EAA Chapter 54

St. Paul, MN. (Lake Elmo)

Latest Chapter News

Reserve your Oshkosh group-camping spot now!

(Feb. 22) - Bill Schanks reports that chapter camping registration opens up on March 1. He'd like to get everyone who's interested in camping with the chapter. First here are the rules:

- Must be an EAA Member and a chapter member, and your dues must be paid up. So, if you are interested, please take care of this right away.
- We will get 6 spots all grouped together, and the cost is $324 per spot, and unlike normal camping it is NOT refundable if you leave early. However, you are able to sublease your spot out, provided it's an EAA and Chapter member in good standing. So, if you decide you only want 3 days you can find someone to buy your unused days, but he'll need you to handle the monetary details with that party. "I don't want to have to worry about being a middleman for your sublease," he wrote in a chapter-wide email.
If you can't find a sub lease, you will have to eat the full cost.
If you are interested in a partial stay, you can let Bill know and he'll work to see if there are some that want to work with you for you to work out the financial details.  "If you are interested, please let me know ASAP. As this is first come first serve."
- I'll need to know:
Equipment you will bring (Class A Trailer, Travel Trailer, Truck with tent)
Your contact info (Email and Mobile Number)
- Payment will be needed right away, so the chapter can send one payment to EAA.

Aviation Groups, Skydivers Oppose Part Of Reauthorization Bill
A contentious section of the latest version of the FAA Reauthorization bill has survived the Senate markup and seven organizations have written Congress urging it be scrapped at the conference committee stage. The Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act would require sightseeing businesses, including heritage flight operations at aviation museums, to operate under Part 135. They now operate under Part 91 through letters of authorization. It also requires recurrent training on terrain avoidance and weight and balance calculations and the installation of terrain warning devices. The letter says most of the small businesses engaged in those types of operations will not be able to afford the measures. Read more on AVWEB.

Marlon's 'fireside chat'
Marlon on the farm
At the regular chapter meeting on Monday February 12, chapter vice president Jay Schrankler hosted a fireside chat with chapter president Marlon Gunderson, part of Marlon's plan to get to know chapter members better and be an even more welcoming chapter to members and visitors. He detailed his journey from a farm in Mora to California and back, a career as an engineer, and now the presidency of a chapter. It's a compelling story. Read more >>

Cinema 54 debuts in March
Starting prior to the March meeting, we invite you to come by the Chapter House a little earlier than usual to watch a documentary or aviation-themed feature film. We call it Cinema 54.  Popcorn will be available, and soda/pop can be purchased out of the refrigerator as usual. Bring your dinner, Showtime is set so that the movie ends at exactly 6:45 p.m., just in time for the chapter meeting social hour.  Potential members are invited to stop by and say "hello" and get to know us.

The March movie is Barnstorming. Showtime on March 11th is 5:55 p.m.


Schedule of Films*
March: Barnstorming (5:55 pm)
April: Top Gun: Maverick  (4:15 pm)
May: Sully (5:05 pm)
JuneAmelia (4:55 pm)
July: Cubs 2 Oshkosh (6:10 pm)
August: The Aviator (4:35 pm)
September: The Spirit of St. Louis (4:30 pm)
October: A Century of Flight: Those Daring Young Men (5:15 pm)
November: For the Love of Flight (6:05 pm)
December: Devotion  (4:25 pm)
January 2025: Up (5 pm)
February 2025: Planes (5:15 pm)
March 2025: Airplane (5:18 pm

* Tentative. All films subject to change at the last minute.

Chapter board holds monthly meeting

 The EAA Chapter 54 Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on February 5, making comparatively quick work of a packed agenda as the new administration settles in. Among the efforts of board members is the creation and distribution of a chapter survey, under the direction of Vice President Jay Schrankler. It's vitally important that members take a few minutes to respond to the survey to ensure that the effort of the chapter are matching your interests.  The Board, under the direction of Ed Trudeau and Scott Hanson, are also trying to update the membership roster and contact members who are in arrears on dues to determine their future with the chapter.

Past President Leif Erickson announced he's been working with the Sodbusters RC Club to set up activities in the Chapter House during and after Young Eagle flights to help interested young people learn more about aviation and the next steps they could take after their flights.

