Rotary Park Ribbon Cutting
New Member Proposed

The following proposed member has emailed their application to the office.  If anyone has a comment on this proposed member please forward it in writing within ten days to the Rotary office, before approval by the board of directors.  Thank you

  • Scott Wheaton, Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Tomie Raines, sponsored by Joel Hoffman
Editarian Report for August 16, 2019
On a high 70s low humidity day in Lansing, Michigan in August, wait this is Michigan, right? because it is supposed to be in the mid-90s with 110% humidity. After the as always superb pre-meeting music by John Dale Smith the meeting was called to order. In a practice run of her future duties President-Elect Julie Pingston took to the podium and rang the Rotary bell to start today’s festivities. President-Elect Pingston asked for patience in her first attempt to run our meeting, however in humble opinion needing none. President Hanes better be careful someone is coming after your job and I predict it will be hers in about 10 ½ months.
John Collins was called forth to deliver our invocation followed by God Bless America. Lisa Smith roamed with the microphone for the introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians. This group consisted of a pilot, our clubs Assistant District Governor, a budding Brew Meister and many potential new club members. Sandy Draggoo reported on the health of the club, announcing that Jay Moore’s father passed away. All other reports on club health were good.
President-Elect Pingston retook the podium for Rotarians in the news to pay kudos to Erik Larson opened Smash – A Nuclear Adventure exhibit at the Impression 5 Museum in conjunction with the Michigan State University FRIB project. Scott Duimstra spoke to us about the upcoming Loftus Day on September 6th. Before we go to visit our past Rotarians around the Lansing area, will be honoring Rick Foster with Irv Nichols leading the memorial. Scott reminded us that our past Rotarians were leaders and pioneers of their generation. He “randomly” chose aviators as a past club profession noting that our club had two notable members in Ted Abrams member of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, who is considered the father of aerial photography and business man whom the Abrams Planetarium is named after at MSU. Also, John Johnston a fellow member of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.
Next up John Person from our foundation presented a check for $5,000 to Cindy Kangas from Ele’s Place. The support will go to remodel and upgrade the grief library at Ele’s Place.
Josh Holliday introduced today’s special music with two performers appearing in the upcoming production of “Matilda” at the Owosso Music Theatre. First up was twelve-year-old Alexis Brunner staring in the lead role as Matilda singing “Naughty” and Mary Maurer performing “My House”. Both were accompanied by John Dale Smith on the piano. Great job ladies.
Wayne Sieloff our char of the month introduced today’s guest speaker Rick Fiddler. He was inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation in January of this year and is one of only a hundred members and the only member from the State of Michigan. Mr. Fiddler received his bachelor’s degree in pre-law, which led to a career as an aviator first with the Lansing Police Department to his current position as the Director of aviation for Amway Corporation. He is currently a member of the Michigan Aeronautics Commission and a flight instructor at the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Unfortunately, he is retired from flying for Amway Corporation because as Director of Aviation he put in place a rule that at 66 years of age a pilot had to retire from flying. Apparently never considering that he would ever be 66 and therefore subject to his own “stupid rule”.
Mr. Fiddler is a pilot of both winged aircraft and helicopters with a life long passion for flying anything that is supposed to fly and as we heard when the landings don’t go as planned you will want Mr. Fiddler at the controls when the landing is sooner than intended.
Mr. Fiddler has been involved in three helicopter crashes in his career, two with the Lansing Police force and one while working for Amway, with the later being the most notable in his career. Now before you start thinking “then why do I want him piloting my aircraft if he has had three crash landings” – all these accidents were mechanical in nature and his skills as a pilot save others as well as his life on all three occasions. It also be noted that pilots never crash aircraft they only must make unscheduled “forced landings” which I believe this the proper aeronautic terminology.
While with the Lansing Police in the 1970s and early 1980s the first incident occurred in January 1981 one of the shafts on his helicopter failed and as he was trained, he performed a controlled forced landing of the helicopter into a snow bank. Then in February of 1982, he was working with others in the department during a barricaded gunman on MLK, so as part of the standoff the SWAT team asked him to make a lot of noise to distract the suspect. Well he decided to put the skids on the roof of the home the gunman was holed up in and as he pulled away after the gunman was subdued, he lifted the helicopter off the roof to return to the airport, however on this windy night the helicopter lost lift in the wind and skidded down MLK Boulevard for about 300 feet before coming to a forced stop. Mr. Fiddler noted as some in the club wondered he does not believe he ran any red lights during his journey down MLK Boulevard.
This prompted Mr. Fiddler to accept a job with Amway Corporation as a pilot of both Citation Jets and Helicopters in their fleet. This seemed like a safer career choice until September of 1983, when he was scheduled to fly one of the jets to Akron, Ohio and a fellow pilot also named Rick was scheduled to fly one of the helicopters to Chicago for associates of the company to attend a meeting there. At the last minute the other pilot Rick asked to switch assignments with Mr. Fiddler to which he agreed. After an uneventful flight to Chicago and spending a nice fall day touring the city, he took off for Grand Rapids to return home. In the middle of Lake Michigan, the helicopter had a catastrophic mechanical failure (the details were beyond my meager comprehension, so we will stick with catastrophic mechanical failure) and made a forced landing in Lake Michigan. His copilot only had seconds to send out a call for help and they had no way of knowing if the call was received. As the helicopter sank into the lake the crew and passengers all escaped into the lake, fortunately wearing life jackets. After almost 2 hours in the water they were spotted by a pilot of another private aircraft as the sun set over Lake Michigan. They were rescued by the Coast Guard and returned to Grand Rapids.
As part of the investigation into the accident other experienced pilots tried to replicate in simulators the forced landing that Mr. Fiddler performed in the middle of Lake Michigan and none could “land” the helicopter safely. So that my friends is why I would choose to have Mr. Fiddler at the controls of any aircraft that must make an unscheduled forced landing.
After questions from the club, President -Elect Pingston brought the meeting to a close until next Friday at the Country Club of Lansing.
Tim Adam's email is:
Sep 06, 2019
at the Country Club of Lansing
Sep 13, 2019
"The 2019 Michigan Entrepreneurial Scorecard Report"
Sep 20, 2019
"Vietnam Revisited" at the Crowne Plaza
Sep 27, 2019
Cannabis Testing Labs @ the Lansing Center
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Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
Chair of the Day
Sieloff, Wayne
Shaski, John
Lynch, Linda
August Birthday Chair
Moore, Ryan
Sanborn, Diane
Swope, Chris
Chair of the Month
Sieloff, Wayne