First Flight for Dennis Crider’s RV-12!

Dennis Crider

RV-12 N928AC took to the air for the first time February 22nd with my RV-12 instructor, Dan Wroe, at the controls as the “Qualified Pilot” under the new dual pilot program. I strongly recommend it to anyone, like me, who hasn’t flown for a while. My son/co-builder and I both enjoyed our turn at the controls. The airplane flew well with no wing heaviness and a lucky first guess on the rudder tab. A few squawks of course but most are easily fixed. As you can see in the picture, my son’s RV grin started in the air. Mine was undocumented just after the flight when it suddenly hit me that I had just flown an airplane that I had built. Nothing like it. Thanks Vans.

First Flight for N928AC

Son Andrew flying the RV-12

Dennis Crider
builder 120391
Vienna VA

Young Eagles Rally Postponed to March 18

The Young Eagle Flight Rally being hosted by EAA Chapter 186 this Saturday, March 11th has been postponed due to freezing temperatures, windchill of 20 degrees, and possible high winds. Young Eagle Flights are conducted only in good weather conditions.

The rally has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 18. The pre-registration form for that rally is on our website:

Hope to see you then!


EAA 186 Young Eagles Air Academy

Each year, the EAA Chapter 186 Board of Directors provides funding for young people to attend Air Academy Camp at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Because of the success of our Young Eagles program, this year we are offering paid camperships for two youths, ages 11 – 15, to attend the Young Eagles Camp and the Basic Air Academy. Each award covers tuition and lodging costs, but does not include airfare or transportation.

If you know of a child who is interested in attending either of these camps, please contact Sande Miller-Long as soon as possible. Slots are filling fast!

Young Eagles Camp
For ages 12 and 13

Session 1: July 5-9, 2017 or
Session 2: July 11-15, 2017

The EAA Young Eagles Camp is designed as an introduction to the wonderful world of aviation. This program will use small group activities and close counselor relationships to present the basics of flight in a “science camp” format that is a unique combination of fun and discovery.

Basic Air Academy Camp
For ages 14 and 15

Session 1: June 19-24, 2017 or
Session 2: June 26-July 1, 2017

The EAA Basic Air Academy is the next exciting step through the world of aviation. Each “hands-on” activity is developed for the intermediate 14- and 15-year-olds during a classroom and media presentation, specialized laboratory activities, and aviation-related demonstrations.

POLL: New EAA 186 Chapter Merchandise

We’re looking into ordering some EAA 186 ball caps. Would you buy one? If so, what color(s)? Also what new merchandise with our EAA 186 logo would you like to see available for purchase?

What new merchandise with our EAA 186 logo would you like to see available for purchase?
Which color caps should we order?

Famed Aviator Chuck Tippett to speak at our January Gathering

Over 30 years ago, Charles S. “Chuck” Tippett Jr., stunt pilot, wing walker, flight instructor and 2016 Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee, taught himself to fly by reading a book. That’s right, he read a book. He had to; his ultralight only had one seat.

Our January meet will feature Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee Chuck Tippet and his WWII Piper L4 Grasshopper from the Flying Circus! Join us as Chuck talks about the history of the flying circus, the art of wing walking, and flying on skis. This is one meeting you don’t want to miss.

Asked what it’s like to climb out of the Stearman’s cockpit and venture out to the end of the biplane’s wingspan, Tippett says, “It’s like what I imagined it would be like to take a magic-carpet ride, when I was a kid.”

Saturday, January 28, 2017
EAA 186 Chapter House

Refreshments: Donuts, coffee and other beverages

10:00 – Welcome and introductions
10:10 – Chapter Merchandise Drawing
10:15 – Chapter Business and Announcements
10:30 – Special Reports – Award Presentations
10:50 – Chapter Merchandise Drawing
11:00 – Program: Stunt pilot, wing walker and flight instructor, Chuck Tippett from the Flying Circus Aerodrome & Air Show, and 2016 Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee will speak on the history of the Flying Circus, the art of wing walking, and fun of flying on snow skis!

Check out these links for more information about aviator, Chuck Tippett!

Faces of Fauquier: Pilot challenges the stereotype
Breathtaking photos of Chuck’s wing-walking act at the Culpeper Airfest 2015
Biography of Chuck Tippett
Love at First Flight
He’s a One-man Aviation Support Network

The Party’s Over – But It Was GREAT! (Afterparty Time?)

14589800_973368162773428_6143554686889855080_oThe B-17 and Ford Tri-Motor weekend wrapped up yesterday, and it was SUPERB! Despite the high winds shutting down all flight operations on Saturday, and the winds and cold temperatures significantly diminishing the number of visitors coming by for ground tours, we did very well; Oshkosh is delighted with us. Over the weekend, the Ford Tri-Motor flew 117 paying passengers and the B-17 flew 90. On Sunday alone, the B-17 trailer took in over $1200 in ground tours and $2580 in merchandise sales. Both air tours more than broke even on their expenses for this stop, so it’s an easy bet we’ll get the planes again when we ask. And we pulled this off with minimal media coverage, since we had no response from either television or radio stations to our media flight invitation and press releases. Good job getting out the word via social media and posters!

