Chapter 54 NEWS


December 2000

Volume 43, Issue 12

December Gathering

will be held on

Date: 12/11/2000

Time 7:00 pm Social

7:30 pm Program


Probably Christ Lutheran Church in Lake Elmo, call Dale Rupp to be sure (651)653-1054

Topic: John Renwick will present a program on flying in the United Kingdom.



  President's Corner
Whenever anyone asked Paul Liedl when he would fly his Kitfox, he would always answer, "on a Tuesday." Well, on Tuesday, November 21, the weather was very nice when I arrived at the airport, and when I saw old N444PL in the runup area I pulled up to an advantageous parking spot to observe what was going on. Sure enough, he taxied down to the end of runway 32, turned and came racing toward me, in no time at all in a very short distance the wheels left the ground and away he went. He is very pleased with the airplane's performance. All went well with the first flight and he said that his first landing was the best one he has made with the airplane so far. I spoke with him on Tuesday the 28th and he said that he already has 16 hours of flying time on the airplane. It needed some correction in the rigging because of a little left wing heaviness but with a little adjustment the problem has been corrected. He may need a trim tab on the rudder, but according to the Kit Manufacturer, that is normal. Paul says the oil consumption is going down as the rings begin to seat and everything is going well. CONGRATULATIONS PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!

On the home front, I have what I hope is good news. On the very same day that Paul made the first flight in his airplane, Jerry Sarracco,on a whim, called a house mover that he chose at random from a phone book. He related to the person that answered the phone the sad story about our housing situation and asked her if she knew about anything that would help us. She said: "boy, have I got a deal for you!" The house moving company had acquired a portable classroom from the White Bear School District for the huge sum of $1.00 and were storing it at the Ideal Storage facility. They would like to sell it to us. So Jerry Sarracco, Paul Liedl, Dick Wicklund and Dave Fiebiger jumped in a vehicle and drove to the site to inspect the building. To Dave Fiebiger's surprise it turned out to be a building that he had maintained for the school district for quite a few years before his retirement. The building is a portable classroom, 26' X 36', with two rooms for office space, a furnace room. {with a furnace} and a large classroom. This building would be quite suitable for our needs.

Jerry Sarracco has been in contact with the MAC and they seem agreeable. They requested some paperwork from us with information as to where we propose to place it. Paul Liedl put together a proposal {very nicely done, by the way} and Jerry submitted it to the MAC on Monday the 27th. It will be presented to the commission the early part of December and they will let us know their decision. I think there is good reason for optimism.

Jerry has also been in contact with the owners of the building and they have offered it to us for $10,000.00. This price includes the building, the moving expenses. the accumulated storage expenses and the cost of setting it up. They told us it would be our responsibility to anchor the building which would require an additional expense of $1,000.00. This is a really good starting point and it sounds like a very doable deal.

On Wednesday, December 6th, there will be a meeting of the Board of Directors. The meeting will take place at 7:00 P.M. in Dennis Hoffman's hangar. This is a very important meeting so we need all of the directors to attend. The agenda for the meeting will be, very naturally, our housing situation. We will also need to discuss filling some vacancies on the board. ANY member that would like to attend is more than welcome. We need a lot of input so please try to attend. The future of our chapter is at stake.

A general membership meeting will take place on Monday, December 11, at 7:30 P.M. The location for the meeting will be {I hope} The Christ Lutheran Church in Lake Elmo. The programs Director, Dale Rupp, informs me that John Renwick will do a presentation on his trip to England and his visits to the Aerodromes on the Island Empire. GOOD program, looking forward to seeing you there!!

                                             -- Bill Schanks


Treasurer’s Report: 11/29/2000

Building Fund $2,767.45

Operations $7,215.48

Cash $ 25.00


Total $10,007.93

Not much activity this month, six renewals and eighteen calendars sold. We paid our EAA Chapter dues and our insurance. There is a detailed sheet attached, showing income and expense by month, and December’s projection.



Chapter meeting of November 13th, 2000

A panel of four builders discussed building a home built.

