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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 26 April 2010

Welcome

Dear readers,

The first EMU of the year that I organised became the 'Stuff the volcano' EMU! Unbelieveable what can happen. You can read more about this event and a link to a video under Trip Reports later in this newsletter.

I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this newsletter, but I am sure there are many more of you who have a little story to tell, so please send it to me to share. There are now 84 on the email list, many from the USA who love to hear what we are getting up to in Europe.

Robert Rombouts has yet again put a lot of energy into organising the 4th European Ercoupe Owners Fly-In and is being rewarded with what promises to be a record gathering of Ercoupes. If you can't make this one do plan to meet us at one of the others. The dates are listed at the end of this newsletter.

Happy Flying,

Mike

Ercoupe news

4th European Ercoupe-Aircoupe Owners Fly-In, Antwerp 15 & 16 May 2010

Mike Willis writes: Robert has had to lie down in a darkened room with all the excitement, because there are currently 8 Ercoupes planning to attend the fly-in. In addition three more Ercoupe owners will be flying in, but in other types. Now we just have to hope for some excellent weather.

It is still possible for others to come. Please contact Robert robert.rombouts@hotmail.com GSM: +32 475 470 775

Details of the event are available at http://www.ercoupe-be.net/flyin.html .

Currently confirmed as planning to attend:
- Stephan Vatter and D-EJOR
- Ronny & Sandra Druck and D-EOPI
- Heiko Binder with D-ENUC
- Sid & Keith with G-ARHB
- Mike & Brian with G-HARY
- Sven-Eric Pira with SE-BFX
- Hartmut Beil & Rainer (his brother) with N-3330H
- Robert Rombouts with OO-PUS

Will come but not with Ercoupe:
- Jean Flacelière & Françoise with or without F-AZDG ?
- Rob Maatman with a Stinson (PH-NCE in restoration)
- Hilde van Haarlem with a Piper Cub (G-COUP in restoration)

Robert says: If this is true, you believe I will be very happy! I wish you all a wonderful and enjoyable flight to Antwerp, the weather can only be perfect, otherwise we don't need heroes but relaxed Ercoupers, arriving save and happily at EBAW.

The programme is:

Saturday, May 15th
From 10.00 LT : Arrival of participants
From 13.00 LT : Social Gathering on the airfield
At 20.00 LT : Buffet and distribution of prizes
Sunday, May 16th
At 10.00 LT : Briefing
At 11.00 LT : Formation flight over Antwerp (SV4)
At 13.00 LT : Lunch
From 15.00 LT : Departure to the home base

Hopefully see you there!

Mike Willis, G-HARY

Ercoupe news

Gone Roming

Further news of Ercoupe 415D G-EGHB from the Gatwick Aviation website. “This airframe was sold to a consortium in Rome.  She was dismantled and moved by road to Italy on the 2nd of March 2010.  We understand that she will be flown by her new owners.  An application to remove G-EGHB from the UK register has been made.

Letter from the USA

Mark Gerrard (former owner of G-COUP who moved from the UK to Maryland, USA last year) writes: I'm glad to hear that you have started the EMUs again.  The weekend looks like it will be a good one.  I hope you have the weather for it.  We have just had two 90 degree days in a row.  Very nice if you like it hot, but back to the mid 60s today.

I haven't done any Ercouping since I got here, but have managed a few trips in a couple of venerable C172s.  Last week I followed an Ercoupe round the pattern at 2W6 (St Mary's County Regional; my local airport) and went over to talk to the pilot after I landed.  It turned out that we had met before; he remembered me buying my Ercoupe in 1990, that it came from Laurel, Delaware, and that we had swapped rides.  Not so much a small world as a short one, I guess.  Bill has owned his machine for some 38 years.

There are a couple of 'Coupes at the local airport; I have had my camera fixed now so I'll try to remember to take a couple of pictures and send them to you.

Please give my regards to the UK 'Coupers, and Robert.  All the best, and happy, safe flying....

Mark Gerrard

Frolicing fun

Dave Winters writes: This is a photo of "Frolic" in flight over the southern tip of Illinios en-route to Tennessee.  The photo was shot by Syd Cohen, flying in formation last year.

