Chapter 54 NEWS


February 2001

Volume 44, Issue 2

February Gathering

will be held on

Date: 2/12/2001

Time 7:00 pm Social

7:30 pm Program

Location: Christ Lutheran Church in Lake Elmo

Topic: Unknown



  President's Corner




Our Chapter, 54, is experiencing a housing crises. We are going through a difficult time trying to find a suitable place to hold meetings and Chapter events. Several years ago we were blessed with a building to use for these purposes. Namely, the old Elmo Aero building. After several meetings and pot luck events, it became very obvious that this was what our Chapter needed to promote growth. Before this happened, Steven Ogborne had the vision and foresight to understand this. He began a campaign for the Chapter to buy or build its own facility. He and some of the other members gained some momentum in that direction, but through a lack of support from a great many of the members, it became emotionally draining and too disappointing to continue. The project fell by the wayside. I must admit that I was one of the people that did not give it the support that it deserved. I lacked his foresight and vision. I profoundly apologize for that. As I now have observed what having our own place can do for the growth of the Chapter, I am totally in favor of having it.

The August wind storm took our dream from us. I have now been going through the ups and downs of coming close to the possibility of our Chapter regaining the status of having its own building. One of the emotionally high points occurred when Ed Mayer offered to donate his old facility to the Chapter. A great deal of euphoria swept through the membership as we began planning how we could easily fix it up and it appeared to be a very doable project. However, it was not to be. The MAC is reserving that piece of land in hopes that another FBO will set up an operation. Chapter 54 did not meet the necessary requirements, That was a downer.

Now we have the opportunity to purchase a suitable building and have it moved onto the airport. Jerry Sarracco has been hard at work negotiating on behalf of the Chapter to bring this possibility to fruition. He has been going through the necessary hoops provided by the various bureaucracies in order to make this happen. As a result, we have the approval of the MAC to place the building on an airport site that they suggested. The building inspector has inspected the building and given his approval. We now await word from a State Agency that governs the handicapped access regulations. When we receive word from that agency, we can proceed with the process.

Now we come to the part about the money. It has been informally discussed at great length in the past two months. We obviously need financial help. The only fund raising function that we have, other than the dues structure, is our pancake breakfast fly-in. That will not be sufficient to support the purchase and upkeep of a building. The idea of member donation and non-interest loans has been discussed.. We would like to have our own building and in order to have that building, we need funds. So, this plea goes out to the members to consider a generous donation to the Chapter. This is the EAA and we are a grass roots organization. After all, the national EAA built that facility at Oshkosh primarily through donations.

You, the individual, may be asking; "what's in it for me?" We are discussing that. Maybe a plaque. Maybe a brick. Big deal, huh! Also, there has been an ongoing campaign to obtain 501C-3 federal tax-exempt status for the Chapter. It did bog down for awhile, but is now being vigorously pursued. What this will do, is to provide the donor a tax exemption for the amount of the donation. Having this 501C-3 status will be an asset to the Chapter.

As of now, there is no board meeting scheduled for February. There will be a general Chapter 54 meeting on Monday, February 12, at 7:30 PM. The meeting will take place at the Christ Lutheran Church of Lake Elmo. We will be discussing the dates and location of the annual Chapter Banquet and the Fly-in pancake Breakfast. I don't have any information on what the program will cover. Also, if you have any ideas or suggestions for fund raising, please bring them along and feel free to speak up. This is your Chapter.

-- Bill Schanks


Treasurerís Report: 12/27/2001

Building Fund $2,767.45

Operations $7,345.48

Cash $ 25.00


Total $10,137.93

Not much activity this month, one new member, three renewals, and five calendars sold. December interest will be about $40.00.


Chapter meeting of January, 2000

Meeting called to order at 7:30. Al Kupferschmidt requested we be looking for an Air Academy Scholarship candidate. Also, he encouraged us to continue flying our own Young Eagles. Art Edhlund indicated we should begin thinking about another flying start event. Jerry Sarracco had an update on the possible chapter building. MAC proposed 4 possible sites in which to put our building, and Dave Fiebiger proposed another. All sites are on the South area of the airport, at various points around the cul-de-sac. The best proposed site yet would be on the circle directly across from the MAC building. Jerry indicated that the next step was to have a building inspector have a look at the building, and that the inspector has yet to return a phone call.

