Arsenal of Democracy 2020 Flyover Update

Sign Up NOW For The Arsenal Of Democracy WWII Flyover Mission!

From Mary Dominiak

Okay, folks: here it is. If you want to work ANY ground operations with the many WWII airplanes coming to Manassas in May – including our own beautiful EAA B-17 Aluminum Overcast and newly restored B-25 Berlin Express – you’ve GOT to sign up online NOW. If you don’t sign up on or before March 5, 2020, you will NOT be able to work on the ramp during the Arsenal of Democracy mission in May. If you want to work but aren’t sure you’ll be able to, sign up anyway; we can always take you OFF the list, but we won’t be able to add you ON after the drop-dead date! (That March 5 date may be extended a little for ground crew – who don’t need the same level of vetting as people flying on the planes – but don’t count on it …)

PLEASE NOTE: Having a Manassas gate card or being an EAA/CAF/CAP member will NOT give you access to the ramp during this event: you MUST be pre-registered!

Signing up is a two-step process. First off, go to:

Choose “AOD Event Staff/Volunteers” as your Participant Type, and “Event Volunteer (to be assigned)” as your Staff Type. That’s all you need for step one!

Your second sign-up is on our EAA Chapter 186 website:

We are posting sheets for the event; please sign up for each and every day you want to work, and indicate your duty preference, if any. We’ll use these sign-up sheets to match volunteers to the available jobs, and we’ll need them to make certain that we have all the essential positions covered on every day of the event. I’m hoping you might be flexible, because all positions won’t be available at all times.

If you are 18 or over, want to volunteer for a marshaling position, and haven’t already been included on the list given to our Line Chief, Chuck Hoeppner, please reach out to him ( BEFORE ticking the “marshaling” box on the Chapter form; Chuck is in charge of our marshaling team, so you absolutely MUST be on his radar to be part of that team. This is an insurance issue for the AOD, so it is not negotiable, period.

Our marshaling ranks are now full; thank you all! Please volunteer for another task.

None of the other positions are nearly so picky! If you’re mostly sedentary, consider signing up to work Registration/Reception/Information – where aircrews and volunteers will be reporting to pick up their ramp credentials. That will include managing ramp access through the terminal door. We’ll also be doing merchandise sales mostly inside the terminal, because having all the planes out on the ramp will mean it’s not friendly for tents and tables. The other aircraft will also be doing their sales indoors.

We’re not expecting too much activity on Monday and Tuesday, May 4-5, 2020, except for the marshalers and registration/reception/information people and a few ramp rats able to deal with kids; we’re expecting almost all the planes to arrive on those two days, except for the ones already on-site because of the Manassas Airshow and the Lancaster, which isn’t due to arrive until Wednesday. Given that planes will be moving in and around, we’re not advertising anything as being open to the public on those two days, although operators will be allowed to sell rides. Aircrews offering rides on the arrival days will be responsible for escorting their passengers directly from the terminal to their aircraft and back; we’ll need some ramp security folk to assist with that. We’re also going to host a few school field trips to view selected aircraft parked on Foxtrot; hence the need for kid-friendly ramp crew. Only passengers and crew will be allowed access to the main ramp, period. There will be no revenue ground tours those days.

Things wake up on Wednesday. There will be a press conference in the morning, along with media flights – and unlike our usual B-17 tour stop media day, this will be a zoo with all the major networks and VIP guests. We’ll need flexible folk to do things even I can’t necessarily predict at this point; I can predict a lot, but putting all the options into words would take a book! Our reception/registration people will get a workout, and we’ll need plenty of ramp security people to assist the marshalers, whose main responsibility will be managing the media flights.

Wednesday afternoon will be a public day with multiple operators offering tours and rides. We’ll need people everywhere, to make certain that our many guests stay safe and within bounds!

