April Chapter Gathering Canceled

For obvious reasons, our April 7 chapter gathering is being canceled. Our scheduled speaker, Jurg Grossenbacher on “Accidents, Incidents, and Pilot Proficiency,” has been rescheduled for the July 7 gathering.

Brodhead Airport has been fairly quiet recently, and we thank John Meichtry for re-grading all the gravel driveways earlier this week. No more potholes!

We hope that all of you are staying safe, healthy, and dreaming of good flying weather.

Groundhog Chili Ski Fly-In

Field Condition Report: As of Friday, 1/31, all runways have a good snow base for ski equipped aircraft.

Mark your calendar for our annual Groundhog Chili Ski Fly-In on Saturday, February 1, 2020 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.

2020 Brodhead Airport Calendars

This is our fifth year of producing the popular EAA Chapter 431/Brodhead Airport full-color calendar, and this one looks better than ever. Its a 12-month wall calendar with a main photo for each month, plus smaller fill-in photos to keep you entertained. The dates for all meetings, work days, and fly-ins are listed as well.

Calendars are $15 each plus $4.00 shipping (First Class Mail). You can save on shipping and pick one up at any Chapter 431 meeting or event, or by stopping by the Kelch Aviation Museum during the week. Order online HERE.

All photos in the calendar were taken at or near Brodhead Airport in the past year. Special thanks to everyone who contributed, and to this year’s winners, Doug Tomas, Dave Swartz, Allen Penticoff, Shelly Tumino, and Nigel Hitchman.

If you have questions about ordering or picking up, or if you want to order in bulk, please call 608-897-1175 or e-mail webmaster@eaa431.org.

Annual Elections at Saturday’s Chapter Meeting

Don’t forget that the monthly gathering of EAA Chapter 431 switches to Saturdays this month and our next one is Saturday, October 5 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapter clubhouse at Brodhead Airport.

Also on Saturday, we will hold the annual officer elections. Nominations and voting are both done in person during the meeting so come out and make your voice heard. Current officers whose terms are expiring are:

President – Ben Johnson
Vice-President – Joe Snow
Secretary – Brian Law
Treasurer – Pat Weeden

Afterward, the monthly chapter video from EAA headquarters will be shown.

See you on Saturday.

2019 Community Pancake Breakfast is May 19

Spring weather in southern Wisconsin can only mean one thing; its time for EAA Chapter 431’s annual Community Pancake Breakfast. Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 19 from 7:00 a.m. to noon at Brodhead Airport.

All you can eat pancakes are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids under 10. The breakfast includes scrambled eggs, two sausages and choice of beverage.

Kids age 8-17 can take a Young Eagles airplane ride and the everybody can watch the airplanes land on our grass runways.

One of the UW MedFlight helicopters will be flying in mid-morning and be open for display, weather and duty permitting.

Fritz Badertscher

Fritz Badertscher, a charter member of EAA Chapter 431 and a regular pilot and fixture at Brodhead Airport for many years, passed away April 25, 2019 at age 77.

Fritz was one of the original nineteen EAA members who started chapter 431 in January, 1973 and helped spur the growth of Brodhead Airport into what it is today. He was a regular flyer, taking his first airplane ride in an Ercoupe flown by Bill Earleywine, the founder of the airport, in 1947. His yellow and red Aeronca Champ gave many rides in the 1970s, and he later flew a Cessna 120, Aeronca Chief, and two different Piper Cubs until recently.

Fritz and Phyllis Badertscher with daughter Ann with their Aeronca Champ at Brodhead Airport, 1974.

A local dairy farmer, Fritz and his family brought out the heavy equipment to build and extend runway 27 in the mid-1970s. He also took care of the annual fertilizer application and other work requiring a skilled machinery operator. His contributions to the success of Brodhead Airport are countless.

Fritz and his father Garde built the extension for runway 27 in the mid-1970s.

The entire Badertscher family has been deeply involved in the Brodhead Airport, with Phyllis serving on the Hawk-Aire and Chapter 431 boards, and their daughters learning to fly as well.

Daughter Nora’s first passenger was Fritz in 2013.

Fritz Badertscher’s full obituary can be read here: