Information on EAA Chapter 1310, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and General Aviation

January 2009Monthly Archives

Microsoft Lays off Flight Simulator Team

The Microsoft-owned development team ACES studio has been hit heavily by layoffs, including the entire Flight Simulator team. According to Gamasutra, the only people left are six employees retained to fulfill contractual duties.

Microsoft hasn’t released a new version of the simulator since Flight Simulator X in 2006, and while its graphics are improved over earlier versions, it still doesn’t take advantage of the latest features of Direct X 10. Originally developed by SUBLogic, the Flight Simulator has undergone 12 major versions over 27 years.

Hundreds of add-ons are available for the simulator. Speculation on comments to the information is that Microsoft is migrating to the subscription model of software within their environment instead of through purchased software.

What EAA is Doing for Chapter Members

Chapter members often ask about what the national EAA organization is doing for the chapters. A lot of times we don’t see items behind the scenes, or they have programs where we need to initiate contact. For instance, just imagine how devistating it would be if a chapter got in a situation where it didn’t have the necessary liability insurance.

Besides the insurance, here’s some things they’re doing for the chapters and individual members:

  • They run Chapter Leaders sessions at the Air Academy lodge several times a year. This is at no charge to the members who only have to pay for transportation.
  • Last year they improved the online calendar of events
  • They organized an online speakers bureau. We will try to take advantage of some speakers who are in the area. If you have a topic you can share with other chapters nearby, please list yourself with your topics.
  • The monthly chapter e-gram newsletter has information of interest to chapter leaders and members. If you would like to be added to the mail list send a message to and include your Name, EAA#, Chapter#, and e-mail address.
  • They put the archive of Sport Aviation magazine online for all members
  • Chapters can reserve a group area for camping at Oshkosh.

Planned changes in 2009 include:

  • An online method of submitting event insurance requests.
  • An online method of renewing chapter information.
  • Implementing a program for adult orientation rides.
  • Implementing a web template so every chapter can have a web site.
  • Starting a free six month trial membership program when a non-EAA member  joins a chapter.
  • Providing a $5 Air Academy credit for each Young Eagle flown, up from $1.

Satellite Monitoring of ELT’s Going Away Feb. 1

The aviation authorities are making it more difficult to get rescued with your 121.5 Mhz emergency locator transmitter starting February 1. There’s an interesting thread over at Slashdot on this subject.

A lot of the comments make excellent arguments that most pilots aren’t the millionaires jetting around the country. We’re just normal folks who decided to spend our hobby money this way. Ground based stations will still monitor 121.5. It may be more difficult to hear and pinpoint the transmitter without the satellite though.

President’s Message

I’ve been away from posting for a while. Let’s see if I can get more items listed here.

Here’s a summary of what the chapter’s been doing, and what we can expect to come up in the next year.

Here we go starting our ninth year for the Chapter. We’ve gone from a handful of aviation enthusiasts to about 35 members now. Our first pancake breakfasts were prepared on a small gas grill. One thing to note is that over all this time we’ve held the price the same.

We’ve made a lot of progress over the years. Some of our breakfasts have attracted over 100 people. Our corn roast has also become very popular. But our main accomplishment so far is how much we’ve progressed in our aviation education programs. Since we took over the Taildragger safety seminar and Fly-in about four years ago, we’ve expanded our programs quite a bit.

We now hold a second safety seminar in the spring, and in the past we had informational displays at the East Windsor Rotary Family Day, and at the FAA SafetyFest. Over the past two years we’ve developed a very successful Young Eagles program in association with Chapter 166 and several area aviation organizations.

One of the founders of the chapter, Mike Koczera has continued to support the chapter with the use of the airport for our meetings and events. We’ve helped the airport back by providing the television for the pilot lounge, painted the runway markings and sprayed weed killer on the pavement to help it last longer.

The past Presidents of the chapter have set a good foundation for us. Mike got the chapter going for the first few years and provided his aviation experience to teach his skills at several meetings. Eric Dixon then guided the chapter through the development years where many other organizations lose the fresh enthusiasm and fade away.

We have a good footing for the future. In the past, our web site won a chapter award at Airventure. The web site provides the timeliest information to our members. Our newsletter which provides more in-depth information to the members will now be published by Charlie Falke, who is also taking over most of the web site tasks.

We now look toward what we can accomplish in the coming year, and in subsequent years. We plan on continuing our two Young Eagles events along with Chapter 166. We will also maintain our ongoing relationship with the FAA Safety Team to hold spring and fall safety seminars. The social events won’t be ignored either. We will continue to build on the breakfasts and cookouts we hold. Improved publicity may get additional visitors to help our fundraising effort.

An ongoing request is to have a building or restoration project for the members. The problem is that we have no place to work on it. In order to pay for the construction or rental of a building along with operation, we will need to increase our income significantly. In the past year the chapter obtained non-profit status which may be the key to us being able to obtain more substantial contributions.

To accomplish this, and to continue our programs, we need the participation of our members. The chapter would dissolve without our great volunteers. We can only accomplish more with greater involvement. If we are able to develop a workshop, the chapter will be able to have activity at the airport on most days of the year. We’re still a relatively small group, so I would like to ask everyone to see if they know someone who they can recruit as another member.

EAA isn’t an organization where you just send in your dues, and get a magazine in return. It’s about member activity. We have the potential of a lot of achievements in the coming years. Your commitment and enthusiasm can make it happen.