2014 Year in Review

Cheeseland Chapter EAA #431 continues to promote aviation and the Brodhead Airport through informative presentations and educational activities along with sponsoring several fly-in events at the airport. During the EAA Chapter scheduled work days at the airport we continue to improve the Chapter facilities and assist with the maintenance of the Brodhead Airport.

We are beginning to see the benefits of our 501(c)(3) public charity as donations have been generously given to our Education Center & Facilities and Historic Restoration categories in support of our education center building project and restoration of the US Air Mail Beacon Tower Memorial.

Following are some of the activities and functions that we supported this year at the Brodhead Airport:

We continued to improve the Chapter Hangar by finishing the wall covering and insulating the gable ends and side walls to complete the insulation of the chapter hangar.

The Brodhead Airport is now the home of a US Air Mail Beacon Tower Memorial. This was accomplished through the sponsorship of the Brodhead EAA Chapter 431 and three local Eagle Scout Candidates working on various phases of the US Air Mail Beacon Tower Memorial project. The concrete was poured, the tower was erected and the generator shed was constructed. The tower stood tall during the Grassroots MAAC Fly-In and final memorial/landscaping is planned with a dedication in the spring.

Doug Tomas-presentation on his great-uncle, who was a flight engineer on a B-24, shot down over northern Italy in WWII. His research turned up some unexpected surprises along the way, corresponding with surviving crew members, a special connection with a B-24 in the National Museum of the US Air Force, leading up to a trip to Italy for a special dedication in 2011

Pat Ripp – “Aircraft Maintenance, What Can I Do?”

Chapter member Bill Bell lead an expanded round of first responder rescue training midyear with 5 airplanes and 7 presenters with the 23 Brodhead Fire Department attendees.

Frank Baker’s – “Piper Cub Tales” and his adventures flying a J-3 Cub all around the country.

Jeff Taylor – Wisconsin Department of Transportation- Unmanned Aerial Systems in public airspace.

John Jorgensen – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Aviation activities and initiatives.

Our Young Eagles rally introduced 24 Young Eagles to Aviation thanks to the ground crew of Ben and Brian and Pilots Betty Abraham, Ben Johnson, Neil Robinson, Jeff Skiles, & Mike Weeden.

Our Fly-In/Drive-In’s start early in the year with our Ground Hog Chili Ski Fly-in/Drive-In in February with 4” of fresh snow and 9 ski planes, many drive-ins, a large campfire and all the chili consumed again!

Our annual community pancake breakfast fly-in/drive-in set new records with over 500 served and even though we lost count, we estimate around 75 airplanes that flew in from around the region to enjoy the great flying weather and community at Brodhead Airport.

The Pietenpol/Hatz fly-in was another successful one, with nearly 20 Pietenpols from all around the country and even one from Winnipeg, Canada. We counted 11 Hatz Biplanes, which is about double from last year. The Bleriot group also displayed and had a gathering too. For the 4th year, the Brodhead High School has had a fundraising event by providing the Pork Chop Dinner during the MAAC Fly-In. This year’s group at the High School was the Year Book Committee.

The 2014 Midwest Antique Airplane Association “Grassroots” fly-in was another well-attended event, helped out by fantastic weather on Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s clouds and rain never quite got out of the way for early arrivals but the weekend more than made up for it. We’re estimating around 170 airplanes flew in and the RV and car parking lots were pretty full on Saturday as well. The usual Sunday morning exodus for home was even delayed with the perfect weather keeping a dozen or more planes on the field by mid-Sunday afternoon.

Our Annual picnic included many dishes to pass, brats, hot dogs, and chicken with chips and drinks. We observed the progress on the US Air Mail Beacon Tower, reviewed our fly-in/drive-in season along with our other projects and adventures too.

Now that we are through with the fly-in season, we plan to continue our rib stitching and sheet metal projects all while we are working on our own projects like Dave and Roy are:

Dave Waller’s Pietenpol Project is making great progress

And Roy Spach is airborne and flies every day possible.

We are also sponsoring a Learning for Life Aviation Explorer Post to encourage area youth to pursue a career in an aviation related profession or industry. This post has had planning meetings and kickoff was December 7th, 2014. It’s never too late to get involved! The next meeting is January 4th at 1:00 p.m.

As you can see, Cheeseland Chapter EAA 431 offers about every kind of opportunity to release your passion for Aviation and to serve our mission “To Promote Aviation in the Brodhead Area”.

What does your membership in the Brodhead EAA Chapter 431 provide? Opportunities for, Leadership, Group projects, Education, Volunteerism, Food, and Fellowship as we build and fly airplanes! Your membership key provides you with 24x7x365 facility access and equipment check in/out too. Work days, fly-ins, forums, seminars, and manufacturing & museum tours provide aviation related education opportunities and involvement locally to improve your aviation building and flying knowledge. Joining/renewing your chapter membership provides you with the opportunity to organize, interact, and manage aviation related activities and events and grow your aviation experience.

We look forward to seeing all of you pursue our mission at the Brodhead Airport in 2015!

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