EAA Chapter 54

St. Paul, MN. (Lake Elmo)

Welcome to EAA Chapter 54

Come to the holiday party

About Chapter 54

  From its beginnings in the late '50s, Chapter 54 of the Experimental Aircraft Association has served aviation enthusiasts, aircraft builders, and pilots in the East Metro of Minnesota's Twin Cities. We meet monthly at the Chapter House at Lake Elmo Airport (21D) to share ideas, exchange information, encourage safety, serve the local aviation community and have a lot of fun doing so. Please come to our next meeting or event as our guest.

You do not need to be a pilot to join EAA Chapter 54. You need only be interested in aviation.

Latest Chapter News

Van's bankruptcy rocks experimental aviation world

(Dec. 5) - Van's Aircraft, the largest and most popular manufacturer of homebuilt aircraft kits, announced late Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to reorganize. The move wasn't a surprise, since it announced in September that it was having financial problems.

Still, it's likely to be a big topic on Saturday when the Twin Cities RV Builders Group meets for its quarterly meeting at chapter member Doug Weiler's hangar at Lake Elmo Airport.

" We understand that this situation creates a hardship for everyone involved. However, without these changes we do not see a viable path forward that would allow Van’s Aircraft to remain in business and support its customers," the company said in an announcement on its website. Read more>>

New Board of Directors Meets for First Time

(Dec. 1) - The newly constituted Chapter 54 Board of Directors met for its inaugural meeting on Thursday November 30 under the leadership of new president Marlon Gunderson. In an extended session, the group tackled financial and membership issues, the future of the newsletter, the renovation of the chapter headquarters, future programs, the holiday party, Young Eagles, how new members are introduced into the chapter, and fly-in efforts in 2024 among several other topics.  See Secretary Ed Trudeau's minutes.

How to educate the public about general aviation
(Dec. 1) - Aviators, who tend to be a conservative lot, have long made a mistake when it comes to the media. It does no good to react to stories with mocking in the typical "look how much you don't know" style that has alienated the public against general aviation. So when the Star Tribune headlined a "crash landing" in Brooklyn Park, we pilot-journalists braced for incoming. Instead, in the Friday December 1 Letters to the Editor, Eric Anderson, of Minneapolis, educated both the general public on emergency landings, and the general aviation community on educating the media.

Letter to the Editor

First stage of chapter home makeover almost done

The conversation area along the west wall replaces a desk and bookcase

 (Nov. 26) -  The first phase of interior improvements to the EAA Chapter's home is nearing completion in time for December's holiday party. Three of four walls in the main area have been repainted.  This week, two new comfortable chairs will make up the "conversation space" along the west wall. The desk and bookcase have been removed. The pictures of the chapter's "fleet" have been narrowed to those of current members and moved to the west wall. Two Don Carlson portraits are now on the north wall, and an "exhibit" is under construction in the entryway. Blackout curtains are being installed on the windows.

In the next stage, the south wall will be repainted. It was announced that the facilities director will donate 30 new padded chairs to the chapter, but probably not before January.

The goal is to create a welcoming environment for members and visitors and allow the space to also be used for educational purposes. It also to honor the history of the chapter while presenting an accurate impression of the chapter's current focus. And we want to make accommodations more comfortable and less cluttered. Read more >

Noise abatement plan prepared
(Nov. 27) - Sixteen homeowners are responsible for over 4,000 noise complaints around Lake Elmo Airport so far in 2023. Against that setting, the Lake Elmo Advisory Commission  reviewed a draft proposal for a noise reduction plan on Monday. The plan consists of voluntary measures to keep the noise down and the neighbors happy. 

They include a runway recommendation:

A. When the winds are calm the preferred runway shall be 32. However, if traffic density or air traffic procedures dictate, Runway 14 may also be used.

B. In most circumstances the winds, weather or traffic density will dictate the runway to be used. However, when circumstances allow, pilots are asked to utilize a runway and flight path that offers the quietest impact for the surrounding community, particularly between 2200-0700 local time. The following priorities are recommended when selecting a runway

The plan also calls for reducing intersection departures, stop-and-go's,  and keeping traffic patterns tighter the runway. Read the draft report (pdf)  >>

Piper rudder AD comment period extended
(Nov. 26) - The FAA has extended the comment period on an AD that would require the replacement of rudders on almost 31,000 Piper aircraft made before 1974, according to AvWeb.  In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in October, the agency ordered every rudder equipped with a rudder post made of 1025 carbon steel be replaced with rudders that have posts made of 4130N low-alloy steel. Piper switched from 1025 to 4130N in 1974. The estimated cost of the rudder replacement is $3,000. The comment period was extended to Feb. 20, 2024.

Annual chapter survey underway

(Nov. 18) - Chapter members should have received an email announcing the annual EAA survey of chapter members.

It's a chance to help align the local chapter with your desires. After the survey has closed, the folks in Oshkosh will break out the Chapter 54 component and we can get a great sense of what you're looking for with your chapter membership. And I presume we'll talk about it at a meeting in the spring (when the results are expected). The survey closes on December 31.

It doesn't take very long (3 minutes) to answer all the questions; they're not hard. You can either put your name to it or answer anonymously. Last year, only 23 members took the survey and while the results were interesting, it didn't constitute a big enough sample to draw any conclusions.

This year we're hoping for a big participation so big things can happen over the next two years. Thank you for helping to make EAA Chapter 54 better. Take the survey.

December chapter video magazine

(Nov. 15) -- In the latest episode of Charlie Becker's video, he discusses the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was held recently and included the posthumous induction of Neal Loving in the homebuilders category. EAA Homebuilders week and the organization's anniversary are coming up. Six webinars a day will be presented for a week in January on the subject of building your own airplane. It runs January 22-26. If you are at all interested in building an airplane, you need to check out the lineup when it is released. "Fundamentally, EAA was formed around the subject of homebuilt airplanes," he noted. Becker also discussed name tags, indicating that Chapter 1095 is now making larger name tags available with the heritage logo and they're making them available to other chapters.  And a chapter survey was sent to four officers of each chapter, according to Becker.  The survey provides Oshkosh with feedback on how individual chapters are doing and he urged officers to make that available to all chapter members. And, finally, Becker reminded chapters that renewal is due by the end of the year.

You can view the video here.


(Read more chapter news)


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