Dale Rupp, Gil leiter, Dennis Hoffman and Bill Schanks all told about their experiences. There were some very interesting views expressed. Some of the most interesting statements came at the end of the program from Dennis Hoffman. He said that you should not build an airplane in order to fly. If you want to fly, go rent an airplane or join a flying club or buy an airplane. He also said that you should not build an airplane in order to save money. You can buy almost any airplane cheaper than you can build it. Dennis said that the only good reason for building an airplane is to build something.

---- Bob Waldron Treasurer



New Chapter House ?

Chapter Members, I have some great news. Recently a building was found that could be used for a meeting place for the chapter. The building is a used portable classroom and is 24' by 36.' The building has a furnace and two (2) air conditioners installed. The building presently in storage is ready for moving as it is equipped with wheels from its home for past years in the White Bear Lake School District. A very fine written proposal was completed by member Paul Liedl. This proposal was given to the MAC at the monthly Reliever Airport Advisory Committee meeting on November 27, 2000. The proposal will be reviewed by the lease committee on December 6, 2000. I hope to have some good news for all at our next chapter meeting.

Jerry Sarracco





The world's largest parafoil carried the X-38 test craft to a touchdown last week at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The X-38, a prototype "lifeboat" for the International Space Station, is designed to carry up to seven passengers home from orbit in an emergency. The X-38 was released from under the wing of NASA's B-52 aircraft at an altitude of 36,500 feet and flew to a safe touchdown less than a half mile from the


This from Ed Pfeiffer

-- Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.
-- If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.
-- Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.
-- It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.
-- The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
-- The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.
-- When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.
-- A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.
-- Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
-- You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.
-- The probability of survival is inversely proportional to
the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.
-- Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.
-- Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.
-- Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.
-- There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
-- You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of
experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before
you empty the bag of luck.
-- Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly that the earth repels them.
-- If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round, and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.
-- In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground
going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.
-- Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.
-- It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going
forward as much as possible.
-- Keep looking around. There's always something you've
-- Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law.
And it's not subject to repeal.
-- The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.




By Chapter 54 member Ed Peiffer 11/07/00

The construction story begins on November 15, 1996. The actual history goes back to my childhood. At the age of three years I remember my father building tissue covered model airplanes, then known to me as stick models. He would spend hours building, and I would spend seconds destroying them. I remember at the age of seven, having my tonsils removed at the Miller Hospital and building a model airplane during the almost week long recuperation period in the hospital. That model made one flight down the hospital hall and was later taken to the morgue. Between the ages of eight and twelve I recall getting up early for school, going down the basement and putting in a half hour or so on one of my many stick model projects before breakfast and going off to school. Needless to say that when I returned, my home work didn’t have anything to do with my school assignments.

My first gas powered model was a control line Baby Bee with a Cox .049 engine. My dad and I flew it in the back yard, but I couldn’t keep my hands off the reed valves in the engine. The unreliable nature of this engine was of course blamed on everything other than my constant tampering with the reed valve.

As the years past, my weekends and summer vacations were filled with walking to Phalen Park to fly larger control line models, I recall financing the Sterling Flying Models, Ambroid glue and K&B fuel companies during those years. This was my youth gang activity, and usually included my cousin and other friends who also flew control line models.

Time past quickly and before I knew it I was sixteen, bought my first car, met a girl (now my wife of thirty some years), finished school, got a job, and got married. I recall moving into our first apartment, on third street in St. Paul. I brought all of my possessions (a hand full of cloths, model airplane and a shoe box of other valuables) to the apartment in the back seat of my car. I had to rent a trailer for the things she brought.

One of my first home improvement projects while at that apartment was to build a ten foot glider model in the bedroom. It was built on a four by eight sheet of plywood which I stored under the bed.

About two years past and we bought a house, I rented a large truck and moved the glider along with some other things to the house. Shortly there after I was authorized to purchase a Heath Kit R/C radio. It wasn’t long after that, I discovered I had a neighbor three doors away who was also into R/C models. Our flying field at the time was the Label Lawn sod farm. This area is now the Stillwater High School. We would always look up and remark how slow those full size planes flying from the Lake Elmo airport seemed to be.

