Mar 17


I just received a response to the letter I sent to Van’s Aircraft last week. It looks like the project is a GO! Below is a copy of the letter I sent and Van’s email response. I’d like to jump into this quickly to build momentum and enthusiasm for the project. I think the first order of business will be to get rid of, or temporarily relocate, the bigger items in the clubhouse (mainly the simulator, grills and couches) so we can bring in at least some of aircraft parts to begin work.) For those who will be at Saturday’s breakfast, we can discuss the specifics of how best to proceed on this. I hope that all of you who are interested in this project can make it to the breakfast. . . . . . . President Gary

March 12, 2015


Van’s Aircraft

14401 Keil Road NE

Aurora, Oregon 97002


The Creswell, Oregon Chapter (Chapter 31) of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has been approached by the Oregon Aviation Historical Society (OAHS) to restore, to display quality only, an RV3 that was donated to the OAHS back in the late 1980’s. The OAHS would like to create a display honoring Richard VanGrunsven and Van’s Aircraft. The RV3 airplane to be restored would become the centerpiece of this display. As you know, Mr. VanGrunsven was inducted into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006. He also was a founding member of EAA Chapter 31 in 1957.

The aircraft that is to be restored was built by an Oregon resident by the name of Henkes (first name unknown at this point) and first flew in 1976. In 1980 the aircraft experienced an engine out accident after takeoff from Canby, Oregon and was never repaired. The OAHS has the gutted fuselage with some damage to the tail cone. They also have the original wings with flaps and ailerons, and a vertical stabilizer and rudder that appear to not be from the original airplane.

In order to perform the restoration, our chapter is going to have to acquire and/or construct the following:

  • Either an engine mount, or a welded frame that will allow the main landing gear to be attached to the airframe. We don’t intend to install an engine since this will be for static display only, but we’ll have to fabricate something to hold a propeller on the aircraft.
  • Engine cowling
  • Main and tail wheel gear assemblies. Brakes won’t be necessary for a static display.
  • Since the interior of the aircraft is totally gutted, we probably would not attempt to install and interior and, therefore, we would “frost” the canopy glass unless the aircraft is hung from the ceiling and the interior is not viewable by the visiting public.
  • Horizontal stabilizer and elevators.
  • Primer and paint

Since the aircraft is to be a tribute to Mr. VanGrunsven and Van’s Aircraft our intent would be to paint the aircraft to look like the RV3 that appeared at the 1973 EAA Convention and won the award for Best New Design.

We are very much interested in whether or not Van’s Aircraft is interested and willing to help us either financially and/or through the donation of materials necessary to complete the restoration. We are planning to perform the restoration work primarily in the Chapter 31 clubhouse located on the Creswell Airport (Hobby Field). We have a number of members who have stepped forward to volunteer their time and tools to perform this work. Depending upon how quickly we can obtain the necessary materials to do the work, we anticipate having the aircraft ready for the museum by September or October of this year. The OAHS envisions a public event at the OAHS Museum located at the Cottage Grove Airport to introduce the exhibit. This event would include an RV fly-in at the Cottage Grove Airport. We would plan a date when Mr. VanGrunsven would be able to attend, hopefully with other past and present employees of Van’s Aircraft.

You may respond to me either by telephone at 541-914-8605 or email at


Gary Ludeke, President


Gary, Van’s would be happy to help out with components for the restoration
of the RV-3. As we’re always working under a budget, we would appreciate
a reasonably accurate list of the parts you think you’ll need to make it
happen and estimated cost of the items that you feel will need to be sourced
outside of Van’s. We may be able to help out with those items also but for
now, can commit to at least the Van’s supplied components that you
mentioned in your letter. We’d like to have a decent idea of the overall cost
to Van’s before we commit any farther than that.

We appreciate your support and recognition of Richard and Van’s Aircraft!

Best, Scott Risan
Van’s Aircraft, Inc.

Mar 09

Minutes from the 3/4/2015 Meeting

EAA Chapter 31 Meeting, March 4th, 2015

The dinner portion of the meeting started at 6:00 PM hosted by the wonderful Virgil and Bridget Pratt. There was a whole bunch of spaghetti, French bread, and salad along with 2 types of brownies and chips with a drink for only $5. Wow- and you just wait until next time. We will have a taco extravaganza!!

