Chapter History

Bits of History of EAA Chapter 654 (By Terry Weathers)

The Chapter was formed in 1979 by a group of local pilots following the search for local pilot retired Lieutenant Colonel Cliff Stone and others.

Cliff Stone was a very active commercial pilot and flight instructor. He taught all four of his children to fly. In 1978 he owned four aircraft. He was flying with a former mayor of Weed, Frank Rizzo, and Frank's manager of the Miners Inn Motel in a Piper Pacer when they disappeared in October 1978. An extensive search effort commenced involving many local Northern California and Southern Oregon pilots. About four days into the search Cliff’s son, Cliff Jr. flying the family J-3 Cub found the wreckage.

A couple thousand dollars in donations had been raised to help with the search. The local pilots formed a committee to divide the donations among the pilots pro rata based upon hours flown in the search effort. In the process of deliberations the pilots decided to form a pilots association. They looked at forming an independent association and at joining other organizations. Ultimately they settled on forming a chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association. EAA Chapter 654 was born. The first meeting took place in November 1979. Bette (Stone) Akana and Terry Weathers are the only charter members currently active in EAA 654.




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