By Sherry Niederkorn
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is an international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Founded in 1953, EAA has grown to over 200,000 members and nearly 1,000 chapters worldwide. Chapter 5 meets regularly at the Geauga County Airport and several activities have kept EAA Chapter 5 very busy this past summer. The members who volunteer to keep this Chapter afloat have been working hard and have donated hours of time to these various events. Some of the events were held at the Geauga County Airport in Middlefield and some were at the Lost Nation Airport in Willoughby.
Two pancake breakfasts were held over the summer at the Geauga County Airport. Members of EAA Chapter 5 aviation enthusiasts are good cooks. They have a trailer to pack up all their supplies, including the griddle and the oven, ready to head north to Willoughby for three breakfasts at Lost Nation Airport.
At the pancake breakfasts, various stations are set up for the youth to visit. The first station is where the Passports are issued. Young visitors take their passports throughout the airport, participate in the activities, get their Passports stamped and then bring them to the final station where the suitcase is opened to reveal the prizes for them to choose. Some stations include: Identifying the Instruments in the cockpit, word searches, coloring pages or puzzles, Glider Plane assembly and flying contests, drones on display, and Young Eagles where children ages 8 to 17 go for a ride in a plane.
The Pedal Plane story started in February when Chapter members began with the blueprints for a Gee Bee 2 Pedal Plane. Step by step, cutting out the pieces, gluing the wood together for the cowling, adding the upholstered seating, painting the parts, connecting the pedals to the propeller, and painting the entire plane, the Pedal Plane took shape as a project to raise funds for the youth activities held at the two airports. Over 1,500 raffle tickets were sold to bring in over $4,000 to the Youth Program.
During the Fly-In and pancake breakfast on Sept. 21, airport board member Tom Randles and Middlefield Mayor Ben Garlich drew the winning ticket. The winner was Bob Rose who was up in the sky at the time flying Young Eagles in his plane. Bob and his wife Carolyn are elated to watch their grandson grow into the hand-crafted plane that took over 400 hours to assemble.
The members of EAA Chapter 5 invite you to join them for building, learning, sharing and just “plane” fun! The chapter members meet on the third Monday of each month for a light dinner at 6 p.m. followed at 7 p.m. by an interesting aviation program. Pilots also gather to discuss real-life scenarios in the IMC/VMC Club on selected Thursdays. Be sure to check out the webcam and see who is at the shop or stop by 7G8 on Saturday mornings to learn about and help work on various projects. For information and a chapter calendar, visit the EAA 5 website or send an email to EAA Chapter5@gmail.com. Feel free to stop in to see the shop or attend one of their events.