Thursday will be practice day. No one without credentials will be allowed on the field in the morning, as we do a dress rehearsal for launch as if full security were in place. We’ll need a few hardy volunteers to start exceptionally early both Thursday and Friday, because our security will need to be tight beginning around 0630! Friday morning, we’ll be subject to full Federal security, with the Secret Service, FBI, DOD, TSA, and who knows whom else ensuring that nothing and no one going on the planes could pose any threat to DC. That security will evaporate the moment the last plane takes off; then the field will be entirely ours.

Thursday and Friday afternoons, we’ll have some ground tours and flights from various operators only from 1500 through 1700, and will shut down the field by 1800. Friday night will be the Survivors’ Party, when aircrews and ground crews from both Culpeper and Manassas will be bused to and from the party venue down in Culpeper. Fun times!

Saturday and Sunday will look a lot like our typical B-17 tour stop, with all the usual needs for merchandise sales, tour guides, ramp rats, and all, except – there will be a LOT more planes on the field doing the same thing! We’ll need Chapter volunteers to assist with the operations of our EAA aircraft – including the B-25 Berlin Express as well as our beloved B-17 Aluminum Overcast – and to maintain ramp safety for all our visitors and the other planes and crews, as the marshaling team oversees the safe departure and return of revenue flights.

I expect the last of our guests will depart on Monday. There will be NO public operations on Monday at all, unless there are revenue flights from the weekend that were scrubbed for weather or mechanicals. We’ll definitely need a few folk to assist with aircraft departures and final clean-up after the event, but this should not be a gang event.

By the way: the next stop post-AOD for both Aluminum Overcast and Berlin Express will be Oak Island, NC. I expect that the usual rules for repositioning ferry flights will be in play, which would mean – the Chapter will likely be able to put some members on the ferry run. No guarantees, of course, but … you know the drill, if you think you might like a chance at a flight down to Chapter 186 South!

This is, without a doubt, the biggest, most exciting, most demanding, and most complex thing we as a Chapter will ever have done; we really need all hands on deck! I guarantee that if you work this event, you will never forget it.

Come make history!

Feb Membership Gathering Speaker – Andrew Crider

Andrew Crider will speak at our February Membership Gathering about the Virginia Department of Aviation  activities. Particularly, what the government of Virginia is doing for transportation including projects, scholarships and programs. Many DOAV scholarship deadlines are coming up (including those for adults) and he will be bringing the scholarship info/apps with him.

We’re an EAA GOLD Chapter!

This from EAA Headquarters….

Congratulations on reaching the Gold Chapter Recognition level! EAA is thrilled to help EAA Chapter 186 celebrate this achievement.

This program was created to recognize chapters that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to general aviation. Developed in partnership with EAA’s Chapter Advisory Council, it’s based on 10 criteria that are consistently found in active and engaged chapters. Each is worth a point, and there are three levels of recognition: bronze (7 out of 10), silver (8 out of 10), and gold (at least 9 out of 10).
1) Attended a chapter leadership training session
2) Growing or steady membership
3) Offers IMC or VMC club programs
4) Participates in Young Eagles or Flying Start programs
5) Has an EAA-approved flight advisor or technical counselor
6) Participates in EAA’s annual chapter member survey
7) Reads EAA ChapterGram regularly
8) Requested EAA promotional materials or ChapterBlast email
9) Hosts at least two public events each year
10) Owns/leases a facility

Your 2019 Chapter Results
The current score for your EAA chapter is 10 out of 10, which places you in the 100 percentile. Here’s your chapter’s breakdown:

Leadership training 1
Membership 1
Young Eagles 1
Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor 1
Annual survey 1
ChapterGram 1
Chapter promotions 1
Events 1
Facility 1

Aerobatic Competitor Scott Francis to speak at January Chapter Gathering!

January 18th (Note new date!)
Chapter 186 Gathering
9am to noon
EAA 186 Chapter House

Scott Francis

Scott Francis has been flying in airplanes for as long as he can remember.  Born and raised in Wichita, KS, he flew often with his father who was an experimental test pilot. Scott received his private license in high school, and has gone on to earn his commercial, instrument, multi-engine, and Airline Transport Pilot certifications. He currently has over 3,400 logged hours in more than 40 types of aircraft and is type rated in the Dash 8.

