Gone West: Chapter Member and Volunteer Al Sparks

All of us at EAA 186 are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our long-time members, Al Sparks, on September 17 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Al and his wife Judy have been dedicated chapter members and volunteers for over 43 years. An avid aviation enthusiast and pilot, Al was a great friend to many and will be forever missed.

Al’s full obituary may be found here:https://mountcastle.net/obituary/gary-allen-sparks/

Charlie Becker to speak at our Sept meeting

Zoom with your fellow members to hear Charlie Becker, the EAA Director for Chapters &
Communities and the Homebuilt Community Manager!

EAA 186 September Membership Gathering

When: Sep 26, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Zoom with your fellow members (Zoom info in the Member Only section of our web site) to hear Charlie Becker, the EAA Director for Chapters & Communities and the Homebuilt Community Manager. In this role he oversees the EAA chapter network and homebuilt programs. He has worked for EAA since 1999. During that time, he created EAA’s Hints for Homebuilders weekly how-to video series, webinar program and oversaw the acquisition of the EAA SportAir Workshops.
Charlie is also a volunteer Technical Counselor.

Charlie is a lifetime member of EAA, past president of Chapter 252 in Oshkosh and has served as an officer in two chapters for more than 10 years. He has been a member of five chapters since joining Chapter 32 in St. Louis in 1995, including an active member of Chapter 186 (1996-1999) having served as chapter treasurer before taking a position at EAA.

A private pilot and avid homebuilder, Charlie built a Sonex and led the EAA staff Zenith CH750 STOL build to completion as well as the 2014 & 2018 “One Week Wonder” projects. He currently has two aircraft under construction. The first is a “Pirate Cub,” which is a plans-built knock off of a Piper Super Cub.

The second is a new homebuilt design by Adventure Aircraft, the EMG-6. The aircraft is a primary glider with the ultimate design goal of selflaunching on electric power.

Using Zoom:

There is no requirement to download anything to your computer, though if you want to establish an account with them and download the Zoom app it is free. There are also meeting apps available for iOS and Android devices in their respective app stores – again free.

Once signed in you will arrive in a ‘waiting room’ where the meeting host will then give you access to the meeting. You will be joined with both your computer microphone and camera turned off. You may activate your mic and or camera at your discretion.


The meeting software will be turned on 1/2 hour before each meeting so that you can try it out and get your computer system set up to participate. Just join the meeting as described above and try out the meeting controls that you see on your screen.


Our Membership Zoom Gatherings and Board meetings will follow the normal agenda as if they were in-person meetings.

When the meeting starts, all attendees should mute their mics. Speakers will be called upon by the meeting host so people do not talk over one another. Zoom does have a “raise hand” feature, so please use that so the host knows someone wishes to speak.

Additional suggestions:

Please try to find a quiet place to log into the meeting, free of distractions like background noise, dogs barking, etc. If someone is experiencing audio issues the host will silence that person’s mic can so as to not disrupt the overall meeting.

If you are logging into the meeting from a mobile device, do everyone else a favor and find one place to sit down, as walking around during the meeting is extremely distracting.

By default, Zoom will show you who is actively speaking. However, with a single click, you can view everyone on the call by clicking “Gallery View” in the upper-right corner of an active meeting. Once clicked, it’ll show you a grid of all the call’s participants up to a maximum of 49 per page.

Update from the President

Honestly, I’m not sure how it’s already September (time sure does fly in a pandemic), but for better or worse, this year has changed our lives and forced us to adapt. I cannot express how thankful I am to all of you who’ve stepped up during these difficult times to keep our chapter thriving!

While our organized Chapter activities are still suspended and we don’t have a projected re-opening date, you will see from this newsletter our Chapter House is still open and our members are still making progress on several projects.

One of our most recent projects was the relocation and setup of our two flight simulators. Both simulators with their various parts and abundance of wiring were located on a large table at the “front” of Chapter House which made it difficult to access the Resource Center. Mary Dominiak come up with the brilliant idea of moving the large one to the office are and everything flowed from there.

The larger flight simulator–generously donated by member Al Olsen– was the first one to be given a permanent home. Several chapter members helped with all aspects of setting this simulator setup which relocation, testing, software installation and many other technical aspects. The physical move, was led by member Sam Bingham with assistance and advice from Jim Stone, Judy Sparks and several others. Sam unplugged everything, moved it over to its new location in the office area, piece by piece, arranged it as efficiently as possible, and plugged everything back in. He took one of the monitors off the big triple bar and put it on its own stand to get the angles he wanted. The flight sim program, X-Plane, was already set up by Al Olsen, Dan Botzer and Chris Mayer. During the move, the monitor plugs were of sequence, and Mike Walpole had to figure out how to re-assign the third monitor to X-plane. Sam’s priority was to make sure everything in the office area worked the same as it did before, despite the seemingly drastic re-architecture of the network. And by all reports, the simulator setup in its new home is a huge success!

