August 2022 Meeting review

First of all, a big Thank You to Shane Parreco for a terrific presentation on recent discoveries in airfoil technology! Read more at:

What a great meeting last night!  36-38 members and friends were there to enjoy Jacob‘s cooking and the WNC Air Museum‘s hospitality. It was so good to see you and enjoy your company.

Shane Parreco did a super job explaining the latest airfoil theory from NASA and Al Bowers which uses the most experienced wing design out there – birds – to expand upon a game-changing design paradigm called the ‘Bell Spanload”. The theory behind this design was first published in 1921 (!) and was further refined by several people, mostly in German professional journals  and mostly lost, but the Chief Scientist at NASA’s Neil Armstrong research facility in California resurrected the various versions and put them together to accurately depict not only how birds fly, but how they do it so efficiently. For more, check YouTube for Albion Bowers and this video from an Academy of Model Aeronautics convention:

I can’t let this recap go without a big thank you to everyone who pitched in to make it a lot of fun. We had a lot of compliments from members and friends who all said they’d be back. The side conversations – many about technical questions from builders and curious minds – were interesting to overhear. Our meetings are about so much more than airplanes and you have to be there to appreciate it.

Our September Program on Tuesday, the 13th, is going to be a very special treat and a ‘must attend’ for anyone with a spark of adventure. 

Sid Tolchin after his first solo flight in his Aerolite 103 Ultralight!

Member Sid Tolchin, long time pilot and airplane builder, partner in an avionics company, retired after a distinguished medical career and newly minted ultralight pilot will recount a highlight of his life in the air: His landmark trip across the North Atlantic Ocean in his LongEZ. This is not to be missed! I could sell tickets to this one, but you get to enjoy it by showing up! Mark your calendar, and mark it NOW!

Until next time …

July 2022 Meeting Recap

Hello EAAer!

We had a great turnout for the FAA FAAST Team presentation on the 12th .. 42 members and guests were at the Western North Carolina Air Museum in Hendersonville to hear Paul Meyer and Mike Moran from the Charlotte FSDO discuss operations at non-tower controlled fields, the increase in drone operations both locally and nationwide and a general Q&A … there just wasn’t enough time to cover all the topics that we wanted but it was an informative meeting and we and they learned.

It was good to meet some people we haven’t seen before .. I hope our very informal approach to gatherings works for you and that we’ll see you again.

Thanks to Keith Plemmons again for fronting the costs involved with producing our chapter logo patches .. they look great and are available directly from Keith and at the meetings.

Our next meeting will be August 9th when we’ll hear about some new discoveries in airfoil technology from Shane Parreco and a colleague who work with, among others, NASA .. their work echoes (to me, at least) the innovative work by aerodynamicist John Roncz whose credits include Scaled Composites’ Voyager, the sail design for an America’s Cup winner, and Steve Fossett’s Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer. It’s a fascinating subject in this day and age of energy efficiency. 

Post your project news and please do take advantage of your technical counselors .. 

All the best …


Build Strong and Light, Fly Safely

June at Six Oaks – meeting recap

What a treat to have 40-45 Members gather at Six Oaks Airfield for our June Meeting/Gathering!

Six Oaks is a private preserve and its owner, Peter Fontaine, an EAA Member, airplane builder and flying enthusiast hosted us in his shop.

Members approaching on Cane Creek Road were ushered in with a new portable sign that will follow us as future events unfold. Thanks to member Keith Plemmons for making the design available.

Peter’s shop is first rate, as is all of the Six Oaks property. After a very warm day, complete with a morning thunderstorm, we were surprisingly comfortable under a huge fan in the insulated hangar. 

The food supply was generous and tasty. Daryl and Mark, in  the foreground, engaged in conversation with others seated in rocking chairs around a coffee table while other Members chose to set up their chairs amid shop equipment and Peter’s RV-8.

Mark, again, eyeing something on Simon’s plate. There was plenty to go around with very little left over.

Sid, Bill and Leo, digesting while waiting for the program to start.

