EAA Chapter 54

St. Paul, MN. (Lake Elmo)

New members

Chapter 54 welcomes these individuals to the EAA family.  We look forward to seeing all of you at an upcoming meeting. Interested in joining Chapter 54? Here's how.

Dan Wharton
Dan WhartonAviation has been in my family since the start of my days on earth. My father, brother and myself all are pilots. As I came into this world my Dad already had his pilot’s license and I remember as a child flying with him before he moved back to Colorado in 1979 from Michigan where I grew up. My brother, who is five years older than me, got his pilot's license before going to college in 1989 and I guess that's where I got the bug more so. Much later I was fortunate enough to rent a house from Captain Robert Mundle in the Knoxville TN area in 2010. Shortly after, Robert/ Bob asked me if I would like to go on a flight with him, upon arriving at the airport I was happy to see he owned a Bonanza; glad I didn’t pass that invitation up. Soon after that flight, Bob and I became close friends, and we started traveling all over the country quite a bit and between work. In a sense that's how my flight training started; yes I was the lucky guy that did most all his training in a Bonanza. During those trips I started asking Bob his background with aviation and I found out that he had over 29,000 hours of flying time. Bob's dream as a child was to be a pilot, however Bob grew up in a very poor family and knew that he had to get good grades as he put himself through college so he could get into the Air Force and that he did, he is truly the only person I know that followed his dreams from an early childhood. Bob flew many airplanes in the Air Force and was an instructor in the Air Force. His final years with the Air Force he was the captain of the C5 Galaxy that was about 10 years of time. He had active duty in Vietnam flying  the Fairchild AC-119G Shadow gunship that flew only night missions to support our troops. After leaving the Air Force he continued on to New York air then to Continental which then merged with United airlines. The one thing with Bob is he never till this day has bragged about anything he has done. So I feel like I received all my flight training from one of the most awesome pilots in the world!

I moved away from the Tennessee area in 2012 and was just getting ready to take my check ride right before moving to Minnesota. After settling here in 2015 I purchased a 1947  Bonanza that had been sitting for seven years, I then took on a two-year task of refurbishing the airplane and ultimately finished my training and took my check right in that aircraft. In 2018 I won an auction on an S35 bonanza and sold the 1947 model.  I practically stole the S35, I was the lucky guy that ended up with a S35 Bonanza for $14,200, granted I had to replace the wing on this airplane along with removing the engine for a prop strike inspection but still what a plane even for what I have put into it.  I fly as much as time allows me to. I enjoy the S35 but there's nothing like the way a 1947 bonanza flies compared to any other aircraft I have flown; It is the most balanced aircraft that I've experienced, but the S35 is a hotrod.

Happy to be a part of chapter 54 and looking forward to meeting you all.

John Gozum
John GozumJohn grew up near the southwestern edge of Minneapolis.  He wanted to fly for and have his education paid by Uncle Sam.  He was able to check all the boxes to become a midshipman or cadet except 20/20 uncorrected vision.  The backup plan was going to University of Minnesota, where he earned a BS in chemistry.  After a summer working at Monsanto in St Louis, he enrolled at the University of Illinois earning a PhD for his work in the Synthesis and Characterization of Transition Metal Alkyl and Hydrides are Precursors for Chemical Vapor Deposition of Refractory Films.  After graduation, he accepted a position at the 3M Company.  He has been employed there for nearly 33 years and is the inventor on 42 US Patents.  He is married to Kim with three adult children: Jason, Matthew, and Kathryn.  He lives in West Lakeland Township.

His interest in flying was rekindled when his three children went on a young Eagles flight in a Meyers OTW at 25D (Forest Lake).  After that experience, his daughter and the youngest of his  three children expressed an interest in flying.  After having Katy take a few lessons at Valters, he realized that by joining Club Cherokee, two could fly more cheaply than one.  While his daughter lost interest when studying for the knowledge exam, John went on to earn his Private.  He is currently working on his instrument rating as his work-life-weather balance allows.

He is looking for a 49% assembled RV-10 (willing to consider other planes) and a hanger at 21D both priced for a father who just paid for 12 years of college.

Alex Repucci
Alex RepucciI started my aviation interest by helping to launch gliders at an operation in Boulder, CO when I was in middle school. Later in life, I decided I wanted to commit to getting my license and I received my PPL from Lake Elmo Aero in 2021. Since then, I have been enjoying long cross-country flights to interesting places for food or to pick up a growler of beer from a local brewery. I am interested in faster cross-country oriented airplanes and have been flying mostly in the Piper Arrow at Lake Elmo Aero. I hope to one day own a plane in a small partnership with other pilots with similar interests in mission. I currently work full time for 3M as a Chemical Engineer and live in Saint Paul.

Mike Demulling
Mike DemullingI began flying in 1988 as a Freshman at Mankato State University with the intention of becoming an airline pilot. I graduated in March 1992 with a slew of ratings and about 600 hours of flight me, but no job prospects in sight. The only airline hiring at the me was Comair with the stipulation that the new hire pay for his or her training. The job paid $17k per year. Training was $15k as I recall. No thanks. Instead, I went back to work for my hometown ambulance service in New Richmond and made mention to the local mayor I had a fresh degree in aviation management and would make a perfect airport manager for the underutilized New Richmond Municipal Airport. In March 1995, I was hired by the airport commission and became the third ever manager of the airport, earning $200 a month. I started a flight instruction business later that year and logged about 1,000 hours of dual given by the end of year one. I started corporate flying in 2000 in an Aerostar and picked up a jet gig in a Raytheon Premier jet (horrible airplane) in 2004. I’ve been flying jets ever since, including a Learjet 60, Gulfstream IV, Citation XL and XLS+, and Citation Jet series. Today, some 15,000 flight hours later - including 7,500 hours of dual given - I am still serving as the airport manager at New Richmond Regional Airport, flight instruct (Citations, C‐172s and Aerostars), and serve as the aviation department manager for a flight department managing a Citation XLS+ and King Air 350. I also lend a hand at FBO operator East Metro Jet Center in New Richmond.

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