May-june 2017 HAWK and EAA 800 news

My motto is-better late than never since it is now July

As always the Mack Airport Saturdays are busy. EAA Chapter 800 and HAWK shared the duties of feeding breakfast and lunch to the pilots of the Fat Tire fly in May 2017. The weather was perfect for the fly in and there were airplanes from all over the west competing in the short takeoff and landing competition. The weather was good and the flying excelent . Steve Henry of Wild West Aircraft took home the bragging rights with his usual precision flying style in Yee Haw. He has lots of videos on the web of his exploits in the airplane- he can sure fly it.

Braden authoriing his first WordPress post
Braden authoriing his first WordPress post
Braden Hobbs in now our webmaster and is doing an awesome job of keeping the website up to date so watch it for HAWK happenings. This has really relieved my time to work on airplanes and not type newsletters. Braden keeps the sight current so HAWK’s happenings can be followed on it. Not bad for a 16 year old. As a side note, Braden also helps teach Solidworks at his High School while building airplanes, helping mentor in the shop, and flying any aircraft he gets access to.

HAWK is taking 7 kids, including Braden, to Oshkosh this year (Braden’s 2nd trip). EAA 800 has reserved 2 campsites in Camp Scholler and HAWK will be sharing it with them. Come by for a visit and meet the kids. Last year Charley Becker EAA National donated Oshkosh passes to EAA 800 for our young eagles since we had the HAWK Fisher Products Dakota Hawk the kids put together on display in the teen build fly area. (Thanks Charley Becker for the passes last year). The plan this year to get kids passes was to take the HAWK balloon out for the glows but most of the HAWK kids are flying out in airplanes and none of the airplanes going have trailer hitches on them. The one pickup going will be loaded with camping gear and is going on to New York to pick up a glider and trailer so the balloon to Oshkosh idea has been shelved. It would take some real skill and lots of good winds to fly it to the show – Maybe next year. So far, it looks like there will be at least 5 airplanes from our area going to Oshkosh. Including HAWK’s Cherokee. Braden snagged a ride with Bill Marvel in his new, just finished, RV-14. (Lucky Kid). For a 16 year old, Braden has flown balloons, and all sorts of airplanes including conventional geared airplanes. Heck, 2 years ago he could not even spell pilot now he are one!. I would bet he has a private balloon pilot rating before he gets his fixed wing rating.

Cherokee after paint my aCherokee after paint by WestStarWestStar
Cherokee after paint by WestStar
The Cherokee N9606W has an awesome custom paint job donated to HAWK by WestStar and the paint shop employees. (Thanks Mark, Adam, Eric, Kenny G and all the other WestStar employees that made the paint job unreal). Look for it at Oshkosh. Like last year, the Cherokee will be used to give HAWK kids instruction as it transitions to the fly-in. The HAWK logo, Weststar logo and sponsor list still need to be applied to finish the paint job. WestStar’s crew went so far as to polish the spinner, the cowl hinges, and the stainless cowl latches. The airplane was stripped, etched, Alodined, primed with epoxy primer, base coated, finish coated, clear coated, hand sanded with 2000 grit sandpaper then 3000 grit sandpaper, then polished until the metal looks like plastic. The control surfaces were balanced by Adam before they were reinstalled. Anyone that has seen the airplane cannot believe the finish.

Micro VG's were installed on Hawk's Piper Cherokee. Thank you to Micro VG for donating a full set of micro VG's for HAWK's Piper Cherokee.
Micro VG’s were installed on Hawk’s Piper Cherokee.
Thank you to Micro VG for donating a full set of micro VG’s for HAWK’s Piper Cherokee.
When the airplane was Alodined the Micro AeroDynamics VG’s were installed so they could be painted at the same time the airplane was. (They perform awesome. In stall the airplane has full aileron authority. Also the stall speed was greatly reduced. Thanks Anne Brogan president of Micro AeroDynamics)! They made a new airplane out of the old Cherokee. At the same time the Cherokee had the Power Flow exhaust, donated by Don Coleman, installed. Power Flow gave HAWK a deduction on the exhaust and that helped HAWK secure it. Power Flow also donates $100.00 to HAWK for each exhaust sold by me. So far there has been 3 exhausts sold, including the Cherokees exhaust. Anyone needing a new exhaust is welcome to contact HAWK. The Power Flow is one quiet exhaust and does make the engine perform better. Aviall (A Boeing company) has become a prime supporter of HAWK and supplied all the new wing seals and other piper parts as they are a Piper dealer. Thanks Eric with Aviall for all your support! Aircraft Door Seal, LLC donated a new padded instrument panel cover to the airplane so the interior will look better. (Thanks Steve and Sara Brown). Sensenich Technologies donated new prop bolts, decals and T Shirts for the kids, to the project. WestStar cleaned and repainted the prop with the paint required by the Sensenich type certificate. WestStar employees wanted to polish the prop but could not because of the type certificate. Jerry F installed the KX-155, and Icom Radio Donated by Roy Evarts (it was originally going in the Dakota Hawk but is now in the Cherokee. (Thanks Roy-Roy is the one that donated the Dakota Hawk to HAWK). The Cherokee now has a decent radio stack, plus an audio panel Jerry found in HAWK stuff, Jerry also installed a good intercom including one headphone plugin for the back seat. (Gulf Coast Avionics exchanged the WestStar donated 28 volt KX165 for the 12 volt KX 155 at Sun and Fun this year). It is Awesome to have a former aircraft radio shop owner in HAWK- thanks Jerry) The Cherokee is one nice airplane. Not bad for an airplane that HAWK has about $500.00 in so far.

