December 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/234576

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Page 19 of 40

C h a ll e n g e r A ir c r a f t 3 0 t h A n n i ve r s a r y F l y - I n design. A builder could walk these rows and get endless inspiration from the many examples of originality in various options and paint schemes. Patriotic or military themes are obviously popular. The workmanship can be award winning, as evidenced by the top three EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 lightplane judging winners (all Challengers) that were also in attendance at Erie. The Grand Champion was N140TR, Mike Riley's XL-65 model that was displayed inside the Challenger tent at AirVenture. The Reserve Grand Champion was Harold Goellner's N138NA. An Honorable Mention went to Tom Scully's blue Challenger, N380TS, shown on floats at AirVenture but on wheels at Erie. A group of seven Challenger pilots from Wisconsin led by Challenger dealer Greg Klemp Sr., including female pilot Renee Dubois, flew in for the festivities. Aviation adven- tures are coming quick and fast for Renee, who flew 340 miles to get to Erie, her longest trip to date. She earned her private pilot certificate in December 2012; in March 2013 she earned a seaplane rating and then by April had found a Challenger with the help of Greg. Her husband flies with her and is fully supportive, but he could not make this trip. Worried about flying with such a large group with so little experience, she arranged to fly with another pilot as a pair about 15 minutes behind the main group. Eight Challenger floatplanes led by Canadian Challenger distributor Brian Quickmeire started out from the Ottawa, Ontario area. One dropped out early. Two others had mechanical problems, resulting in forced landings. One of those landings was in very heavy swells on Lake Michigan and succeeded thanks to a mixture of luck and skill. Fortunately, the winds blew the plane to the shore. Both pilots had friends circling overhead, and both continued the trip in ground vehicles while repairs (including a crankshaft replacement) were made to enable their return flights. That group was delayed by the swath of storms moving through the upper Midwest that had affected so many other arrivals. The five remaining floatplanes from Ottawa spent Friday night at Oshkosh and arrived at Erie Airpark Saturday afternoon with much anticipation and excitement. Another Canadian, Mike Hughes of Edmonton, Alberta, flew the longest distance at 2,045 miles. It took him eight days. A glance at a map of North America gives a fuller appreciation of how far these pilots flew to attend the event. Tribute to Veteran Pilot Don Zank's modifed 1992 Patriot, designed by Quad City. Jim Robinson on guitar and Greg Sutter on banjo at the Saturday night bonfre. 20 Vol.2 No.12 / December 2013 The People's Choice Award at the 30th anniversary fly-in was given to a new Challenger LSS owned by 92-year-old David Fullgraf from Hermann, Missouri. It was the clear winner and the talk of the fly-in. David, a former B-24 Liberator pilot who served in the Pacific theater, had the help of his granddaughter, Christine, and master builder George Hurt of Vinita, Oklahoma. George started building Challengers 20 years ago and this is his 21st airplane. Motivated in part by the story of David's service to our country in that war, George put everything he knew into the airplane. It's a flying tribute to one of the few living pilots of that era. George used the nontoxic and nonflammable Stewart Systems to cover and paint the airplane because of his increased sensitivity to the MEK solvent found in other products. He said the results can be excellent if builders follow directions carefully, use a better spray gun such as a DeVilbiss FinishLine 3 or 4 HVLP gun, and get the excellent six-DVD set from Stewart Systems that covers the entire process. Christine, who works in the graphic

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