EAA Chapter 129 Bloomington/Normal, IL

The Center of Sport Aviation in Central Illinois

Our Chapter Website has MOVED!!

For 2012, we're beginning the year with a brand new website!  To access it, simply click on this link:  www.129.eaachapter.org  Our new site is part of the EAA National Headquarters plan to provide a consistent look and feel to websites, and make accessing individual chapters' sites much easier.  Don't worry--our old site will be here for the next several months--but it won't be updated.  So, please visit our new site and find out about all the exciting things going on within Chapter 129.


Keith Doornbos, Newsletter/website editor

Glass Panel Display

Chapter member Dave Kewley has a new glass panel display....no, not the one in his airplane, but one OF his airplane.  One of Dave's nieces did this very elaborate and beautiful rendition of Dave's RV in leaded glass.  The panel measures 11 inches by 24 inches. Most of us have photos of our homebuilt, but Dave is the only one we know of that has his airplane in such a unique glass display.   What a great way to showcase your plane!

Weather Cancellations


So far this winter, we've been blessed with warmer than normal temperatures and no snow.....but that could change any day now.    IF we need to cancel the Chapter Monthly Meeting, or the Saturday Morning Gathering of the Eagles, we’ll put the notice on the Chapter’s web site, on the top of the home page.  So, if you’re in doubt about the status, just go to www.chapter129.webs.com. If there is enough time, we’ll also put it on WJBC.   Normally we’ll cancel only if the weather is so bad that driving conditions are very hazardous.  Use your own judgment—if it looks too bad, don’t try it.  We want you to take the same attitude you have for flying—SAFETY FIRST.



Details of New Website Revealed

The Chapter's new website was a topic of discussion at the December meeting.  The website is now being built on EAA's new website templates that were made available to the chapters earlier this year  Our current website (the one you're on now) will remain active and available for the next 10 months.  It will NOT be updated.  All traffic will be directed to the new website beginning on January 1.  The new website features a different look, but many of the pages that you're already familiar with. All new information about the chapter will be posted on the new website starting Janaury 1.  A link will be available to go back to the 'old' site if you want to look for information that was previously posted. To preview the site go to http://www.129.eaachapter.org  

Santa is Getting Night Qualified

With Christmas coming up, Santa is getting his night qualification.  He can be found just outside the EAA Hangar Facility. Santa is part of the Chapter's decorations this year, which includes lighting on the building, and lights on the memorial evergreen tree just north of our facility.

 Santa is illuminated and the biplane's  prop is turning...from about dark to around 10 p.m. nightly.

Chapter Christmas Party Cooked up Great Meals and Fun

The Chapter Christmas Party was held this year at Alexander's Steak House in Normal, IL.  Beginning with a serenade by the Glenn Martin Band, the fun began with everyone cooking their own steaks...which ensured that they were done to perfection. There was plenty of time for visiting and talking about flying.  After eating, some items were raffled off, including a beautiful quilt made and donated by Kendra Hatfield. Thanks to Kendra for the wonderful fund-raising donation.  Also, thanks to Keith Walljasper for organizing the event, John Herman for obtaining the musical entertainment, and Terry Wendling for handling the financial transactions associated with the event.   The Kruger family (Paul, Lynda, and Jordan) was the big winner of the raffled items, including the  hand-made quilt, a centerpiece and a very nice Wright Brothers Kitty Hawk framed plaque.To see photos of the event, just click here.

'Tis the Season......

Taking advantage of the good weather on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Jim Hazen, Don O'Neall, and Keith Doornbos trimmed the Chapter Hangar with lights.  Putting the lights up was no easy task--while it was relatively warm, the winds were blowing, and it took a team effort to safely add the lights.  There will be more decorations added as we get closer to Christmas.

Chapter Receives Large Donation


Dick Baner, long-time area pilot and homebuilder, attended the November Chapter meeting to present a check to us for over  $4,000.00.  The money comes from a Woodford County organization that attempted to get an airport built in that county.  The group was active in the 1990’s, and Jerry and Audrey Trumbold, also EAA Chapter 129 members, contributed their time and energy to the cause.  Unfortunately, the effort wasn’t successful, and there is still no public use airport in Woodford County.  Some funds remained in the group’s treasury when the decision was made to shut it down, and the funds were split equally between Peoria’s EAA Chapter, and ours. 


