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Chapter Profiles — Chapter 65, Hamilton

By Marcus Pfeiffer, EAA 1083286, Secretary – Board of Directors & Social Media Administrator of EAA 65

May 2020 – EAA Chapter 65 in Hamilton is the oldest continuously operating EAA chapter in Canada. Chapter 65 established itself in July 1959 at the ex-BCATP Mount Hope Airport in Hamilton, Ontario. After the airport’s transformation into Hamilton International Airport (CYHM), the chapter found a new home at Stoney Creek Airport (CPF6) in 2003.

With a further 15 years of growth, the club had topped over 20 aircraft, a dozen projects, and 90 active members; however, in 2018, Stoney Creek Airport ultimately altered its primary focus away from general aviation, and Chapter 65 was once again looking to find a new base of operations. Looking forward, the decision was made to carefully consider a new home that would provide a long-term solution for all of the club’s needs.


At Chapter 65's 60th anniversary barbecue are (L-R) Frank Zaunscherb (1959 co-founder), Ed Lubitz, Mike Wiebe (chapter president), and Russ Norman (1959 co-founder). Photo courtesy of Gus Carujo.

At present, Chapter 65 finds itself in a time of transition and holds its off-season meetings at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton International Airport, with summer meetings at Grimsby Airpark Airport (CNZ8), just 9 kilometres east of our old home in Stoney Creek.


Members' Long-EZ and Van's RV-7A at Grimsby airport. Photo courtesy of Gus Carujo.

The members' aircraft are currently located at four area airports, pending the establishment of EAA 65 version 3.0.

The only requirement the club has of its members is that they share a love of all things aviation! There is no requirement to own or fly an aircraft, or possess any particular skills. However, Chapter 65 members include a space shuttle astronaut, Air Force veterans, airline pilots, aerobatic pilots, test pilots, Transport Canada MD-RA inspectors, aircraft maintenance engineers, and designers. The resource pool for a potential builder and/or pilot is invaluable!

Chapter 65 enjoys a variety of fascinating guest speakers at its monthly meetings, courtesy of the resourceful and tireless programs director. Meetings take place on the evening of the second Thursday of every month, unless otherwise posted, and at present the club is meeting virtually to observe social distancing.


William teaches Jesse a rivet technique during a chapter build night. Photo courtesy of Helmut Buchholz.

While presently on hold, chapter build nights lend to developing new fabrication skills and have been a popular weekly activity. The club has a two-seat aluminum aircraft project that is 80 percent done and 50 percent left to go!

Members (L-R) Phil, Chris, Joe, and Roy at build night. Photo courtesy of Helmut Buchholz.

Members also look forward to resuming their weekend "buddy flights" when conditions once again permit. Aircraft owners are encouraged to fill empty seats with members not fortunate enough to have their own aircraft. Typical fly-outs involve three to six aircraft visiting southern Ontario airports with dining facilities in half-day excursions.


Young Eagles Day at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The Van's RV-6 pilot is Al Grant. Photo courtesy of Ed Doyle.


Young Eagles Day at Stoney Creek Airport. The Van's RV-7A pilot is Mark Rataj. Photo courtesy of Ed Doyle.

Chapter 65 has an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram, publishes electronic newsletters, and hosts a website for meeting postings and resources.

Please visit the club's Facebook page at this link, and contact the webmaster if you wish to attend one of the virtual monthly meetings. Guests are always welcome to experience the camaraderie of EAA Chapter 65 and encouraged to become members if they would like to share the passion of flight!

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