Scott began flying aerobatics and competing in aerobatic competitions in 2003.  He rapidly moved up from Sportsman level, to Intermediate, Advanced, and finally the top level — Unlimited.  Scott has been performing in airshows since 2006, starting with a Pitts S-1T, then moving on to a Giles 202, and currently flying the ultra-high performance MXS aircraft.

Today, Scott possesses a surface level aerobatic waiver and flies in more than 30 airshows each year.  He particularly enjoys interacting with spectators before and after each show. When he isn’t flying an “away show”, he can be seen performing at the Flying Circus in Bealeton, VA every Sunday from May through October.


There are only 12 MXSs in the world today. One is flown by 3-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland and two others are currently flying in the Red Bull Air Race circuit.

  • Manufacturer: MX Aircraft (
  • Model: MXS (one of only 12 in existence)
  • Construction: All Carbon Fiber Monoplane
  • Weight: 1179 lbs
  • Engine: Ly-Con AEIO-540, 355 HP
  • Max Speed: 310 MPH
  • Roll Rate: 500 deg/sec
  • G-Limit: +/- 14Gs

Congrats to new Private Pilot 2019 Ray Aviation Scholar, Carter Allain

Congratulations to our 2019 Ray Aviation Scholar, Carter Allain, on completing his Private Pilot checkride!  Carter is our first, in what we hope will be an annual, Private Pilot training scholarship recipient.  As a Ray Scholar, Carter received a Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset last spring and rode along with several other Ray Scholars in the B-25 and B-17 to begin the Wednesday night air show at Air-Venture 2019 in Oshkosh!

In 2019, the Ray Aviation Foundation granted the EAA to award $1,000,000 in pilot training scholarships up to $10,000 each.  Out of the 900+ chapters, Chapter 186 was one of the 100 chapters selected last year to award a scholarship.  This program requires chapters to apply each year to be selected as a Ray Scholarship chapter.  We have applied again for 2020, and hope to hear in February that we are again able to give out up to $10,000 this year for a motivated private pilot candidate.

Once we are approved to give out a scholarship, we will begin the search process, most likely in February/March.  We will send out a questionnaire to likely candidates asking for information such as membership status (both EAA and chapter), participation in Young Eagle flights, past participation in Chapter 186 activities, level completed in the Sporty’s Learn-To-Fly ground school, actual flight training experience, possible FAA aviation medical certificate, past attendance at the EAA Air Academy, level of commitment towards flight training during school year, level of commitment during summer months, etc.  The cost for Private Pilot training realistically can be around $12,000 or more, so we will include a discussion question on how the candidate will fund the difference.  The EAA requires the Ray Scholar to participate in chapter activities during the period while going through training, so there will be a question regarding ability to commit to volunteering at chapter activities.

Once a candidate is selected by Chapter 186, he/she will fill out an online application to EAA.  Similar questions will be on that application, but that process is cursory in nature, as only our one final candidate will perform this step.  At this point in time, our candidate will need to have an FAA Aviation Medical Certificate.  This is required for the EAA application.

We will be looking for candidates in the age range 16 to 19.  Private Pilot training requires a large time commitment.  Weather and scheduling issues often can make the training process drag out longer than anticipated.  A high level of commitment in the summer months will help the scholar get through the pre-solo and solo phases and begin the cross-country phase.  Once the school year resumes, the scholar then has a strong foundation for completing training with fewer hours available.  A large commitment during the school year will be required to finish within the required one year.

Bob Prange
Chapter 186 Scholarship Coordinator

Urgent Special Call for Help: Marshal the Arsenal of Democracy!

As you surely know by now, our Chapter will be instrumental in pulling off the Arsenal of Democracy (AoD) 2020 Flyover of Washington, DC, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8 with a sky full of 112 WWII airplanes. What you may not realize is just how huge this event is going to be, and how much help we’re going to need.

