11 Airplanes at Ski Fly-In

A great crowd for our Groundhog Chili Ski Fly-In, especially considering the lack of snow and skis. 11 airplanes attended (if you count the one low pass that didn’t land!) and a whole bunch of people kept the chapter building bustling with activity and the fire pit nice and warm.

Here are some pictures from the day. Thanks to all who took the time to come out.

http://www.eaa431.org/photogallery/index.php?/category/160

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Field Condition for Ski Fly-In

Field Condition Report – Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

Brodhead Airport completely missed this week’s blizz-mageddon-apocolypse and instead of a nice snow dump that we needed, received only sleet and rain. What little snow that was on the ground melted with the rainfall and created large areas of standing water on the runways. Most of the water has now frozen solid but there are still areas, particularly at the intersection of runways 3-21 and 15-33 that are wet underneath a thin ice crust. Runway 9-27 appears to be ok except the far west end.

There is not enough snow for ski operations at Brodhead Airport. Wheeled operations, as always, are at your own risk.

Of course, our Groundhog Chili Ski Fly-In will go on as planned, so if you can’t fly to Brodhead, drive in instead and enjoy some chili and flying fellowship. 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 at Brodhead Airport.

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Groundhog Chili Ski Fly-In – Feb. 6

EAA Chapter 431’s annual Groundhog Chili Ski Fly-In is set for Saturday, February 6, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brodhead Airport. As always, fly in, drive in or walk in for a mid-winter break and join us for some winter flying. Chili and all the fixins’ will be available in the Chapter Building for a free-will donation.

Chapter 431 has long hosted an annual skiplane fly-in in the middle of the long, cold Wisconsin winters to get local pilots out of their hibernation and join us for some homemade chili and hangar flying, and for those properly dressed, some chatting and commiseration around the fire pit. The event usually falls around Groundhog Day, so the name has sort of stuck.

A field condition report will be posted here as the event nears.

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Announcing Our New 2016 Calendars

Second printing – Due to high demand, a second printing of the calendars has been ordered. Check the webstore to order now.

For years, Chapter 431 members have talked about making a 12-month calendar featuring activities at Brodhead Airport and EAA Chapter 431. We finally pulled it off this year, using a mix of new and old photographs in a fold-up wall calendar, showing a new picture each month with bonus pictures scattered throughout.

February features a photo collage that celebrates the 70th anniversary of Brodhead Airport in 2016. Other months show off aircraft and activities that you’ll only see at Brodhead Airport plus historic photos from the airport’s rich history. These make great gifts!

Printed locally on heavy gloss stock, our 2016 calendar is being sold as a fundraiser for $15 plus shipping. Order on our webstore by clicking HERE or pick one up in person at any upcoming regular members meeting and save on shipping.

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Beacon Tower Memorial Dedication

Updated 8/3/2015 with video.

Our multi-year project to build a memorial to EAA Chapter members and Brodhead Airport pioneers finally came to fruition on Saturday, July 18, 2015, when a dedication ceremony was held for the Airway Beacon Tower Memorial. There three Eagle Scouts that brought the project together were honored, as were the families of the EAA Chapter 431 members who have “Flown West”.

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Memorial plaques showing EAA Chapter 431 charter members who have “Flown West”.

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Memorial plaques showing EAA Chapter 431 charter members who have “Flown West”.

The memorial itself is a series of plaques on a restored antique airplane rudder, which is housed in a replica generator shed for the accompanying airway beacon tower. The tower was restored and erected by Sebastian Adams for his Eagle Scout project. Holden Whitledge built the replica shed and Brett Hammon completed all landscaping for their respective Eagle Scout projects.

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Displays inside the generator shed describing the history of airway beacons.

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Displays inside the generator shed describing the history of airway beacons.

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A Thank you to those who helped make the memorial happen.

EAA Chapter 431 secretary Brian Law speaks while president Mike Weeden, Sebastian Adams, Holden Whitledge and Brett Hammon look on.

EAA Chapter 431 secretary Brian Law speaks while president Mike Weeden, Sebastian Adams, Holden Whitledge and Brett Hammon look on.

Family members of Chapter 431 charter members and airport pioneers were in attendance for the ceremony as well as attendees of the Pietenpol/Hatz Fly-In that was taking place at Brodhead Airport.

Betty and Jerry Earleywine. Jerry's brother Bill started Brodhead Airport in 1946 as Bill's Air Park.

Betty and Jerry Earleywine. Jerry’s brother Bill started Brodhead Airport in 1946 as Bill’s Air Park.

