Hand Propping Demonstration at May 3 Meeting

The guest speaker at our regular members meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd will be Greg Heckman, who will give demonstration on hand propping techniques and safety. Greg is an A&P Mechanic instructor at Rock Valley College and gives this seminar each year at EAA Oshkosh at the Vintage Aircraft headquarters.

Anybody involved with hand propping airplanes will want to attend to get instruction or a brush up. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the chapter 431 clubhouse at Brodhead Airport.

Community Pancake Breakfast To Mark 70th Anniversary of Brodhead Airport

EAA Chapter 431 will host the annual Community Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at the airport from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Brodhead Airport, which was founded in 1946 by Bill Earleywine and called “Bill’s Air Park.” Two aircraft that were sold new by Mr. Earleywine’s Taylorcraft and Ercoupe dealerships in 1946 will be in attendance at the Pancake Breakfast to mark the occasion.

UW Meflight Helicopter at the 2014 Community Pancake Breakfast.

UW Meflight Helicopter at the 2014 Community Pancake Breakfast.

UW Hospital’s MedFlight helicopter will be on display, arriving at 8:30 a.m., weather and duty requirements permitting. Also, the Green County Veterans Memorial Park group will display their newly acquired Vietnam-era UH-1M “Huey” helicopter. Young Eagle rides will be available to kids age 8-17, weather permitting, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Registration is required for Young Eagle rides; e-mail events431@eaa431.org.

The community is invited to Brodhead Airport on May 22 to experience “Grassroots Aviation” and enjoy breakfast served by Chapter 431 volunteers. Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids under 10. The airport is located 1 mile south of Brodhead at N2443 Airport Road.

For scenes from past Pancake Breakfasts, click here.

April Meeting – FAA Speaker

Don’t forget that our regular member meetings have switched to Tuesday evenings for the summer months.

The April 5, 2016 meeting will feature a guest speaker from the FAA. Jurg Grossenbacher from the Milwaukee FSDO office will speak on the “New FAA Compliance Philosophy and its Impact on the Pilots and Mechanics.” Please join us at 7:00 p.m. at the chapter building on Brodhead Airport for a short business meeting followed by Jurg’s presentation.

Bill Knight

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.

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 Pietenpol

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.

Ron Zweifel Completes His Zenith 701

Ron Zweifel, an active member of EAA Chapter 431, recently completed his Zenith 701 project after nearly 12 years of work.

Completed 701

Ron’s Zenith has a Subaru EA-81 engine with a 1.7:1 reduction drive, which allows normal operating RPM around 5,000. The EA-81 is a flat 4-cylinder engine that develops 100 horsepower and has a custom air intake, ignition system and carburetor.

Ron bought a 701 fuselage as a project from a guy in Arizona back in 2004, but it needed to be completely rebuilt. He picked away at it over the years, but really started working in earnest after retirement in 2012.

Elevator Const 3Fuselage Const 1

Ron says the construction is pretty straightforward and he encountered no significant problems. The FAA inspection last December went well and the 701 is ready to fly. Ron is waiting to complete an aircraft familiarization class at the Zenith factory in Mexico, MO to satisfy insurance requirements. He already has his private pilot certificate with instrument rating. Chapter members Mike Weeden and Gene Calkins assisted as technical advisors on the project.

Fuselage Const 3Instrument Panel 3

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.





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.

DSC_2143 DSC_2144 DSC_2139 DSC_2132 DSC_2149

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.


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.