In other board updates:
   * Benches from the observation area have been restained and returned to their location. Their departure from the chapter house allowed the initial creation of an "office area" in the house addition. The small desk, formerly located in the meeting area, has been moved to that area. An effort will shortly begin to organize and inventory items currently stored on the "shelf".z
   * Emma Gaustad, chapter treasurer, is going to research the feasibility of adjusting the PayPal options on the website so the chapter isn't footing the fee for the convenience when members renew or join via the online site. She reported a positive cash flow ($28.74!) in January although the chapter is generally not covering fixed expenses without dipping into reserves.
   * There was discussion about whether the chapter will provide scholarship help for Air Academy attendance and, if so, when? To the Board's knowledge there are no candidates who've appeared this year.
   * Some discussion took place about Flying Start Week, May 13-18 but with the lack of pilots, a Friday afternoon national Flying Start Day, and a Young Eagles rally on Saturday, support did not materialize.
See Ed Trudeau's minutes and director reports>>

Getting started in ultralights
Join us on Tuesday, February 20, through Thursday, February 22, for an educational online event, EAA Virtual Ultralight Days. Subject matter experts of the ultralight community will present webinars on the lighter side of recreational aviation including how to get started in ultralights. All live webinars are free of charge to everyone interested in ultralight aviation, with the live sessions featuring a Q&A segment. On-demand recordings of the presentations will be available to EAA members. Some of the webinars have already been added to the Events Calendar. More information is available here.

Chart the Future of New Richmond Regional Airport

Bob Collins' RV-7A at New Richmond

Back when I had the RV-7A, one of my favorite summer activities was hopping over to New Richmond Airport for some cheap(er) fuel, and sitting on the bench by the fuel pumps to watch the sun go down (see picture above).  So I was happy that Robyn Stoller has kindly sent along the New Richmond Airport newsletter, which is really well written and very informative. This edition looks briefly at its history.

New Richmond Municipal Airport, as it was known back in 1964, was originally designed as a recreational facility complete with a three thousand foot primary runway 13-31 and a secondary turf runway 4-22 measuring slightly less than twenty four hundred feet. Sure the occasional biz aircraft stopped in, but it was a rarity. The facility was maintained by the New Richmond Street Department and managed by the City Clerk. At the airport opening in July of 1964, New Richmond Mayor John Van Meter who also served as the publisher of the local newspaper, convinced the facility was a waste of scarce city funds, made his feelings known in his weekly newspaper column by labeling the facility “Idle Field Airport”. Ouch. The local pilot group took offense to this and fabricated and planted a sign that read “Van Meter Field” out of defiance. Looking back, he wasn’t exactly wrong. The airport was underutilized and unsupported locally for a couple of decades.

I grew up on the north side of New Richmond and made many, many trips to the airport on my prized Huffy, and seldom saw any signs of humans around.
Funny how things turn out. Anyway, the FAA mandated airport master plan is underway. Authorities hope to finish it by next year but they're asking users of the airport to provide input on future priorities. You can take the survey here

The newsletter also has a rundown of projects scheduled to commence this year.

Rosemary Frank and A The Amsden-Frank Newsletter Archive

All available newsletters from Chapter 54 have been digitized and are available in the archive. More than 55 years of newsletters have been converted to pdf format thanks to the foresight of chapter members Rosemary Frank and Al Amsden. Frank wrote many of the newsletters and kept meticulous minutes (many of which are attached to the digitized newsletters) as the longtime chapter secretary through the '80s and '90s. Al Amsden saved almost every one of the newsletters, donating his collection to the chapter. The archive, which is available via the drop-down menu under "Newsletters" is organized by decade and each month's primary content is noted on the page.

The newsletter has had several names over its lifespan from EAA Chapter 54 News to Speed's News to The Beacon. Much of the content is valuable today, particularly excellent tech counselor articles and engine maintenance articles from chapter legends such as Bill Schanks and Jim Montague. There are also fascinating reports on journeys members have taken in their aircraft to such destinations as Alaska, Florida, and Yellowstone.