Our program was Peter’s description of how Six Oaks came into being. He described his early interest in flying followed by his use of airplanes for business travel and his discovery of this wonderful piece of property along Cane Creek, east and slightly north of Asheville Regional Airport and, conveniently just outside the Class C airspace. 

Questions came up and were answered, the logistics of creating a place like Six Oaks and the patience required while topography was considered, the wise use of the land and setting aside a great part for preservation of forest. All in all, we were welcomed and left with a fair portion of wishful thinking that, I suspect, all pilots harbor about having an airfield to call home.

Following Peter’s presentation Simon Jennings was singled out for having earned his CFI certificate! Well done, Simon. Then a special recognition: a celebration for Jerry Marstall and Mark Cigal having reached 1,000 hours flying time on their homebuilt airplanes at almost the same time: Jerry in his Tri-Q 200 and Mark in his RV-8: 

Peter on the left, Alex, Mark and Jerry. Oh, and the cake:

Our door prize, a pair of Bose, bluetooth sunglasses, was won by Bob Cauffield! Congratulations, Bob.

Thanks to all who helped with setting everything up and taking everything down. Chapter VP Jacob Coby for seeing to it that the food table was set, Nancy Marstall for her support and encouragement, and everyone who pitched in.

Special thanks to Peter Fontaine who hosted us at Six Oaks.

Our next meet-up will be July 12th at the Western North Carolina Air Museum in Hendersonville. The program will be given by Paul Meyer of the FAA  in a FAAST Team presentation of Airspace and Operations at Non-Tower Controlled Airports. We will likely publicize this to the local pilot population, especially the WNC Pilots Association, as we can all benefit from programs such as this. Thanks to Simon for arranging this.

A last note: Keith Plemmons still has patches available .. contact him directly through the email group or by private message and let him know which and how many you want … 

All the best … Alex

Build Strong and Light, Fly Safely

A G R E A T May ’22 Meeting!

Jerry Marstall, Aviator, Raconteur

What a perfect ending to a perfect flying day! Our program at the May meeting of EAA 1016 was a recounting of Sun n Fun as never seen before … from cow pasture camping to alligators, rain and, yes, airplanes … Sun n Fun was, indeed a fun fest for all who attended. Jerry and his wife, Nancy, have been going to SnF for many years and decided at some point to pitch in as volunteers. This year, SnF awarded them their 15-year pins!

33 of our members and friends showed up to enjoy their Bring Your Own food to cook on the grills at the Western North Carolina Air Museum. At this time of year we can start early, have a good reunion recounting our adventures, maybe get a tip on a project, enjoy an informative/entertaining program and be off for home while it’s still daylight. This time, past president Greig Hillman and the President of one of EAA’s newest chapters, Brooks Mershon and his wife, Taylor, of EAA 1662 at Marion NC, flew in for the festivities .. Brooks in his Pitts (with the food) and Taylor with Greig in Greig’s Citabria.

Recounting adventures, here in the mountains we’ve had our own brand of excitement … the sun actually came out a few times and the air was filled with flying machines of all sorts. One of our intrepid birdmen journeyed to his native England for a birthday to remember, flying a DeHavilland Tiger Moth!

The jaunty Pilot Officer Jennings, his cuppa tea, Winston approving
Simon’s trusty steed for a day of flitting about the English countryside

Not one to rest on his laurels, our intrepid aviator and his friend and Federal Agent, Ricky Brown, launched for Wilmington NC and proceeded to meld wind, water, lift and drag to earn their seaplane ratings!

The river traffic gave way for the Gentlemen of Adventure in their quest for the rating
And Lady Luck held for Simon and Ricky to add Seaplane to their resumé

Congratulations to you both!

During the meeting we heard from Krafton Locke, who says his ailerons, flaps and elevators are finished on his Sling kit .. what a spiffy looking airplane from South Africa .. Tim Higgins is about to close his second wing on his RV-12 and says the fuselage kit should be crated and on its way very soon. That’s very good news for Tim as Nancy has plans for him when he runs out of airplane things to do! Past president Michael Doornbos is back working on his Zenith 750 Cruzer and projects completion in ……………

A great evening with friends and food, good weather and good conversation. What more could anyone want?