Jim Green and Gary Saunders chat before the ceremony. Jim's uncle Bob Green was an early airport pioneer and flew his Waco UPF-7 and Taylorcraft at the airport for many years.

Jim Green and Gary Saunders chat before the ceremony. Jim’s uncle Bob Green was an early airport pioneer and flew his Waco UPF-7 and Taylorcraft at the airport for many years.

From left, Steve Saunders, Gary Saunders, Jeff Knezel and Mark Saunders. Saunders' father Francis was instrumental in the formation of EAA Chapter 431 and was active in fly-in events for many years. Jeff's father Vern Kneel was  secretary for many years and hand painted many of the signs around the airport.

From left, Steve Saunders, Gary Saunders, Jeff Knezel and Mark Saunders. Saunders’ father Francis was instrumental in the formation of EAA Chapter 431 and was active in fly-in events for many years. Jeff’s father Vern Kneel was secretary for many years and hand painted many of the signs around the airport.

Tim Earleywine stands next to his father's plaque on the memorial. Bob Earleywine was a charter member and son of airport founder Bill Earleywine. He flew his Aeronca Chief for many years.

Tim Earleywine stands next to his father’s plaque on the memorial. Bob Earleywine was a charter member and son of airport founder Bill Earleywine. He flew his Aeronca Chief for many years.

Mike Williams' 1928 Stearman C3B air mail plane served as a period backdrop for the ceremony.

Mike Williams’ 1928 Stearman C3B air mail plane served as a period backdrop for the ceremony.

Holden Whitledge, Sebastian Adams and Brett Hammon.

Holden Whitledge, Sebastian Adams and Brett Hammon.

John & Sandy Adams, Tiffany Griffin, Sebastian Adams, Brett Hammon, Holden Whitledge, Carol Whitledge and Mary Hammon. Scoutmaster Mike Visger kneels in front.

John & Sandy Adams, Tiffany Griffin, Sebastian Adams, Brett Hammon, Holden Whitledge, Carol Whitledge and Mary Hammon. Scoutmaster Mike Visger kneels in front.

Here is a video of the complete ceremony.

Beacon Tower Memorial Dedication is July 18

Here’s a news release we sent today about next Saturday’s beacon tower memorial dedication. Come on out on the 18th at 10:30 a.m.

Chapter 431 of the Experimental Aircraft Association at the Brodhead Airport will dedicate a memorial to charter members of the chapter who have “Flown West” (passed away) on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. The memorial resides in the replica generator shed near the newly erected Airway Beacon Tower along Airport Road.

The historic beacon tower was once used as an air navigation aid to early airmail and airline pilots in the 1920s and 30s before modern navigation methods were used. Spaced approximately every 20 miles along routes between major cities, these towers once dotted the landscape. In fact, one stood for years on the corner of Riemer Road and Decatur-Sylvester Road in Decatur Township, on the route between Chicago and St. Paul.

EAA Chapter 431 acquired an original beacon tower several years ago and Sebastian Adams recently restored it as an Eagle Scout project. The adjacent generator shed is a replica built to original plans as another Eagle Scout project by Holden Whitledge, and Brett Hammon completed landscaping and fencing around the tower as a third Eagle Scout project.

The memorial will eventually honor all Chapter 431 members as well as the founders and early pioneers of Brodhead Airport who have Flown West. The dedication takes place during the annual Pietenpol/Hatz Reunion at the airport, and will feature a short speech and tours of the project. Friends of Brodhead Airport and those interested in the project are welcome to attend.

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Pietenpol/Hatz Fly-In Information – 2015

Our information page for the upcoming Pietenpol/Hatz (and now Bleriot & Fleet) Fly-In on July 16-19 is linked below, and contains everything you need to know about camping, parking, events, meals, showers, fly-by patterns, runway closures and bunch of other stuff.

http://www.eaa431.org/2015-pietenpolhatz-fly-in-information/

As always, check back as the date draws closer for updated information, and if you have any questions at all, please contact us at webmaster@eaa431.org

Aircraft Familiarization Training for Juda FD

On Monday, June 15th, EAA Chapter 431 conducted an Aircraft Familiarization class for the Juda volunteer Fire Department. Nearly 30 firefighters and EMTs drove over to Brodhead Airport along with several of their trucks. After an hour long seminar, we conducted “show and tell” using five airplanes of various construction to give examples of what typically flies in and out of C37.

Thanks to the pilots who volunteered their airplanes and to the entire Juda fire crew for taking the time to learn about airplanes.

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