Scott Schabow

Scott Schabow, EAA Chapter 431 member and a mainstay of the Brodhead Airport community, passed away at age 52 on November 30, 2020. Scott wrote his own obituary here:

If you have even a passing association with Brodhead Airport, you know Scott. He flew his 1959 Cessna 175 Taildragger, inherited from his grandfather, more than almost any other airplane on the field. Sometimes he would just go out in the evening and practice landings, and locals no doubt recognized the airplane flying in the airport traffic pattern while he perfected his crosswind technique. But more often than not, he would be flying to some unknown and unplanned adventure. 

Scott would often say, “Let’s fly around the patch once…” while his unsuspecting passengers would be along for a three-hour flight to several states and a personal altitude record. “Going for ice cream…” didn’t mean a short hop to the nearest Dairy Queen by an airport. With Scott, it meant 200-mile flight to an airport that he heard had ice cream nearby. It didn’t matter if it was 11:00 p.m. and they were closed; the flight was the adventure. The long-range gas tanks on that Cessna were used often.

This ’59 Cessna 175 was converted to a taildragger by Scott’s grandfather Lyle Elyea. At first glance it looks like a C-180, and he flew it with skill.

If you’ve attended the MAAC “Grassroots” or the Pietenpol/Hatz fly-in recently, Scott was the guy who sold you gas so you could fly home. He always loved to chat with pilots from around the country and made quick friends with all of them. 

Scott and his wife Shaun O’Keefe.

Scott was a master electrician and had a hand in just about every electrical project at the airport for the past ten years. Everything from simple lighting jobs to the entire south side electrical upgrade that ran new service to 40+ hangars a few years ago. He always did high quality work and often charged a fraction of the cost, if anything at all.

Son Josh O’Keefe with Scott at Brodhead Airport. Josh is flying the C-175 now too.

Scott with family & friends at the gas pumps during the MAAC Grassroots fly-in.

Wet sanding a Pietenpol wing with the crew.

Scott and flight crew at the Iola Airport Friday lunch. Flying 150 miles for lunch is a normal thing, right?

A Navy man through and through, Scott loved to talk about the intricacies of the fire control system on Aegis-class cruisers, plus anything else relating to his world travels in the service. Of course, anything aviation related was always a prime topic for extended discussion. 

Scott has “Flown West” as they say, and his absence will be felt by all of us for a very long time. A celebration of life is being planned at the Kelch Aviation Museum in September, 2021, when we all hopefully can gather again. Watch this space for details. Blue skies and tailwinds, Scott.


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