Chapter 54 NEWS


November 2000

Volume 43, Issue 11

November Gathering

will be held on

Date: 11/13/2000

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: Panel Discussion on Building an airplane from plans.



  President's Corner
Here it is November and the weather is still nice, airplanes are still flying that would normally be put up for winter, people are doing chores usually reserved for summer and I for one am really enjoying this. What a nice October it was!

Speaking of airplanes flying, have you seen Marlon Gunderson's Piper J-5? Marlon was one of the victims of the big storm in that his Protech PT2 was totally destroyed. Since then he has purchased and taken delivery of a 1941 Piper J-5. Congratulations Marlon.

Congratulations are also in order for Paul Leidl who has been seen taxiing his Kitfox Outback around the Lake Elmo airport. So I guess it is about time that I bring us all up to date on that airplane's status. I have just completed the final Technical Counselor's report on Paul's project. He is currently waiting to find out when the DAR will come for the final inspection and he hopes that he will be doing the test flight within the next few weeks.

Paul, a member of Chapter 54, took delivery of the kit for his Kitfox Outback Series 5 in August of 1999. The aircraft is now finished, the FAA has been contacted, the paper work is being completed as you read this. That is just a little over a year from the delivery of the kit to a completed aircraft. That is quite an accomplishment and is a study in determination.

Paul decided on building the Kitfox after about a year and one half of investigating other options. He knew he wanted a seaplane and because of the initial cost of factory built versions and the subsequent costs of maintenance and insurance, he felt that that option was just too costly. He considered several amateur built designs and decided that Skystar's program best suited his needs.

What he has is a Skystar Kitfox Outback Series 5. The engine he chose to install is a Continental IO-240B of 125 BHP turning a 70" three bladed Warpdrive propeller. Expected cruise is 120 MPH with published stall speeds at 54 MPH clean and 48 MPH dirty. Fuel capacity is 26 gallons with 24 gallons being useable. It will burn 6 gallons per hour so it has an endurance of 3.5 hours with one half hour of reserve. Maximum gross wt. is 1550 lbs. and after weighing in the airplane's empty weight is 951 lbs. That gives him a useful load of 599 lbs. He is already contemplating building his own set of amphibious floats and hopes that he will be able to increase gross weight by 10%.

Paul designed his instrument panel and it includes some homemade gadgetry. He purchased an electronics kit from Rocky Mountain Instruments. It is a multi-functional, panel mounted digital readout instrument that provides information on altitude, airspeed, blind encoding altitude reading, outside air temperature and vertical speed information. He built it in three days and it works! (Dale Rupp also built one of these for his RV-6.). Paul backs up the airspeed indicator with a conventional instrument. For communication and navigation he will equip the airplane with a hand-held Airmap 100 GPS and panel mounted King KT 76A 760 channel comm radio and Bendix King KY97A transponder. The rest of the panel is standard day VFR instrumentation.

The airframe is equipped with a flying tail, that is the trim is the horizontal stabilizer and Paul has installed an electric motor to drive it. The wing has flaperons with the flaps being operated with a Johnson bar mounted in the center console in the cockpit. The upholstery comes from Skystar and is very nicely done. Paul designed and sewed his own baggage compartment. The tubular fuselage comes ready welded and powder coated with the float fittings installed. Paul's airplane is designed with a conventional style landing gear configuration; that's the tail wheel version with a Scott pneumatic tail wheel. The covering is all Poly-fiber with Aero-thane finish in red and white with black trim. The wing ribs are stitched.


Paul, a semi-retired Manufacturing Engineer, is single and lives in Oakpark Heights. (This kind of explains how he was able to complete the project in a little over a year). He holds a Private Pilot's certificate for single engine with a sea plane and a current instrument rating. He also owns and flys a Piper PA 28R-201 Arrow III as well as a Piper J-3 Cub. He recently purchased the Cub from Dan Parker in order to become more proficient in tail draggers. Thanks to the really good weather we have been having, he has become very proficient and is well qualified to do the test flight of his homebuilt.


Paul's hangar is on the Lake Elmo Airport which he also recently insulated and installed a heating unit himself.

I have been following the progress of this project throughout its gestation period and am quite familiar with every facet. I am very proud to have been associated with the project as a Technical Counselor and believe the Paul has lived up to and exceeded the EAA and FAA standards of good workmanship and attention to detail with an eye toward flight safety and high standards. Skystar provides a good and well designed kit with plenty of support and cooperation with the builder. All and all it has been a pleasant experience and I am looking forward to the first flight.