 Jerry and Audrey were members of both groups.  In his remarks, Dick suggested that the money be earmarked toward educational activities of the Chapter, but also stated that there were “no strings attached” to the donation.  The Trumbold’s were very active members of the Chapter, and were part of the  Chapter’s “Hangar Founders” group that contributed financially to our facility.  They were strong supporters of EAA at the national level, continuing efforts to improve our Chapter, and valued members and friends. They lived in Eureka, IL, and journeyed each Saturday to help with our Chapter Saturday morning activities. They were proud owners of a beautiful polished Cessna 140.    Jerry and Audrey are both now deceased.


                    It's a PARTY!!!


The annual EAA Chapter 129 Holiday Party is scheduled for December 4, 2011 at the Alexander's Steak House, In Normal, IL.  The event kicks off at 4:00 p.m.and will feature great food, a short program, and the raffle of a beautiful aviation quilt created and donated by Kendra Hatfield.  Its an afternoon of fun, friends, flying stories, and great food.  For a full-size view of the party  announcement, CLICK HERE.  


Members Hear First-hand Experiences in B-17 

The October Chapter meeting program was presented by Irv Scott’s wife Jo, and her father Bill, who was a B-17 crewmember during World War II.  Jo related how she better understood what it was like to be aboard a B-17in wartime.  It brought clarity to the stories she had heard growing up about her dad’s It was a very interesting and moving presentation to hear from her father the kinds of experiences he had in England, and over Germany in the front-line bomber.    As you heard him talk, it was evident that the memories of the B-17 were as clear today, as they were nearly 70 years ago.  Jo used a unique method of bringing out the details, by simply interviewing her dad in front of the group.  It was truly an outstanding presentation, and one that was very interesting to our members.  We sincerely thank both for their presentation.  The group formed around Jo and Bill for a photo after the presentation had concluded.



Chad Jensen Accepts Position with EAA at Oshkosh

EAA Headquarters announced on August 26th that Chad has been hired as the Homebuilders Community Manager, effective September 20th!!  Read about it by clicking on this link.

Oshkosh AirVenture Wows the Crowds

This year's AirVenture was a success from just about any way it can be measured.  While the weather wasn't 100% cooperative, it was MUCH better than the previous year's flood-like conditions that were present then.  The convention began with good weather, but rains on Monday and Tuesday created huge muddy areas in the campgrounds, but had only minor impact on the show areas.  From an attendance perspective, Friday may have been a record attendance day, according to EAA officials.  While the FAA building was mostly unmanned due ot the budget crisis, no one seemed all that concerned. Fly-in attendance was seemingly as big as usual, with the north 40 filled to capacity, and the showplane areas packed as well.  With this year's recognition of Burt Rutan, his designs were everywhere, with more VariEzes and Long-Ezes  than had been seen in years.    Electric aircraft were there too--including a one-of-a-kind two fuselage motorglider that is capable of carrying 4 people.  Attendance at our daily get-together's at noon were very well attended.  The daily air show featured some old favorites, and some new acts that will no doubt fill the skies in future years.  While no fatal accidents occurred on the field, two fighter jets overran the end of Runway 36, causing some anxious moments, but no injuries.  With the arrival of the Boeing 787, the ramp at air show center was filled to capacity.  If you didn't make it up there...you missed a good one.  If you did...you no doubt have some very positive memories.  


Check out photos of Oshkosh at the Photo Gallery....more being added daily!   .    

Oshkosh Work Party Helps AirVenture Get Ready

It was a fun weekend for the 15 Chapter members that journeyed to Oshkosh for the annual 'week-before" work party to mow grass, and help in other areas all with the idea of contributing to another successful AirVenture.  Most of the group mowed grass...but other activities were equally important.  For example, some worked on aircraft boarding ramps, showers, benches, merchandise tents, painting, and even laying out and marking the Ultralight emergency runway.  The following members attended the work weekend:  George Wilts, Dave Kewley, Obie, Stan Tutoky , Keith and Linda Doornbos,  Terry and Janet Wendling, Ben Schneider, Keith Walljasper, Lary Hatfield, Jim Bustard, Terry Ruprecht, Mike Radlis, and Jim Hazen.  Members traveled to Oshkosh on Friday, with some taking a special tour of the Sonex Aircraft Company, located on the east side of the airport.  By about 7:45, everyone was in place and headed to get supper.  Most chose Friar Tucks, a local eatery on the northwest side of the airport.  Saturday was an early breakfast, followed by lunch around noon, more work, and then supper.  Some chose to head to Culver's for a bit of dessert.  On Sunday, the group went to their respective tasks, and by noon everyone had finished up and headed back Home.  In all, 7 people went by air--the remainder traveled by car.  Temperatures were high on Saturday, and very hot on Sunday.  

