If you are a
Veteran, the chapter is going to feature a more in-depth profile written
by one of our staff writers. This is an effort to show our appreciation
for the service you have given to all of us.
Barbara have been members of Chapter 55 since 2001 and have worked
at many chapter events. They have been married over 62 years and
have three daughters. Dick started flying in April 1944 at the
age of 16 and received his private pilot license the following
year. He has flown most of the single engine Cessna class aircraft
through the 182s, and has experience in Pipers, including the
Cherokee Six and Commanche 180, as well as Navions. In 1958, he
became an A&P mechanic and IA in 1962. Dick has been service
manager for several FBOs and owned Bacon Aviation in Grand Ledge,
Michigan. He was also in the insurance business for 22 years.
to many years in the military (see Veterans page), Dick has served
his community as choir member together with Barbara at Holt Presbyterian
Church for over 55 years, Kiwanis Club member since 1955, Delhi
Fire Department volunteer for over 12 years, 7 plus years as Delhi
Township supervisor, and many others. Barbara served as a crossing
guard for Holt Schools for 20 years and currently volunteers making
heart pillows for Ingham Medical Hospital.
a past chapter vice president. He owns and maintains a beautiful
1946 Cessna 140.
completed two Pietenpols, a Sky Scout and an Air Camper. He is
great source of information on lots of classic and antique aircraft.
After serving in both the US Navy and Air Force he flew for commercial
is a member of Spartan Wings and more importantly to many of us
and our airplanes he rents hangars at KTEW. He is pictured here
with his wife, Joyce.
Lynn worked on building
the Mini-Max here and just enjoys being in group related to aviation.
He was C.A.P. Cadet at Mason High School when we picked up first
stones on east/west runway at Mason Airport under construction
1945/46. Lynn spent 38 years in the insurance industry.
Pete has restored a
rare1941 Stearman A75-L3. This is one of a few civilian Stearmans.
It left the factory on the March 26, 1941, for Parks Air College,
East St. Louis IL where it was flown until 1964. Pete's restoration
won the Deed Levy Award at the National Stearman Fly-In at Galesburg
IL. Pete ferries DC-9s from California to Romania.
Dave & Debbie
Debbie's current project is a T-28. Their last, a PT-17 Stearman,
was awarded the best PT-17 at the National Stearman Fly-In in
Galesburgh, IL. They were instrumental in getting the crosswind
grass runway added to the KTEW airport master plan, for which
all of us tail wheel pilots are eternally grateful. Debbie was
originally chosen to be an Honorary Member for all the work she
put in at chapter events, along with Dave, she is now a chapter
Chuck completed his
Zenith CH701-SP in 2003. He flies a Cessna 175 Skylark on floats
with a huge Lycoming O-470. Chuck says he always has time to talk
about flying and projects.
owns 3 Cobra ultralights and is looking for more. He is also looking
for a real airplane project.
is a member of Spartan Wings. He is building an RV7a. As of the
fall of 2011, he is about 90% done. His goal is to have the plane
in the air by early 2012.
Greg is working on
an RV-6A. He is getting ready for the finish kit. A Mazda 13-B
will power the plane. Greg works very hard behinds the scenes
making all the chapter function operate smoothly. He is responsible
for making sure our chapter hanger is always in perfect condition,
making it a pleasant place to meet!
Dave has a Piper Pathfinder
Delbert is the current
chapter secretary. He owns a Glastar with a Mazda (rotary engine).
builder extraordinaire, joined the chapter in 2000 and readily
donates his time and skills to the chapter, making himself indispensable.
flew when he was 16, and had 3 lessons before he ran out of money,
but he made a promise to himself that when he turned 40 he would
get his pilots license. Keeping his promise he now is charter
member of Spartan Wings, and flies a Cessna 172 and Piper Archer.
Doug lives near Mason with his wife Mary who he met a college
in 1978., and he has two sons. Doug works at the Ingham County
Parks Department and is responsible for several parks in the area.
currently resides in France and serves as test pilot for Airbus
(pictured here in the A380,
the world's largest commercial airliner, which he landed for the
time in the U.S. on 03/19/2007 at JFK International Airport
in New York). Before becoming a test pilot, he flew and trained
other pilots for Northwest Airlines. He also flies a 1940 Luscombe
8A, is building a RV-8, and is restoring a 1941 Luscombe 8B. Terry
is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, and is a Chapter
Flight Advisor and Web Editor.
Deanna is a flight
instructor and member of Spartan Wings.
Don is a member of
Spartan Wings. He flies their Cessna Skyhawk and Piper Archer.
joined Chapter 55 in 1982 and helped complete the new facility
which was being built at Mason-Jewett airport. He later became
Vice President for two years and then held the office of President
for two years. He is currently the Chapter Newsletter Editor.
In the past twenty two years, Warren has been active in Chapter
projects such as the restoration of a 1948 Champ and construction
of the MiniMax. He was appointed, project manager for construction
of the Chapter builders hangar, where he contracted a builder
for the project and assisted in the construction of the building
and the steel hangar door. Meanwhile, he has been involved with
many activities such as the fly-in breakfast, air shows and young
Warren built a modified Fisher 303 ultralight in the mid 80's
and flew it for ten years. The little plane was capable of reaching
a speed of 70 mph and was a joy to fly. As a trade off to this
project, he had to build an in ground swimming pool for his wife
Bonnie, as there would be no flying until it was done!! Warren
later purchased a 1971 Cessna 150, soloed it in 6 hours and flew
it for 12 years.