We also got HIGHEST marks from the crews for Chapter support, so all you volunteers — pat yourselves on the back and line up to collect hugs from me! Both aircrews were impressed with your organization, cheerfulness, and willingness to pitch in and help wherever and whenever necessary. The Ford folk particularly appreciated volunteers having watched the training video ahead of time, because it made their work much easier.

B-17 Ferry Flight
The Tri-Motor took off early this morning on its long, slow flight to Knoxville, TN. The B-17 will depart on Thursday for Salisbury, NC. I don’t know the schedule yet, but ferry pilots typically shoot for a 9:00-10:00 departure (that means riders must arrive at the airport an hour in advance) in order to arrive in time for the next stop’s media flight. We will have some seats available for Chapter members who would like to take the ride. Folk who take a ferry flight are on their own the moment the plane touches down at its destination, so those who go need to make their own arrangements to get home. People sometimes get the opportunity to take the controls and log a little B-17 time, but that is not guaranteed; it depends on flight conditions (there’s zero chance in IFR, for example) and on the comfort level of the pilot in command.

If you’d like to be on the list for the ferry flight, please send me an email at, and be certain to include your name and cellphone number. I won’t know how many seats we’ll have or what the flight schedule will be until after the new crew arrives on Wednesday, so details are pretty thin right now. I’ll confess a bias toward favoring active Chapter members who haven’t had the chance to do a flight before, but beyond that, if we have too many applicants for the number of seats we get (six is pretty typical; if we’re really lucky, maybe up to eight), I’ll put all the names into a computer randomizer to pick the winners. Sound fair? The plane absolutely will not wait on latecomers, so be certain you actually could go and make an extra effort to be early!

Thanks again to the entire small army of volunteers who turned out to help, especially the daily stalwarts and those of you who responded to the Sunday “all hands on deck!” call. You DID it!

Mary Dominiak

Some photos from the event. 
These photos were taken by chapter members Andrew Shippin and Dave Mather.  For more photos, check put our Facebook page:







B-17 and Ford Tri-Motor Flights weather update

The aircraft will fly tomorrow provided the ceilings are high enough and there is enough visibility.  The rain isn’t really the issue.   Right now the forecast is showing a cloud base all day of 3,500 to 6,500 and 6 miles visibility.  So, yes!  Do expect the show to go on 😉

They’re HERE! Are You?

B-17 Aluminum Overcast Miami, FL

B-17 Aluminum Overcast Miami, FL

The Ford Tri-Motor and B-17 arrived at Manassas early on Monday afternoon. The Ford is asleep in DAI East and the B-17 is discreetly parked mostly out of casual public sight until all the fun begins on Thursday, but they’re both ready and raring to go. Are you?


We need LOTS of volunteers to pull off this visit successfully, so if you haven’t already signed up, please do! We need a MINIMUM of four dedicated volunteers each shift in order for the Ford to fly, and at least five ground crew for the B-17 to operate. Judy Sparks has committed to working the B-17 merchandise trailer for the whole visit (thank you, Judy!), so we just need one more volunteer for each of the merchandise trailer shifts. On Saturday and Sunday, we also need cooks and cashiers to run the very lucrative 186 Grill trailer; could you help out there to help our bottom line? And maybe sign up to help pull off the fun of a Saturday evening BBQ on our Chapter deck, with both the Ford and B-17 crews as our guests?

This is our last really BIG, hopefully lucrative Chapter event this year, which could help fill our coffers and defray our expenses, including our newly increased chapter house/hangar rent. It’s also our biggest and best chance to shine and publicly prove our worth to the airport commission and the city council, supporting our bid to get the chapter house rental cost reduced significantly. Can you get behind that cause? If so, now’s the time, and here’s ford-trimotor-banner-1404x761the way! Volunteer!

[ED: We really need you to sign up on our website so we can get an accurate headcount and know how to plan. It’s easy and will only take a minute — Just click here!

Report Card Grade?

You may not know this, but Oshkosh grades each Chapter’s past performance when it determines where the airplanes will go each year. To date, Chapter 186 has an absolutely stellar record for supporting both the B-17 and Tri-Motor tours, meaning we get preferential treatment when we apply to host them. As someone who’s also part of the national tour, I can tell you we’re currently in the top five of U.S. tour locations.

Want us to keep that position? Volunteer!

Free donuts, coffee and lunch!

I will thank you in person. And I’ll also bring Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee for the morning shift! The Chapter provides lunch.

And the planes? They provide passion, and themselves.

I hope to see you in orange vests.

Mary Dominiak


The EAA Fall Fly-In has officially been postponed to our rain date, Sunday, October 2

UPDATE: The decision has been made. The weather forecast for tomorrow has deteriorated even more; it will be IFR all day. The EAA Fall Fly-In has officially been postponed to our rain date, Sunday, October 2. Please let me know if you will be unable to attend/volunteer.

Click here for more information:

EAA 186 Fly-In: John Fisher, FAA, to speak about ADS-B at EAA 186 Fly-In

ads-b_howworksJohn Fisher, from the FAA, will be speaking from 1:00-2:30 on the subject of ADS-B for General Aviation with Emphasis on Experimentals. Since he will have his laptop, John will be able to do some compliance checks if anyone wishes to see how their aircraft ADS-B system is performing.

Location: Airport Conference Room
Time: 1:00 – 2:30