November 10, 2016
- EAA’s Ultralight Chapter 1 (Microlite Flyers), has been engaging its community in southeastern Wisconsin in recreational aviation for almost 40 years.
This year’s Chilly Chili Fly-In capped off the chapter’s strong flying season on October 29. It was a perfect example of the goodwill this chapter generates in its community as fliers from around the region descended on Blackhawk Airfield in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin for the event.
The Chilly Chili Fly-In is a community experience; guests don’t need to be chapter members or ultralight fliers to attend. As a result, entire families came out for an afternoon of delicious chili, aviation fun, and hangar flying. Aircraft packed the ramp and included ultralights (some electric powered), homebuilt experimentals, vintage, rotorcraft, balloon. and GA aircraft.
The Microlite Flyers are a diverse group of men and women, even young family members, who share an interest in light aviation, from hang gliding to homebuilts.
“We have made it our mission to introduce and educate the public about ultralights and light aviation whenever and wherever possible,” said Steve Magdic, vice president of Ultralight Chapter 1. “We mentor and support people as they learn about airplanes and grow into our wonderful sport.”
Ultralight Chapter 1 is committed to keep EAA’s original grassroots culture alive and well at their chapter and in the community. Magdic continued, “Our chapter members have an incredible level of skill and expertise and are willing to share it. They work tirelessly to share their experience and help preserve the origins of low cost, fun flying.
The chapter keeps their membership active and involved with frequent fly outs, safety seminars, and continuing education in order to advance their mission. They host a number of traditional fly-ins and campouts, some as far as 100 miles from their base.
When not flying to, from, or around one of the chapter’s regular events, many members head off in gaggles of ones and twos for some local flying. Others trailer their birds to other events, even traveling cross-country to some very exotic destinations.
The chapter constantly reinvents itself; working to present new ideas, technologies and ways of thinking, keeping their membership informed and involved in the latest news and technology available.
Most importantly, Ultralight Chapter 1 is an open, diverse group of passionate aviators that are family focused. “This isn’t a guy’s-only coffee club,” Magdic mused. Their mantra is to include all family members in monthly chapter gatherings and all chapter events throughout the year.
Ultralight Chapter 1 includes generations of aviation enthusiasts with different levels of skills and experience, all working together and flying together.