CHAPTER NEWSLETTER MARCH 1976 The first meeting of our new Chapter is history. Sixty-five Sport Aviation enthusiasts signed the attendance roster and spent a busy and very constructive one and a half hour session forming our new organization. To say it was a fantastic showing of interest is an understatement. Chapter Officers were elected and a tentative set of By-Laws was presented to be voted on at the March 10, 1976, meeting at Mt. Hawley Air- port. Those Officers elected were: PRESIDENT.....Victor J. DeCroix VICE PRESIDENT...Guy A. Snyder Ph. 745-8748 107 Blossom Terr. Ph. 697-Ol38 310 Weiman Ave. Washington, Il 61571 Bartonville, Il 61607 SECRETARY.....Joanne Selke TREASURER........Ken A. Rhoads Ph. 685-9375 2616 N. Bigalow Ph. 699-2O39 175 Hickory Ln. Peoria, Il 61604 East Peoria, Il 61511 Dues were set by a vote of those present to be $10.00 per year. That's 83 1/3¢ per month and should cover any normal expenses incurred by the Chapter. Please, get your Chapter dues in to the Treasurer as soon as possible. If you haven't sent your National Membership appli- cation to EAA Headquarters, please, note on the application that your membership is in conjunction with membership in our Chapter. Remember, you must be a member of the National Organization to be a Chapter member. The second Wednesday of the month was tentatively set for the monthly Chapter meetings because of a couple of reasons. First, Jim Sturgess, a past member/Officer of the Bloomington Chap- ter, advised that mailings from headquarters are received during the first week of the month. It was decided to eliminate the first week for meeting dates so as to present more up-to-date news from Headquarters. Sometimes issues arise concerning Sport Aviation such as FAA rule changes that need and require the immediate reaction of the Membership. The sooner the word is spread the better. Second, the meeting times of the nearest Chapters were checked and it was decided to refrain from duplicating meeting dates with these Chapters so that it would be possible for members of our Chapter to at- tend the meetings of those neighboring Chapters and vice-versa. The meeting times for some of the nearby Chapters are: Bloomington....Chap. #129 2ed Thur. 730PM Champaign......Chap. #29 1st Fri. 730PM Decatur........Chap. #274 3ed Tues. 730PM Mendota........Chap. #263 3ed Sun. 300PM Monmouth.......Chap. #350 1st Sat. 730PM Quincy.........Chap. #488 1st Tues. 730PM Rockford.......Chap. #22 1st Tues. 730PM Springfield....Chap. #137 4th Wed. 730PM These times are from the 1973 EAA Chapter Directory. If you would like to know who to contact to attend any of these meetings, please contact me. We were privileged to have in attendance at our first Chapter meeting some long time EAA members. Heading the list was Dr. Francis A. Torrey EAA Life Member #17. Dr. Torrey is one of the original founders of EAA in Milwaukee in 1951. He lives in Pekin and is currently engaged in an EAA Acro Sport project. Some other long time Members present were: Randy Barnes EAA #456 Brooks Lembur EAA #478 Jewett Wasson EAA #663 Don Berrier EAA #2528 John Hardin EAA #4495 We had many five digit numbers that were low also. The most recent EAA # was Bill Ringel's 101871, but I'm quite certain that that number will loose its place as all you enthusiasts who haven't joined EAA yet get your applications in to Headquarters. We hope to have some obser- vations from some of these long time members in the future. There are some interesting stories concerning EAA out there. Also, I would app- reciate any other life members we have in the Chapter letting me know who they are. At this time President DeCroix hasn't received word from Golda Cox, at EAA Headquarters, as to what our Chapter number will be. We expect to hear from her any day now, and if we do before this is mailed to you, I will include it. Some points of interest. The original EAA Chapter in this area had its first meeting on April 19, 1954, with thirty six people present. It was assigned Chapter number two, number one going to Riverside, California, where it is still act- ive. Chapter #2 wasn't so fortunate. In less than a year after it was chartered, Ned Kensinger ,a founder and one of the "Spark Plugs" of the Chapter, left Peoria for a position in St. Charles, Mo. The Chapter soon fizzled out and the number "2" was subsequently reassigned to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where it is still active. Later on, Chapter 207, based in LaSalle, Il., drew a lot of interest from this area and the meetings' locations slowly moved south until the majority of them were held in Chillicothe, Il. Though the reasons are explained as many and varied, Chapter #207 went the way of Chapter #2 and no Chapter was enjoyed in this area until our efforts of February 18, 1976. That date, unknown to those of us who set up the meeting, was coin- cident with the 144th anniversary of the birth of one of Aviation's great- est pioneers, Octave Chanute. Most aviation buffs know of this man's work, but a surprising number don't. Let me give a brief history of this great experimenter. Octave Chanute was born in Paris, France on Feb. 18, 1832 and came to America in 1846. He was a railroad engineer for twenty years until he became a consulting engineer on bridge construction. On March 12, 1857, he married Annie James in Peoria, Il.,and that same year designed the first railroad bridge in Peoria for the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad (now the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad). In 1889 he became interested in aviation and experimented with gliders in Dune Park on the southern Shores of Lake Michigan. He Built a biplane glider that was a design improvement over the single wing, bat like gliders of Germany's Lilienthal. In 1894 he wrote a book "Progress of Flying Machines" that pro- vided the Wright Brothers with valuable data in their experiments with kites, gliders and ultimately powered flight. Chanute's correspondence with the Wrights along with this personal assistance and photographs of their flights and tests aided them considerably in their experimentation. Octave Shanute died on November 23, 1910, and is buried in Spring- dale Cemetary in Peoria. Chanute Air Force Base, Rantoul, Il., and Chanute, Kansas are named in his honor. Chanute's working with the Wrights using data from their own tests as well as that of other experimenters such as Otto Lilienthal, Sir George Cayley, Percy S. Pilcher, Louis-Pierre Mouillard and another Peorian, C. E. Duryea, was an "Experimental Aircraft Association" in the truest sense. These early pioneering experimenters followed the exact philosophy of our own EAA. That is, people helping people in the cause of aviation for education and recreation. To quote Wilber Wright from a letter to Octave Chanute dated June 1, 1900,"What one man can do him- self directly is but little. If however he can stir up ten others to take up the task he has accomplished much."* The Experimental Aircraft Association has accomplished much by following that very philosophy through the leadership of Paul Poberezny. We owe it to each other to continue this line of reasoning in the prosperity of our new Chapter. Each effort, no matter now large or small it may be, combines toward the ultimate goal of the organization. Because of Chanute's activity in this area, and the apparent lack of credit afforded this aviation p1oneer, it was light heartedly sug- gested that we name our chapter for him. This came about after a short article appeared in the Peoria Journal Star about Chanute's birthday. After some thought on the possibility of actually naming the Chapter for Chanute, I researched his aviation pioneering and found the reading quite interesting. His letters to and from the Wright Brothers display the thoroughness of the dedicated scientist that he was. The aviation community certainly owes this man a great deal of respect. Since the name of the Chapter is part of the By-Laws and the By-Laws will be voted on by the membership, it is up to that merbership as to just what name will be given to the Chapter and who will be paid homage from that name. Think it over and make your decision at the March 10, meeting. *"The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright" Vol 1 by Marvin W. McFarland McGraw-Hi11 copyright 1953