N838CP, The Zenith 701 is coming along nicely. Pat W has taken that job on and is doing an excellent job. The partially donated 912 rotax engine is about ready to install- HAWK just needs an engine mount. The Continental C90 engine is going on the Zenith 601. Hopefully the 701 will make Oshkosh next year.

N13245, the HAWK 172 is now in pieces and the wrinkled firewall is almost out. This has been William, Logan, Jake and Solomon’s project. Solomon is one of the best 11 year old riveters I have ever seen- when he drills a rivet it is always centered and he is very careful to only drill the head off so he does not elongate the holes. He did an awesome job on his tool box build and it shows in his work on the 172, at the end of the work sessions Solomon does not want to go home- watch for him at Oshkosh 2017.

There are lots of new kids that have signed on with HAWK and every Saturdays’ build sessions are very busy. Logan is learning a lot and is starting to be a backup mentor for Braden. He should solo in August as he turns 16- Logan is flying to Oshkosh in the family 172 with his mom Shay B as pilot. Shay purchased the 172 (Rosies Angel) a few months ago and has gone from a rusty pilot to a confident pilot thanks to HAWK and its instructors. Jaden worked with Braden at WestStar on the Cherokee paint and also helps out in the shop along with William. It is nice to have the older kids mentoring the younger kids. I do not think anyone in HAWK would have believed that there are so many kids interested in aviation. HAWK has some turnover in kids but not a lot. Most of it happens because the parents move out of the area. On Saturdays when the weather permits, both the HAWK airplanes, The Dakota Hawk and Cherokee, are busy flying Young Eagles. The Cherokee is usually busy giving instruction or rides to the kids.

Herman Allmaras and his wife Jean with the Cherokee, Photo Courtesy Eddie Clements, Photographer
Herman Allmaras and his wife Jean with the Cherokee, Photo Courtesy Eddie Clements, Photographer
Sterling is really Sterling as he loves flying the kids, and now is not embarrassed to fly the Cherokee as it does not look like an escape from a junkyard. Herman Allmaras, the person who gave HAWK the Cherokee, got the first rides in his old redone airplane. Both he and his wife Jean were really impressed with how it is turning out. There is more work to be done, but it is getting there. At Least there is absolutely no corrosion in it- that is surprising for a nearly 50 year old airplane.

The Mack Airport 10CO really comes to life every Saturday- If you are in the area, check out what is happening at the best airport in the Grand Valley. Heck, HAWK will even treat you to lunch. (If you get there before the kids).

HAWK’s website is now set up to receive donations through Pay Pal.
Just go to and click on the “Donate” tab, and then on that page scroll down to the “Donate” button.
With all the things HAWK has happening and 3 hangers to pay for, any donation is appreciated. REMEMBER THE KIDS! Without outside financial help the programs could not exist. Any donations are good for a tax write off, as HAWK is a 501(C)3 educational non profit.

See you all at OSHKOSH 2017.

HAWK ramblings December 2016-January 2017

Things at Mack are all good. Things are changing and moving fast!

Cessna 172 packed for the trip to Mack from Rifle
Cessna 172 packed for the trip to Mack from Rifle

At the end of November, 5 of the older HAWK kids and mentors made the trek to Rifle and disassembled, loaded, and trucked their new-well used-Donated 1973 Cessna 172 N13245 to Mack. (Thank you Russell Frank). The N number should be a mouthful except for people with dyslexia. The reversed 2 and 3 should play tricks with air traffic controllers. But they can relax for a while as the reconditioning of the airplane by the kids is going to be an extended project taking several years one Saturday at a time. The airplane was unloaded moved into its hangar and work started on it the first weekend in December.