If you're wondering, the grounds are in overall excellent shape.  The area hasn't had much rain, and things are a bit dry.  Right now, it doesn't look like another "Sploshkosh" will happen this year.  We'll have more photos and details about the work weekend in a future update, and in a discussion at the July Chapter meeting. 

May Chapter Meeting and Potluck Supper

CThe May meeting of Chapter 129 was a popular one--prior to the meeting, members gathered for a potluck supper, which consisted of some of the best food imaginable.  Members brought a dish to share and the Chapter provided the hamburgers, hot dogs and buns.  Cooks for the event were Terry and Tanya Leahy.  The weather was outstanding, and calm winds, warm temperatures, and clear skies made for an outstanding evening.  In the photo above, Barabara Walljasper enjoys the event.  After the supper, the Chapter meeting was held.  It was a great time--and we look forward to doing the same thing in September.  We hope you'll join us!!

"Christine  Needed a New Plane..."  Jack Holland


Thursday, April 28th was a big day for Jack and Christine Holland.  It was the day they took delivery on a brand new American Champion Explorer, an 0-320 powered modernized version of the Citabria. The airplane was sitting on the factory floor, ready for its journey to Illinois when Jack and Christine toured the factory in advance of taking the airplane home.  The factory is located in Rochester, WI, a small community not far from Milwaukee, WI.  The white over black paint scheme is trimmed in red, creating a striking and very beautiful finish.  And, unlike the Citabria’s of the past, this one is very much in the digital age.  It has a centrally mounted Garmin 696, along with backup round gauges.  After accepting delivery on the airplane, the weather became an issue for the return flight.  Marginal VFR and spots of IFR were on the route, along with some very strong winds in BMI.  Jack wisely decided to wait until the next morning to fly it back, enjoying beautiful skies and clear conditions on Friday.  Are you wondering how crowded the hangar will be with this new addition?  Jack sold the RV to make room...its now on its way to New Hampshire, being flown by a retired airline pilot. He flew it out of Jack’s strip on Thursday.   Congratulations to Jack and Christine!!



Major Storm Strikes Sun 'n Fun--Members Safe

Initial reports indicate that all our Chapter members in attendance at this year's Sun 'n Fun are safe after a major storm tore into the Fly-in site, destroying many aircraft.  The storm came with little warning, and seemed to have created most of the damage along the homebuilt line, and in the commercial display areas.  Many aircraft were pulled loose from their tiedowns, and flung into other aircraft.  In a telephone interview, Keith Walljasper explained that at the last moment he decided NOT to fly his Seawind to the event--possibly saving it from destruction.  "I was actually over at Sarasota when the storm struck," he said.  Keith had not yet gone to the Sun 'n Fun grounds at that time, as he was at an event at the Seaplane Base.  Keith commented that many strong storms had moved across that part of Florida during his time there.  For a video report on the disaster, use this link:  http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=873881435001

   Chapter Celebrates Valentine's Day 

Chapter members and their guests were treated to some special Valentine's Day events on Saturday at the decorated Chapter Facility on Saturday.  The annual event featured pancakes made to order cooked by a team of cooks that had at least a fleeting resemblance to Elvis and Priscilla.  For the first 12 ladies, a  long-stemmed rose and vase was a special gift for their attendance.  It was a well attended event, with plenty of fun, friends, and conversation.  Click here for more photos.


Sometimes I can't get to the Chapter website!  Why?

There are a number of possible reasons at any moment why you can't access a site.  The most common are problems with the routing to get to a specific site, equipment failures at the site itself, or routine maintenance being performed that makes the site unavailable for a time.

 Most recently, we've been seeing problems that actually are related to the routing.  Think of the internet as the Interstate Highway System--there are many ways to get to a specific point.  When we drive, we take the shortest route generally.  In the Internet, everything is moving at the speed of light...so a little rerouting here or there is not noticeable.  The internet also consists of many parts to get you to and from your computer to the site, again similar to the state and local highway system.  All of the pathways are owned by someone in the Internet. You may subscribe to a local internet provider, but they in-turn use many routes and vendors to get you to the site.   A massive amount of technology is responsible for the routing, and it goes through facilities such as Comcast, AT&T, MCI, Sprint, etc.  

