EAA Chapter 44 got its start in 1957 when Everett (Squeek) Hepler, a local airplane builder and expert welder got together with Bob Deyell, who was the local CAA inspector for the area. Hepler and Deyell decided there was a need for local builders to share their experience and knowledge. They contacted Paul Proberezny (head of EAA), who flew to Rochester in a B-25 on a snowy day in December in 1957. At this meeting the beginnings of Chapter 44 was started and the first meeting was held on February 25, 1958. The meeting was held at Hylan Airport, the current location of Marketplace Mall. The membership roster in 1958 lists 27 members. The chapter was called "The Clover Leaf" chapter.
The chapter met in the homes of various members, at Harold Silloway's Hilton Airport, the Lowden Point Greece library, and Edison Tech High School. During the late 1980's, EAA Chapter 44 acquired a roughly 100' wide by 199' deep plot of land at 2312 Colby Street with the goal of building a permanent meeting place.
In the spring of 1990, a building that had been erected during WWII as a "temporary" structure on the south side of Greater Rochester International Airport was offered to EAA Chapter 44 for the price of $1.00. Over the years this building had served as home to many of the FBO organizations at the airport. The all metal, prefab building measured approximately 18' x 72'. EAA Chapter 44 disassembled the building and eventually erected it on their newly acquired plot of land. A few years later they acquired an additional 100' by 199' lot adjacent to the west boundary of their first parcel which allowed for a larger parking lot and room for Scout AeroCamps.
This building served as our chapter home until Ledgedale Airport received funding and approval to expand the airport in 2000. While we could have retained use of the building, half of it would have been within the airport's new boundary. It had long been felt that our location was not ideal because while it was adjacent to the runway (only 100' away), we had no way of bringing aircraft onto the land owned by EAA 44. Also the building's prefab metal panels made it difficult to enlarge it.
In January 2008, Chapter 44 secured a long term lease on the Ledgedale Airport (7G0), inside the airport's boundary. The plot of land we leased has access to the airport's northwest tie-down ramp. During the summer of 2009, the shell (measuring roughly 50' x 65') of EAA Chapter 44's new Sport Aviation Center (SAC) was erected, concrete floor poured and very well insulated.
A dedicated group of EAA 44 members finished off the interior of the SAC so we were able to hold our first official meeting in it on April 19th, 2011. That group of workers have continued to work on the SAC a couple times each month so we now have a nice cozy facility.
The SAC is located at the western end of Eisenhauer Drive which runs along the north side of the airport.
Current membership stands around 80 members. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month.