EAA Chapter 563

The Beacon

December, 2022


Christmas Party

The chapter's annual holidays party is at the Lariat Steakhouse on Saturday, December 17. Socializing begins at 5 and dining at 6.

Annual Meeting

The membership approved the slate for the board as presented by Greg LePine and the nominating committee. All the current officers and directors except Ron Wright continue on for 2023. Ron wished to step down and his director position is now filled by Killian Madeley.

The membership also approved the budget presented by the treasurer, Rob Meyer. Rob chose to keep the 2022 budget for use again in 2023. A copy of this budget is found in the Members section of the chapter web site. It was noted that donations for 2022 were well below average. He reminded the membership that donations by Caterpillar employees and retirees can be matched by the Caterpillar Foundation, and donations to the teenager's airplane build are also matched by the Ray Foundation.

For many years, the chapter has presented Lincoln Land Community College with scholarship money to be awarded to a student in their aviation mechanics program who is in need of assistance. Of late, local airports have had trouble finding mechanics, and the treasurer asked LLCC if our scholarship could be targeted. The college confirmed this is possible, and the membership selected a 25 mile radius from Peoria as the preferred location for scholarship recipients. If no suitable candidate exists that year, the funds will go to any student needing it.

Paxson Wooden, who is one of the teens on the airplane build, was nominated for our slot to the Air Academy at the 2023 OSH.

Greg LePine noted the hangar is becoming crowded again, not with airplanes but with tools and other donated items. New member Mike Simmons felt a safety review is in order, especially given the number of teens working around a hangar with chemicals and power tools. This was taken up at the next board meeting.


Again this year, HQ is presenting over several days in late January webinars on numerous topics in airplane building. One can register for these now on their web site.

HQ would also like you to complete a survey regarding your chapter. The chapter officers will be sent the tallies.

Youth Programs

Airplane Building

The firewall forward kit has arrived earlier than predicted. Thanks go to Mike Simmons for collecting it from the Zenith factory in Missouri. Mike has also joined the list of mentors assisting the teens on Saturday mornings.

The elevator and stabilizer assembly is nearly ready to rivet up, and work has begun on fitting up the pieces of the cabin section of the fuselage.

teens at work

VMC and IMC Clubs

The VMC Club meets this coming Sunday at 6:30. The IMC Club meets the following Sunday at 6:00.

Kent Lynch has lead the chapter's IMC Club since it was started several years ago, and this will be the last session he leads. It will also be the last IMC Club meeting until someone volunteers to take his place. HQ's on-line training to assume leadership of the IMC Club is not onerous, so please consider taking on this position.

Thanks go to Kent for launching and running the IMC Club at 563.


Equipment stored near the fire extinguishers and the first aid boxes have been moved clear. One of the first aid boxes (these are near the kitchen) is a large metal box recently donated by Dan Talbott. If you get frisky with the bandsaw, there is even a tourniquet to be found inside it.

There will be shuffling of projects in the hangar this winter. Rich Gilbert is currently using the spot where the Pazmany PL-4 was. The Zenith being finished by Dave Anderson will be moving to Canton where Ted Lambasio will be assisting him, and Dave Jackson will be working on his Aeronca project in that place. Following Dave will be Jim Augustine's new RV-14 kit.

airplanes under construction

The teen's progress, with Rich's airplane in the background.


Chapter membership dues remain at $35, individual or family. Please drop your dues off in the mailbox in the hangar. Renewal forms will be mailed at the start of the new year to those who haven't.

New member Jeff Render has extended this introduction:

I'm a fairly new pilot and started my training at 3MY, then finished out of Peoria with Bradley Flying Association. I'm currently working on my instrument rating, and between training and personal trips I average around 10 hours a month of flying. I currently rent the BFA 172's but plan to own my own plane and hangar it here at 3MY. My goals are to continue training and get my instrument and commercial ratings and someday become a CFI. My interest in flying has inspired my son to learn as well. He is training with the same instructor I had and has just soloed for the first time on my recent birthday.

Stephanie Williams from Springfield lists on her application the restoration of J-3 Cubs, Citabrias, and a Piper Pawnee. She's an A&P with IA and an FAA maintenance ASI. When asked why she joined the Peoria chapter, she replied "I wanted to join... because your chapter is very active and I have had positive dealings with several of your members in the past."

Craig Hittle from Dunlap has also joined the chapter, and Darrel Durig's application is in process.



The Airport Authority is holding their annual Airport Holiday Party in the FBO on Wednesday, 12/14 from 4:30 to 7:00. Please contact Callie at PIA on (309)697-8272 to let them know if you'll be attending. The last time they put on a nice spread of food and drinks.

It's been reported a doctor will soon set up his AME practice in the FBO offices.

The umbrellas on the picnic tables at the FBO which the chapter provided have been taken down for the season.

Mt. Hawley Airport, Peoria, IL