of Bahia River View. See this link for agenda and staff reports. The ALUC meets irregularly as an augmented Marin County Planning Commission with two aviation representatives, Jon Pittman and Richard Nave.

GFCA July Breakfast Gathering

July 10, 2021 @ 10:00 am 11:00 am PDT

It’s been way too long-our last GFCA breakfast was in early February, 2019. Join us this Saturday (July 10) at 10:00 a.m. on the ramp immediately in front of the Scanlon Aviation hangar, when GFCA will cater this month’s breakast with an assortment of breakfast burritos, bagels, fruit, OJ, and of course, Charlie’s famously fortifying coffee. 

We won’t have a speaker this time as it will be great just to get together again. Look forward to seeing you all there!

California Zooming (CalPilots)

October 16, 2021 @ 10:00 am 4:00 pm PDT

Annual meeting of California Pilots Association. Note that GFCA is a chapter of CalPilots.

Use this link to learn more and register.

Keynote speakers: John and Martha King; other speakers include Captains Mike Jesch and Brian Schiff, on Aviation Safety, and Captain Gary Schank on Aviation Emergencies, all provide FAA Wings credits. Also learn about status of CalDART and avgas lead discussions.

Reflections from a STEM graduate of GFCA Pegasus Project

GFCA has made a huge impact for many kids in the senior STEM engineering class at San Marin High School. The Pegasus Project is something that we were told about throughout our STEM path and is a very exciting project that many kids looked forward to working on.

San Marin High School seniors in STEM Engineering, class of 2019, with their teacher and GFCA mentors, standing with completed RV-12 wing assembly.

Many people are mind blown when you say you helped build an airplane in your high school engineering class. The mentors and the connections you build through this program are phenomenal, and it is truly inspiring to be around so many educated and accomplished adults who want to help you grow and succeed!

I learned so much about collaboration, team work, organization, the list is endless. This program helped me grow as an individual in many ways, and gave me something to look forward to when I went to school every day.

I was so inspired by these mentors and this project, that I decided to do a fundraiser to help purchase the next kit for the RV-12 airplane we were making. My classmates, the mentors, and I organized an event to raise money for the Pegasus Project.

STEM Seniors, Class of 2019, who organized and spoke at Pegasus Fundraiser, June 2019

It was a great learning experience, and it showed me the power of a student body that, with the right guidance, can do amazing things. Together, with the extra support of Rick and Susan, we created an amazing event where we raised $7,000 for the project.

I am extremely proud of my classmates and our fundraiser. It was an amazon experience, and something I will always cherish. I will always remember this class and the mentors that guided us through it. Thank you to GFCA for giving hundreds of students the opportunity to learn and experience something new, exciting, and truly inspiring. 

STEM Fundraiser for Pegasus project, June 2019
Olivia Matheson

Graduate of San Marin High School. Participated in STEM Engineering class to build an RV-12 through the Pegasus project funded and managed by GFCA. Currently attending San Diego State University

Flying Friendly for our Neighbors

Sue flew our neighbor, Jackie Bonner, who lives south of Gnoss Field

Last March, one of my fellow Rotarians, Jackie Bonner, reached out regarding the issue of low-flying airplanes over her home south of the airport.  It was not only the close proximity of the airplanes, but the loud noise, some worse than others.  After listening to her concerns, I asked her to start recording the time and day of the flights over her home that were most bothersome.  With that information, we were able to track many of the flights and aircraft.   It was discovered that most were in compliance with the altitude restrictions over her home and were definitely legal.   

What I thought was maybe Jackie needed to see the airport from a pilot’s perspective in the air.  So, I asked her if she would like to go flying with me in my Cherokee 180.  My plan was to give her a San Francisco Bay Tour and then fly the traffic pattern a bit.    

That next Saturday, Jackie showed up at my hangar to go flying.  Two things she was impressed with right away before we took off: 

(1) the radio information at the end of AWOS reminding pilots to “follow the Gnoss Field noise abatement procedures and avoid the homes south of the airport” and

(2) the sign at the runup area of runway 31:

We had a wonderful flight, perfect weather and Jackie was able to get some fantastic shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.  She reported back:

“My flight with Sue was wonderful, especially since the weather was glorious!  It was so generous of her to take me aloft.  Apart from the enjoyable flight, I did see that Gnoss Field does its best to alert pilots to stay away from the area where I live.  Mostly, I was able to see just how close we live to the airport and how keeping away from the houses upon landing involves some skillful flying by pilots.   It’s clear that the size and maybe age of the plane engine makes a difference to how much noise it makes.  I can see planes coming in to land from my window and sometimes they are pretty quiet and sometimes not, so I guess there’s nothing to be done about that.”

Jackie Bonner, neighbor south of Gnoss Field

The big take away:  We showed Jackie we are listening, we care and are trying our best to minimize the noise.   We hope we can be this effective with the rest of our neighbors close to the airport.

Susan Royce

Chair, Marin 99s
Vice President, GFCA
(and Novato Sunrise Rotary)

Planes for Puppies

I learned to fly out of Gnoss Field airport, Novato, and have been involved in the local aviation community for over twenty-five years.  In September 2020, I got an email from a volunteer with Guide Dogs for the Blind (GD) who knew about my aviation connections.  The organization was looking for pilots to transport adult dogs and puppies to several western states. I knew that Guide Dogs for the Blind had a campus in San Rafael, and I had seen them with their trainers around town, but it had never occurred to me that there could be a connection between aviation and dogs – two of my passions.  I put the word out to my flying friends.  Nobody I knew was able to respond to the request, but I wanted to learn more about planes and puppies, so I contacted the organization and spoke with Sarah Blevins, Operations and Project manager, and Karen Woon, VP Marketing.

I did not know that Guide Dogs for the Blind was started in 1942 to help veterans who had been blinded in World war ll.  It has continued to grow over the years and has puppy raising programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington, hence the need for different forms of transportation.    According to the “Planes for Puppies” blog entry on the Guide Dogs for the Blind website, the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the ability of the program to get dogs to their destinations. “Most airlines have discontinued flying dogs in the cargo areas, and those that are continuing have not been reliable in terms of their flight schedules or the aircraft being used.”  Even transportation by puppy trucks has been negatively impacted.  In light of these current events, they are in the process of assessing their future transportation needs, and considering general aviation solutions.

Guide Dogs for the Blind still has several options when it comes to flying adult dogs and puppies, one being the support of a private jet organization. But there is still a need for pilots and planes in our local area.  The Gnoss Field Community Association (GFCA) has identified seventeen types of operations conducted from our local airports that benefit the community as a whole.  Adding support for Guide Dogs for the Blind to that list would be supporting a worthy cause.  When they have identified their specific needs, GFCA will consider the options for helping them. We will be looking at the infrastructure, as well as pilots and planes, that meet the criteria for transporting puppies, adult dogs who have graduated from training, and those dogs who did not graduate and will be seeking alternate “careers”!  Stay tuned.

If you want to learn more about Guide Dogs for the Blind training, there is a great documentary on Netflix and other streaming services. “Pick of the Litter.”
Barbara O'Grady
Barbara O’Grady

Barbara is a pilot and CFI based at Gnoss Field, a member of Marin 99s, and active with GFCA improving our outreach to the community.