Being a career State employee, Warren worked 38.5 years in various
departments, DNR, Military Affairs and later retired from the
Dept. of State, Bureau of Automotive Regulation in 1996 where
he was an Investigator in the Compliance Division. He lives in
south Lansing, near Holt, with his wife of 34 years who is also
retired from State employment and they now enjoy riding a new
Harley Soft-tail Classic motorcycle and going to Florida for the
lives in Napoleon, Michigan, where he built, with his son, Craig,
a new home in 2002. Now retired, with degrees in science from
Eastern Michigan University and U of M, as well as, an associate
degree in digital electronics, he taught general science and biology
at Forsythe and Scarlet middle schools, Ann Arbor, and Huff Jr.
High school in Lincoln Park, Michigan. He later instructed at
Washtenaw Community College teaching botany, zoology, physiology,
earth science, digital electronics, and applied math. He also
worked for the University of Michigan Hospital as a medical transcriptionist.
Since his retirement, George has developed a part-time business
doing medical radiology reports using his home computer.
He learned to fly at the Detroit Wayne Major Airport in 1957 and
holds an instrument rating. A lot of his flying time is in a Mooney,
and much of it was on instruments. On many of the great days we
have at the Mason Airport, you can see George in the air in his
beautiful KIS aircraft, an all-fiberglass design featuring a 135
hp Subaru Legacy 2.2 liter engine. The airplane looks great, has
it's own unique sound as it flies overhead, and really moves through
the sky. George is now an experienced homebuilder and true experimenter,
as he has taken the steps to learn about the Subaru engine and
it's electronic engine control system, and the integration of
an auto engine with the requirements of an airplane.
David currently flies
a Cessna 182 and is restoring an Aeronca Chief.
Propelled" were the first words out of Joe Pirch's mouth.
He soloed in a C-150 and got his private pilot license in 1967.
He currently owns a Starduster which he purchased while shopping
around for a Cessna 150. Ask him to tell you about picking the
Starduster up in Texas.
served as Chapter 55 president and vice president. He is president
of Spartan Wings and serves on the Great Lakes International Aviation
Conference committee. In his spare time, Bill continues to work
on his Glastar project.
& Margaret Schiffer
been an EAA55 member since 2000, along with his wife Margaret
in recent years. His family has always had pilots and he grew
up with aviation in his blood. He was told he took his first ride
in a Piper Cub before he was born. He soloed in a 7AC Champ in
1969 and has since acquired multiple ratings. He has also been
blessed to fly and/or own a variety of aircraft - including L29
& L39 Czech Jets, T33A &T33C Shooting Star Jets, A37A
Dragonfly (Viet Nam era) Jet, F4U-5 Corsair, AT-6 Texan, Stearman,
Barons, Cessnas, and Citabria. Dan lists Cessna aircraft are his
favorite and he had tears in his eyes when he sold his C182 -
but I think that is true of most every plane he has watched fly
away. Dan has used most planes for business & pleasure; so,
while he has owned over 30 planes (so far), he says he has never
kept one for very long. That was until he purchased his first
AT-6 SNJ/Texan. He's owned four T6s since 1995 and he lists the
T6 as his all-time favorite aircraft. Dan liked the Czech L39
which he owned for 7 years. The family bought several Stearmans
right after WWII to fly from the family farm near Remus, MI and
it is a wonderful aircraft. His dad even attempted to use a surplus
military parachute and jump from the Stearman flown by one of
his brothers. At 3000 ft., he climbed out on the wing and while
standing there hanging onto the strut, got scared. They landed
with him on the wing and had to pry his fingers off the strut.
Dan states "My dad also witnessed his younger 16 year old
brother's accidental death in a Stearman. That, plus a few other
Stearman accidents with his brothers, created a fear of the Stearman
in my dad and I grew up with that. My dad never seemed concerned
about any aircraft that I flew (not even the Jet Fighters) but
he didn't want me to fly the Stearman. After my dad passed, I
purchased my first Stearman and flew it 50 hours before I sold
it. Physically, I have no problem flying the Stearman; for me
it's a mental problem. My cousins, Al & Mike, each have a
Stearman and several good friends have them, and now I have another...
my dad's spirit still talks to me and I'm working on getting mentally
comfortable with this plane."
hanger is located at TEW Mason Jewett and he welcomes all EAA55
members to visit whenever he is on the field. In 2008, Dan and
Margaret retired from their business of 35 years, Schiffer Mason
Contractors, Inc. They love to travel, but miss family, friends,
airplanes & pets so they limit their travel to 5-10 day spurts.
active on several boards including the LCC Foundation and the
Mason Jewett Advisory Group, hoping to maintain and improve TEW
for now and into the future. Dan is also the Airport Support Network
Representative for the AOPA. Dan says "I love all aircraft,
just some more than others." (ed 10/2011)
Tom has a restored
1947 Luscombe 8-E. He learned to fly in a Champ at the old Davis
airport in East Lansing.
Tom currently flies
a Cessna 170B and a Piper PA-23-180 Geronimo. His current project
is an EAA Aerosport. Tom lives at the Skyway Estates Airpark.
He taught finance at Embry Riddle University and is an alumnus
Lockheed-Martin. He has performed management consulting for several
airports regarding airport development issues.
Jim is building a RV-8.
He has the tail done and is now working on the wings.
Ken & Vickie Vandenbelt
the current chapter president and Vickie serves as chapter secretary
and membership coordinator.
Ken enjoys flying their Cessna 172. Vickie enjoys retirement and
is a Yankee Air Force volunteer. Together they are restoring a