Previous EAA 180 Meeting Speakers

January 2021:  United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 84

On January 27th, Kevin Wilcox from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 84 spoke on the overall role of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in helping keep our waters safe with surface and air assets, as well as their role in the rescue of the sinking fishing boat last December off Sarasota/Bradenton waters.  Kevin started volunteering with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2014 as a vessel examiner and staff officer for communication systems.  In 2017, he was appointed as the Air Coordinator for Air Station Clearwater, responsible for all Auxiliary Air operations for Sector St. Petersburg and now serves as the head boating safety instructor for Flotilla 84 Sarasota.

December 2020:  Annual Member Meeting

On December 2, 2020, we conducted our Annual Member Meeting.  We elected our new EAA180 Board Members.  Congratulations to all and thank you for volunteering!  We received an update from our Ray Scholar, Brian Ackles.  Brian has already completed his first solo and cross country and is on target to complete his lessons and receive his pilot certification in Q1 2021. ​Gary provided an update on the proposed building project.  ​Ron Handley provided an update on the sale of the Teen Build's latest plane.  The Buyer comes out 2-3 times per month to help build the plane and learn more about it.  The target is to complete the plan and sale in Q1 2021.  ​Approximately fifteen members joined us for the Fall Flight-in at Sebring for Brunch on November 28.  It was a great time to catch-up!​

August 2020:  Naples EAA1067 Sling Build Project

Chapter 1067 President, Joan Zaleski and her husband Bob built a beautiful Sling aircraft together and Chapter 1067 is in the process of finishing their first Teen Build project building another Sling. Joan and Bob have great ties with the Sling developers and factory in South Africa.  They provided an overview and update  on the latest exciting  developments with Sling as well as a progress report on their Teen Build project. 

May 2020:  Naples EAA1067 Sling Build Project

At this month's meeting, Greg Lewis, one of our long time Chapter 180 members, was our guest speaker. Greg is a captain with a major airline, an active general aviation pilot, airplane owner and mentor to many aspiring pilots at SRQ. For many years Greg has been the moderator for the Pilot / Controller socials we have  co-sponsored. Greg, who also is a kidney transplant recipient, contracted the COVID-19 virus and we are happy to report, has made a full recovery.  Along with representatives from Cirrus and Universal flight schools at SRQ, we discussed how we can adapt and move forward in our new "COVID" world, reshaping chapter meetings, Teen Build, Young Eagles and our chapter socials through the current experience of others.

January 2020:  What's New at SRQ

Lionel A. Guilbert, the Manager of Airport Operations at SRQ, has been at SRQ for many years and is the hands-on lead for the day to day activity at SRQ. Lionel provided us an overview of FAA Part 139 and what it means from a staffing and operations perspective. He will reviewed the Airport Layout Plan and how it depicts future growth and development. There are several projects beginning soon that will impact all users of SRQ that will hold some exciting prospects for General Aviation and it was interesting to hear about what's new at SRQ!

December 2019:  A Look at the Bahamas Fly-out

Our speaker, Dave Harvey, is the VP of EAA Chapter 282 at Clearwater Airpark (KCLW) in Clearwater, FL. An active pilot for more than 40 years, Dave holds CFI and CFII certificates. He has been the Coordinator of the Young Eagles program at KCLW and has flown to the Bahamas many times in the past 20 years.  Dave spoke to us about his participation in the “Bahamas Fly Out” organized by Sun N Fun earlier this year. He provided a presentation of the trip and shared his personal experiences. Sun N Fun is planning another Fly Out to the Bahamas in 2020 and he wants to encourage EAA180 members to participate in this fun event.

October 2019: Good Pilots are Always Learning

We are very pleased to have a new home for our monthly Young Eagles rallies at Universal Flight Training at SRQ. Veteran CFI and President of Universal Flight Training Jose Santos along with chapter member and new CFI Brett Williamson were our October program speakers. Jose and Brett updated us on the latest news at Universal Flight Services and shared their perspectives on areas of pilot training. This was an informative program from two instructors with two distinct backgrounds discussing flight training today and areas of pilot weaknesses they see every day.