Cessna 172 moving crew: Russel frank (Donor) Don C, Anthony, Braden, Jake, Logan, eli, Ken, Brian, Shay and Bobby, not pictured are the photographer and John C.
Cessna 172 moving crew: Russel frank (Donor) Don C, Anthony, Braden, Jake, Logan, eli, Ken, Brian, Shay and Bobby, not pictured are the photographer and John C.

The EAA Chapter 800 Christmas Party at the El Tapatio restaurant in Fruita ate up the 2nd Saturday. Anyone that missed the get together missed a really good meal and the election of the EAA Chapter 800 directors. Since a lot of the members of EAA chapter 800 are also members of HAWK it was decided to forgo any work on the airplanes to avoid conflicts. The next 2 December Saturdays were Christmas eve and New Year’s Eve so HAWK decided to forgo any official work with the Kids. The hanger was open and a few kids did show up for a short time but both weekends were mostly uneventful.

The push was on in December to get the Cherokee annualed so Braden Hobbs could do his Solo flight on his 16th birthday January 9th. Jerry F did his usual outstanding job and got the annual done in time for Sterling HAWK’s CFI to prep Braden for his big day. Unfortunately the weather Gods decided to introduce Mack and Happy Valley to an unheard of Ice storm on the 9th. Even the airlines were grounded at GJT. Jerry F had airline tickets the 9th to start his vacation in Florida and spent the day at the main airport trying to get out. He finally gave up and skated home. Jerry rescheduled and made it out on Thursday. You could ice skate on the runways at both GJT and Mack (10CO). No one remembers an Ice storm in the Grand Valley- they happen east of the Rockies. Braden finally made his solo flight on Saturday the 14th of January.

16-year-old takes first solo flight Photo Courtesy KKCO
16-year-old takes first solo flight Photo Courtesy KKCO

To promote HAWK, Braden requested the news media at his solo. Now that’s confidence! He did two flawless touch and go’s and a full stop landing with the media and about 75 people from HAWK, EAA chapter 800, and the Miata car club watching. The good part was the airplane was reusable. The Miata Car club provided lunch for everyone. Anyone that missed the Solo party missed a really good get together. Thanks Miata club for the lunch- it was very good. Sterling cut Braden’s shirt tail off and it will be framed as HAWKs first official kid solo. As a side note – Braden paid about $69.00 for his airplane time to solo. He traded Flying time for work in the shop. $69.00 was not a bad price for nearly 20 hours of flying time in a Cherokee. That figures out to about $3.50 per hour. Fuel and instruction was outside of HAWK and additional but still inexpensive (with enough donations someday HAWK will be able to cover these costs. Kind of like an internal scholarship). This is what HAWK is all about- introducing Kids to aviation so they can afford it. Heck last year Braden could not even spell Pilot now he are one! Below is the link to the news media on his flight. AOPA’s E-brief also mentioned his flight. Notice his Oshkosh 2016 hat

HAWK has been responsible for many rusty pilots getting back into aviation. Shay B has not flown in years but thanks to her involvement with HAWK, she purchased a 172 and plans to let HAWK use it while the Cherokee is in the paint shop. Franklin Insurance company has been very helpful is working with HAWK to keep the airplanes insured. THANKS BOB MACKEY WITH FRANKLIN! Shays 15 year old son Logan is working on his pilot’s license and hopefully will be able to solo both the Cherokee and their 172 on his 16th birthday. HAWK has several kids working on their pilot’s licenses at this time.

Caroline Ann, the channel 11 reporter who covered Braden’s flight, went for a ride in HAWK’s Dakota Hawk and also now wants to become a pilot. Pat W gave her a really nice fight in HAWK’s experimental 100% size wood model airplane.

The HAWK Build-s

Ryan with completed toolbox
Ryan with completed toolbox

Logan B has his tool box almost finished thanks to the help of Greg L. Greg has been traveling the world and shows up occasionally. He is an A/P and has been very instrumental in helping the kids. He was one of the people that really helped get the Dakota Hawk finished for Oshkosh 2016. Greg just purchased a 6 plex apartment on the east side of the Rockies where is family resides so he will only drop in and out occasionally. You will be missed Greg! So far 6 kids have completed tool box’s. 11 year old Ryan is Greg’s tool box instructor replacement. Ryan built his box in two Saturdays and it is one of the best box’s to date. Only problem is he wants to work on the airplanes. His Mom Sonja known as whirlygirl is a helicopter pilot. Humm! There has to be a helicopter just looking to be donated to a new home- Sonja would love to finish her instructor rating and do instruction.

