A Journal, with Pictures

COPA Oak Ridge Weekend

by on Sep.28, 2014, under Flying

 

Thursday September 25th over 30 COPA members converged on Knoxville, Tennessee, coming from as far away as Iowa to join the group. The organization was excellent with the FBO directing us to the front door then taking care of all the tie down chores. We arrived from Ohio at the same time as the Turrisi’s and Dout’s did from South Carolina. We were met by the event coördinators, presented goodie bags then transported the short distance to the hotel. We had time to socialize, then freshen up before cocktails and dinner at the hotel.

Friday, we assembled for transportation by van first to lunch then on to the Oak Ridge facility. We stopped in Oak Ridge for a great Mexican buffet lunch.

Our first stop was the Spallation Neutron Source which is an accelerator-based neutron source facility that provides the most intense pulsed neutron beam in the world for scientific research and industrial development. We were met by our super guide Barbra, who briefed us then turned us over to a group of people with very big brains. We were briefed on how the accelerator worked then taken in small groups  into the gut’s of the complex. The whole thing is hard to comprehend but the research delves in the atomic level of matter covering the whole spectrum of things that effect our lives.  The key take away is this devices delivers bursts of neutrons at immense levels of energy, 2.5 million electron volts, to targets to study their composition and reaction.

We then moved to the high flux Isotope reactor, which is a nuclear reactor that produces a continuous stream of neutrons for experimental purposes. We were briefed on how the reactor worked and viewed a mock up of the gut’s of the reactor as well as the reactor itself and the control room. We then viewed the “beam lines” where the beams of neutrons are used in experiments.

We then visited the Oak Ridge Super Computer Center were the second biggest super computer in the world does it thing. We were briefed, amazed, looked over the acres of computers, which as an old computer salesmen brought tears to my eyes.

Our last stop on the tour was at were it all begin, the first atomic reactor, which produced the plutonium that was used in the first atomic bombs. Barbra briefed us on the history of the Manhattan project that produced the Atomic bomb. The number are amazing, the building alone for producing enriched uranium was over a mile long, thousands of people were employed and lived in the city of Oak Ridge that was built at a incredible pace. They built a new house in 20 minutes. It was a very interesting day seeing the leading edge of science and learning about the incredible history of Oak Ridge. We all left dizzy and in need of a cocktail.

We returned to the hotel freshened up and had that cocktail we all needed and a great dinner. Stan Szybillo our amazing event coördinator recognized our sponsors. They included, Choice Med Inc. Rick Henson  and Marty Alshuler, who donated cash plus the services of Katey Marina, who helped us for two full days. Rick Henson also drove a van both Friday and Saturday. Johnathan Foulds, of Horizon Avionics, also donated cash plus, goodie bags and the grand prize a GDL 39 potable ADS-B receiver, plus on call maintenance for the week end. Herb Jacobs, also provided the name tags as well as helped with the arrival logistics. Stan asked for flying experiences we could learn from and each table had a speaker. All pilot speakers were ladies and we all learned. It was a great dinner with juicy prime rib, complementary wine and yummy deserts. After the dinner COPA members lingered and socialized for more than an hour. New COPA friends were made and old ones renewed, which is what COPA fly-ins are all about. Everyone gave our great SE Event Coördinator Stan Szybillo a big round of applause and thank you for the terrific job that he did in organizing and managing the event. Saturday morning in keeping with how the event unfolded transportation was waiting and airplanes were in the air by 9:30 AM. Great event and great job by the COPA South East Regional team.
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