By Kelvin Downs, EAA 1305615, Chapter 1410 vice president
EAA Chapter 1410 had its beginnings in High River, Alberta, back in April 2005 with official incorporation in July of that year under the leadership of Jack Dueck, EAA Lifetime 337912. Since those early days one thing has not changed: that is Jack’s leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for everything aviation.
Because of the leadership and enthusiasm of Jack, charter, and current members, our chapter continues to thrive and support numerous initiatives that support the passions of members and general aviation enthusiasts in the High River region. Meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at the High River Regional Airport in the 187 Foothills Air Cadets Squadron P29 Hangar. The airport is conveniently located about 60 kilometres south of Calgary and therefore attracts members and many others to a quiet rural regional airport. Our current membership is approximately 30 members with diverse backgrounds and interests ranging from homebuilders, commercial pilots, a Certified Flight Instructor, sunny day pilots, and even those who are keen to fly sometime in the future.
As is the case with most chapters, Chapter 1410’s main attractant is the monthly meetings where old friends gather to catch up on the latest advances in each other’s projects or flying adventures, all the while introducing new members to the region or aviation in general. Besides socializing by sharing a catered meal and a beverage, each meeting includes a presentation by a member or invited guest speaker. Members are encouraged to give presentations on their projects, adventures, aviation history, or lessons that they have learned. Other opportunities to socialize include chapter hosted fly-ins, barbeques, etc, and of course the highlight of the year is members’ attendance and participation at AirVenture in Oshkosh. Unfortunately due to this year’s cancellation we were not able to realize our plans for a Chapter 1410 campout. Next year!
Our chapter has and continues to be very active in promoting aviation in the region. We are very proud of our sponsorship and hosting of the EAA B-17 Aluminum Overcast in 2018. Due to that successful hosting of the B-17 we have been able to share some of that success with our local technical school (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) by providing a yearly scholarship to students studying aviation.
Our chapter participates eagerly each year with EAA’s Young Eagles program. This is a highlight for participants and our members are very enthusiastic about introducing flying and aviation to this keen group of young people. We as a chapter have some passionate members that have and continue to organize and teach SportAir Workshops in the High River area. This is a real benefit to our members and other aviation enthusiasts in the region by keeping individual travel and accommodation costs lower than if they were to travel to the U.S. or other areas of the country.
Some recent initiatives that the chapter has undertaken is a learn/build project and we have most recently undertaken the planning for safety workshops open to members and anyone else that may be interested in attending. These safety workshops will accomplish Transport Canada’s requirement for pilot currency training. Unfortunately our first workshop has been postponed to a future unscheduled date.
Our learn/build project involves seven chapter members as partners building a Zenith 601XL-B. In addition to the partners, other chapter members have involved themselves by assisting with their skills and knowledge. It truly has become a community project. For more information readers can refer to previous articles published in the Bits n Pieces.
Most of our recent activities have been curtailed by COVID-19 and we are all waiting in eager anticipation of getting together again, perhaps at a social distanced fly-in on the hangar tarmac or future Zoom meetings. When this is all over please drop in for a visit. Hospitality is guaranteed.