She's not particularly pretty (except to me).  To keep her weight down, she has no paint, no upholstery inside, except for the seat covers, no wheel pants, and no rudder pedals.  I did relent and permit a vacuum gyro-compass and gyro-horizon, for safety, plus a transponder.  But, for comms, I have a light-weight hand-held radio, and for nav, I carry a little Garmin 196.

She mounts 9 gal aluminium wing tanks  (they weigh less than the 8 gal tanks.).  Eventually I will give her a light-weight starter and alternator (at present she has the original old generator and "pull" starter with a handle on the panel.)

US regulations permit old planes like her to use tail numbers of original size.  That's why you cannot discern her numbers.  They are on the rudders, but are only about 2 inches tall.

She only stops leaking oil when the sump is empty.  But that may end soon, for I just learned that she probably must go to the shop for an engine overhaul.  This will cost more than I paid for the plane!  Of course, Frolic was originally very inexpensive.  But flying her home, 1,200 miles cross-country showed me all the reasons her price was so low!  I am now famous as the local hero or flying-fool that managed to survive that journey.

Oh well, once the engine is worked-over, Frolic will be worth three times what I originally paid.  Still won't be pretty though, except to me.

Dave Winters

Another US friend

Les Slifkin writes:  Mike, I have just viewed 2 of your flight videos on YouTube. You are having way too much fun.  I have owned a 66 Alon for the last 19 years, based in the USA at KEMT (So California).  I also fly with a Lowrance 2000C.  You have a beautiful country to fly over.  I'm in the process of installing a vernier fuel control for more precise leaning for performance and economy.  You should see my hands while working under the panel and around the engine.  I am a 71 year old gray haired grandpa with 2 sons and 4 grandkids and still married to the same great woman for 49 years.  I've logged about 1,000 hours in the coupe.  My s/n is A-127. 100 horses. Hope the photo of my bird comes thru.

Les Slifkin, N6527Q

US Ercouper in Europe

Larry Snyder writes:  I am going to be in Germany, Greece, and Italy this June and was wondering if any of my European Ercoupe buddies might want to get together and meet and maybe even look at the beautiful European scenery from an Ercoupe. I'll be in Munich a couple of weeks, then Athens, then a couple of days in Rome and finally up north in the Bremen area. We can meet up and do some hangar flying at the local Stube!

Larry Snyder in Missouri email lesnyd@gmail.com

N99340

Other news

LTMA Guide goes online

For those of you who fly around the south-east of England in the vicinity of the London TMAs, finding your way around without infringing controlled airspace is becoming harder.

As part of their huge effort to reduce controlled airspace infringements, NATS has created a series of videos showing practical routes around the London TMA.  Each segment contains hints and tips that will help pilots remain clear of the London TMA. The videos, featuring Irv Lee, have been put online, and can be found on the airspace safety website http://www.airspacesafety.com/guides/content/.

History corner

Ercoupes ‘Down Under’

Tony Smith writes: I haven't forgotten that I said I would dig out my notes on  the Seacoupes but, in the never-ending process of updating my notes, I have just received the current Ercoupe situation in Australia and New Zealand from my contact "down under". I hope this may be of interest even though it is not "European"; some of  the  EEN readership may find themselves in "Upside-down Land" and need an Ercoupe or two to look at! (apologies for the schoolboy reference to the time when, as a kid, there was always a query as to how people  on the other side of the world could walk  about  without falling off the planet!)

On with the aircraft; there are seven of the breed in Australia, being :

24-3491 Ercoupe 415-C (246) registered 5.2.01 and current; no ownership or base details. This is on the Recreational Aircraft Australia Register, presumably the  equivalent of our LAA.

24-5047 Ercoupe 415-C (1217); ex N93894, canx from USCAR 19.11.06 and shipped to Australia Nov.06; registered 7.8.07.

24-5501 Ercoupe 415-C (4033); ex N3408H, canx from USCAR 15.4.08 as "exported to Australia" and registered 29.8.08.

