EAA Chapter 1611

Montgomery, NY


The opinions expressed are those of the individual authors and may not reflect those of the EAA or of EAA Chapter 1611.

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Interview of "Mac" Richard MacVicor

Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on January 9, 2018 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (14)

This is an interview of Mac on 12/6/2015 regarding the book, "History of Aviation in Rockland County". At the time he was 88 years old. As everyone who knows Mac can attest, he is a wealth of information about aviation in Bergen County, NJ and Rockland and Orange County, NY. I was warned that I might find this boring, but it is anything but that. I want to post it here so that others could take a listen and enjoy as we did.

Thank you to Sid Edelman, treasurer of EAA Chapter 69 located at Warwick Airport for providing this audio file to me.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/br0z9ox914nneqo/RichardMacVicor.m4a?dl=0" target="_blank">https://www.dropbox.com/s/br0z9ox914nneqo/RichardMacVicor.m4a?dl=0


Kevin Conklin
EAA# 1000794

1912 Etrich Taube series F

Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on January 3, 2018 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I was recently contacted by Michal Fithian after he received our chapter newsletter. He commented that there wasn't much in there regarding builders and building. Guilty as charged. I have been so focused on organizational, legal, tax and "event" ideas I forgot why I became interested in EAA in the first place.

Experimental aviation. Afterall, I am building a kit aircraft in my garage.

But I must say, after seeing the photos of Michal's build I would call myself an "assembler" as opposed to a builder.

Some of you may know of Michal and his craft as he keeps it at Old Orchard Airport. It is a full-sized replica of an Etrich Taube series F that is grandfather flew in 1912.

Take a look at some of the photos on his build website: http://taubebuilder.blogspot.com/

It must be a thrill for him to build and have the opportunity to fly an aircraft that his grandfather flew so early on in the age of aviation. The two photos below were taken 105 years apart. On the left is Feldpilot Robert Eyb in 1912. On the right is Michel Fithian-Eyb in 2017.

This series of photos shows some of the detail and intracies involved in creating this replica. It is incredible and it looks like beautiful workmanship.


It is as much a work of art, as it is aircraft. For me it brings a fresh understanding of why "flying machine" was a term used by so many at the time. It must have been amazing for the uninitiated to see this machine take off and fly.

Michal has offered to visit, speak and present to us at a chapter meeting this year. I'm really looking forward to it!


Kevin Conklin
EAA# 1000794

Ultralight Dreams

Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on December 13, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

After our first chapter gathering, I was speaking with student member who had an interest in a foam board ultralight. My initial thoughts were along the lines of “man, that is crazy”. But then I remembered that in 1977, a friend and I built one of these...

It was called a “Batso” - a primitive hang glider that we made from bamboo poles and black plastic. We never got airborne other than a hop or a skip, but it was fun just running with it across the school football field. I am sure that like me, and our student member, many of you had dreams of inexpensive - maybe even crazy - ways to fly when we were young.

DIY Foamboard Ultralight

Then I found the YouTube videos of Peter Sripol. He may have been the guy who our student member was referring to. He has built and flown an ultralight of his own design using foam board insulation, powered by two electric model aircraft engines. And yes, it actually flew. Pretty amazing for two electric model airplane engines.

Legal Eagle

Of course there were many others of course that have come before. Probably one of the most well known homebuilt ultralights is the Legal Eagle. It is designed by Leonard Mulholland, an EAA Hall of Fame inductee. Plans for the original design and a few variants are available for sale on his site.




And then there is the plane that everyone seems to want a ride in after they see it… the Breezy

Not actually a Part 103 ultralight, designed and built by Charles Roloff, Robert Liposky and Carl Unger in 1964, the original Breezy used a modified set of Piper PA-12 wings. Wings from the Piper PA-14, Piper PA-18, Piper J-3, Piper J-4, Piper J-5, or Cessna 172 can also be used on the design.



I would love to be involved in a build with youngsters of a Legal Eagle or a Breezy. They look like a lot of fun!


Kevin Conklin
EAA# 1000794

Can't Afford to Fly?

Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on December 8, 2017 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This is probably the #1 reason most non-active pilots have for not flying. It's just too dang expensive. If you own an aircraft, you've got the hangar or tie-down cost, and on going maintenance costs. And the insurance. And the annual. If you rent, those costs can add up pretty quickly if you fly regularly. It's no different if you are a student pilot. Those hourly rental costs really add up. For some folks it is a simple matter of affordability.

But where there is a will, there is a way.

One way is flying clubs. It is a way to share costs among a group of pilots and potentially student pilots. If they are organized properly, they can work really well and keep costs very reasonable. Chapter member Rachel C. is part of a group that owns a 1946 Aeronca Champ, and they keep the monthly costs extremely low. It has worked out well for them.