2020-Present editions
2010-2019 editions
2000-2009 editions
1990-1999 editions
1980-1989 editions
1970-1979 editions
1968-1969 editions

February Chapter Video

In the latest episode from the EAA's Charlie Becker:  1.) Virtual Ultralight Days 2.) EAA Aviation Foundation Sweepstakes 3.) EAA Learn To Fly Week 4.) EAA Tribute Opportunities 5.) Chapter Leadership Training. Watch video >>

Noise, chapter future, 3D printing highlight January meeting
Brad Cornell, an airport noise activist, speaks to the chapter

The first regular meeting the presidential term of Marlon Gunderson took a surprising turn on Monday January 8 when the subject of noise complaints around Lake Elmo Airport dominated the early part of the meeting. That's because Brad Cornell, who has led opposition to a flight school and increased airport activity stopped by the meeting and asked to speak.  The meeting also featured a discussion of the chapter's future, with Marlon Gunderson presenting his State of the Chapter report. And member Jim Pearsall displayed hiss 3D printer and conducted a program of aviation uses for 3D printing. Read more >>

January Board of Directors meeting
It was a working meeting on Monday January 2 and members of the Chapter 54 worked through several issues and events facing the chapter including improved WiFi at the chapter house, financial issues, late dues payments (please renew your membership), the membership roster, recruiting volunteers, the creation of a survey to be sure Board efforts align with member wishes, and the process to ensure that new members are properly introduced to the chapter. Ed Trudeau's minutes have been posted.

First newsletter of the year published
EAANewsletter editor and chapter president Marlon Gunderson has some things to say as he outlines issues facing the chapter and Lake Elmo Airport. He's posted the January newsletter. Highlights: Marlon pays tribute to Leif Erickson; the new leadership; who are we and where are we going? Chapter House updates. Hybrid meetings now offered. A review of previous meetings. Lake Elmo Airport noise plan. Find the issue on our newsletter page or wherever fine manuscripts are sold.  At the same time, all available hard-copy editions of the newsletter are being digitized.  You can find links to the archived newsletters at the bottom of any page in the newsletter section. At present, we've scanned copies back to 1977, when the newsletter was called "Speed's News." The first newsletter was published in 1968. Many of these old newsletters have disappeared, including most from the '80s. If you have any you'd like to donate to the chapter, kindly contact Bob Collins.

January chapter video released

(Dec 27)  In the latest episode, EAA boss Jack Pelton looks at what's coming in 2024: leadership academies,  MOSAIC's timetable, advocacy efforts, Young Eagles recap, the 70th anniversary of chapters, Homebuilders Week, ultralight days. Watch video >>

Chapter House renovations completed in time for January meeting

Before and after of the main meeting area

(Dec. 20) After about a month of work, this phase of the renovation of the Chapter 54 house has been completed.  The effort involved repainting the walls and reimagining the space to make it more comfortable and welcoming.  It's also to move us forward as a chapter, thinking about who we are and where we're going. The history of the chapter is certainly properly preserved and acknowledged -- possibly more so -- while allowing us to use the space to declare who we are now. Here's a tour >>
Wouldn't you like to be on the Wall of Fame?
Planes of Fame
(Dec 17)  The wall full of pictures at the EAA 54 headquarters has been moved from the north to the west wall. Culled from the group, however, are planes from people who are no longer active members of the chapter. That amounts to the majority of the pictures that were hanging. We want to display only the planes built/owned by active members. Presently, we have 19 such pictures and we know there are many more planes in the chapter's fleet than that. How can you get your plane added to the wall of fame? Simple. Read more >>

Important update for Uavionix owners 

(Dec 16)  Chapter member Dave Syverson has called our attention to an important update for those pilots using a particular component for ADSB-Out:|

"A lot of folks have installed Uavionix echoUAT in their aircraft for ADS-B out compliance. There is a very necessary update people need to be aware of since there is a chance of equipment users getting put on the ADS-B non compliance list in the future  - FAA is likely to issue a mandatory SB in the future; and, the company has put together several options for users/owners to work off. One of the solutions is Uavionix will deliver an encoder which can be added to the Echo UAT at no cost to the owner (except for installation - which us EAB-types do for ourselves anyway)."
The link can be found on the Uavionix website by drilling down through "support" and "echo uat"; however, the excact location is here:
This only affects Echo UAT equipment and not their other products such as Tailbeacon, etc.

Effort to reopen chapter house on Saturdays hits a snag

(Dec. 13) The idea of opening the chapter house on Saturdays during the winter for coffee, doughnuts, and the local safety seminar has hit a bit of a snag.  The plan would have allowed attendees to receive Wings credits for watching Laura Hermann's excellent Saturday morning "coffee and wings" seminars. However, we would not be allowed to get Wings credit unless one of the attendees is a FAASTeam representative (do we have anyone?). Alternately, she said, attendees wishing credit could log on to the seminar through their own device, but that would rather defeat the purpose.