VH-ERC Ercoupe 415-C (1345) current with Anthony Stewart, Mount Eliza, Vistoria

VH-LDN Forney F-1 Aircoupe (5709); current with Peter Middleton, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

VH-JXS Mooney M-10 Cadet (700024); current with Colin Lamond, Springwood, Queensland.

N2465H Ercoupe 415-C (3090) canx from USCAR 10.97 as "exported to Australia" but not yet registered.

Two can be found in New Zealand :

ZK-AQX Ercoupe 415-CD (4780); current with P.W.Beck, Manukau, last reported  (1998) stored dismantled in a basement awaiting rebuild.

ZK-EXC   Ercoupe 415-CD (4811); current with J Holsworthy, Papakura (was noted in the Classic Flyers Museum, Tauranga, NZ in January 2007 and reported to be in "fine" condition!

The attached photo of ZK-EXC is with thanks to Peter Hughes.  I hope this is of interest and of some use!

If anybody does find themselves in that part of the world, and the opportunity presents itself, photos of any of the above would be appreciated, particularly the Australian aircraft! (Mike: I found the other images by Googling the reg. no.'s!  cheaper than a trip ‘down under!)

All the best - Tony Smith.

Trip reports

Great Oakley trip report and video

Mike writes: The first EMU in the UK was organised for Saturday 17 April at Great Oakley, Essex.  The attraction that day, and in fact the Sunday too, was the first of this year’s series of air races organised by the Royal Aero Club.  Robert Rombouts was really keen to attend, particularly as he missed out last year with our Great Oakley EMU when he was fog-bound in Ostend.  This year he planned to fly to England the day before to stay with me in Cambridge, and then we would fly early morning to Great Oakley.  On the Wednesday we had our final checks for the arrangements.  His OO-PUS was functioning perfectly, he was in good health and had his medical, and the weather forecast could not have been better, what could go wrong?

Who could have predicted Robert would be grounded by a volcano in Iceland?  In the UK controlled airspace was closed to IFR traffic, but VFR was allowed.  In Belgium all flying stopped.  Unbelievable.  The weather was perfect for flying and air racing.  Graham flew with me in G-HARY and Andrew Gardener took G-ARHC.  Sadly it is probably Andrew’s last EMU with his Forney as he has now sold it. We even left space next to us for Robert in case a miracle happened!

We received as usual a warm welcome from airfield owner Tim Spurge and his family and friends were serving some great food. 

17 aircraft were racing and it all began with a briefing followed by practice at noon.  Each of the pilots has to be checked out around the course by an official.  Particularly important is the scatter point around which they turn after take-off to join the 30 mile circuit.  Unfortunately before the race could start the very gentle wind had changed direction so the reciprocal runway was to be used.  This required a further practice session and a delay before the race could begin.

The delay was no problem of course, because we could check out the aircraft on the ground, see inside the hangars, enjoy more of the food, and of course visit the Percival Restoration project.  There John Tregilgas is making great progress rebuilding two Percival Proctors. The race is on to see if he can get one flying before his brother Derek gets his Ercoupe flying!

Finally we watched the race.  Each of the aircraft sets off at a different time according to their speed handicap, with the idea that at the end of 4 laps of the circuit all of them should pass the finish line together.  To gain on the others you have to be better at the turns, deciding whether to trade speed or height.  The last turn was visible from the airfield, so we could see the last leg, which was really exciting.  The second slowest aircraft, an Auster, won the race!

It’s difficult to describe it all in words, so please watch the video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBjtrGnc-xA

Mike Willis, G-HARY

Ercoupes on Social Media

Larry Snyder writes:  I have created a Facebook group called Ercoupe Owners, and I have put the 2010 National Convention in as an event for that group. I intend to keep it updated as plans unfold. If you want to keep up on it, that will be the place to go. It's sparse at the moment, but give us a little time!

Larry Snyder, N99340

So, if you use Facebook, just search on 'Ercoupe' to find the groups!

Comedy corner

Dangers of propellers

This video posted on YouTube demonstrates the dangers of hand swinging and is not for the faint hearted!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1e_eI9u8dM&feature=related

Terrible joke from the US

Two Redneck hunters hired a pilot to fly them to Canada to hunt moose. They bagged four.  As they started loading the plane for the return trip home, the pilot tells them the plane can take only two moose.

