EAA Chapter 40 News, May 2012


The Chapter Meeting Where Push Comes to Shove –

Folks, you’d probably better show up Saturday for the meeting. We have a problem that affects the entire chapter at present and into the future. Decisions need to be made with all of the membership’s input, not just decisions by the President and not just the opinions of the bigger mouths in the chapter (guilty, Your Honor).

Last month, Chapter 40 put out a very professional and extensive effort to host the EAA flagship B-17 Aluminum Overcast. Dave Kolstad did a great job managing the event. Carlos and Murry and Alycia and most of our membership came out and volunteered a lot of their time, sweat, and support for the event. The B-17 has been our largest traditional fundraiser for years, although the recession and having it not be new anymore has reduced the return on the event for both EAA and for our chapter. Although it is a great source of pride, it is also a very large burden on the chapter’s limited resources… particularly the chapter membership’s limited personal time and effort. Making several thousand dollars has always at least partly justified this investment.

However, this year EAA Oshkosh instituted new policy establishing a minimum threshold of sales we are required to make, before ANY flight revenue is shared with the chapter. Because of a combination of pricing, perceived value, a recession, poor publicity & promotion by EAA, and now this sales threshold… Chapter 40’s revenue from the B-17 has dropped drastically from its previous level.

The author and others have raised a very serious question about whether the B-17 represents a good investment of our time, money, and resources. Especially when compared to other opportunities, new ideas, and more beneficial chapter programs. More than one of our newer members, representing our chapter’s future and the future of EAA, has expressed frustration with our over-prioritizing the B-17 at the expense of our infrastructure, hands-on aircraft projects, and community outreach.

Chapter 40’s leadership has decided to take public stance on the B-17 tour with EAA Oshkosh, and to discuss our options privately. This Saturday’s meeting is where that discussion will take place. Please be there to state your opinions, vote for or against various ideas, and make your voice heard. This needs to be all of our decision.

This month’s speaker is the great Gene Turner. Don’t miss this presentation by a WW2 P-47 pilot and homebuilt aircraft designer!

Gene Turner, the designer of the T-100D Mariah has had a passion for aviation ever since he was a young boy and that passion still burns strong within him today. In fact, he is still an Authorized Flight Instructor, Aeronautical Engineer, A&P Mechanic, Author, and Publisher. During WWII, Gene enlisted in the US Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet and graduated as a full fledged P-47 Fighter Pilot. After the war, he taught flight instruction in southern Michigan. In 1951, he graduated from the Aeronautical University with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He went on to have an exemplary aviation career in both government and private sectors, as well as owning and operating his own aircraft company, Turner Aircraft, Inc.

In 1962, Gene won 2nd place with his original design T-40 aircraft, N115ET, in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) design competition for a folding wing airplane. (See EAA’s Sport Aviation Magazine, July 1965 for details.) He further developed this design into the ever popular 2 seat T-40A series and this design has enjoyed much popularity over the years. Gene’s original T-40 which he named Ophelia Bumps, is now retired and on display at the Saxon Aerospace Museum in Boron, California where Gene is active as a Docent.

In 1982, Turner Aircraft, Inc. ventured into the ultralight aircraft arena with the Model T- 100 aircraft Gene called Mariah. Gene saw the need for a light weight airplane designed to meet the needs of pilots who wanted to fly, but did not have an FAA flight physical or who could not afford to fly certificated airplanes. With this criteria defined, the idea for Mariah was developed and implemented in the T-100 series of ultralight aircraft.

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1 Comment

  1. Steve Wood says:


    I’m a former EAA Chapter President, homebuilder and world record pilot, and I’ve just published a free online aviation & motorsport magazine – http://www.av8.in will take you to this magazine.

    There’s no registration needed, so please pass the word around if you like what you see.

    The next issue, to be published at the end of June, will feature EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor and will be a Ford related issue on the motorsport side too.

    We would welcome submissions for publication in the magazine – in particular for our regular ‘Adventure of Flight’ and ‘Noseart & Numbers’ features. Please ask your members to submit photos of their aircraft for publication..

    If you have any questions please contact me by email at goav8in@gmail.com


    Steve Wood
    North America Editor – Speedi Wings & Wheels
    World Record Pilot – http://www.worldrecordpilot.org

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