The business and entertainment portion of the meeting was called to order at 6:59 PM by President Gary Ludeke, (V.P. John Kuehl was out) and Secretary / Treasurer Randy Stout present.

There were 23 members in attendance. Guests this time included past president and EAA Hall of Famer, Tim Talen!!

President Gary then spoke about the memorial service for Dave Heisley, who passed away unexpectedly last month. We had 8 members attend and all spoke highly of his work for the club. Gary created a nice framed picture that will remain on the clubhouse wall. In addition, the club will buy a large brick for him and install it in the memory garden near the FBO. Bill Dewey also cut Dave’s widow’s grass today.

Next Chapter breakfast is March 21st  at the clubhouse. $5 for an all you can eat breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, OJ, coffee and camaraderie!! Starts at 9:00 and runs to about 10:30 or so. Virgil Pratt and Bridget will be gone, but Tom Cunningham and Alan Weider have agreed to head it up. It was also noted that Albany now has a new FBO that Tom Hahn is running. He will have a lunch/open house on 3/21, so shoot up there after the breakfast.

President Gary spoke about the sign-up sheet we now have for people wanting rides and those willing to give them. It is by the North Door. He also noted that we will move the meeting at some time next month over to Ray Morse’s hangar for a look at his project, before we move back to the clubhouse. President Gary thought a spot landing and flour bombing event would be fun (and he is still looking into the insurance requirement before proceeding)

He then spoke about an exciting opportunity that the Oregon Aviation Historical Society has presented to the club. They have a donated RV-3 that is in need of much work and parts. Tim Talen then spoke about the importance that Dick Van-Grunsven had on Chapter 31 (he was a founding member in 1957) and on Oregon Aviation as a whole. This would be a great project for the club to take on under Gary’s experienced leadership, with the goal to make a nice looking by not airworthy craft for display at the Oregon Aviation History Museum in Cottage Grove, and for a float display for the 4th of July Creswell parade if not others as well.

Gary then spoke about Independence Chapter 292’s work on the (Fascet Mobile, Wing Fan??) (I have no idea of that spelling!!) which sort of looks like a mini F-117 and suggested that the club members fly up to look at it some Saturday after breakfast. He also noted that Creswell Chamber of Commerce will have their annual fund raising auction and dinner on the 20th, and several members offered to let them auction off rides (personally, with no connection to EAA Chapter 31). It was suggested that they check with EAA National before they did this to be assured that an individual can make this offer without coming against some FAA reg. that requires drug testing etc.

Secretary Stout then gave a brief talk about the history of Chapter 31, starting in 1957 with Darrell Delong placing an ad in the RG and several people meeting in his house. Over the years, the meeting spot changed many times, the Creswell Air-Fair was an on again, off again event that they hosted, and so many projects, fly-outs, picnics, and fun was had, that we have no space here to list it. By 1993, when the current clubhouse was purchased, erected and finished, we had in excess of 100 active members. With the current 50 paid members now, we have a ways to go to make the club exciting and interesting again. The RV-3 project should help.

Here is a list of items we are still considering selling or buying for the clubhouse. During the discussion tonight, it was suggested that  the simulator gauges be removed and used on the RV-3, discarding the rest of the unit. We will continue to look at this list and refine it as we discuss ideas at each upcoming meeting.

 Items to Dispose of:                                      Items to Acquire

2 Gas Grills                                                          4 Better Couches

Bookcase w/ old magazines                        Table for cooking from Tom C.

Big Work Table                                                 Cabinet for cleaning supplies

Simulator                                                            Range Hood

2 Saw Horses                                                     2 New electrical circuits for new cook area

2 old couches                                                    Cabinet for Pop and other supplies

Coffee Maker w/o heat pad                        Re-Design floor plan of clubhouse

Magazines on floor in boxes

Extension cords in rafters

There being no other business, the President decided not to play the EAA Monthly Magazine on the Video projector as the time was late.  We will view it next meeting.

The meeting was then adjourned at 8:40 pm
respectfully submitted, Randall Stout, Secretary/ Treasurer