We came, we ate, we trivia'd
About 40 people took part in the annual Chapter 54 Holiday Party on Monday December 11. They faced quite a spread of appetizers, pizza, pastries, and drinks. As an added bonus, outgoing president Leif Erickson was able to join us virtually, and see all of us too! Leif presented chapter awards to outgoing board members and president Marlon Gunderson presented his predecessor with an authentic Chapter 54 shirt, emblazoned with "I'm kind of a big deal around here" on the back.  Vice president Jay Schrankler organized a sensational trivia contest and played Santa, presenting socks to the winners. Because why not?

Thank you to everyone who made the effort to attend. We hope you had a great time. Find yourself in the photo slideshow.

Winners and runners up


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.

Noise abatement plan proposed for 21D

(Nov. 22) - 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 will review a draft proposal for a noise reduction plan on Monday November 27. They 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)  >>

Here are the improvements coming to the Chapter House

A comparison of changes made to the Chapter House space in late 2023

 (Nov. 20) -  In the fall-winter of 2023-2024, work is commencing on improvements inside the EAA Chapter 54 House at Lake Elmo Airport. The improvements stem from a December 2022 evaluation by an interior designer. Although the Board of Directors took no action on the proposal, the improvements were generally consistent with observations made by the chapter's facilities director.

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. Over the years, things have gone up on the walls, for example, without any overarching strategy of their placement. In some cases, important and historical plaques are placed in areas where visitors can't see them. Other items are badly faded with questionable relevance. Read more >>

Annual chapter survey underway

(Nov. 18) - Chapter members should have received an email announce 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.

Transition to new chapter leadership underway

Incoming president Marlon Gunderson and his predecessor, Leif Erickson, prepare to end a chapter meeting on November 13, 2023.(Nov. 14) - Members of Chapter 54 unanimously approved a new slate of officers on Monday night, ushering in a new era of chapter leadership with plenty of challenges ahead. In so doing, the chapter bid adieu to outgoing officers with a bottle of hooch and thanks for a job well done. 

Outgoing President Leif Erickson completed an extended two-term stay in the position after agreeing to take it on several years ago because nobody else wanted it. He led the chapter through the difficult  COVID years, which curtailed most fundraising activity. At the same time, however, the chapter increased its commitment to a mission of education, focusing primarily on scholarships for young people learning to fly and providing an exposure to aviation through the Young Eagles program.

"I've had a wonderful working relationship with Leif," recalled outgoing vice president Robyn Stoller, who set a high bar in her own right, producing the monthly chapter speaker series, which chapter members rated among the primary reasons for their membership.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Erickson handed a gavel to new president Marlon Gunderson, who aced his first task: calling for a motion to end the meeting.

Gunderson stepped forward to assume the chapter leadership in much the same way and for the same reasons Erickson did: he wanted the chapter to continue.

His email on Tuesday outlined his themes:

My chapter goals are simple and unambitious:

  • Don't bankrupt the chapter.  Keep up with our expenses through dues and fundraising.
  • Maintain the clubhouse -- support our housing director with volunteers and funds, maybe target a portion of our savings as a clubhouse reserve with a timeline for expected expenses.
  • Deliver programs that draw member attendance.
  • Foster friendship and community.
    • Be inviting to members and visitors at our meetings and events
    • Encourage members to consider presenting a program of their choice
    • Encourage members to consider Oshkosh work parties, Airventure group camps, Chapter Flyouts
  • Support our outreach programs and our coordinators who are leading those (YE, Education, Scholarships, Fundraisers).
  • Make our directors and volunteers feel appreciated for their efforts.
  • And for me personally: enjoy our community, time with our leadership team, and time together in our volunteer efforts
I'm not evangelical about aviation. I just want to provide a way for those with similar interests to plug-in to a community they can learn and grow with.

I'm not going to be enthusiastic about rewriting bylaws, crafting vision statements, doing surveys, and creating 5 year plans for doubling our membership.  I don't like doing that stuff and last time I checked I'm not getting paid to do so.  I retired from a corporation for a reason.

I've found there is no shortage of unsolicited advise on what other people should do. You will hear lots of "why aren't we... or "somebody should... type statements without a commitment to be part of, or leading, an effort to accomplish that advice.  The shortage tends to be in people with available time and desire to contribute.