EAA now encourages and helps chapter members to establish separate non-profit organizations as flying clubs. They have a few resources to help you get started.

EAA's Flying Club Manual
To help and provide guidance, EAA has developed a flying club manual to address the unique requirements of EAA members who are on the path to establishing a flying club.

EAA Flying Club Resource Center
EAA Finance Solutions


Kevin Conklin
EAA# 1000794

EAA Chapter Office - Review

Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on December 5, 2017 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

SPOILER ALERT: See the new EAA New Chapter "Launch Kit" unboxing video below.

So as you all know, I took the lead on starting a new EAA Chapter in our area. In doing so I had a lot of communication with the folks at EAA HQ, especially with those at the chapter office. Here are my thoughts on the chapter office and general EAA support of chapters.

The Bad:

When I began this journey to start a new EAA Chapter in the Orange County, NY area, a number of folks I spoke with mentioned that they believed EAA HQ didn't really care about their chapters, and that the chapters were taken for granted. I did find evidence that years ago, there may have indeed been an element of truth to that sentiment.

The Good:

What I soon discovered is that this did not go unnoticed by the staff at EAA HQ. A few years back the issue of chapter neglect was brought before the board as something that needed to be addressed. The board, understanding that the grassroots work being done by the chapter network has always been the life blood of the entire organization, heard the concern and began to take action. Now it seems there is a concerted and focused effort on the part of EAA headquarters to support and revitalize the chapter network.

There are a number of programs that are relatively new, including one that will be rolled out in 2018 that are, and will be a great help to growing and reinvigorating chapters and general aviation. It seems that folks who have not been involved with a chapter in the past few years, or are part of inactive chapters, may not have even heard of some of these programs.

I was shocked to discover that most EAA members I spoke with were not aware of the "EAA Eagle Flights" program for folks 18+. Or EAA IMC Club. Or EAA VMC Club. And I personally believe that some of those programs if leveraged properly could be a real shot in the arm for inactive, stagnant chapters. The IMC and VMC clubs are a prime example of EAA HQ giving back to the chapters. Club meeting audio/visual and discussion materials are all produced and provided by EAA, and club marketing materials are available also. I believe IMC and VMC clubs open the door to pilots who were never interested in the EAA before, as this is not what is thought of as "typical EAA fare".

EAA also offers chapter leadership training; a two-day program at Oshkosh, and a one-day program offered at various locations around the country. And the chapter growth and management resources available on the eaa.org are outstanding. It covers many topics; marketing and recruitment, programs and activities, youth activities, gatherings, risk management. I personally benefitted greatly from the financial management resources, especially the recorded webinars given by tax attorney Patti Arthur. Patti even makes herself available to answer questions from individual chapter leaders, and she answered a few questions I had for her, directly via email within hours.

In starting the chapter, although I attempted to absorb everything available on the EAA site regarding starting and operating a chapter, I still had a ton of questions. The folks at the chapter office never seem to get tired of seeing and answering my endless emails. They always either had the answer to my questions or suggestions on options for me to consider. John Egan (Manager, Chapters) and Kyle Voltz (Chapter Field Rep) have been fantastic through this and have proven to be excellent resources of information.

My conclusion is that EAA HQ gets it. They do care about the chapters and will continue to provide the resources and assistance necessary to keep this grassroots network growing and strong.

As we had recently sent in our chapter formation forms just a few weeks ago, I received an email from the chapter office stating that I should be receiving a new Chapter Launch Kit. It is a new initiative and we (chapter 1611) are only the second chapter to receive it. See the kit "unboxing" here.


Kevin Conklin
EAA# 1000794

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Sport Aviation Magazine - A Call For Submissions

Posted by EAA Chapter 1611 on November 29, 2017 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Sport Aviation magazine needs your ideas for content. Especially in the "hints for homebuilders" section.

I had a posted online an idea I had for inexpensive DIY cleco caps - I believe I posted it to Facebook, but now I can't recall exactly. I thought it was a pretty cheezy idea, and it is of only limited use, but it could save a couple of bucks I guess. But EAA happened across it and sent me an email asking me to write it up for them and send a couple photos.

It was published a few months back. I just recently received a very nice thank you letter from Charlie Becker (Director of Chapters), and he threw in a cool EAA Sport Aviation Contributor cap.

Here is a video of the DIY cleco caps:

I know some of you have some great tips and ideas that would be perfect to submit to Sport Aviation. Do it. See your name in print!


Kevin Conklin
EAA# 1000794



EAA "Flying Start" Event

EAA Young Eagles Event

We could use some additional volunteer pilots!

See our Facebook page for the next event dates.

Chapter Gatherings

Monthly Gathering:
3rd Thursday each Month
KMGJ Pilot Lounge
7:00 p.m.

Contact Us

Kevin Conklin, Chapter President:

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events
Hints for Homebilders videos at eaa.org