The small simulator– RealFlight® 9– was part of our RC Young Eagles Build and Fly kit. RealFlight® claims to be the #1 RC flight simulator in the world. It’s an essential tool new RC pilots can use when learning how to fly. It also makes it possible for experienced RC pilots to practice new maneuvers and to hone their skills so they can become even better pilots.

From RealFlight® – “With more than 160 different aircraft to fly — including airplanes, helicopters, drones and more — at over 40 different flying sites, plus the ability to edit aircraft and sites, there’s an almost infinite number of flying options available. Add in game-like challenges that make flight training fun, multiplayer options so you can fly and compete with other pilots online, compatibility with VR headsets, and many, many more features, and you have everything you need to succeed at the field — because you can “fly” on a PC at home, or on a laptop just about anywhere else.”

This simulator needed to be rehomed to a table/desk with wheels so that it can be moved to accommodate more room for Chapter House events. Chapter member Chris Berg researched possible desk options and after one was selected by the board, he went through the process of setting up that RC as well. This RC simulator offers the option of viewing the flight from the computer screen (another donation from Al Olsen) or from the large flat screen TV (donated by member, Bob Prange.)

A huge thank you to everyone involved in both projects. We don’t know what to expect as we continue to navigate these unusual times but here at EAA Chapter 186 we are grateful for the virtual “glue” that holds us all together. Maintaining strong connections is more important than ever in these times, and we are committed to providing the best support and reliable information to our membership and local aviation community.

Young Eagles Build and Fly – Rally meeting – Trivia contest

On Saturday Aug 15, 2020, we are going to hold a virtual meeting Zoom session to go over the progress with the Young Eagles Build and Fly project. This is a chance for you to get more involved in the process, ask questions, etc. This is going to be followed by a Young Eagles meeting in the same zoom session. Brush up on your knowledge of Air Force One for a trivia contest with some fun prizes! If you are interested, preregistration is available via:

When: Aug 15, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time

01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Hope to see you there!

Sande and Bob

A word from the Chapter President

EAA 186 Members and Friends:

COVID-19 is going to be with us for a while and we can’t risk anyone’s health by prematurely restarting our organized activities. Therefore, regular programs and organized activities remain suspended until further notice.

Suspended in-person activities include the following:

•• Young Eagle Flights
•• Monthly Membership Gatherings (Zoom Only)
•• YE Fly and Build (YouTube Only)
•• Deck BBQs
•• Monthly Board Meetings (Zoom Only)
•• IMC-VMC Club Meetings (Zoom Only)

We will comply with any City requirements, but as long as Manassas Airport remains open, our chapter members will have access to the tools crib and other supplies/equipment. We will let everyone know if and when this situation changes.

Stay safe,

Sande Miller-Long President, EAA Chapter 186

All Young Eagle Flights Cancelled Until Further Notice

During the ongoing covid-19 pandemic all Young Eagle events have been cancelled. This includes Young Eagle rallies and private Young Eagle flights. We will resume flights as scheduled when it is safe and we have been cleared by the city to do so. Hopefully, in the near future.

Young Eagles RC Build and Fly Update

Young Eagles RC Build and Fly Update
Mike Walpole, mswalpole@hotmail.com

The Young Eagles Build and Fly Project continues its progress on the LT-440. Our most recent efforts have focused on the wings and framing the fuselage, vertical and horizontal stabilizer and both wing panels. Also, a second transmitter has been acquired so a buddy box system will be set up. Video of how that works will follow soon. Even if social distancing continues this summer, the possibility of some flying sessions with our Young Eagles exists

In Session 4 we covered the horizontal stab, elevator, vertical stab and rudder. Plus we hinged the rudder and elevator.

In Session 5 we managed to cover the bottom of the wing. First we covered the trailing edge and the underside of the wing tips. Then we worked around the aileron control horns and the servo tray. Then we covered the bottom wing sections.

In our last session (6) we went over what we’ve done so far and finish covering the the wing.

Next up we’ll cover the ailerons and get them hinged to the wing. Date to be determined.