For those of you with a greater ambition, vision, or commitment to EAA or what a chapter can be, I'll invite you to volunteer to lead the chapter in that direction when you have the opportunity to take the presidency in a future term.
Emma Gaustad

The transition to new leadership will continue over the next month as email accounts are transferred to new recipients and outgoing leaders teach processes to the leaders. Gunderson plans to gather his new Board of Directors soon to discuss the upcoming two years. He also intends to plan the chapter's traditional holiday party, which takes the place of the regular December meeting.

 The new team: Marlon Gunderson is taking on the presidency, assisted by Jay Schrankler as vice president. New members of the Board of Directors include Emma Gaustad (pictured) as treasurer, taking over from Tom Gibbons, and Jeff Dale as education director, taking over from Gregg Adler. Dale Seitzer replaces Vicky Moore as director of the chapter's robust Young Eagles program.  Scott Hanson is the chapter's new membership director. Meet the new leadership team here.

Harry Holmberg's Bellanca featured at November meeting
Harry Holmberg speaks about the restoration of his airplane during a chapter meeting in November 13,2023.

It's not every day a Reserve Grand Champion Lindy walks in the door of the Chapter 54 headquarters, but, then again, it's not every day someone so beautifully restores a vintage aircraft, as chapter member Harry Holmberg did. He brought the trophy, symbolic of building excellence as honored by judges at AirVenture in Oshkosh in 2023, and provided the program for the November chapter meeting, describing the acquisition and painstaking restoration of the Bellanca.

Harry Holmberg discusses his Bellanca restoration during the November 2023 meeting at Chapter 54 .

Chapter House repainting begins

Entrance with new paint scheme design
During the winter, there'll be changes made inside the EAA chapter house. Work has already begun to transform the entrance area. The interior will be repainted (Sherwin Williams' Amazing Gray). The coat rack will be moved to the opposite wall and the newly painted wall will host an exhibit of Chapter 54's history. Many of the items currently hung on the walls in the main area will be moved to this area.  This work area will likely not be done before the November meeting. After that meeting the painting will conclude in the entrance area, and painting will begin on the west and north wall in the main meeting area. The pictures of member airplanes will be removed.  It's hoped this section will be completed before the December meeting.  

Work on the East and South Wall will begin after the December meeting. During this time the monitor, soundbar, and shelves will be removed. The plan is to have this section painted by the January meeting.  

Eventually, it's hoped to replace the "colorful", but uncomfortable folding chairs with uniform padded folding chairs. Longer term, it would be nice to remove the desk and bookcases to create a smaller "conversation spot" along the west wall.

Designer's suggestion for conversation area

The ideas stem from an interior designer's assessment of the space last winter who set as a project goal "to update current classroom space to better facilitate learning and provide an updated, comfortable atmosphere for EAA chapter meetings and events, as well as encourage and increase new chapter membership."

Meet the (likely) new leadership team

The annual election of officers for Chapter 54 will be held at the conclusion of the regular monthly meeting on Monday November 13. Unless there are surprise candidates (which would be a heck of a surprise), the field is set with Marlon Gunderson taking on the presidency, assisted by Jay Schrankler as vice president. New members of the Board of Directors include Emma Gaustad as treasurer, taking over from Tom Gibbons, and Jeff Dale as education director. Dale Seitzer will assume directorship of the chapter's robust Young Eagles program. 

Weather talk tops October meeting

Brian Hubbard

October's regular meeting featured Brian Hubbard, shown above sporting his new Chapter 54 and there's one photo of him with his newly acquired Ch.54 hat. 

Marlon Gunderson provides this summary of the meeting:

Brian is originally from New Brighton, and is currently back living there (and recently became a parent), working as a CFI for Cadotte Aero (Fleming Field), recently relocated from Two Harbors, and also was a former resident of Northfield, MN and Alaska.

Brian is a CFI and holds tailwheel and seaplane ratings as well as multi-engine land commercial and instrument ratings and is an MSP FAA Safety Team rep.

Brian applied for and was accepted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Officer Training Program, which will bring him to Connecticut and then Lakeland Florida for training. NOAA flies 10 aircraft total, 8 out of Lakeland and 2 out of Chanhassen, MN, of 4 different models: Twin Otter, King Air, P3, and a Citation. The Lakeland aircraft work hurricane tracking and support various ocean research programs. Much of the Chanhassen work is focused on snow cover surveys. Brian reviewed the mission of the NOAA and then discussed the various online resources available for doing preflight weather briefing.

(Select the drop-down menu on the left to see EAA chapter video and meeting minutes)

Gunderson to lead Chapter 54

Marlon GundersonLongtime 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.

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.  "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

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