Chapter 1553

Elk City, OK

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October 8th Meeting Re-cap Final Meeting

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on December 6, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

At October meeting is was voted upon that we would not renew our chapter membership for 2017 due to lack of interest in leadership of chapter.  This is last chapter meeting.

Any questions, contact Dave Hill 580-374-7050.

September 10th Meeting Re-cap

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on September 11, 2016 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (1)

Only Kelly Hall and myself showed up and meeting was cancelled.

Dave Hill

August 13th Event Re-cap

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on August 15, 2016 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Saturday, August 13th, 2016 Chapter Meeting


Location:  Elk City Regional Airport Terminal


We had two visitors, Damian Hartpence, and Brian Zinn who flew their Cherokee 180 from Wiley Post.  It was good to see Damian & Brian again.  They flew into to our May fly-in at Haddock. 


Members In Attendance: Dave Hill, Kelly Hall, Gary Loftis, Dean Vaughn, Wayne Morris, Jeff Whitten, and Corey Alderidge.

Corey flew in with his new Backcountry Super Cub.


 So what happended?


We watched part of  the EAA August 2016 chapter video.  EAA has a new member benefit;  Free Solidworks software.


EAA wants to strongly encourage "Chapter Camping" at next year's AirVenture, July 24th to July 30th, 2017.  It is never too early to start planning for next year.

Speaking of Oshkosh, Dean Vaughn shared his pictures of his trip to Oshkosh this year.  Thank you, Dean.  It always stirs our aviation spirit to see the incrediable variety of aircraft, people, and events at AirVenture.

Dayton Dabbs, Gyroplane CFI/DFE has made us a great offer to come to Elk City to do Gyroplane Sport Pilot transition training.  The transition training course includes ground school and about 10 hours of flying.  The course takes to full days.  If you're interested in booking this training, please contact, Dave Hill or Kelly Hall. 


Coming Up:

September 10th Chapter Event:  TBD. 



Thanks guys for showing up. Meeting with you all is the most fun I have all month.




Dave Hill 





July 9th Chapter Event - Recap

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on July 10, 2016 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 Saturday, July 9th, 2016 


Location: Elk City Airport, hangar #14

We had one visitor, Bruce Archer who is building a Little Wing gyro. 


Members attending:  Dave Hill and Kelly Hall.

What happened:  I spent about 5 minutes updating my Team Mini-Max project and we just spent the rest of the time talking.

Next meeting is August 13th.  Activity TBD.




Dave Hill

No Oshkosh For Me

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on July 10, 2016 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)


This will be second year that something has happened to prevent me from going to Oshkosh.  Last year my wife, Joyce, broke her leg.  This year I have torn a tendon in the back of my right knee and it makes for very painful walking for any period of time.  And as you know, Oshkosh is all about walking.  Maybe next year.


June 18th Hobart Celebration of Freedom Fly-In Re-cap

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on June 20, 2016 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Saturday, June 18th, 2016 Hobart Celebration of Freedom Pancake Breakfast Fly-In

Location: Hobart Regional (HBR), Hobart, OK


I want to thank everyone who helped:  Earl & Nancy Reed, Issac King, Dean Vaughn, Danny Battle, Kelly Hall, and Gary Lofits.


So what happended?


We met at 6 am at Dave's hangar in Elk City and then drove down in a caravan to Hobart.  There was a large thunderstorm close to us off to the NE which produced 20k winds all morning.  We set up our "booth" with our new canopy and chapter banner.  A total of 5 aircarft flew in for pancakes.  Two of the pilots were our friends from Elk City, Bobby Suthered (Cessna 210) and Dennis Fox (RV9)

In addtion, Kelly and Gary brought their gyroplanes and held a static display and answered questions. There was a lot of interest in the gyroplanes.

The morning activities started off with the Boy Scouts raising our flay and Cara McKay sang our national anthem. It was awesome.  As volunteers we got free pancakes.  About 10 am General Tommy Franks came by to give his thanks for helping and we had teams picture taken with him.  He's the only guy not wearing the flourescent vest.

Besure to view the great pictures Gary took - Hobart Fly-In Gallary

Since the parade started at 10:30 in Hobart everything was shut down and packed up.  We packed up also and called it a great day.

We raised a little bit of money selling a few T-shirts and hats - thank you Nancy for being an awesome saleslady!

Coming Up:

 Our July 2016 event will be a Pancake Breakfast Fly-in at Elk City airport on Saturday July 2nd. We will be hosting Dayton Dabbs, Gyroplane CFI & Designated Flight Examiner who will do a presentation "Discover Gyroplanes" and he will be available all day Saturday for $100 Discovery Flights.