Build Session 6: June 18, 2020 https://youtu.be/M2Gv0vEWKV4
Build Session 5: June 10, 2020 https://youtu.be/jg0uKai-y-8
Build Session 4: May 31, 2020 https://youtu.be/ToEVF5b9cQw
Build Session 3: May 19, 2020 https://youtu.be/Nl_z0OUYF_g
Build Session 2: May 13, 2020 https://youtu.be/W001jToHrq0
Build Session 1: May 5, 2020 https://youtu.be/S9Ff8EfcpR8
Status Update: Apr 21, 2020 https://youtu.be/-8-thQHuNlE

NOTE: We’d like to get more Young Eagles involved so we’re going to try to set up the next build session as a Zoom meeting. If you are interested in participating, contact Mike Walpole and let him know.

Members Only Section has new Password

Changes to the Members Only section of this website includes a new password protection system as well as the most current Chapter 186 Membership roster in Excel format. Contact Sande Miller-Long for access. President@eaa186.org

From the Chapter President

The drumbeat of sometimes contradictory Executive Orders continues, the latest being a new order effective Friday, June 5, that moves most of Virginia into “Phase Two” of Virginia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, we’re expecting/hoping that we will enter
Phase 2 by the time you read this.

The announcement of this has resulted in several emails from Chapter members wanting to know what it means for the Chapter House generally for personal use—and, more specifically, if it means we can hold our next Membership meeting or
Young Eagles rally there.

The short answers: “not much,” and “no.”

According to Executive Order 65 for Phase 2, “public and private social clubs may reopen, provided such establishments abide by the gathering ban in section B, paragraph 2 of this
Order and comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors.”

This essentially put several limits on in-person gatherings, including the number of people in attendance, keeps meetings as short as possible, and requires using physical distancing practices. Phase 2 also includes routine cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas and hard surfaces, including entrance push/pull pads, door knobs/handles, tables/chairs, light switches, handrails, restrooms, floors, and equipment every hour during a meeting.

Other aspects of the previous Phase 1 executive order that would remain in effect include maintaining physical distances of six feet from others not in your household; a recommendation that face coverings be worn around others, and a requirement that they be worn in the bathroom; and a prohibition on anyone with a fever or Covid-19 symptoms occupying the premises.

While under Phase 2 the state has increased the maximum size of gatherings in any one location to 50, from the previous 10. We neither expect nor handle any gathering of that size on the premises given the limitations. At least not now and
certainly not indoors.

As a result, the use of the Chapter House for large indoor gatherings and Young Eagle rallies will remain closed for the foreseeable future. We are, however, making plans to hold an outdoor event, including a BBQ and aircraft wash, provided we do make it into Phase 2 and we can meet all the

Now for some brighter news! Kevin Rychlik has donated 70 mahogany aircraft models to the Chapter with the proceeds going towards our Young Eagles program. Most are helicopters, but some are airplanes and will be offered for sale to
Chapter members first at a discount before being listed on eBay. Models include Air Force One, Marine One, several military and law enforcement helicopters and airplanes, as well as a few jet aircraft. Please contact me for more details!


Young Eagles: Rolling without Ailerons

From Mary Dominiak

Last time, we talked about all airplanes having EARs that pilots can move to make the plane go up or down (Elevators); roll around to the left or right (Ailerons); and yaw or swing its nose to the left or right (Rudders). But the very first powered airplane, the Wright brothers’ famous 1903 Flyer, didn’t have ailerons, so – how did they get it to roll?

The brothers knew they had to figure out a controllable way to roll. They already knew that the shape of a wing affected its lift, so if there was a way to change that shape in flight, maybe you could get your plane to roll by increasing lift on one side while decreasing it on the other. But how to do that? Toying one day with an empty box from a bicycle inner tube, Wilbur Wright realized that by bending or twisting the ends of the box in opposite directions at the same time, he could warp the box around its center point. So why not build wings with that same kind of flexible box structure, with cables attached at each end so you could pull on the cable to warp or twist the tip of one wing in one direction, while bending the tip of the other wing in the opposite direction? Wing-warping was born!

Would you like to build your own wing-warping demonstrator? You can find instructions – where else? – right on YouTube! Here’s a link: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKdPpPrzhBk. All it takes are things you probably have at home, such as cardboard, toothpicks, string, glue, and some basic tools.

Better yet: would you like to build and test fly your own Wright Flyer? You can do that online at Engineering the Wright Way, over on the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum website! It’s going to take a while for you to do it all, but you can save your work and pick up where you left off each time until you finish. When you’re finished, you even get to test out your plane in the flight simulator. So even if we can’t take you on Young Eagles flights right now, you can build and fly your own historic plane right here: https:// airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/wright-brothers/ online/workshop/.