The meeting's program had John Renwick talking about the proposed Minneapolis-St. Paul Class B expansion. The proposal consists of expanding the 4,000-to-8,000 ft MSL ring to a distance of 30 nautical miles, and moving it upwards to 10,000 ft MSL. John said he believed the biggest impact would be on the soaring activities at Stanton and Benson airports. He urged us to attend the meetings on Tuesday, January 9, at the St. Paul Airport Army National Guard Building, and/or on Saturday, January 13, at the Anoka Airport.

John Renwick also brought up his flying club's recent addition of a Cirrus SR-20. He reports that the aircraft flies very easily, with crisp control response. Two of the many interesting systems on the aircraft are the autopilot/trim interface (where the airplane is always in trim when the autopilot is disengaged), and the constant speed propeller system, which has no direct control in the cockpit.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15PM.

             ---- Minutes by Nick Stolley


Out and About

Nick Stolley tells us:

I don't know the history of people going to Baker's Square after our chapter membership meeting, but I hope people aren't getting the feeling of exclusivity of the people that go. I would like to see a reminder in the
newsletter that after the meeting, people meet for pie at Baker's Square in Stillwater.


Tom Marson says:

Bob, I have learned about a UL-Light plane seminar held in Wausau-Mosinee, WI. on March 3rd (Saturday) at the Holiday Inn at the Cedar Creek mall. Very informational meeting is promised with a lot of very influential people in the aviation community.

Contacts are Ken Snyder 715- 423-1128 or Steve Krueger 715- 536- 8828.

A person who went last year says it is an event not to be missed.


Tom Marson tells us:

For what it is worth. My 7GCBC Citabria has a new home in Beloit WI. An American Airlines pilot, born and raised in Miltown WI and flight instructing at Osceola WI has it. He is replacing a Cessna 140 and is using it on his farm strip at Clinton WI for fun and teaching his son to fly.

I was asked by several at the last meeting why I sold it. The reason is, when I closed my farm strip, my single hangar at New Richmond had too many
planes in it to use them easily. I kept the homebuilts, (Challenger 1 and Dakota Hawk) to avoid the potential liability as the manufacturer.

John Renwick says:

John Renwick and his British friend, Steve Markham, are planning to fly the length of the Mississippi in John's J3 Cub on the way to Sun-n-Fun this April. Their flight plan is posted on John's
web site: Click on the picture of the Cub to see it. John will keep this up to date as plans evolve.

This is a long-time ambition for Steve, who is an active pilot in both the US and the UK. When he mentioned it to John, John suggested combining it with a trip to Sun-n-Fun, which will be a new experience for both of them. Sounds crazy? Last summer at Oshkosh John camped next to a father-son team who flew together from Anchorage, Alaska in an 85hp J3, and they still appeared
to be friends! It took them about 50 hours, a couple of days longer than the Mississippi route to Lakeland. (See "High Speed, Low Speed, and No Speed" on page 52 of Sport Aviation, October

The first difficult decision was what airplane to do this trip in: John's J3, or the new Cirrus SR20 owned by the Yankee Flying Club, of which John is a member. It was very tempting to make the trip in speed, comfort and style in the Cirrus, but in the end both Steve and John were partial to the Cub, for the nostalgia, and because this trip deserves to be done low and slow.


John welcomes all helpful suggestions. If you know of Cub-friendly airports, good restaurants, or anything interesting along this route, please let John know. His Email address is, and his phone number is (612) 669-9397.



Marlonís Book Report

Marlon Gunderson asked Chapter members for suggested reading materials for his Winter vacation. I told him that I didnít care what he read, as long as he provides a book report to the Chapter members when he gets back from vacation. Here is what we get:

OK, Dad, I finished my book report....and my report on how I spent my winter vacation....

Actually the hotel we had in Cozumel had an awesome view of the airport from our 9th floor balcony only a mile away. There is only one active runway and no taxiway, the airliner turns around at the end and taxis back halfway on the runway to the terminal. The activity out of the airport was about 8 airliners a day, a Skyhawk that was in the pattern a lot, a Mexican air force
single engine prop airplane, and a twin commuter my brother called a Rice Rocket that came in and out a few times a day.

I experienced my first aborted takeoff in an airliner on the way back. The captain hadn't spooled up very far before aborting, said he suspected he had erroneous instrument readings on one of his instruments, and went back to the terminal to consult with the mechanics back home. The eventual takeoff and flight was uneventful (but beautiful).