There will be a board meeting on Wednesday, Nov.8th, at 7:00 P.M. in Jim Anderson's hangar. The agenda will be what to do about a meeting place and the nomination of board member vacancies. The general meeting will take place on Mon. the 13th. at 7:30. The program will be a panel discussion and forum about plans-built airplanes versus kit-built. The location of the meeting is still to be determined. Look for it to take place at Christ Lutheran Church. This has not yet been confirmed.


--- Bill Schanks


Treasurer’s Report: 10/2/2000

Building Fund $2,836.99

    Operations $6,754.98

                Cash $ 25.00


             Total $9,616.97

Not much activity this month, two renewals and three calendars sold. We currently earn about $35.00 per month interest. We are on track to end the year with well over $10,000.00.

Considering that we started the year with less than $7,000.00 and bought a nice new grill and bought some Chapter Decals, and sent a young man to the EAA Air Academy, and purchased a Sport Aviation subscription for the Stillwater Area High School, it has been a good year financially.

Some of our net increase resulted from the Pancake Breakfast (thanks Lief Erickson and all those that helped). The rest resulted from the sale of the salvaged building materials (thanks Steve Ogborn and all those who helped) and from the sale of the Pietnpol.



Directors meeting October 4, 2000

Anderson Hangar 7:00 p.m.

Present- Dan Parker, Dick Wicklund

No Quorum……not even close.

Shared a cup of coffee. I drank, Dick watched.

We went home at 7:40

Dan Parker V.P.



Chapter meeting of October 9, 2000

Dan Parker opened and guests were introduced. One visitor was Dick Stright, a potential member who was given an application form.

Director Art E. gave a brief report on flying start. Director Al K. encouraged us to get a few more Young Eagles flown and paper work submitted. No other director reports and the treasurer‘s report was in the newsletter.

Jerry S. updated the group on MAC’ timeline for input on the ordinance. October 10 was going to be the deadline for input. Highway cleanup set for October 28, 2000.

Kirk Huizenga gave the group an update on his Pietenpol. Progress on restoration and class that is working on the project.

After the speaker the group discussed the need for a permanent meeting place. Preference would be a location on the airport. Hangar or building on site. Prior to next meeting there will be side discussions with MAC ( what would be acceptable). Also, checking on the availability of a building (portable classroom type) to be moved onto site. Update to directors.

Speaker of the evening was Jim Olson’s grandson, Brad Spencer. Brad is a senior at Forest Lake High School. The chapter sponsored Brad at the EAA 2000 Air Academy. The report was on his activities. Atmosphere was casual but each day was full of activities. There were daily classroom session and then workshops that each attended. Brad showed the group the wing section that he made during the work sessions. He also made a spark plug holder. Our President, Bill Schanks, is an advisor at the EAA Air Academy Evenings were fellowship and fun.

There were 30 plus in Brad’s group, both young men and young women. When Air Venture 2000 started, they were given free access to all areas. This was definitely a highlight of the week. Another highlight was the opportunity to meet the pilots that were involved in the airshows.

Brad, also, talked about the friendships that were started during this week among the students from around the country. Brad presented a beautiful hand made plaque to the chapter in appreciation for opportunity of attending the academy. Our chapter sponsored Brad. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce young people to aviation.

Dan Parker V.P.



Treasurer’s note.

Brad’s tuition amounted to $950.00. At first that sounds like a LOT of money, but when you look at what the student gets for the money, it is a heck of a deal -- ten days lodging in a real nice facility, three square meals per day, admission and flight line passes for Air Venture -- the dollar value of this alone should be near $1,000.00. In addition, the student receives classroom education in the construction techniques of homebuilt aircraft. Yet there is more. The student gets a Young Eagle ride out of Pioneer Airport and gets a ‘Free roaming‘, after hours tour of the EAA Museum. In addition to all of these things that can have a dollar value placed on them, the student gets the once-in-a-lifetime experience of living at the heart of the most important organization in Sport Aviation, with people who share the excitement.

Brad’s tuition was paid as follows:

Jim Olson paid $100.00. Chapter 54 paid $450.00. Young Eagle credits amounted to about $275.00. and AvemCo Insurance Company awarded Brad a scholarship of about $125.00

--- Bob W. Treasurer



Chapter 54 on the WWW

Thanks to the efforts of Art Edhlund, Chapter 54 was favorably mentioned in the EAA web site, for the whole world to see. They said nice things about our Chapter’s Flying Start program. Thanks Art for your efforts. It may not have gotten into the minutes a few meetings ago, but our Chapter received $90.00 from headquarters, as a result of new members. Most of these were due to the ‘Flying Start’ efforts of Art and Gene Frank.

Bob W.