Thanks guys for showing up. Meeting with you all is the most fun I have all month.




 Dave Hill

May 14th Chapter Event Re-cap

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on May 15, 2016 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Saturday, May 14th, 2016 Pancake Breakfast Fly-In

 Location: Haddock Field, Erick, OK


We had six visitors, Dean Vaughn, Hunter McGuire, Stone Oren, Shayla Sutton, Damian Hartpence, and Brian Zinn.  Dean drove in from Cheyenne. Damian and Brian flew their Cherokee 180 from Wiley Post. 


Members In Attendance: Dave Hill, Earl & Nancy Reed, Issac King, Todd & Joyce Sutton, Ricky Laster, Dusty Lowarance, Ben Tignor, and Troy Carpenter,


So what happended?

It was cold and windy but the food and friendship were great.  Thanks goes out to everyone at Erick for making our fly-in a success.  Special thanks goes out to Todd & Joyce for providing food and cooking.  Also thanks goes out to Nancy for helping cook.

I did it again.  I forgot to put out donation jar.

I briefly shared a little about my recent trip to Oshkosh for the Leadership Training Academy.  It was awesome.  In particular I want to share just how awesome the EAA Young Eagle program is and that there is a lot of money available for Young Eagle Flight Training Scholarships.

Coming Up:

Our June 2016 event will  be volunteering our services to help the City of Hobart, OK with their annual Celebration of Freedom Fly-in on Saturday June 18th.

We will be helping direct aircraft ground traffic and assist with the pancake breakfast.  The Pancake Breakfast and Fly-in start at 7:30 and we need to be there about 1/2 hour early which means we need to leave Elk City for Hobart by 6:15 am.  We will meet at the Elk City Airport, hangar #14 at 6 am to organize flying down and car pooling.

2016 AIRVENTURE:  2016 AirVenture at Oshkosh is coming quickly. It would be great if we could get a group of people to go together. I promise you it will change your life and you will have a blast. Let me know if you are planning on going.  It looks like we will be camping. 


Thanks guys for showing up. Meeting with you all is the most fun I have all month.




Dave Hill





Project for club??

Posted by Kelly on April 24, 2016 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (1)

Found this on Craigs list and thought it might be nice project for club.

April 9th Chapter Meeting Re-Cap

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on April 9, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday, April 9th, 2016 Chapter Meeting


Location: Elk City Regional Airport Terminal


Visitors: none


Members In Attendance: Dave Hill, Mike Mattlock, Jeff Whitten, Kelly Hall, Gary Loftis, Danny & Daniel Battle, Earl Reed, Issac King, Nick Twidale, and Larry Gray. Kent Preston had aircraft issues and couldn't fly-in from Hobart.  We missed you brother!


So what happended this meeting?


We had Pancakes again! Thank you Mike for cooking.  This will be last pancake breakfast we do for several months.  We have a lot on the agenda in the coming months. 


Forgot to put out donation jar.  Oh well.


We all shared a few moments thinking about Jim.  I'm going to Oshkosh for Leadership Conference at the end of April and I'll get more info about an Oshkosh memorial and share at next meeting.

Next meeting will be Saturday, May 7th at Erick, OK at Haddock Field.  Directions:  Take I-40 to exit 7.  Go south into town.  At stop light turn right and go 1/4 to 1/2 mile and you will see sign on left pointing to "Erick Airport".  Turn left and go south to dead end then right. (Beware of stop sign at end of first block after you turn left.)  You will see hangars by then.  The Erick "Poor Boy Flying Club" will be hosting our meeting and providing breakfast.  Hopefully we'll be able to give some rides in their Cessna 172 weather (winds) permitting.

This month's agenda was to discuss choosing a chapter project to start.  There was an offer of a Super Cub restornation project that is available locally, but we all pretty much agreed that we needed an AI to supervise our work and with Jim gone we no longer have an AI.  We agreed that the project didn't meet our chapter goals of building a light sport aircraft that would fall under LSA maintenance rules.

A lot was discussed and we all agreed that the chapter is going to "adopt" my Teamini-Max 1550R "V-Max" project.  We would like to get it finished by this fall.  If everyone will recall last summer when I was doing my project presentation that I shared how I was at a total loss in terms of tools and experience to cut out the hinges I needed from the 30" strip of piano hinge that is supplied with my kit and Jim came to the rescue and cut out my hinges.  I think it would be cool to nickname the V-Max project "Jim's Hinges". Meanwhie will continue to investigate the financial feasability of a gyroplane project.