We’ll be putting up information for volunteer sign-ups as we get a little closer to the event, but we have a critical need we must fill up front, right now. We’re slated to have 26 pieces of heavy iron – 26 big, multi-engine WWII airplanes! – on our east ramp, and controlling their ground movements to keep everyone safe is going to be absolutely critical. We need someone with large aircraft (preferably including big taildraggers) marshaling experience to head up our flight line marshaling squad throughout the event, along with enough team members to field at least four marshalers on deck (one communicating directly with pilot, one on each wing, and one positioned along the path) whenever planes are scheduled to move on the field. We can work in shifts if we can get enough people to fill in the squad.

Everyone volunteering specifically for the marshaling squad must be an adult (for insurance reasons, we cannot have CAP cadets or other children working on the field during AoD-specific operations) and will have to attend a training and drill session prior to the AoD, to ensure that all participants are using clear and consistent signals and can communicate effectively with each other. The AOPA will provide the instructor and training session. Our squad leader is the only one who absolutely must already have significant large aircraft marshaling experience; we can train other team members willing to commit to learn, but I’m hoping we might have some ex-military flight line folks eager to strut their stuff again.

I know this is a lot to ask, but we need people – and most particularly our team leader – able to commit to working multiple days. The aircraft are all due to arrive on May 4 and 5, 2020, hopefully not in groups; while the APP Jet Center line folks will be able to help, we’ll need at least a basic four-person squad to assist in getting them into their pre-assigned parking spots. On May 6, the FAA FSDO will be doing ramp checks on all the planes, and then some of them at least will be doing media flights; we’ll have a bit of a zoo on the field, because the media presence for this event will be massive!

May 7 will be our practice day for the flyover. Basically, we’ll be doing everything except having the airplanes actually fly over DC. We’ll practice sanitizing the ramp (which will be essential on the actual flyover day, when the Secret Service, DoD, TSA, FBI, and the rest of the alphabet soup will ensure that nothing on any of the planes could damage DC, and that only the pre-approved crews and passengers board the planes), handling the sequential launches of our fleet, and then recovering the airplanes upon their return. Hopefully, that should be enough for the day!

May 8 – weather permitting – will be the flyover day, when we do it all for real. We’ll need to be a well-oiled machine! Hopefully, our practice on the 7th will have everyone sharp and on the numbers for the ramp sanitization, aircraft checks, aircraft boarding, and aircraft launch schedule. And then things will get even more interesting – because when the planes come back, they won’t be parking in the same spots from which they left!

Here’s the thing. Some of the planes from the flyover – including our EAA B-17 and B-25 – will be staying on to do revenue flights and ground tours for the remainder of the weekend. I’m waiting on the final list of which other aircraft intend to conduct tour business at Manassas, and EAA Oshkosh will need to work out any revenue-sharing arrangements they might want to make with CAF and/or others about sharing the tour stop. But we’ll be parking those aircraft nearest the terminal and creating defined safe space around them where the public will be permitted to roam. During the tour stop setup, our usual ramp rules – not the special adults-only AoD flight line ones – will apply to our line crew, so we could include responsible young people in our ground crews

A bunch of the other planes, including a mix of all the different aircraft types participating in the flyover, will be staying overnight on the field at Manassas, but will then fly off early on May 9 to land at Dulles and go on public display on the ramp at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. We’ll park those birds in their own separate area, to facilitate their early Saturday morning departure. They won’t be coming back to Manassas; instead, they’ll depart from Dulles on Sunday, May 10.

Some planes may simply park and look pretty, without opening to the public, when they return from the flyover. Those would be furthest away from the terminal.

Anyway, that’s the concept in a big nutshell. You’ll be hearing a LOT more as we get closer! But we really need to be certain as early as possible that we’ll have enough qualified marshalers to manage the ramp throughout the AoD, from May 4-10, 2020. If you want to volunteer specifically for the marshaling team – particularly if you’d like to be the official squad leader of the marshaling team – please send an email to, and be certain to detail your large aircraft marshaling experience!

