Bill Knight, a founding member of EAA Chapter 431 and a venerable presence at Brodhead Airport, passed away March 17, 2016 at age 68. A visitation will be held Thursday, March 24, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brodhead with a service to follow. An obituary can be read HERE.
Bill Knight with his Waco UPF-7. Photo courtesy of Gene Calkins
Over the years, Bill served as president and vice president of Chapter 431. He was instrumental in the chapter purchasing Brodhead Airport in 1973 and in the expansion that followed. He was a founding member of Midwest Antique Airplane Association and along with his wife Sue, personally hosted the annual MAAC “Grassroots” fly-in at Brodhead Airport from 1980 to 1990 until Chapter 431 took it over.
Bill Knight was a charter member of EAA Chapter 431 and served as vice president in its first year, later serving as president. Courtesy of Brodhead Historical Society.
Bill owned many airplanes over the years, starting with a 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D that he purchased with Ed Disch and Kent Joranlien. He regularly flew his Waco UPF-7, Waco RNF and Cessna 180 and owned Bernard Pietenpol’s “Last Original” Corvair powered Pietenpol.
Bill Knight’s 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D at the 2015 Brodhead Chili Ski Fly-In. This aircraft has been at Brodhead Airport since it was new.
Clipping from the Brodhead Independent-Register showing Bill’s restored Taylorcraft after a string of “Best of Type” awards at Oshkosh in the late 1970s. Courtesy of Brodhead Historical Society.
Bill built a Model A powered Pietenpol Aircamper in 1983 and flew it regularly. It is regarded as one of the best built Piets around and was his favorite airplane to fly.
Bill Knight in his Pietenpol Aircamper project, early 1980s. Photo courtesy of Forrest Lovely.
Bill and Sue with their Pietenpol in 1984.
32 years after it first flew, Bill’s Pietenpol flies at the Brodhead Pietenpol Reunion, July 2015. It is still one of the finest examples around.
Bill’s Waco UPF-7 (back), Waco RNF (foreground) and his 1929 Packard. Photo by Bill Weeden
Bill and his partner Linda Kernen at the 2011 Waco Reunion. Photo courtesy of Scott Bruns.
Our sympathies go out to Bill’s partner Linda Kernen and his children Sarah and Eric.