We have received many favorable comments regarding the ‘Weather Icon’ on Chapter 54’s web site. It shows the current conditions at Lake Elmo (as measured at St. Paul). In addition, if you click on the icon, you can read a very detailed weather forecast for the next few days, that is updated throughout the day. One alert member pointed out that you can also view a graph, that shows by hour, the expected temperature and dewpoint. Since I am interested in Astronomy, I am amazed at the feature that allows you to see a map of the stars and constellations as they exist at this minute.

Bob W.



News from Out and About

From Ed Pfeiffer --








From Grant Radenzil --

I made my first cross country with my Osprey 2, having completed the 40 hours of testing within the 25 mile radius. All the way to Voyager Village and back, for what is still about a $300 cup of coffee-until I get more hours on my investment.

Also, it is rumored that Sampson’s airplane boneyard has been purchased by a guy who plans to move it to Boyceville, Wisc. That should make it nicely accessible to us East siders.

Grant Radinzel
Houlton - yes that is still chapter 54



From Al Kupferschmidt

The old Elmo Aero bldg. has been torn down and a couple of the Chapter Members managed to get the Chapters personal belongings out just in time. The items are scattered over the airport in different hangars. If anyone needs to find something ask Al Kupferschmidt or Dave Feibiger.
On the Young Eagle front: I Have received calls and requests for forms and rides, from 2 groups. About 16 kids total. We will try for the middle part of November to get them up. I Will get a date and notice to all who want to help. Without a regular meeting place, it is more difficult to communicate with everyone. Also there are so many people working on getting their hangars back together.


From Kirk Huizenga --

Just a short update on the Pietenpol. The Piet is disassembled and ready to be rebuilt. Bill Shanks came out on the 23rd and did an initial technical advising session. Our first work will be on preparing the tail feathers for recovering and constructing new control horns.

I'll keep you updated as things progress

Kirk Huizenga



From Marlon Gunderson (Two weeks ago, via e-mail)

As some of you may know, I am taking delivery of a J5A Piper Cub later this week, to replace the PT2 I was training in, that was crunched in the storm.

I discovered that an article had been written up several years ago in Plane & Pilot Magazine about the current owner of the J5, Allen Steffey, and his Tailwheel training school in Prescott, AZ. Nick Stolley of Ch54 was kind
enough to give me a copy of that article, which I have scanned in and attached here; I thought some of you might enjoy it. It describes a great lifestyle. The J5 under restoration mentioned in the article, also mentioned as the one which he flew to Oshkosh from Prescott, is the one I'm

This tailwheel school trained with and rented a J3, J5, C140, Stinson 108, Aeronca Champ, Pitts S-2A
also a Skyhawk and Katana.

The owner dissolved the company this summer, bought a sailboat and moved to San Diego. I haven't found out what made him pull up stakes, but he did mention that he was involved in an N3N crash about two years ago which left
him with some injuries; that may have something to do with it, hopefully its not the divorce scenario.

He apparently isn't so injured that he can't fly his J5 up here himself. He left tuesday morning from Prescott and called Tuesday night from Albuquerque, and tonight from Liberal, KS. I can't imagine a better week of
October weather to make that trip. He should arrive by Friday evening, and I'm hoping he'll take some time Saturday to do some flying with me; if he can't I'll be looking for another J5 pilot. The J5 should feel right at home with two other 1941 Tailwheel stablemates. If you would like to meet Allen, Mr.Tailwheel Trash, look for us out there on Saturday.


-Marlon Gunderson




Quote of the month

When the going gets tough, the tough get duct tape.

                                          - Red Green



Up Up and Away

We received this from Chapter Member Jim Olson.

Passengers on a small commuter plane are waiting
for a flight to leave and they're getting a little impatient.
But the airport staff has assured them that the pilots
will be there soon and the flight can takeoff immediately
The entrance opens and two men dressed in pilots' uniforms
walk up the isle, both are wearing dark glasses.
One is using a seeing eye dog and the other is
tapping his way up the isle with a white tipped cane.
Nervous laughter spreads throughout the cabin as the men
enter the cockpit.
The door closes, and the engines start up.
The passengers begin glancing around,
nervously searching for some sign that this is just a little
practical joke. None is forth coming.
The plane moves faster and faster down the runway and
people at the windows realize that they're headed straight
for the edge of the water at the end of the airport's property.
It begins to look as though the plane will never take off--
but will plow into the water!! Panicked screams fill the cabin,
but at the last moment, the plane lifts smoothly into the air.
As the gear tucks in and the flight trims out,
the passengers relax and laugh a little sheepishly.
Soon they have all retreated into their magazines,
secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands.
Up in the cockpit, the copilot turns to the pilot and says,
"You know, Bob, one of these days they're going
to scream too late....... and we are all gonna die!"





8 Board Meeting Anderson Hangar 7:00pm

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

23 Thanksgiving


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


BACK TO Newsletters