Aug 27

Larry Lowencron prepared the draft letter shown below to be sent to Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio. It is self explanatory. I think that Larry is right on track and I applaud him for taking the initiative to prepare this letter! I recommend that all in attendance at next Wednesday’s chapter meeting sign the formal letter. I certainly will. I hope to see you all there for Lauran Paine’s presentation as well as great food and great hangar flying!

President Gary

One more shot at the Pilots Bill of Rights 2 from the Willamette Valley
I am sure that all of you have been getting numerous emails from various aviation organizations for you to contact legislators and ask that they support the Pilots Bill of Rights 2. Many of us have written letters already, and got rather nebulous responses from Senator Merkley and or Congressman DeFazio. Rather than write another form letter, I am asking pilots in the Southern Willamette Valley to all sign this one, brief letter (copy below) to both of those two members of Congress requesting that they commit now to supporting the bill.. I will be bringing the actual letter to be signed to the next EAA Chapters 31, 1457 and 1524 meetings.

The intent of the letter is quite frankly to tell them to get off their duff and commit to supporting the bill. It is not a long letter explaining the benefits of the bill. They (or their staff) have already been bombarded with form letters from EAA or AOPA explaining it. Rather, this one letter is a not too polite letter that will be hand signed by the legislator’s constituents!

Dear Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio:

We are writing you to ask that you commit to supporting the Pilots Bill of Rights 2 (HR 1062/S 571). We are all your constituents. Many of us have previously written to you and asked your support. Your response to us has been, quite frankly, to reiterate the bill (so we know that you understand it) and to inform us that you will look in to it. The bill has languished in Congress long enough. It is time to move on it.

To date The House bill now has 126 bipartisan cosponsors and the Senate bill has 57. Senator Wyden has already signed on as a supporter. From what we understand, you have not yet committed to supporting it. As our elected representative, we are asking you to commit now to supporting that bill.

Respectfully your constituents,

Larry Lowenkron, Eugene, Oregon

Hopefully a couple of hundred more signatures!

Aug 25

Young Eagles Event at Mahlon Sweet Airport This Saturday!

I just received a text message from our sister chapter, Chapter 1457 , pleading for help at this coming Saturday’s YE event. As we all know, it’s tough to get enough planes/pilots to support these events. Any of you who can help fly YE’s this Saturday PLEASE call Bruce Gustafson at 541-505-6081 or email him at They’ve helped us in the past. Now it’s time to help them!

President Gary

Aug 25

Chapter 31 September Meeting Notice

Our next regular chapter meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 2 with a BBQ at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 7 p.m. I just received a confirmation from Lauran Paine, Sport Aviation magazine columnist (Plane Talk) that he will be our featured speaker at this meeting! Those of you who are also members of Chapter 1457 should get the word out to your members that Lauran will be coming. I’ve heard him speak before and he is excellent. He’s also hard to book so this is a good time to come hear him speak. He’ll also be looking at our RV-3 project to write a future article in Sport Aviation about our restoration activities. For those of you not familiar with Lauran’s background, he is both a former military pilot and a retired airline pilot. If you don’t regularly attend our meetings, this is one you don’t want to miss!

President Gary

Aug 25

The RV-3 is Back

I finished drilling the cowl hinges onto the cowling and moved the RV-3 back to the clubhouse yesterday. Those of you who are doing any work (or want to do any work) on the project can now have free access to the plane. As I understand it now, Alan Wieder is working on the horizontal stabilizer and empennage junction fairing; Dave Eason is working on the propeller mounting hardware; Virgil Pratt is working on the windscreen and canopy; Ray Morse is working on the main landing gear strut fairings. Thanks to all who are helping on this project!

President Gary

Aug 11

Meeting Minutes from the 8/5/2015 Meeting

EAA Chapter 31 Meeting, August 5th, 2015
The dinner portion of the meeting started at 6:00 PM hosted by the wonderful Virgil and Bridget Pratt. There was Corn on the Cob, hamburgers, Costco hot dogs, chips and a drink for only $5. Another triumph in culinary excellence!!

The business and entertainment portion of the meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by President Gary Ludeke, with V.P. John Kuehl and Secretary / Treasurer Randy Stout also present. There were 23 members and guests in attendance.