One last heads-up. I know that people in this Chapter ALWAYS turn out to volunteer for the B-17, and that would apply in spades to having 26 WWII planes on the field! But for this monster event, it will be absolutely essential for anyone who wants to participate on the AoD ramp to register in advance. For obvious security reasons, access to the ramp during the event preparation and execution will be strictly controlled. AOPA will be operating a master registration database for all volunteers, and will issue ramp credentials appropriate to the different security levels associated with specific duties. This time, you won’t be able simply to show up and volunteer; you’ll need to jump through the right hoops first. Please, do!

And thanks!

Chapter 186 Membership for 2020 open online now!


Chapter 186 Membership is open to all EAA National members. If you are not already a national member, see the link here. To become a Chapter 186 member fill out a Chapter Membership Application or contact our membership chairman for more information.

Also with your membership application please fill out a Name Tag Order Form as well. We would like members to wear their name tags at chapter meetings and other events.

January 31 is the deadline to be included in 2020 Chapter Directory.

Membership online application
Name Tag/Badge online application


$30 Jan–Dec. Single Member Dues
$35 Jan-Dec. Family Member Dues
$8 for Name Tag and postage
$10 for hard copy of Newsletter* for printing & mailing
$6 for hard copy of Directory* for printing & mailing
$1 surcharge if paying by PayPal

*Digital versions of the Newsletters and Directory are on this website in the Members Only Section

EAA Chapter 186 Officers & Directors 2020

President: Sande Miller-Long
Vice President: Danny Miller
Secretary: Chris Berg
Treasurer: Dan Botzer
Director: Judy Sparks (Membership, Merchandise)
Director: Mary Dominiak (B-17 Tour)
Director: Bob Prange (Young Eagles, Scholarships)
Director: Chuck Kyle (VMC Club)
Director: Mike Walpole (IMC Club, YE Build and Fly)
Director: Rich Long (Chapter House)
Director: Jim Stone (Chapter House, Tool Crib)
Director: Rob Anderson (Tool Crib)
Director: Laura Hoover (Newsletter, Fly-Outs)
Director Emeritus: Al Sparks

December 14 – Young Eagles Rally – KHEF

Saturday December 14, 2019
Noon to 3:00pm

Free Flights for kids ages 8-17. This rally is open to the public. 25 seats. Parents must be present to sign permission slip.  Online Registration opens Dec 1, 8:00am.  This is the direct link:

Call for Pilots and Ground Crew!

Due to the holidays, we’re going to be a little light on pilots and volunteers! To sign-up for  this EAA 186 Young Eagle event, please go to and either login with your existing EAA id or select “Sign Up” to register as a pilot or crew member.
When you login, you will see a list of Chapter 186 Young Eagles events that you are associated with. If this is not the case, please contact Chapter 186 Young Eagles Coordinator, Sande Miller-Long ( for access.
You only need to register one time; after that you will only get an email to accept or decline to attend a Young Eagle event as they occur.

More photos from our November rally can be found on our Facebook page!  Thanks to Andrew Shippin for all the great shots!

The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 – 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.

Since 1992, more than 1.8 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by more than 42,000 volunteer pilots.

Welcome new members to the National Capital Chapter — EAA 186!

Janet Davidson
Mark Tisler
David Farrell
Andrew Binks
Terry Hill
Mario Nardoni
Steve Wallace
Lawrence Ayers
Ken Swingle
Al Olsen
Rene Gonzales
Michael Tozoni
Sean Kelley
Mark Newell
Rich Lee
Saverio (Savy) Gambassi
N. Mariano Pernigotti
John & Val Lackey
Keith Reeves

Our chapter extends a warm welcome to anyone who is interested in aviation.  Whether you fly, build, restore or simply enjoy airplanes and aviation, you are welcome to attend our events and join our Chapter. We are a group of aviation enthusiasts, aircraft builders, and pilots who get together with like minded people to share ideas, exchange information, encourage safety, serve the local aviation community and have a lot of fun doing so.

For more information on all of our chapter activities please visit our website!  Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook  and Twitter.