EAA Chapter 563

The Beacon

May, 2022


Greg LePine attended the April chapter meeting. Besides the recent, lengthy bout with covid, he's been having a great deal of back pain, and the latter is leading him to resign his position as chapter president as of June 1. He'll also be off loading his position as the head of the Property & Safety and of the Donations committee. Greg emphasized he'll remain active in the chapter, he just currently can't service all the positions he has.

The board will reassign his committee positions and has selected J.J. Hoevelmann to take over the position of President until the next election in November. J.J. and his son Ethan are building a Pietenpol.

Thanks go to Greg for watching over the chapter for the past six years, the longest consecutive run in the chapter's history. Only Sam Sisk has served as president as many years total as Greg.


A few months back, Greg submitted to HQ his list of the chapter's activities. HQ likes to rank chapters on a 10 point scale, but this time an extra credit category was added due to the past two years being under the pandemic. Chapter 563 was been graded a "gold" by meeting 9 of the 11 points considered:

Congratulations to your chapter in successfully reaching the GOLD level status recognition level for the combined 2020 and 2021 years. EAA is happy to present you with a chapter recognition banner to proudly display where your chapter meets. Your level also will be displayed online at EAA.org/FindAChapter with a specially designed emblem. You are encouraged to use your emblem on your website, newsletter, and other promotional materials; your chapter emblem is attached in this email.

VMC and IMC Clubs

The VMC Club met at their usual time on the first Sunday of the month, which was this past weekend. Due to Mother's Day, the IMC Club is postponing their meeting to the 15th, at 6:00.


Not to be a broken record, but Bob Pegg and the kitchen crew are always looking for volunteers.

Youth Programs


On April 18th, the chapter hosted a Tazewell county 4-H group interested in learning about airplane construction. About 16 children and their parents attended. Karl Kleimenhagen gave a brief introduction and slide show, followed by a question and answer time along with Bill Larson and Andy Plouse. The kids were then free to roam the hangar and ask questions of the chapter members about the airplanes on hand and the tools used. At the table used by the teens building the Zenith Cruzer, an impromptu demonstration was made on riveting and deburring aluminum.

Chapter member Terry Moushon observed the proceedings and commented: "Karl and the team did an awesome job. It was quite amazing watching the kids and parents really pay attention."

Ray Scholarships

Jolene Miller has not had the best luck in getting a check ride. Scheduling problems and poor weather plagued her for weeks. She finally had time with an examiner this past week and passed the oral portion, but strong turbulence aloft lead them to halt the flying portion.

The Ray Scholarship selection committee met the last Sunday in March and selected Chase Ehlers from Metamora as our candidate for 2022. He was approved by HQ less than two weeks later. Having already soloed, he receives a partial scholarship of $6,000, and the first $4,000 is in process. Under the program, he will now be expected to finish his written exam before this November and his check ride before May of next year. Chase does not plan to fly much until school ends in two weeks.

Airplane Build

Chapter member Killian Madeley was the first of the teens to finish his Van's practice kit, an aileron section, this at the first of the April build sessions. At the mid-April session he and mentor Andy Plouse took inventory of the Cruzer empennage kit. Two ribs were found missing, and Zenith promptly shipped them out. The following Tuesday, teens built up the skeleton of the rudder. At the next session, which will be the first of the Saturday sessions in May, the rudder will be skinned and work will begin on the horizontal stabilizer.

The teens are having trouble getting decent drilled holes with the cordless drills on hand. They did better with a borrowed air drill, and a new Sioux, high speed air drill has been purchased.

A big thank you goes to chapter member Dana McNeil who has volunteered his time and equipment to fetch, from the Zenith factory in Missouri, the next two kits for the Cruzer, namely the fuselage and "finishing" kits. Ron Wright is riding shotgun on what will be a full day trip this Friday.

building the rudder skelton

Preparing the rudder skeleton parts

Young Eagles

The Dunlap High School Flight Club would like to have a Young Eagles rally, as would the teens on the Cruzer build. Contact Todd Moore, the chapter's Young Eagles coordinator, if you might have time to pilot at a rally in the weeks ahead.


In the March News from HQ video, several of the features of this year's fly-in were announced. The Air Force will be putting on a large display, in celebration of its 75th anniversary. It's also the 50th anniversary of Van's Aircraft. Yet another anniversary is the 30th of the Young Eagles program. The WW-II airshow will feature the Grumman "Cats."

In the April video, they noted there will be a "One Week Wonder" build this summer, a Sonex Onex. They are looking for ambassadors to interact with the public, and they also need builders to assist in the assembly. A Rotax will be the powerplant this time. There will be a vote to allow the public to select the paint scheme. Chapter camping sites at OSH are available. Lastly, HQ hopes all chapters will hold a Young Eagles Day on June 11.

A Raffle

Chapter 72 in Falcon, Colorado would like to spread word about their raffle of a RANS S-19. A nearly complete airframe along with a factory new engine were donated to the chapter, and chapter members have completed the airplane and will paint it. They hope to raise between $70,000 and $250,000 by selling $100 raffle tickets.


The current roster shows 60 members on board for 2022. Do you need to send in your renewal form?



The first canopy for the picnic tables has been fastened to its frame, and this will be mounted in the coming week.


Chapter member Nick Keith, who had the Pekin FBO, has moved to Florida. Naomi Bohm, who worked in his shop, is trying to start a new operation at Pekin. Naomi received some of our scholarship money sent to Lincoln Land Community College.

Mt. Hawley Airport, Peoria, IL