EAA Chapter 563 News

March 2016


When sending mail to the chapter hangar (1320 Bird Blvd.), please be sure the address includes "EAA 563" in it so the FBO will know how to sort it. For instance, your dues (hint) can be mailed to "EAA 563 Treasurer" instead of to Morrie's house.

Recent meetings and events


It was suggested we add a projects board to the hangar wall, showing the project aircraft of chapter members. Please send photos and notes. In addition to an English Wheel, we now have a 10" band saw for members to use, courtesy of Rob Meyer. The airplanes kept at the hangar have changed recently. Currently there are a pair of 172s, one Glasair, and two projects. The projects are a single seat, Cub-like airplane being built by Ron Wright. The other is a W.A.R. half scale F4U by Greg LePine (more below).


At the February membership meeting, the budget for 2016 was discussed and approved. The results of the recent audit of 2015 were given by Kent Lynch. All was found to be in order, but some of the usual accounting paper trails were missing. This paper work will be added; again, no discrepencies resulted. More flexible accounting software would be of use, and Don Wolcott will look into this. The gyrations in the equities markets will likely postpone a decision on how to invest the chapter's savings. For longer term investments, there are alternatives to CDs, and these will be considered at an upcoming board meeting.


June 11 is the combined 3MY Open House and EAA 563 Fly-in. Ideas are solicited. Sonex will be invited again and other makers, too, eg. Titan, Jabiru, Zenith. The Airport Authority will be handling food, facilities, security, advertising, etc. We will handle only the experimental aviation part and help with security. We plan to have pilot oriented forums as well as those aimed towards the public.


Several fly-out destinations were discussed at the February meeting. Possible destinations include other EAA breakfasts or fly-ins, and perhaps aviation museums, some of which might include overnight stays. Mentioned were the Kalamazoo AirZoo for their open cockpit day and the USAF Museum in Dayton. Please contact director Dan Gilbert with ideas and interests; mild flying weather will soon be here.

Youth Outreach

Brittany Harvey has set up another tour at PIA for the Explorers Post. It will be a "behind the scenes" tour of operations there. We'll meet at the Hangar Too, which is the cafe in the main hall. As always, members are encouraged to join these events and talk with the Explorers. Brittany is scheduling other events. Watch for the dates and times in the Upcoming section of the chapter web site's home page. Everett Brandt’s wife teaches at Quest Academy, using the Fly to Learn software for high school science. 563 helped acquire this software, and she has 5 students now using it. There is a national competition to design an airplane using this software, and she needs mentors, at class time, maybe once a week. Contact Everett if you can help.



The FBO's WiFi signal now reaches our end of the field, but you must be outside the hangar or just inside the rear door to receive it. Greg LePine is testing a repeater inside the hangar having an external antenna to catch the FBO's signal. A drone has been seen by aircraft when approaching runway 18. Keep sharp. The new Maintance building is laying in pieces next to the balloon trailers; watch for assembly to begin soon.

Art Project

Aviation art from local schools will be presented Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at noon at Mt. Hawley. Everyone is invited, and they are hoping we can place a few airplanes on display and perhaps hold a Young Eagles event. Their letter:
Every year, the Airport Authority invites our area schools to create a piece of aviation-themed artwork. We provide the materials and promise to display the works in the terminal. This year, we are hosting the reveal at Mt. Hawley at noon on Tuesday, March 8. Eight schools participated in this group project, and we currently have RSVPs for about 40 students, teachers and parents. We’re also inviting the media. We’re wondering if your EAA chapter would like to have some planes out for them to see, and perhaps someone would be willing to offer a flight to one of the students, who we will choose in a random drawing. We just thought you might like the opportunity to reach this group and get some media coverage as well.


The C.A.F. is bringing the B-29 FiFi to PIA from August 3 to 7 and would like volunteers from the Chapter to help with the event--more information to come.


Welcome new member John Tillotson. He flies C-130s with the Guard and plans to start an RV-8 this summer.

Web Site

The hosting package provided by EAA national includes an option to automatically reformat pages for mobile devices. The reformatting left many pages difficult to read, and this mobile option has been disabled. If you gave up accessing the site from your smartphone, you might give it another try. Even on a cheapie smartphone, the regular site's presentation is (usually) readable. We'd like the member directory on the new site (it's under the Contact tab) to include a small mug shot of you. If you have a favorite photo of your smiling self, send it to the chapter e-mail account, and I'll shrink it to a set size and post it in the directory. As a reminder, the member directory (which is protected by a password) includes your phone number and e-mail address. If you want one or both of these removed, just let me know.