In the past 3 instances where our site was blocked it was done so by AT&T, we're told.  Why?  Webs.com is being targeted from time to time by crooks....taking advantage apparently of the 'free' website capabilities.  The the crooks build a site that 'fishes'--technically called "phishing" in the internet lingo--that gets unsuspecting people to volunteer information, such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc.  When the authorities find out about such schemes, they ask carriers to block access to the bogus sites.  Unfortunately, when they block a site...they sometimes block too much...and include the word 'webs' in the blockage.  That stops ANY site with "webs" in its name....and that's us.  Eventually it gets figured out--but it may take hours or days to get it fixed.  Some internet providers may or may not route via AT&T, so not everyone experiences an outage. 

What can we do?  We're soon going to be joining the EAA domain...thus removing the name "webs" from our URL.  That's the best solution.  We'll keep you posted.


Keith Doornbos

Newsletter Editor/Web Editor 



Are Your Dues Due?

It is hard to believe that another year has gone by--so with the new year brings our annual request for dues.  It is important for the many chapter activities to be funded that we collect dues during January.  As you know, many good things happen with your dues, such as newsletters, Chapter activities, Young Eagles, Saturday morning get-togethers, fly-outs, and much more.  Please send your check for $20.00 to Chapter Treasurer Terry Wendling, 1402 Bird Court, Normal, IL  61761.

Thanks!  We look forward to your continued support and participation in Chapter activities.



 Christmas Party was a Festive Event

The annual Chapter Christmas Party began with great holiday music from the Glenn Martin Band as the attendees entered the special room area of CJ's Restaurant.  From there, it was time to visit with friends, and catch up on the latest stories...flying or otherwise.  The meal was delicious; CJ's has to be the best restaurant in town according to those that attended.  Members and their spouses dined on Salmon or Top Sirlon, and a holiday ice cream dessert.  Our event coordinator, Keith Walljasper kept things running right on time, and then President Linda Doornbos spoke for a few minutes to encourage thanks to all that had made 2010 such a successful one for the Chapter.  It was a fun time, and we all enjoyed each others' company for the evening!  Click here for more photos.


Two Projects Make First Flights this Summer

Within a few weeks of one another, two several-year projects became flying airplanes this summer.  Both are excellent examples of hard work, dedication, and attention to detail, producing great traveling machines for their owners.

Chad Jensen completed his RV-7, and flew it in late July.  The speedy taildragger features a Lycoming engine with a 3 blade composite prop.  Perhaps one of the most photographed first flights ever, Chad made his first flight using a set of video glasses, recording every moment in the cockpit from engine start to post-flight celebration!  His airplane is now undergoing Phase 1 flight testing.


Lary Hatfield just completed his Zenith CH-640, an all metal low wing 4 seater.  Not many examples of this model have flown, but Lary's is unique.  With a slightly stretched fuselage, a Franklin engine up front, and a composite prop, the tri-gear airplane will be a great cross country airplane for Lary.  Because of some recent surgery, he elected to have Danny Crews do the initial test flights, and Danny reports that it is a great handling airplane.  Phase 1 test flight is on-going.


Members gathered at the brown arch at the center of the homebuilt area for a 12- noon photo and lunchtime visit.

Getting to Oshkosh early is always a good idea; this year it made the difference in having a place to park.  Regardless if you arrived by plane or recreation vehicle or tent, parking was EVERYTHING for the first few days prior to the Convention.  The weather was good on the Wednesday night before the event, but the grounds were somewhat soft from the ten-plus inches of rain that had fallen in the prior week.  Then, Thursday it rained.  All day.  More than 3” of rain fell, creating a swamp-like condition in many areas that are normally dry.  The campgrounds stopped allowing vehicles to get off the pavement for a time, and those that were already parked found that getting in and out was nearly impossible.  The conditions remained all weekend, and alternative parking was necessary for both planes and vehicles.  Aircraft were parked on the taxiways until they filled, then a stop to all arrivals was posted in a NOTAM, diverting hundreds of airplanes to nearby airports. It was somewhat of a surreal experience to see large areas normally filled with aircraft housing only tents.  Airplanes were banned from taxing on the grass, but campers were allowed to carry their tents to their future parking places.   In addition, EAA rented large parking lots from various businesses around Oshkosh to park RV’s.  The old K-Mart parking lot looked like a RV sales lot, with many dozens of campers temporarily located there.  By mid-week of the convention, things began to return to normal, with arrivals being allowed to park on dry grassy areas, and planes parked in customary areas.

By the end of the week, most of the water was only a memory...but it was still a good idea to watch out when walking in grassy areas.  The remainder of AirVenture was dry, with the exception of one rain of less than a half-inch. 

Perhaps a T-shirt said it best:

   Welcome to Splosh-Kosh!