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2024 Chapter News - Latest

February 18th Meeting, Gilbert International Airpark (SC45). 12pm-4pm

Zacherie Francois, shown above, is a native Haitian who is a pilot and A&P mechanic with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
Click on the photo above for more photos taken at the meeting.

     Our second meeting of the year was held on February 18th, 2024 at Gilbert International Airpark (SC45). Our meeting was attended by 49 members and guests. Two new members joined today: Stan Lawrimore, a private pilot who is searching for an ELSA to purchase, and Kent Sidel, who is a retired Dean of Journalism from USC and currently taking sport pilot lessons. We welcome them to our chapter.

     Our business meeting started at 1:56pm EST. We approved the January 28th meeting minutes. Our chapter treasurer reported on recent expenses and indicated that our treasury is still very healthy. Also, we are expecting some Ray Scholarship funds from EAA soon for our selected candidate, Grace Lastinger, so that she can continue  her flight training. Debbie and Larry Philbin will be attending an EAA leadership "boot camp" in Salisbury, NC from February 23rd - 25th.

      Safety Advisor, Don Schmotzer, gave us a safety message regarding "Aging Aircraft". He pointed out that most of the aircrart we fly are 40-70 years old and subject to the ravages of time, including rusted tubing & cables, worn out engines, and fragile fabric that may have been painted over several times, to name a few. He cited an example of an aging aircraft that one CFI inspected in a location that normally can't be seen, which yielded rusty internal cables with only one strand holding one together and the other cable having only 6 strands remaining. Obviously, food for thought.

     Next, we had a presentation with video clips from special guest, Zacherie Fancois. Zacherie is a native Haitian who is the first Haitian to ever become a pilot for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). He had to go through an rigorous and extensive training program to reach that goal. He is also a qualfied A&P mechanic. Zacherie feels that he was called to serve in this capacity by a higher power. MAF requires it's pilots to procure funding at a level of $7.000 per month, so if you are willing to help Zacherie in his continued quest to serve, please let us know, and we'll put you in touch with him  The chapter donated some money to his cause.

     Randy also had two videos on MOSAIC cued up, but the members elected not to view them at the meeting and asked him to instead send the links to members so that they could view them at their leisure.

January 28th Meeting, Gilbert International Airpark (SC45). 12pm-4pm

EAA Service Awards were presented to the chapter members shown above for their support of our chapter in 2023.
Click on the photo above for more photos taken at the meeting.

     Our first meeting of 2024 was held on January 28th, 2024 at Gilbert International Airpark (SC45). Our meeting was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 21st, but the cold weather caused us to postpone it until the alternate date of Sunday, January 28th. Our meeting was well attended with around 58 members and guests. Two new members joined today: Rome Lindler, new owner of Eagle's Nest/Faiview Airpark (SC23),and Roger Kohls, lead CFI for A.C.E.S. flight training at Lexington County Airport (6J0).

     Our business meeting started at 2:00pm EST. We approved the November 19th, 2023 minutes. Our chapter treasurer report indicated that our treasury is very healthy. In fact, the "big news" for today was that the chapter board approved the purchase of a LG 86" TV with all the "bells and whistles", including internet access and 4K resolution, for future meetings, presentations, and aviation education. Randy demonstrated it by showing a video clip of the Blue Angels in flight from the cockpit of the Blue Angel leader. Randy also brought his Fender sound system for use during upcoming meetings, which contributes greatly to the sound quality as well.

     EAA officially announced that our chapter will receive a "matching" (partial) Ray scholarship this year based on successful completion of our full scholarship in 2021, which was awarded to Justin Hibpshman. Justin was able to earn his private pilot certificate as a result. This year we had three applicants: Marcus Evans, Grace Lastinger, and William Busbee. Marcus is now attending the Citadel and received two scholarships through the college, with which he is funding his flight training, so he decided not to apply for our Ray Scholarship. William Busbee never officially applied for the scholarship plus he had not yet begun any preparations (e.g. student pilot license, FAA medical) so could not have meet EAA's application requirements.

     Thus, Grace Lastinger was our sole remaining candidate, but that does not reflect negatively on her qualifications because she may well have won the scholarship anyway due to her accomplishments thus far. Grace gave chapter members a presentation today on those accomplishments, which include 47 hours of flight training, successful completion of her first solo flight on October 11th, 2023, and a solo cross country to Saluda County Airport (6J4) on November 23th, 2023. Consequently, Grace was nominated to be our Ray Scholarship recipient for 2024. Her nomination was passed unanimously by those in attendance.

     Randy then presented service awards to chapter officers, which included himself as president, Eddie Brennan as Vice President, Debbie Philbin as Secretary, and Libby Berry as Treasurer. He also awarded service awards to the 2023 chapter directors, which included Jim McClain, Dave Gardner, and Larry Maner. He further presented service awards to other deserving chapter members (see photo above) for their support during the  year, Thank you all for your support of our chapter.

November 19th Meeting, Gilbert International Airpark (SC45). 12pm-4pm

Ron & Angela receive a check for use of their hangar/home and utilities, as well a their generous support of our chapter in 2023.
Click on the above photo for more photos

     Our last meeting of the year was held on November 19th, 2023 at Gilbert International Airpark (SC45). Members started arriving as early as 12:00 noon and started socializing. We had a nice lunch beginning around 1:00pm. We approved the September 17th minutes, and our Treasurer gave a financial report.

    This being our final meeting of 2023, our main business task for today was to elect chapter officers for 2024. Current president, Randy Berry, opened the floor for nominations for each office successively ... president, VP, secretary and treasurer. The same officers who served for 2023 were again elected for 2024: President - Randy Berry, Vice-President - Eddie Brennan, Secretary - Debbie Philbin, and Treasurer - Libby Berry. Randy mentioned that he won't be able to serve as president forever. Eddie plans to retire during 2024, so Eddie may be conducting some of the meetings in 2024 and in the future.

     EAA has indicated that our chapter will likely be receiving a "matching" (partial) Ray Scholarship in 2024, based on our successful completion of the full Ray Scholarship awarded to Justin Hibpshman in 2921. Justin completed his flight training sucessrully and earned his Private Pilot Certificate. At this writing, we have two candidates for the 2024 scholarship: Marcus Evans and Grace Lastinger. We may have additonal applicants during upcoming months.

     Randy also reminded chapter members that membership dues for 2024 will be coming due effective January 1st, 2024. Current members who renew by December 31st, 2023 will receive a $5 discount. Eddie Brennan gave us a short presentation on "Toys for Tots" which is conducted each year by the US Marines (of which Eddie was a former member) and coordinated through the Lexington County Police Department. Eddie stated that he would match every dollar given by a chapter member.

     In other news, EAA Chapter 1664 based in Varnville, SC decided not to seek renewal as an EAA chapter and thus gifted our chapter their remaining funds of $468. We sincerely thank Ray Ward and EAA Chapter 1664 for their generosity. Dave Gardner was also instrumental in obtaining this award for our chapter. Dave also invited us to hold our April chapter meeting at his and Tammy's Buckeye Farms near WIlliston, SC on Sunday, April 21st, 2024.

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