‘Til next time:

April 2022 Meeting Recap

The month began with a quick hop over the mountains from Hendersonville, Asheville and Marion to Morristown TN for their First Saturday of the month Fly-In/Drive-In Breakfast!

The weather couldn’t have been better for a flight over the mountains on April 2nd. Our Aprils are not always so kind, with frequent high and low pressure shifts, warm and cold fronts, and unpredictable winds, but on this day conditions were perfect!

I met up with Greig and Simon and Matt and Kajur and Steve for a terrific feed – the people at EAA1494 really know how to do breakfast. I estimated ~400 people and maybe 50 airplanes on the ramp. They get a lot of local area people driving in as well as flight-hungry aviators.
Steve Murray with his just-built RV-10 sans paint. It is quite advanced in technology and a platform he uses regularly.

Our meeting on the 12th of April saw 24 of the faithful gathering at the Western North Carolina Air Museum in Hendersonville. It had rained all day north of Fletcher (about 10 miles north of the museum) but only a few drops at the meeting place. Steve Murray gave a terrific presentation on the use of MOGAS in aircraft engines … a lot of useful information in light of the recent price increases for fuel, both AVGAS and MOGAS. There were discussions of octane, Reid vapor pressure, fuel pressures, ethanol and handling safety along with demonstration of a Hodges Volatility Tester for determining safe altitude limits to prevent fuel vaporization. It was a wide ranging discussion and we all went away with a better understanding of the issues.

Jerry and Nancy Marstall were awarded their pin for 15 years of Volunteer service at Sun-n-Fun

We talked a little about Sun n Fun .. Nancy & Jerry Marstall were there as volunteers. Greig Hillman was there, too, and said he enjoyed the show. Allegiant has nonstop flights to Orlando that are shockingly inexpensive and he really liked that.

Bill Kemper has earned his Light-Sport Repairman – Airplane certificate which means he can do his own maintenance on his Flight Design CTLSi airplane. Bill Whitley announced earlier he had earned his Light Sport Repairman Maintenance – Airplane certificate which allows him to do work on other people’s light-sport ultralights and airplanes, including experimentals that meet the L-S definition.

We have a couple of members – Dean Youngblood from Rutherfordton and Robert Cauffield, who just moved up from Gainesville GA to join us, have signed up to help with events .. Gary Garner is working on the B-25 and B-17 visits when those airplanes are touring again and will appreciate their help for sure. Dean has also offered to work with memberships.

Seven members renewed their dues – 2 of them family memberships – and we now have 42 paid up members. As mentioned in an earlier email, there are ~400 national EAA members within 35 miles of us who could be likely candidates to join our chapter. We’re going to send out email invitations to our national members if all conditions are right for the May meeting and if weather permits we will cook out! More on that as time goes by.

The museum’s maintenance/restoration building is almost ready for them to move into .. The doors needed some extra reinforcement and floors are to be sealed. All the “stuff” in the front of the present building that has to do with the maintenance and restoration of their airplanes should be moved in time for the May meeting and that will give a lot more room for gatherings such as ours.

Springtime around here is in full bloom (ah-choo) and, more and more, the days are fit for good flying, be it glider, powered, light, ultralight or personal travel. A couple of powered parachutes hummed and buzzed by the house over the weekend and looked like a lot of fun.

With all that’s going on in the world, higher fuel prices, COVID rearing its ugly head again, we’re especially thankful for good friends, time to build and fly, and the gatherings we all enjoy so much. There’s a little blue peeking out behind the clouds …

Two New Projects! March is Marching in Quick Time!

Not rain, not snow, not standing water shall deter our builders and flyers and fixers from their appointed tasks …

Leo captured the serenity of Lake Johnson at the approach end of Runway 15 at 8NC9. This scene of gentle breezes and water lapping at the shore comes to us courtesy of beavers that dam up the drainage streams (and no one will do anything about it).