Member Projects

Greg LePine has been working on a 1/2 scale F4U Corsair. His progress report follows. Come inspect the work in the chapter hangar. If you are working on a project, don't hesitate to send in a brief update. It may inspire others to get going.

June 2015

Obtained 1/2 scale F4U Corsair Ser # 243 from Brian Henneman in Shell Knob, MO. It was originally started in 1980, and all woodwork was completed before being sold in 1990. The next person completed all welding and placed it on gear before selling it in 2000. Owner number three installed instruments and hung a Rotec radial on it, took it to Oshkosh and sold engines. So if you saw this in Oshkosh this is the project I bought in 2015. This is the continuing story of 1/2 scale F4U Corsair Ser #243 and I plan on finishing this project. You cannot start where the last person left off, too many years. Everything has to be inspected or removed, rebuilt and re-installed. Yes I have plans, one came with this project and I also purchased a set in the 90’s. So yes I’ve been dreaming and looking a long time. All parts are being scrounged from Wicks, Aircraft Spruce and e-bay Avaition parts for only good parts I can use or rebuild and all hardware is new.


Jacked up lubed all metal gear points and unstuck the gear. The next month was spent working the gear free, retiming it so it rotates the same on each side. Changed the hand gear chain crank from 1 to 1 to 3 to 1.78 crank rotations up, still with slight effort, to 78 rotation down no effort at all. Also installed a tension spring to keep the chain taught. Rebuilt both brake calipers and brake cylinders.


Canopy front side rails were too high and made getting out of the cockpit difficult without use of a sky crane. Removed side rails and made C-channels that rollers slide in. The Canopy height stayed the same but the mounting was lowered 3 inches. Getting in and out is actually fun and easy. Also checked all wood on fuselage for solidness of joints and integrity.


Although the panel looked good it wasn’t what I wanted, and I scrapped all gauges and panel. Made new VFR panel with Air speed, Vertical speed, Compass, Altimeter, RPM, Oil Temp, Oil Press, Fuel, Volts, Gear up/down lights, Ignition, needle Ball, and freash air/heat vent. Rebuilt left/right side vents.


Removed all switches on left cockpit side and installed all new switches on right hand side, along with new wiring. Installed Hobbs meter right side. Installed electric gear up/down switch right side.


Installed 12vdc Cessna Flap motor and gearing to be used as gear motor, located left of center control stick on floor just in back of the forward spar. Installed complete mechanical flap system on left cockpit side: handle, locking bar, rear carry through shaft, bearings and follow through shafts to outer center wing positions. Painted cockpit light industrial gray.


Perfecting gear motor and flaps.

January 2016

Wired gear motor and switch. Tested fiberglass fuel tank; it leaks at all seams and will be re-made out of aluminum.


Need to finish flaps and start working on rear empennage. I have a Terra radio but need a working Terra TRT250D Transponder with mode C output.


So far 32 members are paid up for the new year. There were 54 members in 2015. Dues remain $30 for individuals and $35 for families. Please mail dues to the chapter hangar: EAA 563 Treasurer 1320 W. Bird Blvd. Peoria, IL 61615 or better yet, bring them with you to the next breakfast or general meeting.

Upcoming events

More details are sometimes found on the Calendar of the chapter web site.
2/25 6:00
chapter board meeting
3/5 1:00
The Explorers Post has a "behind the scenes" tour of the operations at PIA. Meet at the Hangar Too cafe in the main hall.
3/8 noon
Presentation of Aviation themed art, at the 3MY FBO (see above)
3/10 7:00
chapter general meeting, with a presentation by Jenny, from the Explorers Post
3/16 7:00
AOPA Safety Seminar, E.Peoria Embassy Suites, WINGS credit available, no RSVP
3/19 6:00
LifeLine Pilots is holding a fund raising dinner in celebration of their 35th anniversary, at a private hangar at PIA. Visit their site for more information at LifeLinePilots.org. Reservations are required; donation is $75. It's likely the C.A.F. will have an airplane or two there.
4/14 7:00
The chapter meeting will include a presentation on drones by Everett Brandt, who follows the progress in this field at Caterpillar.
Gathering of Avengers at Peru, IL (VYS). So far, 9 TBMs have agreed to attend.
5/12 7:00
At this chapter meeting, Mike Kellner will talk about the B-17 restoration project here in Illinois which he directs.