Again time moved quickly, we had three daughters by then, and had moved to a new house in Wyoming Minnesota. Some how I got wind of a Ultra Light fly-in at the not too distant Ham Lake Air Park. We went, we saw, and I announced I was going to buy an Ultra Light. I found there was not full agreement on this matter. It must have been the engine failure and dead stick landing in the swamp that swayed her thinking.

To my surprised that Christmas, she had signed me up for flight lessons at Elmo Aero. Now I was going to fly one of those slow moving planes coming out of the Lake Elmo airport. One year later I had my private pilot certificate, By then January, 1986, I flew and became disenchanted with less than perfect rented aircraft. In the spring of 1987 I met N8208X, and we have been good friends ever since.

My wife some how got the idea that flying was fun and became interested in a pinch hitter course. Again only to find that flying is fun, and maybe the recreational license was a better idea. She then found out that for a mere ten hours more she could have a private certificate. With this accomplished she soon found out that as she puts it, “you don’t share airplanes very well”. That single character flaw led to another family member known as N23453.

This brings us back to the Fisher Classic. While attending the Minnesota state fair in 1994, I happened upon the Fisher Flying Products booth. This is were I met Gene Hanson, Vice President of Fisher Flying Products. The booth was staffed by Gene and a few others who were in the process of actually building a Tiger Moth biplane. After asking several questions and commenting that it looked a lot like the stick models I had built since childhood, Gene invited me to join him on the platform where the Tiger Moth was being built. He pointed out what tools were needed and some of the construction methods.


I left with a hand full of literature and desire to build a wood airplane.

I had over the years finished two basements, done a considerable amount of finish carpentry work and enjoyed wood working. This together with the hundred or so model airplanes I had built led me to believe, I could do this. Not only that, but I brought back that old childhood fantasy of what it would be like to actually fly in this model I am building. A year later we visited Sun-N-Fun and had seen a couple finished examples of the Fisher Classic.

In the summer of 1996 after returning from Oshkosh, I called the Fisher factory in Edgeley ND and asked I it would be possible to visit the factory and get a ride in the Classic. The appointment was made for September 4, 1996. Although the weather did not cooperate, and we were unable to fly to Edgeley, we were able to each get a ride with Gene in the factory Classic demo plane. We Also met Gene’s wife Darlene, the President of Fisher flying Products. Before I knew it, I was signing up for a Classic kit.

The wing kit arrived at my home on November 15, 1996. That afternoon I completed the kit inventory and began making the wing rib fixture. I spent the winter months in the basement building eighty ribs, eight wing spars, four wing tip bows and the tail feathers.

In the spring of 1997 I began the final assembly of the wings in our hangar. The two upper wings were assembled during the summer of 1997, and the lower wings were assembled during the summer of 1998. By the time the wings were assembled in the fall of 1998 I was pretty well ‘Fisher Classic’ed out and needed a break. I had spent almost every evening and most Saturdays two summers in a row working on the project. I was starting to get the idea that this was going to take longer than the 450 hours advertised.

As fate would have it, my first grandson was twenty six months old in the spring of 1999. He was in serious need of a pedal airplane. How could I ignore. That gave me the excuse I needed to take a break on the Classic and start another wood working project. The pedal plane took the entire summer and turned out to be every bit as complicated and time consuming as the Classic.

The spring of 2000 brought renewed enthusiasm and the goal to build the fuselage. The goal was not fully met, but is well on its way to completion during the summer of 2001. This schedule includes the building of a second pedal plane for my second grandson now, 16 months, and asking when it will be finished.




As for the kit itself, the wood stock is of very high quality, The hardware pieces are of aircraft grade aluminum and the fasteners are AN specification. The system of fabrication is to build subassemblies over blue prints, much the same as in model airplanes. This does have some inherent problems, as the prints leave something to be desired in the area of detail insets and dimensioning. Another factor is that the drawings change size with moisture content and temperature.