The two Rednecks objected strongly, stating, "Last year we shot four moose, and the pilot let us put them all on board, and he had the same plane as yours."  Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all four were loaded.

Unfortunately, even at full power, the little plane couldn't handle the load and crashed a few minutes after takeoff.  Climbing out of the wreck, Billie Bob asked Bubba, "Any idea where we are?"

Bubba replied, "I think we're pretty close to where we crashed last year."

Fly-ins

Here are some advance details of special Fly-Ins coming up this year:

Bourn Bacon Butty Fly-In May 22nd , Bourn EGSN, England

The aim as always is to raise funds directly through the act of eating and chatting for the Burned Children's Club.  So all monies(less costs) to be presented to Pat Wade

Crispy Bacon, Large Painfully produced Eggs, Aromatic Onions, encased in a crusty sliced piece of French Stick covered with a generous coating of Grated Cheese.

The Butty is free:  Please donate what you think the food is worth (we are not selling it) if you don't like it don't donate. but your generosity will be appreciated in lots of ways by many many kids.

Jim and Pat

Air Britain American Classics Fly-In June 19-20      North-Weald, UK incorporating 70th Ercoupe anniversary and 1st European Ercoupe Convention

Phil Kemp writes: Mike, many thanks for your positive response. It will good to see you and G-HARY again. Any support you can give through your newsletter will be most appreciated as contact details for those owners in Europe are difficult to get hold of. Robert Romberts has offered to advise anyone coming from the EU and to coordinate any flights with them across the Channel. He was hoping to gather any mainland EU based aircraft at Ostend on the Friday and then come over together.
 
Attached is electonic copy of the poster is attached if that can help in any way (click on the image to download a full size version). Please do not hesitate to come back to me if there is anything else I can help with.

Regards, Phil Kemp, Air Britain

September 18-19, 2010  Solent Aviation Fly-In, Popham, UK

Paul Rushton writes: Just to let you know that Air-Britain Bournemouth will be hosting the Ercoupe fly-in at the Solent Fly-in Popham again this year and we hope to see a bumper collection of Ercoupes doing better than last year.  Please pass this on to the members as soon as you are able.

Paul Rushton, Bournemouth Aviation Museum
 

Ercoupe Fly-Ins 2010

International

May 14-15      Antwerp, Belgium - Annual Ercoupe Fly-In

June 19-20      North-Weald, UK - 70th Ercoupe anniversary and 1st European Ercoupe Convention

September 9-12   Mount Vernon Outland Airport, Illinois (KMVN) - 2010 EOC National Convention

September 11-12      Nangis, France - 1st French Ercoupe fly-in

September 19      Popham, UK- Solent Aviation Society Fly-in

UK EMUs – just some of the possibles for fly-ins this year

These monthly Ercoupe Meet-Ups are designed as an excuse to fly! There is a separate email list consisting of UK owners and known Ercoupe enthusiasts who are updated 1 week and 1 day ahead so you know who will be there (weather providing). If anyone else would like to be included on the EMU email list then please let me know. mike@ercoupe.co.uk

Some upcoming suggestions:

May 22       Bourn Bacon Butty Fly-In, Bourn EGSN

August 28       Great Oakley Vintage Fly-In

Links

Ercoupe mailing lists

For a continuous discussion on Ercoupes, or a daily digest, do register for these Ercoupe mailing groups:

Social and general content http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ercoupe-flyin/
Technical information http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ercoupe-tech/

Ercoupe Web sites

Ercoupe Owners Club www.Ercoupe.org
Robert Rombouts' site www.ercoupe-be.net
Harmut's Ercoupe Maintenance & repair site www.ercoupe.info
Ernst Viehweger's German Ercoupe web site www.viehweger.org/deutsch/fliegen/erco-0.htm
Mike Willis' site www.ercoupe.co.uk
SoCal Ercoupe Owners site www.calcoupers.org/ 
Ercoupe photo album www.Ercoupe.net 
Ed Burkhead's site http://edburkhead.com/Ercoupe/index.htm

Don’t forget – any contributions to the next newsletter very welcome – email them to me at mike@ercoupe.co.uk