March 2019: Keeping SRQ Skies Safe

We are so busy with helping register people attending the annual pilot/controller meeting each year, we rarely get the opportunity to meet and talk to the SRQ ATCT people who attend. Local ATCT operations are important to our monthly Young Eagles events and our every day flying activities to stay safe.  The reps from ATCT discussed safety issues and opportunities to improve safety and ATC services at SRQ as well as discussed local operations and  the relationship with Tampa Approach in providing services.

February 2019:  A Remarkable Story of Courage

Brad is a longtime member of the EAA.   He began taking flying lessons at 15 and already had his pilot license before he joined the Navy in 1961.   During the Vietnam war, Brad flew off the aircraft carriers USS Roosevelt, America and Enterprise.  Brad began to fly combat missions in the A-4 Seahawk in November 1965.  He was forced to eject over North Vietnam while flying his 77th combat mission.  The North Vietamese captured him and held as a prisoner of war for 2,516 days until his release during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973.  Come learn about his fascinating story and aviation experience.

January 2019: Teen Aircraft Factory of Manasota

Chapter 180 member Ric Romanoff and teen builder Malcolm Moniz presented the story of how teens from our area, under the mentorship of many of our own Chapter 180 members, have built and sold two RV-12 airplanes and are now are working on their third airplane.  The Teen Aircraft Factory of Manasota, Inc is a 501C-3 organization started largely through the efforts of our Chapter 180 past president Martin Sobel. Many of our chapter 180 members meet each Saturday to mentor teenage boys and girls, many who are considered at-risk youth, sharing their experience and knowledge to help build an airplane and instill life skills. 

December 2018: From Combat Flying to GA

Ben is a highly decorated Army aviator who was shot down by enemy fire in Viet Nam in April of 1968 while piloting a UH-1 MEDEVAC helicopter. He and his co-pilot were listed as MIA. Their subsequent recovery in a heroic and daring rescue mission were captured in a book called “DUSTOFF 65” published in 1974. Colonel Knisely, after 9 months of hospitalization, recovered and stayed on active duty flying MEDEVAC helicopters for many years. For his last tour of duty, he served on the special staff of General Norman Schwarzkopf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  As the owner of a Cirrus airplane and an active local pilot, Ben will share the experiences of combat flying and the things he learned and has put into practice in his GA flying.

October 2018:  Retrix Tour and Bombadier Work

Chapter member Bill Russini has arranged for us to meet at the Retrix Aerodome. Andrea Noles Jauschneg, the FOB manager, will be giving us an overview of their operation and a tour of the facility.   The featured speaker for our program will be Randy Morgan, Chief Pilot and Director of Maintenance on a corporate jet based at SRQ. Randy served in the US Army as a helicopter crew chief and as a paratrooper. Randy went on to become a Flight Instructor. Randy’s work at Bombardier Aircraft will be the subject of his talk on the flight test work conducted along with his experience flying a Lear jet.  

September 2018: Restoring a 1956 Cessna 172

Jim Faix, is an EAA180 Board Member and one of the mentors for the Teen Aircraft Factory.  He will be giving a presentation on his 1956 Cessna 172 Skyhawk restoration. If you’ve ever wondered about what really is involved in the process of restoring an airplane, by all means bring your questions. He will cover such things as: How long does it take ?  Does the whole plane need to be dismantled ?  How much work space is needed ?  How do you remove the old paint ?  What kind of tools are required ?  Replace or restore parts?  Repainting the outside & Refinishing the interior: where & how ?   

March 2018: Rotax Engines

Phil Lockwood is the founder and current President and CEO of Lockwood Aircraft Company in Sebring. Phil has built the company to a world recognized leader in aviation as the producer of the incredible AirCam airplane and one of the leading resource centers for Rotax engines. Phil will be talking about the Rotax 9 series that is quickly growing as a viable choice in aircraft engines for a variety of manufacturers and homebuilders. Bring a builder friend or anyone interested in learning about what is new with Rotax from one of the leading experts to be found.

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