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Illinois Ultralight Seminar 2020

  • EAA
    Attendees gather around the Challenger during a break.
  • EAA
    Group members enjoyed speakers on a variety of aviation issues, including a tribute to Charlie Wells.
  • EAA
    EAA Chapter UL30 members Mick, Dan, Joe, and Billy.

March 5, 2020 - About 120 people attended the 40th annual Ultralight/Light-Sport Aircraft Safety Symposium at the Southwestern University campus in Granite City, Illinois, on February 28. It was a large increase compared to previous events held in Greenville and Springfield, due in part to the proximity to the Greater St. Louis metro area. The campus is home to an A&P mechanic school, and attendees had the opportunity to tour the training hangar during breaks.

Retired airport director and powered parachute pilot Bob McDaniel assembled a panel of speakers, covering maintenance, propellers, airport access, and air traffic control issues, and featured a talk by EAA community specialist Timm Bogenhagen on ultralight and sport pilot issues. Timm announced that two members of the EAA Ultralight Council were present: Jim Pfarr from Wisconsin and Dan Grunloh from Illinois. Dan offered a tribute to Charlie Wells, the flight instructor, air show pilot, airport manager, and Illinois state aviation official who started the very first statewide ultralight seminar.

Four members of EAA Chapter UL30 in Champaign, Illinois, attended and brought the only aircraft displayed in the meeting room. The nearly completed Quad City Challenger, covered with fabric and ready for painting, attracted much attention. Some longtime participants said it was the best annual ultralight seminar they had ever attended. It was announced that next year's event will be held at the same location.

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