Chapter 1553

Elk City, OK

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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

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 :-)



Thatcher CX5 Chapter Project??

Posted by Dave Hill - #867273, President on February 23, 2016 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (1)

The April issue of Kitplane had a great article about building a Thatcher CX5.  I added page on website with more info.

I'd like to get some comments about your thoughts about a chapter project.



Email from Charlie Becker

Posted by James Kos on April 13, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)


I’ve attached more information and the application for the Give Flight project. The application can be filled in and saved so that you can email it back to me.

The application must be returned to me by no later than May 15th, 2015 to be considered.

Please do not make public the kit companies as I am still confirming details before making a formal announcement.

Thanks for being an EAA Chapter!



Charlie Becker, EAA Lifetime #515808

Director of Chapters, Communities & Homebuilt Community Manager


2 Attachments

Preview attachment Give Flight-Info.pdf


Give Flight-Info.pdf

Preview attachment Give Flight-Application.pdf


Give Flight-Application.pdf


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