In the space of a week, two new projects! First, Sid trucked his Aerolite 103 in from Oklahoma with his son, Lee.

Sid, at the end of several days of driving across the country. Note how well the Aerolite 103 was secured to the 20-foot U-Haul …
There were hands a-plenty to help with unloading but Sid wanted to be sure so we waited for Matt to arrive …
Matt, in the foreground, is a strapping fellow, able to curl an Aerolite 103 one-handed. Sid’s son, Lee, in the black T shirt, is a big guy too and a lot of help.
Finally, the crew .. Leo, Lee, Penny, Sid and Tim.

The breakfast report today: Sid says his Aerolite is assembled and awaiting a good looking-over by an A&P. Taxi tests coming up and then the commission of lift when good and ready.

Then Brian and Steve bring home Brian’s dream machine – a composite project Europa, which Brian will configure as a tricycle gear airplane. The Europa is a sleek, efficient design that was originally configured as a taildragger with a single wheel set in the fuselage and pogo-stick outriggers at the wingtips. Pilots reported it “challenging” and insurance losses dismayed many carriers, but with a tricycle gear, it’s a sweet flying machine. Look it up!

The Europa bits and pieces fit nicely in the truck
There’s Brian, securing everything for the trip.
And Steve .. with all those pieces that will eventually come together in the shape of an airplane. He says Brian should be finished with it by June … 20XX

It’s great to have all this builder activity in our area .. thanks to all who contribute and all who lend a hand. Our technical counselors are going to be pretty busy!

March 2022 Meeting Highlights

We started our EAA day with a visit to see Steve Murray’s RV-4 project and boy, did we get an eyeful! Steve bought the wings and tail portions from a fellow who bought it from a fellow who …. well, you get the idea. He said it started in NC, then went to GA, then back to NC so it has a good bit of mileage on it before it was even built!

Steve is showing Mark, Darwin, Jacob (hidden) and Owen how the wing ribs align with his spar

The rain was supposed to start much earlier in the day and quit before meeting time, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it began raining in earnest a couple of hours late and kept on and on. That, coupled with rapidly rising fuel prices due to supply shortfalls after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, impacted our meeting attendance but 22 of our stalwart members showed up.

You have to hand it to fellows like Keith and Dave from Waynesville, Al from north of Weaverville, and Jacob, Jerry and Nancy from the wilds of Buncombe County who braved the elements and distances to come!

Echoes of our early get-togethers last year: our program was supposed to be chock full of progress reports from several of our builders … when the museum doors opened and we got started it was raining to beat the band. Steve was there and we had some pictures from our project visit (he had some on a memory stick which our ever-efficient president forgot were in his pocket), so we got a short description of what was going on in his workshop. And then there was a brief interlude of fumbling silence.

The new chapter patches – designed and ordered by Keith Plemmons

We did manage to remember that Keith stepped up to design some new patches for the chapter that reflect a more up to date look and should be ready .. when they’re ready. Thank you, Keith.

Nancy Marstall and Simon Jennings told us about the upcoming program at the Western North Carolina Pilots Association meeting planned for March 15th at the Lacy Griffin Building at AVL. It’s “how to survive a ramp check”, presented by Tim Haley from the Greensboro FSDO.

Thank goodness for George Heddy, a temporarily flightless bird who is having his Cessna 172 instrument panel re-done! George had just received an email with pictures from the shop in Florida and he and Mike Cola, keeper of the A-V gear, put them up on the screen. George said he caved in and had his windshield and side windows replaced at the same time since the airplane was apart and available so the cost went a teeny bit over the plan, but he’s keeping the airplane and if not then – when? Good call, George.

Factory promo picture of the Sling TSi

While George was speaking, Krafton came in from work with pictures of the progress on his Sling TSi. This is a remarkable kit from South Africa. It’s a beautiful airplane, powered by a Rotax 915-iS, with astounding specs: 148kts on 141 horsepower, a useful load of 1,000 pounds and 4 seats! There were a lot of questions about the kit itself, which is packaged beautifully and ready for a first time builder or a serial builder to put together with minimal fuss. We reported on a project visit last year and Krafton has made a lot of progress since then.