The Dalt G family donated a nice Grizzly mill to the program. Dalt is the person instrumental in getting the tool box program up and running. And also contributes regularly to HAWK to keep the kids working and flying. Dalt owned a sheet metal shop in his younger years and his knowledge is invaluable. Thanks Dalt!

Cherokee at Grand Junction Regional Airport before donation to HAWK
Cherokee at Grand Junction Regional Airport before donation to HAWK

The Cherokee is going to be taken off line and all the cosmetic problems fixed before its new jet glow epoxy paint job. Thanks Pat Trim of Hightower Paint for donating the paint for the 701 the 172 and the Cherokee. At $400.00 per gallon it was a very nice donation. (7 gallons total for the 3 airplanes). The hardener makes it equal to 14 gallons. This is the paint WestStar spray’s on Jets. WestStar’s paint crew has volunteered their time to strip and paint the Cherokee. Two of HAWK’s lucky kids will be involved in the paint project with them. The Cherokee is an exceptional airplane and with a new paint job will look exceptional. Herman and Jean A, the family that donated the Cherokee, came for Braden’s solo and I think they were more excited than Braden. They are both retired teachers and are excited to see their old airplane teaching kids. As a side note-Sterling was Herman’s flight instructor years ago in the Cherokee. Herman was also my instructor in College and he remembered me- I never would have guessed I was that bad. It is a small world.

The Zenith 701 N838CP is proceeding nicely. The RH Pega Daedalus wing is temporarily on and the Flaperons are being fabricated and fit. Pega Wings are longer than the stock 701 wings and therefore the factory 701 flaperons are short. New Flaperons are being fabricated per Pega plans to make them fit properly. this has turned into a real project and is being overseen by Pat W.
Randy O has the Rotax 912 engine prop drive apart for sudden stoppage inspection- the engine has about 30-40 hours total and was partially donated to HAWK by Jim D. Randy has been a valuable asset to HAWK as he has been through Rotax classes and has built a 701 with a Rotax 912 he currently flies.

Cessna 172 packed for the trip to Mack from Rifle
Cessna 172 packed for the trip to Mack from Rifle

The new old 172 N13245 is in process of having everything firewall forward removed to change the lower firewall due to hard landing wrinkles. This has been Anthony and John C’s project.

The HAWK firefly balloon N90555 sn F7-624- Braden dismantled the burner donated by Dominic Chemello to install a new Blast valve and fix numerous other problems. Keith with the Firefly Balloons factory has offered to donate to HAWK a very nice 4.0 basket with in date fuel lines plus the re-coat for the envelope.
The balloon will get the younger kids flying and soloed at 14. Rob Shantz insurance “may” donate a year of insurance for the balloon. This has not jelled yet as the balloon is not together. Thanks Keith and Rob for your considerations.

Steve with 1st choice roofing donated a nice running 1993 1500 Chevy Pickup to HAWK to fix up and sell.
Steve with 1st choice roofing donated a nice running 1993 1500 Chevy Pickup to HAWK to fix up and sell.

Steve with 1st choice roofing donated a nice running 1993 1500 Chevy Pickup to HAWK to fix up and sell. It needs a windshield, the driver’s door hinges repaired, and the seat reupholstered. Plus general clean up. It has new tires and Aluminum wheels. Rich Bishop the Guy that did the Dakota Hawk and Cherokee seats has offered to reupholster the seat for $150.00- this covers materials. And Like the airplane seats will be very nice. The truck will be the mentors project as the kids will be working on learning aviation, not automotive. If the kids want to work on the truck they can. If anyone out there needs a truck it will be available shortly. Mitch the general manager owner of NAPA auto Grand Junction has offered to donate any parts needed. Thanks Mitch!

Lyle B the website administrator brought his balloon over from Utah for an annual and worked with the kids and the HAWK directors to make the website better. Watch for the website to be updated. The website is how the truck came about. Lyle is going to set the HAWK website up with a place for HAWK to accept donations. Most likely to be in conjunction with pay pal for cash donations for security.
There is a lot more exciting things happening with HAWK – time will tell. The kids interested in aviation keep coming, and HAWK keeps growing. HAWK now has 3 hangers at Mack so donations become even more important to keep the kids flying. Someday in the future HAWK would like to be able to do aviation related scholarships (like fuel and instruction). but that is yet to be determined. I do not know of anywhere kids can fly cheaper than HAWK. – not bad for an idea that has taken root. All the members of EAA chapter 800 should be really proud of what they have developed. HAWK is going into its third year shortly. If you include the time EAA chapter 800 was involved before the split, due to flying airplanes, it is actually over 4 years.
YOUNG EAGLES HAS A START now with HAWK-kids have a place to follow up on their interest in aviation. With the Young Eagles program, the kids get an awesome intro to aviation. But after the flights, the kids have no way of connecting to aviation due to cost and lack of availability. HAWK solves this dilemma. HAWK is also a way for old aviators and techs to pass on their aviation knowledge to kids in all forms of aviation. I might add everyone involved with HAWK donates their time-no one is paid by HAWK. Payment is the satisfaction of watching the kids grow and develop their aviation interests.

