SPARS by David Cohn
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I'm writing in an attempt to revive an old tradition, and perhaps get a bit of help along the way. When I bought my Commonwealth Skyranger (NC33395, serial #1616), I acquired along with it a file of assorted papers that had followed it through its past few owners. Among those papers were some old mimeographed pages from the early 70's, coming from a loose-knit organization called "SPARS - the Society for Preservation And Restoration of Skyrangers." 

SPARS seemed to be mostly an address list; a forum for Skyranger owners to send out queries to others, and to offer parts and advice that they'd come across in their efforts to maintain their planes. As I read through the old newsletters, I thought what a great resource it must've been. In the four years I've owned '395, I've only ever seen two other Skyrangers, and then only in passing, with not nearly enough time to take proper note of the panel layout, the pitot static head, the trim wheel, or any of the other things that aren't quite properly restored on my plane. I would've loved to have had the time to ask about the landing light installation, how people comply with the new night-lighting requirements, and whether anyone, anywhere, has a spare right-side cowling. 

I realized that I did have access to quite a few other Skyranger owners, through the scraps of paper I'd accumulated with the names of friends of friends, through the FAA aircraft database, and through the fine folks at the Antique Airplane Association. I realized that I could probably send a note out to all these people asking the answers to my thousand and one questions. I also realized that other owners must have similar needs, and thus began toying with the idea of reviving the SPARS list (presuming, of course, that it is defunct - if it does still exist, I'd love to know about it!) 

My thoughts are these: I'd like to get a response from anyone and everyone who has an interest in restoring, preserving, and flying Skyrangers. I'd like us to exchange contact information. I'm attaching an information sheet to this letter; I'll collate everyone's responses and send them out to everyone who's responded. So please fill in addresses, email, phone numbers, whatever - however you're willing to be contacted by other Skyranger owners in search of advice. 

I'd also like us to try and set up some sort of a newsletter to exchange questions, advice, and lists of parts needed or parts offered. I'm mailing this out to people who own a Skyranger, who've once owned a Skyranger, or who have told me they're thinking about buying one. If you're not interested in an address exchange or newsletter, no problem -- I'm just casting a wide net in the hopes that I don't miss anyone. 

I don't know how many of us Commonwealth/Rearwin Skyrangers pilots there are out there. By the records, there could be a dozen of us, or there could be as many as 150. I'm willing to foot the photocopying and postage for the first round or two. If there are only a few of us, we can just manage the photocopying etc. out of pocket change. If there are a bunch of us,  we may want to resort to the umbrella of the AAA for the newletter. Let me know your thoughts. 

Many thanks, 
David Cohn
August 1997

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