The Beacon

December 2020


At November's Annual Meeting, which lasted just under a half hour, the board from 2020 was re-elected for 2021. Also, the budget prepared by the Treasurer, Rob Meyer, was approved.

Ron Wright proposed making all the people who formed the Chapter in 1976 be given permanent, Honorary membership in the chapter and this was approved. At least a few are still living in the area, and Ron will try to inform them.


Due to the pandemic, there will be no annual Holiday Banquet this winter.

One regular attendee of the Thursday morning coffee chats tested positive for Covid. While he tested negative on a second try, members are reminded that Covid symptoms are the same as for the cold and flu. Do not come to the hangar if you feel the least bit ill.

Locally, the infection rate has been rising rapidly. Our insurance from EAA requires us to follow state and federal guidelines, and these have recently become tighter.

In light of all this, the board has cancelled all chapter gatherings for the rest of 2020.

Youth Programs

The chapter completed two Ray scholarships this year. In mid-November, HQ announced the Ray Scholarship program will be on for 2021. Rob Meyer is willing to be the coordinator again if we receive a scholarship, and the board has approved our applying for one.

Brady Neuhalfen has received both a scholarship from chapter funds as well as direct funding from chapter members, and he's now ready for his check ride in December. He flies out of Marshall Co. with Barry Logan.

Our $1,000 scholarship for the aviation mechanics program at Lincoln Land Community College has been awarded to Logan Flowers for the 2020-2021 academic year. He has sent along a note of thanks:

I would like to thank you sincerely for the scholarship that I received. I am currently enrolled in LLCC's aviation program and working part time to pay for schooling. In trying to avoid an enormous amount of debt for schooling I have been doing as much as possible to pay for this without having multiple loans. I feel honored to be a recipient of this scholarship because it will lessen my financial burden and allow me to focus more on school. The more time I can spend learning about the field the better I will be able to figure out what I am good at and what I enjoy doing in aviation. I have always been interested in aviation as my grandfather flew planes with a private pilot's license and my father served in the Air Force. So, to have the opportunity to learn how to work on planes and better understand the mechanics behind them is something that I am extremely excited about. Once again I would like to thank you for choosing me to receive this scholarship and giving me this opportunity.

VMC and IMC Club

For the November VMC Club, the scenario from Pilot Workshops had to do with estimating best glide speed into a headwind. In the POH, best glide speed is often only given for the maximum weight in calm winds. If you are lighter, this speed will be slower, and they suggest each 2% drop below gross weight reduces best glide speed by 1%. Headwind obviously affects best gliding range, and cited was an FAA estimation based on studies of gliders, where for every 2 mph of headwind you can maximize range by adding 1 mph to the best glide speed for calm winds. In an emergency, the best glide speed for typical GA planes can be estimated by using a nose level glide.


Sam Sisk has delivered a 36" bending brake and a 38" shear, both by Peck, Stow & Wilcox. Once fixed up, the chapter will have a proper fabrication area. Thank you Sam!

Needed are volunteers and a leader to clean, paint, and set these up. Team volunteers should meet Monday November 30, 2020 at 9:00 AM in the hangar, to pick a team leader and work schedule.


Now and then the chapter e-mail gets spam of one form or another. An interesting piece received in November was claimed to be from an EAA member near Indianapolis seeking other EAA members who'd made a deposit on a new engine from Adept Airmotive in South Africa. This company had displayed at the 2017 OSH convention. The author of the e-mail, one Philip Meyer, claims the deposits simply disappear. (317)501-5100 was the contact phone number given. Caveat emptor applies to both the engine and the e-mail.


Welcome Noah Baker to the chapter:

I'm currently learning to fly at Mt. Hawley and my aviation interests include: Military, World War 2, Late Cold War - Modern, Naval, and historical aviation. I have some art experience as a graphic designer that I have used to design personal patches, and I play a few good aviation games including sims like DCS (Digital Combat Simulation) and various other more arcadey aviation games. I hope to be a useful addition to the chapter.
The chapter president has asked Noah to design a new coat patch for the chapter.

Greg Harness is still looking into the purchase of the Zenith 601-XL stored in the hangar.

In order to comply with the terms of the most recent hangar lease, all owners of airplanes and projects stored in the hangar will need to present to the Airport Authority proof of insurance on their airplane.

Ron Wright

Ron has been a member of the chapter since it was founded in 1976. He recently sent along a list of the 25 aircraft, from ultralight to certificated, he's worked on over the years. The list here is not chronological, and a few comments from Ron follows it:

The UL-14 was designed on a napkin during a lunch with a Chapter member, Jim Sturges. The Taylorcraft was the only certified aircraft I ever worked on, with a local A&P. I currently have a Sky Raider 1 (single place) and a Sky Raider 2 (two place) aircraft; both are awaiting the return of the necessary FAA paperwork—since mid June!

My efforts could not have been possible without the help of a good number of local aviation folks, the EAA, and the members who represent Chapter 563. It never ceases to amaze me just how much knowledge, talent, helpfulness, and "let's git er done" attitude is always available just for the asking within our local aviation community.

The best investment I ever made was to join the EAA. My thanks goes to all who have helped me.

Looking over his list, one might notice Ron is rather fond of ultralights. Next month a few of these will be described, with illustrations.



At the Annual Meeting, Greg described the mystery of golf balls appearing on the field near the south end of the runway. These had been appearing every few weeks and were being collected by Tammy as she mowed the field. One morning, with much airplane activity, she picked up Greg, and they drove over to film two clowns hitting balls towards the runway from the trailer park across the fence from that end of the field. The miscreants now have a local court appearance coming up, and both the federal and state airport authorities are looking into it, with Illinois planning additional charges.

Mid November brought unusually nice weather, and lunch at the picnic tables by the FBO came with a nice show of airplanes. A Grumman American Tiger in good condition was parked near the tables. It's bonded aluminum construction was clearly visible looking down the skins. This must have made construction simpler but never was widely adopted. While rivets look aerodynamically dirty, it's clear the ripples in the skin resulting from the bonding process would also ruin laminar flow. Over the course of lunch, a Beech and a Cessna departed the field and a Piper arrived.