EAA Chapter 25

A Community of Aviation Enthusiasts in the Twin Cities

Cleared for Takeoff

Filed under: Cleared for Takeoff — admin at 2:25 am on Thursday, March 9, 2006

by Jon Cumpton

from On Final March 2006

Jon Cumpton: EAA Chapter 25 PresidentLast Saturday I attended the Minnesota Aviation Safety Seminar at Flying Cloud. I believe this was the first time in recent years when it was held at the airport instead of a hotel. I have trouble getting excited about going to an aviation seminar unless there are airplanes there! The venue was the new ASI hangar, which was stuffed with a very cool collection of airplanes. I also found a friendly bunch of human inhabitants.

There were several Chapter 25 members, as you would expect, including two former Chapter presidents – and no, their names weren’t Frank and Pat. In fact, they were Phil Schaffer and Tom Kerns. I wasn’t surprised to run into multiple past presidents by chance. There have been quite a number so far, in fact 29 by my count.

I have been in the process of collecting and going through chapter records to get my arms around the history of the chapter. I am building on the efforts of people like Frank Hanish who compiled a lot of stuff for the 40th anniversary. We have also started doing “oral histories� with long-time chapter members to have an electronic record of events. So far, we have done this with Bert Sisler and Norm Tesmar. Please don’t be surprised if we ask you to participate (you can also volunteer).

We have also been talking to other members with stories from the early days of the chapter. What impresses me over and over is how much our people are woven into the fabric of aviation in this part of the country, just like I found them woven into the attendees at that seminar.

I also have been surprised by how many records we have. One of the things that we are trying to do is to put them in an order so that they will be safe and easy to access in the future. Old pictures have been pleasantly turning up. Some of these have appeared in recent newsletters. Jim Ladwig produced a bunch of slides Wally Carlberg shot at the EAA fly-ins in the 60’s. If you have some pictures we haven’t seen, we’d love to know about them.

I’ve also been talking to folks about the airplanes they and others have built. I wish we knew how many have been built or restored in 50 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more than 100, without counting the ones that never flew! Jim Ladwig and Bert Sisler worked up lists of over 50, and I know we can add to that – I expect to circulate a list to document this, so if you can add to it, let us know. We also have the information we just collected from current members for this year’s roster.

Our meeting this month is very special. March 15th just happens to be the exact anniversary of the chapter’s first official meeting in 1956. Paul and Audrey Poberezny will be our very special guests. For this special meeting we will be meeting at the chapter hangar. We’ll turn the heat on and fire up the grill to pretend it’s summer! Please make a special effort to come. I especially hope that those of you who have served in chapter leadership will be there too!


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