EAA Chapter 54

Lake Elmo, MN (St. Paul, MN)

Welcome to EAA Chapter 54

Chip Berniard's Champ

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.


EAA The next meeting of EAA Chapter 54 will be held on Monday October 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. Join us as Brian Hubbard, MSP FAAST Rep, shares his program on work of the NOAA Aviation Corps and the National Weather Service. This program is eligible for FAA Wings credit. Brian will describe weather briefing resources available to pilots and explain how NOAA and NWS work to increase pilot safety through good forecasting tools. (More)

Latest Chapter News

Gunderson to lead Chapter 54

Marlon Gunderson (October 3) -- Longtime EAA Chapter 54 member Marlon Gunderson had a good reason for stepping forward to serve as president of the chapter. "I didn't want it to fold," he told the chapter's Board of Directors on Monday night. The Board will send his name to the full membership at the November membership meeting. His move averts a potential crisis for the chapter which had faced the prospect of having no chapter senior leaders to present to members at November's annual election.

The chapter is still looking for someone to take on the vice president's role, whose main duty is organizing the monthly programs and filling in when the president is unavailable.

The membership coordinator position is also vacant although outgoing president Leif Erickson said he would put his name in for consideration if no one else stepped forward. "I'd like to remain involved in the chapter," he told the board.

Those are the only remaining positions for which no candidates emerged.  Pending the outcome of voting in November, Ed Trudeau has volunteered to continue as chapter secretary. Dale Seitzer will assume the role of Young Eagles coordinator, Jeff Dale, who joined the chapter in 2023 and was profiled in the April issue of The Beacon, will likely become the education coordinator, replacing Gregg Adler; and Emma Gaustad will become the chapter treasurer, taking over from Tom Gibbons.

Related link: Board of Directors October meeting summary

Chapter 54's Ray Scholar is now a pilot

Mathew Lynes, EAA Chapter 54's first Ray Scholarship winner, poses with his plane after passing a checkride

(October 1) - The first Ray Scholarship recipient in the history of Chapter 54 has completed his flight training and checkride and is now a newly minted private pilot. Matt Lynes completed his checkride on Saturday Sept. 30, capping about an 8-month effort. His first solo occurred in May 2023. 

 Once a chapter is approved for the program, it nominates the chosen scholar for EAA’s final review. Many chapters are granted the full $11,000 for their selected scholar, but some chapters have committed 25 percent of the award to secure their slot in the program. All EAA and divisional chapters in the United States and Canada are eligible for a grant up to $11,000.

Volunteers gussy up chapter house landscape

EAA 54 members volunteered to clean up the landscaping around the clubhouse foundations on September 30, 2023.

(September 30) -  Leif Erickson, Bruce Olson, Dale Seitzer, and Gordon Duke showed up to help clean up the landscaping around the chapter clubhouse after weeds and overgrowth made it "embarrassing".  The clubhouse maintenance person has been in Boston since August taking care of his sister so a few members pitched in.  "We got most of the weeds pulled and the shrubs along the ramp leading up to the front door trimmed," said Leif Eriickson, outgoing president of Chapter 54. Now the shrubs are not encroaching on the walkway. We'll leave the weeds under the deck for a few shots of Roundup."  Erickson said the weather cooperated despite the forecast. "My rain gauge showed 3 inches of rain in Stillwater on Friday and early Saturday," he said.

See more photos

 October Chapter Video Magazine Posted

In this month's chapter video, Charlie Becker gets you up to date on EAA happenings: 1.) EAA AeroEducate for Chapters 2.) Solid Edge 3.) Chapter Elections 4.) Chapter Leadership Academy 5.) Chapter Leadership Bootcamp. Watch the video.

Fly-Out to Granite Falls Scheduled
The only planned fly-out I have on the agenda this year is out to Granite Falls to the Fagen Fighters Museum. It will be on Saturday October 14th. The museum is open 10:00-4:00, and is about 116 Miles to the west. We'd leave about 9:00 or 9:30, and get there about an hour later. They should have most of their fleet back as the airshow circuit is winding down. I'd think we'd stay 3-4 Hours. Let me know if you are interested in going out. Depending on who's going, we should have some seats available. I can manage that the closer we get to the date and try to coordinate this.

- Bill Schanks

Chapter 54 at Open House

Marlon Gunderson and Scott Hutchinson
EAA Chapter 54 members staffed an exhibit table at Lake Elmo Aero's Open House on Saturday September 16, 2023.  Marlon Gunderson, Bill Schanks Sr., and Jr., and Robyn Stoller were among the luminaries representing the chapter and talking to several people interested in aviation and the work of our chapter. You can find more photos on the chapter photo page.

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