The adhesive system used is T88 epoxy. The only draw back with T88 is the cure time is as long as 12 hours depending mainly on temperature. The advantage of the T88 is that it requires little clamping pressure and will cure under water. This is very handy when wrapping the 1/16” plywood around the leading edge of the wings. The factory support is very good. I have called a couple times and both Gene and Chuck have been very helpful.

The Demo Fischer Classic


All things considered, it’s a great kit for those who enjoy woodworking. Based on the factory demo ride, it’s a good flying little biplane. I still question the 450 hours though.

---- Ed Peiffer




EAA Chapter 54  Year 2000

End of Year Estimates for Operating Fund

                        11/27/00 bal = $7,211.21  
Begin   Dues Other Total   Total   News News Supplies Other    
Balance   Income Income Income   Expense   Printing Postage   Expense    
$4,114.56 Jan $284.00 $70.00 $354.00   $150.44   $27.30 $0.00 $0.00 $123.14 Grill Parts  
$4,318.12 Feb $120.00 $10.00 $130.00   $182.65   $25.08 $33.00 $0.00 $101.57 Grill Parts  
                      $23.00 SAHS Subscription  
$4,265.47 Mar $180.00 $110.00 $290.00   $750.75   $24.03 $33.00 $63.09 $102.68 Grill Parts  
                      $467.95 Decals  
                      $60.00 SecretaryOfState  
$3,804.72 Apr $100.00 $96.00 $334.00   $85.96   $6.92 $0.00 $0.00 $79.04 PotLuck Lunch  
      $138.00 PotLuck Lunch                  
$4,052.76 May $100.00 $39.00 $2,655.00   $1,419.40   $0.00 $33.00 $0.00 $287.02 LeadConf Lunch  
      $396.00 EAA             $128.38 LeadConf Groceries  
      $100.00 Regent             $50.00 LeadConf Chairs  
      $1,020.00 Banquet             $915.00 Banquet  
      $1,000.00 Pietnpol             $6.00 SecretaryOfState  
$5,288.36 Jun $0.00 $0.00 $147.00   $295.17   $30.19 $33.00 $122.36 $109.62 PotLuck Lunch  
      $147.00 PotLuck Lunch                  
$5,140.19 Jul $60.00 $20.00 $80.00   $512.48   $29.48 $33.00 $0.00 $450.00 EAA Academy  
$4,707.71 Aug $120.00 $3,178.00 $3,298.00   $1,601.21   $28.76 $0.00 $0.00 $1,076.15 Pancakes  
                      $174.84 Pancakes  
                      $46.46 Pancakes  
                      $275.00 Calendars  
$6,404.50 Sep $40.00 $70.00 $200.00   $62.33   $21.83 $33.00 $0.00 $7.50 Bank Charge  
      $90.00 EAA Rebate                  
$6,542.17 Oct $180.00 $30.00 $210.00   $46.85   $13.85 $33.00 $0.00 $0.00    
$6,705.32 Nov $200.00 $180.00 $380.00   $108.23   $22.63 $25.60 $0.00 $60.00 Insurance & EAA Dues  
      $238.39 interest ytd                  
$7,215.48 Dec $160.00   $203.00   $63.00   $30.00 $33.00 $0.00      
      $43.00 interest                  
$7,418.48 Jan                        
    $1,544.00 $6,975.39 $8,519.39   $5,278.47   $260.07 $289.60 $185.45      
      Net Increase $3,240.92                  
                  (Estimated)   (Actual)   (Estimated)
                  $7,418.48 + $2,767.45 = $10,185.93
                  Operating   Building Fund   Total

Last Updated on 12/2/00
By Bob



Divert Your Course

This was sent to us by alert Chapter member Jim Zimmerman.

This is the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the chief of naval operations, 10-10-95.

CANADIANS: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

AMERICANS: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

CANADIANS: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

AMERICANS: This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

CANADIANS: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.