I read some stuff by Jimmy Buffet...Where's Joe Merchant, and Tales from Margaritaville...both Caribbean themed. Buffet is a pilot (owned a Widgeon or Goose and flew it all over the Caribbean) and weaves flying themes into much of his writing. I found them only moderately entertaining and very
profane. Literature for the successful redneck and partially reformed party animal.

I had better luck with Richard Bach (A gift of Wings) and St.Exupery (Airman's Odyssey--A trilogy of Wind, Sand, & Stars; Night Flight; and Flight to Arras). I'm partway into both of them. St.Exupery's work is real literature and great historical story telling. He tells of pioneering flights and harrowing escapes including a 125 mile hike out of the Libyan desert on his Paris-to-Saigon attempt in 1935--he belly landed on flat unobstructed terrain while descending through 1200' msl at 175mph in 0 visibility due to faulty wind correction; wasn't scratched, was almost dead of thirst when saved. He also tells of being trapped flying in an Andean valley due to turbulence from a cyclone in the Pacific, then getting sucked out by an eddy, and fighting back to shore against a 150mph headwind. Haven't got to the last part yet which concerns the loosing French air battle against the Luftewaffe. The Bach book is a collection of short essays on flying from various magazine articles he's written over the years
about the type of flying that we do. He went from F-100s to light/vintage flying and writing.

Eventually I'll get to some other of your suggestions. Thanks for all of the suggestions. 0 deg F and back to reality when we got off the plane.

-Marlon Gunderson







February 2001

12 Monthly Gathering

- Lake Elmo Christ Lutheran Church at 7:30pm


March 2001

3 UL-Light plane seminar held in Wausau-Mosinee, WI. at the Holiday Inn at the Cedar Creek mall.

April 2001

8-14 Lakeland, Fl Sun ín Fun EAA Fly-In


Danís Ski Plane Story

My news for the month is that my Spezio is up and flying again after almost 5 months of repair. It was damaged in the August wind storm and has been in my garage since that time. I repaired the wind damage and made a few upgrades as well, including a new spinner, nose bowl, cowling and even a new 40 amp alternator.

I made three short test flights on Saturday afternoon (Jan.20) and got all the little things sorted out and then put the skis on. Sunday I flew over to the ski-plane fly in at Famous Dave's near Hayward, WI.

It was really a good ride with blue skies and light winds... once I got past the poor weather over the St. Croix river. I roared over at almost 100 mph and got up to nearly 500 ft. one time. The Spezio isn't real fast but it is warm and a lot of fun on skis. I saw a timber wolf out on the ice on a small pond near Stone Lake, WI. That was the first wolf
I have ever seen from a plane.

Over 30 ski planes attended the fly in, lots of Cessna taildraggers, Cubs, Champs, Huskys, T Crafts and even a DeHavilland Beaver. The bay was in good condition with no slush and not too rough for this time of the year. There was a very wide snowmobile trail on the bay on which several wheel-equipped planes landed.

Famous Dave's is located on Squaw Bay on the south side of Round Lake eight miles east of Hayward and is the original, first Famous Dave's restaurant. It is a great place for a fly in. It is right on the bay with a nice view. They serve lots of good food, the dinning rooms are warm and there are lots of big windows.

Most of the pilots sat by the windows, ate breakfast, drank coffee and made fun of the other guy's landings. It just doesn't get any better than that for a ski plane pilot!
Dan Bergstrom



This was sent to Bill Schanks.

Hello Bill Schanks!
You are listed as an EAA Chapter contact and I wanted your chapter to know about a new web site I just got online that will service all kit plane builders and flyers.

For four years I have been standing next to my plane talking to builders at the OSH flyin and thought it would be a great idea if we all could communicate easily at other times of the year.

This is a web site where kitplane builders / owners of all types can meet freely to discuss the many aspects of their sport real time in an immediate viewable and searchable format.

There is also a forum for EAA chapters and local flyins that you could take advantage of. Please check it out at the below URL and if you feel it worth mention to your chapter, perhaps you could list it in your newsletter or post it at the next meeting.

Thank you for your time to check this out.
Trip Mellinger
Glasair III N196G



This is from AL Kupferschmidt

I am working on a Young Eagle flight for mid February with a teacher in Cottage Grove. Should know more in a week or so. Sorry no date set but will try to reach people by e-mail and phone when I get it nailed down. We have been playing v-mail tag.


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

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

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