EAA Chapter 54

St. Paul, MN. (Lake Elmo)

Young Eagles Pilots and Planes

Don Wishard
Don Wishard

Have you ever looked at something and wondered “how does that work” or “how’d they do that”? Those questions I’ve pondered ever since I was very young looking at machines of all types whether it was an airplane or railroad locomotive. Airplanes were special though. The freedom of flight held the greatest appeal to me since airplanes could traverse the sky in any direction it’s pointed. I could only imagine, no roads or bridges to cross, just sky. How could you be any more free than that? It was that motivation that started me on my aviation journey, one that started in a Cessna 172, then an Ultra-lite, and finally to Tailwinds flying club where I fly an Archer, Dakota, and Cherokee 6 as well as staying current in a Cirrus SR20.

I’ve been an EAA member for over 25 years and now a “Lifetime Member” and have supported the mission of EAA through the Young Eagles program. The opportunity to pass along my life long passion for aviation to the next generation of pilots and innovators is something I look forward to each year.

Aviation is about continuous learning and sharing.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson in a Cirrus As a kid, I always wanted to be a pilot. But life took me down a different path. Instead, I owned almost every flight simulator that was ever created. In my 40's, I finally realized my dream and got my private pilot's license. Since then, I got my instrument, commercial, and multi-engine ratings and now I'm playing around with getting my instructor rating. I love getting up in the air whenever I can, doing either personal trips, Angel Flights, or flying Young Eagles. I am also part of the Tailwinds Flying Club (located here at the airport), and usually fly our Piper Archer II for Young Eagles flights.

The Tailwinds Flying Club's Piper Archer

Dale Seitzer
Dale Seitzer I’ve been flying since 1998 and have a pilot's license for single engine land airplanes. I started flying ultralights and moved up, now I am exercising my Light Sport Pilot privileges. I built this plane, Skyranger, in 2006. It was designed in France, the components were manufactured in Ukraine and the kit was imported. It is a popular airplane in European countries, Africa, and Australia. There are only a couple hundred in the USA. The plane has almost 1200 hours on it, it is light, efficient and rugged and has a ballistic parachute installed. I’ve been giving Young Eagles introductory flights for a few years and enjoy talking with youth interested in aviation.

Dale Seitzer's Skyranger

Marlon Gunderson
Marlon Gunderson The SkyRaider II is a Rotax 503 powered high wing taildragger, a derivative of the early light Avid and Kitfox types. I got it as a partially complete project and finished building it in 2011 and have flown it to the airshow in Oshkosh half a dozen times, camping with the ultralights at the Red Barn. It's a fun, low and slow aircraft and I intend to turn it into a floatplane. The Cozy III is a Lycoming O320 powered canard aircraft, a widened side-by-side Rutan Long-EZ designed by local retired 3M engineer Nat Puffer. It is a plans-built aircraft started in 1985 but sat unfinished and idle from 1993 to 2013 when I bought the project and finished building it in 2017. It's a fast and efficient airplane good for distance traveling.

Marlon Gunderson's Sky Raider
Marlon Gunderson's COZY
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