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Introduction to EAA Chapter 245, Carp, ON

EAA Chapter 245
Weight and balance day for RV7A. Photo by Andy Phillips.

Fly-in breakfast
Fly-in breakfast 2008

Prep Crew
Prep crew for 2008 fly-in breakfast.

President Martin Poettcker presenting First Flight Award to George Skinner.

It is early morning, January, very dark and cold at 6 a.m. It feels like another “OF” day with a clear sky and stars shining as I head out to get the Ottawa Citizen from the newspaper box at the end of the driveway. When I get back into the house and check the digital indoor/outdoor thermometer it sure enough is another OF day. “OF” are the letters that appear on the thermometer when the outside temperature drops below -29.9 degrees Celsius. (We’re not sure what OF means but we can guess.) Hope it warms up a bit before noon.

I’ll be going over then to EAA Chapter 245’s building at CYRP, Ottawa/Carp, to make sure a fire is going in the fireplace and the two TVs in the lounge are set up for another of our Fireside Workshop afternoons. “Beginner’s Wood Aircraft Construction” is the DVD being shown this Sunday. I know we have some good kindling on hand to start the fire - wonder if it’s leftovers from someone’s project.

EAA Chapter 245 has been resident at CYRP since the 1970s and I recently noted that eight members on a membership list dated 1972 are also on the membership list some 35 years later, so let’s see who shows up today.

Of course, Irving is there. He has already been in doing some winter maintenance on his Pietenpol and has had breakfast with the Sunday morning group downstairs. Ted arrives a bit later with a Tim Horton’s in hand, ready to do some aluminum work in the shop. Irving and Ted were quite involved with the building of Chapter 245’s hangar and lounge, including moving the building to its present site and designing/installing the roof truss system for the attached hangar.  Thanks gentlemen.

Great! Martin has started the fire and the upstairs lounge area is rapidly warming up. Down in the workshop the scanner is on, letting us know the local air traffic situation. Out in the hangar I see that Curtis is at work on a trailer that he plans on taking with him to Oshkosh this year. Over in one corner is Cary’s experimental Mazda Rotary engine and in another corner is the extra-large heated and insulated box Martin made. It was used to pressure-form a couple of Plexiglas canopies just before Christmas and is ready to be loaned out to another club member. I check to see if the shear and brake are in use, as I want to come back another day to cut and bend some metal for one of my projects.

One of our chapter’s aims is to promote interest in homebuilt aircraft. Like many other EAA groups, one of the ways we do that through monthly meetings. Ours are held 10 times a year, on the third Thursday of the month. We meet during the winter months in the Theatre at the National Aviation Museum at 8 p.m. The NAM is centrally located for us and easily accessed by our approximately 100 members, who come from all around Ottawa including eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Warmer day meetings are held at CYRP, with our July meeting being focused on tips on getting to Oshkosh for AirVenture. Our August gathering is a fly-in/drive-in breakfast.

Good organization by our executive members and willing support by volunteers make all our meetings and events a learning experience and a pleasure to attend.

Another annual event is the presentation of “First Flight” plaques. In recent years, we have seen first flights of an RV-7A, a Rebel, a couple of Zodiac 601s, an RV-9A, Sonex, Glastar, Christavia, Tailwind W10, Pegazair, Bush Caddy, Glasair III, Kitfox IV, and others in the works. New or potential members and builders are invited to contact these successful people for inspiration.

Back at the hangar, upstairs in the lounge, it is getting on to show time. The popcorn has been popped, drinks and snacks are available for purchase. The fireplace is putting out such a comforting heat that it is guaranteed to have someone dozing in one of the big armchairs before long. Rodney, Grant, and Pierre have each found a good seat. A pre-feature presentation video has been playing, showing scenes taken at the Chateau Montebello Challenger gathering down the Ottawa River in Quebec a couple of years ago, and an interest in attending next weekend’s event there is obvious. Doctor Andre has already spotted his bright yellow Challenger in the video and has confirmed he’ll be there again this year. He also has been noticed checking out the area at CYRP for a good landing site. At our next Fireside Workshop, in a couple of weeks, we’ll be learning about the Rotax engine and he hopes to fly in on his ski-equipped Challenger.

Rod comes in to warm up after attending to his Cheetah and a few more members arrive with note pads in hand. Bill brings along a couple of boxes of candy bars to add to the snack bar and we are ready for the show. The two young lads’ attention is split between the aircraft shown on the TV and the video game held in their hands. Dad is busy taking notes. Guess who fell asleep in his chair?

Soon the video is over, the afternoon sun is setting and most have gone home except for Bill and Martin. They are busy working on the computer trying to get us connected to the internet.

It has been a good Sunday with EAA Chapter 245 at CYRP.

See you next time. Wayne.

P.S. Check out our website at www.eaa245.dhs.org, where Russell keeps us up-to-date on current events and where back issues of our newsletter Carb Heat are available.

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