After the pledge of allegiance, President Gary asked the guests in attendance to raise their hands. We hosted John “Frenchie” Marcel, a 24 year Flight Engineer veteran with 2 tours of Vietnam, and the current District 13 VFW Chaplain, and member of Post 3965 VFW. He is a private pilot and has flown many airplanes since very early (did I hear 10 years old?) in his life. We also recognized Paul Lauer, a friend of Ray Morse, Steve Didman, a student of Gary Ludeke’ s, Bruce Gustafson, Chapter 1457 representative (see his request in the minutes in a bit), and Larry Lowencron, Creswell Airport Commission member (here for the ADS-B info talk). Welcome to all and we hope you come again!

President Gary then spoke about the RV-3 project. It is now in his hangar for easier access and tools, and now has a cowling coming from Van’s. Jim Beale is working on the tail wheel. Ray Morse will blast the bigger parts. Alan Weider has been working on the Horizontal Stabilizer. Virgil Pratt is now working on the Fuselage and Canopy. Thanks to you all for keeping this project on the front burner.

Next Chapter breakfast is Saturday, August, 15th, which is coincidental with the RV fly-in at Independence. Come out to the clubhouse in the AM and pay $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. Bridget Pratt said that she would not be there, so she asked for volunteers. No one immediately raised their hand, but hopefully we will have a full crew on Saturday. Otherwise, we might go hungry!

Randy has called Shelly Humble to find out about the bricks she said she will be ordering for Jug and Crash. He has not had a return call at this time. We want to get the Dave Heisley and South Lane Modelers bricks ordered and installed ASAP.

Speaking of the Honor Garden, Doug Kindred and Bill Dewey have put in the sprinkler system to keep the plants alive during the summer. That was a lot of work with ditches and piping etc. Thanks guys, and great work!!

President Gary then spoke about our Young Eagles event that took place on July 4th. We gave 96 Young Eagles the ride of their lives, along with 5 CAP members. Great work by everyone involved, especially the ground crew. The pilots had the fun, but the ground crew had to handle a lot of detail work to make that happen. Special thanks to Ken Schmidt, the air boss who also gave the pilot briefing for all the YE and Parade Pilots. He made sure that the qualifications necessary to be a YE pilot were enforced, and we all stayed safe and legal!!

Tom Preuss, longtime EAA Chapter 31 friend, announced that due to health he will be unable to continue to fly. He is going donate his airplane to the Museum and to have a hangar sale (to be announced to the group when the date is set), and has offered a few items as a donation to Chapter 31. Thanks Tom, and don’t be a stranger. We can always use more ground crew.

Gary noted that at the September meeting, author Lauren Paine will give a talk. If you have read Lauren’s monthly articles in Sport Aviation, you know that you don’t want to miss this meeting!

Bruce Gustafson, a chapter 1457 member, mentioned that 1457 will have their YE flying day on August 29th at Eugene Airport. It will be held along with the “5K on the Runway” and pancake breakfast. They would love to have some Chapter 31 pilots join them (just as he helped with our July 4th event)

Alan Weider was then asked to come forward and give his Power Point Presentation on ADS-B. He had so much to say that I am sure I would do him a disservice attempting to put it all down here. Suffice to say, if you are flying in class A, B or C airspace that requires a transponder, you will need to have an ADS-B capable unit by 2020. Thanks Alan for a very thorough and enjoyable presentation (even when the computer malfunctioned!!)

There being no other business, President Gary suggested we view the Chapter Video next month, as we were running a bit late tonight.

The meeting was then adjourned at 8:26 pm
respectfully submitted, Randall Stout, Secretary/ Treasurer

Aug 11

Breakfast this Saturday!

We’ll have our next breakfast this coming Saturday, August 15 starting by 9 a.m. Bridget and Virgil will not be available so some of us will have to become cooks. If you can help, please show up around 8 a.m. to help with the preparations. We likely will have a few cars from the sports car club that came to the breakfast last year. Hopefully, we’ll also get some fly-in traffic as well. Hope to see you there.

I was up in Portland last Friday so I stopped by Van’s Aircraft and picked up the prop spinner and back plate for the RV3 project. We need to engineer and build the propeller mount now that the cowl is in place. It’s getting closer to looking like an airplane!

President Gary

Aug 05


Hey, temperatures have cooled. It should be a great evening for our meeting! Bask in the pleasant temperatures while you enjoy our 6 p.m. BBQ and an entertaining meeting at 7 p.m. Alan Wieder is our featured speaker discussing ADS-B. We’ve got a good chapter video that discusses the DeHavilland Mosquite and the in and outs of spark plug maintenance. I hope to see you there!

President Gary