Thanks to all our great members for persevering through pandemic and weather and fuel uncertainties to keep the spirit of our chapter and the dream of building and flying airplanes alive. We all need a little encouragement sometimes and it’s so important to be able to call somebody and work out the kinks that inevitably arise.

Pizza Night After Action Report

We had a terrific night at Fahrenheit Pizza on Feb 8th .. about 20-25 of us found room for 10 Pizzas of all varieties plus bellywashers and a great time was had by all. There was even enough for some take-home at the end. 

George, Mike Cola, Alex, Jacob, Michael behind Greig
The Zenith contingent came out in force! Daryl (escaped having his picture taken) and Michael were Joined by Dean Youngblood from Rutherfordton. Dean is flying off his hours on his 750 and getting used to  f l y i n g   s l o w … what a nice airplane!
Dean drove all the way over from Rutherfordton (joining Greig from Marion and Keith Plemmons from Waynesville – we do cover some territory)
What a crew .. Tim and Keith and Jim Cain in the foreground. Jim lives right around the corner from Fahrenheit Pizza and, truth be known, made me think that he is smack in the middle of where most of our members live, so prompted a search for a central meeting-up spot)
From a different angle — here is Jim with Nancy Higgins with Jerry in the background fanning the pizza oven when we were waiting for the second round. So nice to have a lady in the group – you kept us in line and from getting too rowdy
Matt and Rowan held down their end of the table .. Rowan is learning how to hold his own with a bunch of pilots and builders and did a great job of it! He flies with his Dad and will be, I predict, thoroughly indoctrinated as he grows up.
Mike Gaffney and Dennis Gilton are both RV guys and Dennis just got his incredible RV-8 out of an Alabama paint shop (in time for snow, etc)

I wish I had pictures of everybody but I realized too late to pull out the camera .. Simon and Raiwen, Daryl, and all .. you’re targeted!
Our first real gathering/meeting for 2022 is pencilled in for March 8th at the Western North Carolina Air Museum. That’s a firm maybe at this point. Please help me and we’ll all do our best to wish for good weather and warmer temperatures. The museum is heated but can still be a bit chilly.
Stay warm! 

It’s PIZZA NIGHT! Tuesday, Feb 8th in Skyland!

Hello EAAers!

It’s been too long away from each other! Join us for PIZZA NIGHT at Fahrenheit Pizza behind the Skyland Fire Station next Tuesday, Feb 8th, beginning at 5:30 or whenever you can get there. This is an informal catch-up gathering – not official. The chapter will score the pizza (or salad or your choice) and we’ll all buy our own refreshments .. chip in to help with the pizza at your discretion.

It’ll be GREAT to see you again! We have some new members to welcome from our email group and lots of project news to hear about. Bring pictures!

Happy New Year! 2022!

We had some great weather through Christmas and New Year’s Day – temperatures were good for flying or hanging around the airport. Our Fairweather Flyers group even ventured to lunch at the 8NC9 hangar! That’ll likely be the last time until spring as a cold front came barreling through during the wee hours this morning sending temperatures down from the 50s at midnight to the low 30s by early morning, winds at AVL were in the 30-40kt range gusting to 51kts when I checked at 0430 with freezing rain turning to snow. Thankfully, the ground is warm enough and, as I write this in mid afternoon, the snow is going away. There will be nice days ahead for fixing and flying but I’m afraid winter is with us.

Tim Higgins is well underway with work on the wings of his RV-12 and Jerry Tice found an RV-7 empennage kit on Barnstormers to keep himself busy over the winter. Bill Kemper brought a beautiful CTLS down from the Boston area and has it hangared at Hendersonville. It seems work is moving forward on all fronts and it’s a good time to visit other members and their projects. Pick up the phone! You never know when an extra set of hands might come in -well- handy. Our Technical Counselors are going to be busy!

For our airplane owners and builders, this is also a great time of year to spend a little time reviewing maintenance and registration records to make sure all is in order for the flying season ahead.