EAA Chapter 1288
Who We Are:
EAA Chapter 1288 (or more formally, the Experimental Aircraft Association General Daniel 'Chappie' James, Jr. Chapter 1288, Inc.) is a local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association which is based at Valkaria Airport (X59) in Valkaria, FL, in East Central Florida. The EAA is a worldwide non-profit educational organization dedicated to recreational aviation in all it's forms. Chapter 1288 is where EAA members in and around southern Brevard County can gather for friendship, fun, and to help each other learn. Chapter 1288 was chartered on January 10, 2000 and was founded by Dr. Russ Minton and several friends, including three original Tuskegee Airmen! The chapter is named in honor of USAF General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. (learn more about Gen. James here).
What We Do:
While the scope of EAA includes everything from flight training to warbirds to Young Eagles flights, many people know EAA best for the "Experimental Aircraft" aspect... in other words, planes built and flown under the Experimental Amateur-Built category, often called "homebuilts". Many EAA 1288 members have built or are currently building their own aircraft, or they may own and fly a plane built by somebody else. EAAers are proud that the safety record of amateur-built aircraft today is similar to FAA-certified aircraft, which is a direct result of decades of a serious and emphatic focus on safety and education amongst homebuilders and the EAA in the design, construction, and operation of amateur-built aircraft. Sharing knowledge, experiences, advice, and offering encouragement on the construction, operation, and safety of light aircraft forms a major part of the chapter's activity. This is important because building an aircraft is something that most folks would consider to be a "major" undertaking.
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Charter Members of EAA 1288
| This picture includes Charter Members of EAA Chapter 1288, taken at our Young Eagles Day on October 20, 2001. |
From Left to Right: Bob Decatur, Harry Ford, Steve Bowman, Jim Soldini, Dr. Russell Minton (President), Vern H. Goding (Newsletter Editor), Art Irvine (Vice President), Joseph P. Curtin (Secretary), Jim Daron (Treasurer), Hiram Mann, William Thompson, Carol D. Boone (Young Eagles Coordinator).
Charter Members who were not available for this photo include: Ken Goding, Walter Eisenmann, Dr. Joseph McClure, Paul Vasconi, Linn Walters, Don Fritsma, Dave Moon, Mike Murray, Mark Cannon, Martin Hadley, Bob Whalen, Al Malerk, Dennis Wilt, D. Soleimany, Mike Cardinale, Don Williams and William Mazyck.
Interesting note: In the photo above, Bob Decatur, Harry Ford and Hiram Mann are all original Tuskegee Airmen! If you saw the movie "The Tuskegee Airmen", Bob Decatur was the one who caused everyone to have to re-take a difficult test after scoring 100% on it... and he was also the one who landed on a country road after having engine problems. He later became a federal judge and US ambassador.
Supporting Your Project:
Whomever first said "two heads are better than one" would have understood what it's like to build an aircraft. The collective knowledge available within the local EAA chapter far exceeds the knowledge possessed by any one individual. By becoming an active member of a local chapter, this valuable resource is available to help the builder complete their project. Even the simplest aircraft building projects often pose problems which don't have obviously correct answers. One of the best resources available to a builder is the counsel of other builders who have already solved the problem or who may have new ideas on how to approach it.
EAA 1288 also maintains a library of tools and building aides which are available for loan to Chapter members. It is often difficult to justify buying an expensive tool just to make one or two parts... but then again, if you really need it, you have to get it from somewhere! Between the Chapter's tool library and putting a request out to the membership, a builder will often find that a specialized tool they only need occasionally can be obtained on loan.
Supporting Local Aviation:
Part of Chapter 1288's purpose is to further education and community understanding of recreational and general aviation. To this end, EAA 1288 organizes the annual Valkaria Air Fest event, which has rapidly become a very popular, major community event. This event is attended by several thousand local residents and many aircraft, and we enjoy the joint participation of many other organizations.
YOU Are Invited!
Membership in EAA Chapter 1288 is open to all interested parties. As per the requirements of our Charter, proof of membership in EAA (at the national level) is required. You need not be a pilot or aircraft owner to join either EAA or Chapter 1288. Joining EAA has many benefits and is a great way to stay "plugged in" to the exciting and vast world of recreational aviation. Both pilots and non-pilots enjoy membership in EAA and many of them also choose to further their participation by joining one or more of the various special-interest subgroups within EAA (aerobatics, warbirds, vintage aircraft, ultralights, etc.)
Guests and interested parties are always welcomed and encouraged to join us at Chapter 1288 events, including Regular Membership Meetings, Saturday Pancake Breakfasts, the annual Valkaria Air Fest, Young Eagles days, and other special events.
How To Join Chapter 1288:
To join Chapter 1288, please visit a chapter event such as a Monthly Meeting, or you may click here for info on how to join.