There was a beehive of activity in the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter 534 hangar at the Leesburg International Airport in Leesburg, Florida on Thursday September 21, 2017. Four home built airplane projects were being worked on to kick off the chapter’s fall season.
As you walked through the door there were several people crowded around the engine of the TM-5 low wing, plans-built plane, as they struggled to replace a gasket on the oil sump which was in an inconvenient location that made it hard to reach.
To the left of that project stood a Light Sport aircraft, a Challenger-2 Quad City aircraft kit plane that was in there to have new fabric applied to its wings. The left wing was lying on a bench as the owner doped and painted the wing tip. By noon with the help of other Hangar Monkeys the wing had been reattached and it would be flown again in the afternoon.
By the way, the term Hangar Monkeys refers to a group of dedicated EAA chapter members who turn up routinely on Thursday mornings to work on airplane projects at the hangar.
The third construction project is a Mini-Max 1500 R low wing single seater kit plane that didn’t fare too well in a tornado at another airport in Florida. The discouraged owner donated the plane to the chapter, and they will make it a youth project for the Chapter 534 Explorer Program. The Explorers will rebuild this plane under the supervision of experienced chapter members. Today people were assessing what repairs and what parts would be needed.
Last, but not least, in the back room of the hangar one of the members was organizing what needed to be done to complete the fuselage of a replica 1929 Pietenpol Air Camper. This is a plans-built airplane constructed of wood and fabric. A perennial project that is beginning its 5th year but has high hopes for the future.
EAA Chapter 534 has a very active membership and they spend a lot of time building airplanes here in the hangar as well as in their garages and other hangars of their own. Periodically the member pilots take part in the Young Eagles Program that takes young people up in their planes to enjoy the experience of a first flight in a general aviation aircraft. On a national basis EAA has now flown over 2,000,000 kids, ages 8 to 17. EAA members volunteer their time and aircraft to make this free program a success.
If you are a pilot or just an individual that has always had keen interest in aviation and you would like to associate with like-minded people drop in to the EAA hangar some Thursday morning to see what goes on in that hangar. There is always room for new members.
To find out more about EAA Chapter 534 you may go to the following website. < www.534.eaachapter.org >
The web site for the Young Eagles Program is, < www.youngeagles.org >.