AMERICANS: This is the Aircraft Carrier USS LINCOLN, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three Destroyers, three Cruisers and numerous support vessels. I DEMAND that you change your course 15
degrees North. I say again, that's one-five degrees North, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

CANADIANS: This is a lighthouse. Your call.



President Bill Schanks received this e-mail from Paul McElroy:

I am a fellow EAA member. The national office suggested that I send an e-mail to EAA chapters about my new book, "TRACON", a novel about air traffic control in the O'Hare TRACON. (BTW: My publisher is offering a free copy to your chapter -- message below).

Several EAA chapters have asked me to make presentations at their meetings about the revealing insights I picked up while researching "TRACON." I thought that some of your members might also be interested in learning about the book and the publisher's Web site,, where I have posted a slew of information about ATC: - A thoughtful analysis of the PATCO strike - Links to articles about dealing with ATC, how controllers handle emergencies, how to "outsmart" the system to get the flight plan you want - Live ATC sites - Humorous and heroic stories from controllers themselves, and more

"TRACON" has been hailed by controllers and pilots alike for its authenticity. It is an educational and suspenseful read about air traffic control -- a thriller akin to a Clancy or Crichton novel with emphasis on technical accuracy and suspense. "TRACON" offers commercial pilots valuable insights about air traffic control and demystifies an aspect of aviation that can be intimidating to private pilots unaccustomed to flying in controlled airspace around major airports.

"TRACON" ($7.50, ISBN 0-9679963-0-9) is available at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and in select flight shops and FBOs. Autographed copies are available through or by calling toll-free 1-866-6TRACON.

Amy Falen
Japphire Productions LLC
6947 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. - No. 1000
Newcastle, WA 98059
Tel: 425/503-2212
Fax: 425/204-8877





6 Chapter 54 Board Meeting
- 7:00pm Hoffman’s Hangar
LakeElmo Arpt. Fairchild Lane

9 Cottage Grove, WI
- Chili Feed 11am - 2pm. (608)249-9181

11 Monthly Gathering
Probably at Lake Elmo Christ Lutheran Church at 7:30pm

25 Christmas

April 2001
8-14 Lakeland, Fl   Sun ’n Fun EAA Fly-In




EAA Chapter 54 is located at 3275 Manning Ave. N. Suite #7, Lake Elmo, MN 55042

EAA Chapter 54 NEWS Published monthly by Chapter 54 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for the use, education and enjoyment of chapter members and others to whom it is provided. No claim is made for the accuracy of the materials presented. Editorial content is the opinion of the contributor and does not necessarily reflect the policies of Chapter 54 nor the EAA.

Submissions for publication are encouraged, and should be sent to:

EAA Chapter 54 Editor

3275 Manning Ave. N. Suite #7

Lake Elmo MN 55042.

or emailed to:

Permission for other EAA Chapters to use portions of this publication is granted, as long as credit is acknowledged.

Chapter 54 gathers at 7:30pm, on the Second Monday of each month, at Lake Elmo Airport, B Entrance.


Bill Schanks 651-645-2420
President -

Dan Parker 651-430-1532
Vice President -

Wayne Asp 651-436-6868
Secretary -

Bob Waldron 651-430-9178
Treasurer -

Directors Class II
Gary Miller 651-774-0456
Publicity and Promotion

Leif Erickson 651-439-5040

Directors Class III
Art Edhlund 651-439-5912

Ed Peiffer 651-462-2517

Scott Hutchinson 651-777-1872

Past President Dick Wicklund 651-777-9142

Young Eagles Coordinator
Al Kupferschmidt 651-777-9257

Flight Advisors:
Bill Schanks 651-645-2420
Dale Rupp 651-653-1054

Tech Counselor
Bill Schanks 651-645-2420

Newsletter Editor:

Bob Waldron 651-430-9178

WEB site



Jerry Sarracco has a FEW calendars left.  We purchased a lot fewer of them this year, so we don't have many left.  Contact Jerry to reserve yours.  We have some that feature Light Planes and Ultralights.  Jerry can be reached at (651)429-1049 or

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