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”.

DSC_1465

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

DSC_1464

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.

DSC_1468

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

DSC_1467

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

DSC_1466

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.

beacon

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.

IMG_3023IMG_3029IMG_3031

Madison Tower Tour

On Friday, June 12, 2015, a group of EAA Chapter 431 members, as well as four of our Aviation Explorer Scouts toured the Madison, Wis. (KMSN) control and radar control facility. Tower Chief Chuck Howard and controller Chris gave an excellent tour and we discussed how pilots from Brodhead and surrounding airports affect aircraft movements in the Madison Class C airspace.

Madison Tower Chief Chuck Howard explains the operations of the Madison control tower.

Madison Tower Chief Chuck Howard explains the operations of the Madison control tower.

Balloon Demonstration at June Meeting

At the Tuesday, June 2nd EAA Chapter 431 meeting at the Brodhead Airport, Jeff Thomm of Monroe demonstrated hot air balloon operations and even did a tethered lift in the front yard of the airport. It was a gorgeous night to be at the airport, and thanks to Jeff for hauling everything out to Brodhead.

Balloon-3Balloon-4Balloon-1

EAA 431 Display at Green County Ag Breakfast

The 2015 Green County Breakfast on the Farm was hosted this year by EAA Chapter 431 member Dan Wegmueller on May 30th, and since Dan has a grass strip on his farm for his 1940 Fairchild 24R, he invited Chapter 431 members to fly in and set up a display about our activities. Poor weather kept most airplanes grounded, but several members still attended and Brian Law set up Young Eagles and Aviation Explorer Scout displays among the hay bales in one of Dan’s sheds.

The event regularly draws 4,000 visitors, so we had some good exposure and talked to many people about events at Chapter 431. Gypsy Air Tours and Biplanes Rides of America, both based at Brodhead, were also in attendance and hopping rides.

Fairchild and WacoFarm DisplayFarm Display 2Farm

2015 T-Shirts are Here

The new EAA Chapter 431/Brodhead Airport T-Shirts are in!

The latest in the series of EAA Chapter 431/Brodhead Airport T-shirts are hot off the press and ready for delivery, just in time for fly-in season. This one features another original design by Bill Weeden, showing Eric Berens’ 1929 Travel Air 2000 in front of our restored airway beacon tower.

Pick yours up at any of our fly-ins or regular monthly meetings this summer, or order online at through our webstore HERE. Shirts are $15 with sizes Small through 3XL plus Youth Large.

2015 T-Shirt2015 T-Shirt front

Community Pancake Breakfast is Sunday, May 17

EAA Chapter 431 once again kicks off the fly-in season with our Community Pancake Breakfast. This year’s fly-in, drive-in, bike-in, walk-in is on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 and includes all you can eat pancakes, two sausages, scrambled eggs and choice of beverage. Serving time is 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Served up on our own airplane mechanic-designed professional pancake griddles by expert pilot/chefs, our pancake breakfast is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. There is outdoor seating under the pavilion as well as heated indoor seating in case of inclement weather.

Adults, $6.00; Children under 10, $4.00

UW-MedFlight-LogoUW MedFlight Helicopter on display! One of the UW MedFlight helicopters is scheduled to land and be open for display, subject to weather and duty restrictions.

A Young Eagles rally will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Young Eagles program gives ground instruction and an airplane ride to kids aged 8-17. Registration is required. Please contact us at events431@eaa431.org for more details or to register.

If you’re flying in, set a course for Brodhead Airport (C37). Unicom is 122.9. There is plenty of parking so bring a wingman and start out the season with great flight to a wonderful grass airport. Driver-inners can head for Brodhead Airport Road, which is just south of the city limits off Highway 11. If you need a street address for your GPS, use N2439 Brodhead Airport Road. Otherwise, just look for the airplanes.

Download a printable flyer HERE (PDF)

2015_Pancake_Breakfast_poster