May 23rd, 2023 - Helio Alaska visit
18 of us "drank from the firehose" at the May Chapter meeting. Abe Harman, our outstanding host, is co-founder of Helio Alaska Helio Alaska, based at Birchwood Airport. Abe and colleague, Lukas Stutzer, formed this new, small company in 2019 and acquired Type Certificate 1A8, previously held by Helio Aircraft LLC in Prescott, AZ. Abe and Lukas are well on their way to restart production of the Courier.
Abe shared details of the Helio past & present, and the current market. His plan is to make both experimental and certified versions of the Courier. He is clearly equipped with the knowledge, skills, tooling, jigs, etc. for the task!
He explained new components that will be incorporated into the and their advantages. His well-tooled shop is up for the task of making all the parts required. He discussed the details of his manufacturing processes, from annealing to forming to heat-treating; old stamp dies to new dies and a 150-ton press for stamping ribs, etc.; skin panel cutting/drilling with his CNC router; milling on the CNC mill; jigs for welding the frame, assembling the tail cone, etc.
May 19th, 2023 - Tom's GlaStar Electrical System and Avionics Power-up
Tom Lawhorn had a successful first power-up of his GlaStar's electrical system and avionics after we finished some of the final connections. Congratulations Tom!
May 13th, 2023 - May Events: Airmen's Gathering and Chapter Breakfast
The Chapter's participation at the 2023 Great Alaska Airmen's Gathering (Sat/Sun, May 6-7) was a great success. Chad Hansen, Tom Lawhorn, Ed White, Mark Frischkorn, Wes Erb, Al George, and Scott McEwen staffed 7 hands-on youth aviation stations, along with two dozen other great volunteers. We reached between 200 and 350 kids over the weekend.
8 of us had a marvelous time at Saturday's Chapter Breakfast (May 13) at Kava's: Chuck, Claude, Cliff, Dan & Vickie, Rick, Tom, & Scott. The stories flew, the laughter rolled, the knowledge increased, the breakfast filled. See ya'll soon!
Apr 25th, 2023 - April meeting
Mark Barker, along with friends Scott & Susan Selzer, hosted Chapter 42 for a marvelous meeting. We were joined by Robbie Culver, newsletter editor for EAA Chapter 461, Bolingbrook, IL. Check out Robbie's article on Blakesburg at Robbie Culver's article. During introductions, Scott Selzer, shared about the EAA International Aerobatic Club (IAC) Chapter 135 that he and Mark created in Anchorage; Chapter 135 hopes to gain momentum as other aerobatic pilots join the ranks. The Selzers are our newest Chapter 42 members.
Mark gave a wonderful talk about the latest FAA airworthiness certification (AWC) process. He explained that he and Rod Russell are the only two DARs in Alaska for experimental homebuilts. He shared the benefits of the new on-line application process, minimizing errors that cause rejections. He discussed the importance of applying for the AWC right after obtaining the aircraft registration, due to FAA's current processing backlog of 9 months. He explained the efficiencies of using 3rd party vendors in OKC for filing the app, even though anyone can file directly. He explained the process to create the required operating limitations and flight test plan, and referenced a great series of articles in KitPlanes magazine on flight testing KitPlanes Flight Testing, as well as FAA advisory circular 20-27G, Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft" AC 20-27G.
Then, Mark and Scott provided a wonderful tour of the fabulous aircraft and vehicles in their leased hangar. Beauties included a EAA grand champion 1929 Travel Air D4D with Wright Whirlwind engine (restored by Rick Hansen), 1951 Hiller 12B helicopter, C152, Long EZ, two Christen Eagles (one, formerly Bill Gordon's of the Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team), a BD5-J on a shelf, some wicked swift racing go-carts (one homebuilt by Rod Russell), a top fuel dragster, and even more, actually! On top of all that, was the coolest homebuilt tailwheel trainer! What a night!
Many thanks to Mark and Scott for hosting a great evening. Even more thanks to baker-extraordinaire, Susan, for delicious cookies and aviation tails of her own!
Mar 28th, 2023 - March Meeting - ForeFlight Training
Steve Novak provided a well received hands-on training session on the features of ForeFlight, at the Alaska Airmen's Association building. 12 of us learned a lot, following along with the iPads Steve provided. A few of us brought their own iPad.
For those who missed out, Steve will schedule this training again at the Airmen's bldg. Date will be shared when available.
Feb 28th, 2023 - February Meeting at Bernie's
Bernie was again the consummate host at his marvelous hangar. He sugared us up with coffee and home-made cookies, expanded our minds with marvelous "Bernie-ventions" (fuel line visual flow gauge, raisable ski dollys, etc.), and sent us off with solutions to nagging problems. In addition, Claude explained radio ground planes and how to test standing waves and signal strength. Tom showed a form he used for fabricating a fuselage-strengthening attach point for his tail wheel. It was a great night for the 14 of us.
Feb 15th, 2023 - Saturday Morning Breakfast Fly-Out each month
A proposal to re-establish a Chapter 42 tradition – a Saturday Morning Breakfast Fly-Out each month, following the normal 4th Tuesday night Chapter meeting.
Initiated in the early 1980’s, a different/interesting location for a group Breakfast Fly-Out was selected each month at the Chapter meeting. Weather forecasts, field conditions, distance to the restaurant and food quality were considered.
Airplane owner/participants volunteered their open seats and interested Chapter members made reservations to ride along. Sometimes the PAX got a little cruise stick time. Sometimes PAX rode back in a different plane. Always, the cost of fuel was shared equally by pilot and PAX.
This was one of our most popular Chapter activities.
Winter operations on skis can be considered, as well as summer operations on floats. How many Chapter members have airplanes with these capabilities?
I recall favorite Fly Out destinations included Kenai, Talkeetna, Skwentna, Sheep Mountain, Eureka, and the old Wasilla Airport behind the strip mall on Parks Hwy (it’s gone now).
Of course, there are probably many more now available, including private airstrips, near a good restaurant.
Maybe you know a great place to go?
T: (907) 243-5151
M: (520) 440-2191
M: (303) 895-5058
Jan 24th, 2023 - January Meeting at the Alaska Aviation Museum
Chuck hosted our January meeting at the Alaska Aviation Museum. He briefed us on the Museum's project to restore this Norseman for static display, along with the Alaska history of this aircraft. Lars added to the presentation with his own experiences flying other Norseman aircraft.
18 were in attendance and had a wonderful time. We subsequently voted to contribute $500 to the project.
Chuck invited EAA members to come out to help with this project on weekdays.
The Director of the Eagle River Boys and Girls Club visited with her colleague, Jayden and recruited volunteers for this year's annual Summer Solstice Young Eagles Rally at Birchwood Airport.