The really exciting news is that Kelly and I will be sharing hangar #14 at Elk City Airport.  We appreciate all the volunteers who want to help us with some insulation issues to reduce dust and put in some additional lights.  I should be ready to move project out of my garage next Saturday, April 16th.  Anybody wanting to help please be at my house, 118 Gambel Ln, Elk City at 9:00am. It shouldn't take long and maybe we'll go out for breakfast when we're done.

Coming Up:

Chapter 1553 will be volunteering our services to help the City of Hobart, OK with their annual Celebration of Freedom Fly-in.  We will be helping direct aircraft ground traffic and assist with the pancake breakfast.  We'll post time as soon as we get it.

2016 AirVenture at Oshkosh is coming quickly.  It would be great if we could get a group of guys to go together.  I promise you it will change your life and you will have a blast.  Let me know if you are planning on going.

Thanks guys for showing up. Meeting with you all is the most fun I have all month.



 Dave Hill




Notes From Sonex Scratch Builder Mike Smith

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on April 1, 2016 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I've been looking at building a project for many years as you all know.  Recently I thought it would be interesting to contact builders who were listed in Kitplane magazine who had done a "scratch build" from plans rather than purchasing a kit.  I hear back about 50% of the time.

Here is the response I got back from Mike Smith who scratch built a Sonex.  He put his comments inside of my email. Mike included some awesome videos at the end. (Mike's comments are in blue.)

Thank you, Mike!


Hi, Dave:

 Thanks. Of course they were almost 2 years late in the announcement! :-) I added my 2 cents below.


On 3/31/2016 11:02 PM, Dave Hill wrote:

Subject:  Kitplane Completion


Congratulations on your completion of N439M. I'm always impressed by the guys who build from plans/scratch. I'm considering building from scratch myself and haven't yet decided on what to build.


I have a few quick questions;


Did you scratch build to save money?

Yes. And kind of. I had started my own business only a few years before, and business was not very lucrative. Fortunately my wife had a good job and she really pulled us through the rough years. I loved to fly but lamented the high hourly cost for rentals. The full story of how I started to build in this environment is a long one, so I'll just say I started. But since I didn't have much money to spend, I just bought aluminum and did nothing but make parts for a whole year. I didn't even put 2 parts together. I just made parts. Aluminum is cheap.


Then I started putting the parts together. I was trusting that business would improve as I got further into the process. And by the time I got to the point where I had to start buying larger parts (wing spars, welded parts, landing gear, engine, avionics, etc) my business was doing better. It just kind of progressed like that and it all worked out as I had hoped it would. 5 years, 3 months, and 2,360 hours later I had a flying airplane.


If so, how much did you save?


I'm not sure I really saved much, but buying a kit was not an option for me at the time. And I have to admit that I really MISS building. So the scratch build was much more rewarding, and in fact I'm glad it took 5 years because I looked forward to it every day for over 5 years. All in I spent about $28,000. I have nice avionics (MGL stuff; not super expensive, but not steam gauges) and a smoke system. I polished the plane to save weight, so not paying to have it painted also saved money. Based on other Sonexes for sale I have my hull insurance set at $35,000.


First would you do it again?


Absolutely! It's not for everyone, but it WAS for me. I pretty much stuck to my goal of doing something -- anything -- every day. There were not many days when I didn't do something. Many scratch builders can't build at home like I did, and/or can't stay that focused, and so it takes them 10 years or more.


Do you have a few tips or recommendations you would pass on to anybody considering a scratch built project?


Mostly just what I noted above: do SOMETHING every day. Even if it's just looking over the plans and planning ahead. Or shopping for hardware online at Wicks or Aircraft Spruce. If you have a significant other, do what you need to do to get them behind you.


Build at home as long as you possibly can. The moment you move away from your home to build, EVERYTHING will change. Everything will slow down and be less convenient.


I need distractions when I work. So I had cable TV and a DVD player in my shop. I watched a movie or two, or a football game, every night I worked. I loved that.


I had one other unique situation that helped me. I'm a night owl, so late nights are the norm for me. 6 hours of sleep is a normal night for me. I have a wife and a daughter (she was 5 when I started building). So I almost never did any building on family time. On weekdays I waited until my daughter was in bed, and often until my wife went upstairs as well, and then I would go to the basement to work for 2, 3 or 4 hours. I pretty much never worked on the plane during the daylight hours on weekends, either. I used that time for my family and for doing the honey-do things around the house. I waited until night time again before I started working. So building never took precedence over my family.


I hope some of this helps. There certainly is nothing quite like flying a plane that you built yourself. And if you scratch build you will always get extra kudos from admirers of your plane :-)




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