If the Last few years are any indication 2017 should be another banner year!

And the build-flying continues.

Going to Oshkosh

EAA 800 and HAWK are going to have a quick meeting. Then we are going to have a special lunch for our sponsors and supporters so they can see the airplanes off to Oshkosh.

Don is leaving the 19th Sterling and the Cherokee will follow later depending on weather. Ladd will also be going sometime during the week as he is flying his Carbon Cub in the Valdez show. It is really nice to have an airport in our area, MACK MESA AIRPORT (10CO), that is GA aviation friendly. MACK has the best Grass strip between the Utah state line and 11 road plus a really good asphalt strip. Come join us for the sendoff. The meeting is also going to be the meeting to go over check lists and make sure we have everything needed.

The kids cleaned the hanger and now we are starting the next build, the Zenith 701. I cannot even express the admiration I have for the kids work on the Dakota Hawk N280DH. They have learned a lot. We originally had 8 of our kids going to Oshkosh, but this number has swelled to 12 excited kids. I don’t think they expected to have an airplane, they helped rebuild, going to a large show. This weekend is the County Fair so several of our kids will not be present at the lunch as they are showing their Fair projects for judging. As in the past it seems farm kids still have a love of aviation.

For our Sponsors – Supporters be sure to come by the Teen Build Fly Area at Oshkosh and take a look at what your companies have help kids put together. All major logos will be prominently displayed on the aircraft. It is a flying billboard and is our ambassador for HAWK. A Copy of the TBF area is enclosed. The red area is the TBF area and is where the Dakota Hawk is to be displayed. We are keeping fingers crossed that weather cooperates for the flight out. it is a long way at 80MPH.

Teen Build Fly Area at Oshkosh
Teen Build Fly Area at Oshkosh in Red

Dakota Hawk First Flight 1 July 2016

The Dakota Hawk  made it back into the air July 1 2016, piloted by Don Coleman.

Dakota Hawk First Flight (Post Rebuild)
Dakota Hawk First Flight (Post Rebuild)

First Flight Gallery

July 1 2016 is also the official date of our hull and liability insurance certificate activation. Securing insurance has been one big problem, but is now solved until next year. All it took to get insurance was the patience and perseverance of John C our treasurer plus lots of cash. Thanks Lambert foundation, without their financial help this never would have been possible.  We still cannot use the Experimental Dakota Hawk for students to solo, and it can only be flown by qualified pilots with tail dragger time. It will be used to fly young eagles and introduce them to aviation. This is a start, with enough money and time it’s amazing what can be accomplished.
John also secured insurance on the Cherokee so it can now be used for instruction, and qualified students can solo it.

Both aircraft will be flown to AirVenture this year. The Cherokee will be used by Sterling to instruct our students. Sterling is planning to have the Cherokee meet the group driving out when they camp and exchange students. Don C is flying the Dakota Hawk to AirVenture, and is currently flying it nearly every day to sort out any problems. Other than a little rigging adjustment and some minor electrical problems (elevator Trim), it is flying as it should.  Now we are working to make it pretty.

HAWK had several individual aviation pros go over the Dakota Hawk for problems and give it a clean, ready to fly, bill of health.
Thanks Dave Baxter – he will be with us at AirVenture with 3 of his boys he is one of HAWK’s IA’s and CFI’s he was very thorough.
Also Steve Wood looked it over after his presentation at last month’s EAA chapter 800 meeting. (Anyone who missed the EAA 800 meeting missed a really good presentation on Harmonics and their effects on aircraft engines. Steve did some of the original structural work on the Dakota Hawk wings when fisher products first started. Steve is an accomplished aeronautical engineer and has worked as an engineer for Cessna Aircraft. (Steve designed the Sky pup years ago and plans are still available). He is also currently Director of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Board. Watch for Steve’s next airplane – it is flying and is a real piece of metal ingenuity but that is a story for another day.
Also thanks Lowell Manery and Graham of EAA chapter 1373. Lowell and Graham flew in and went over the airplane after everyone else; Seems under Graham’s sharp eye the trailing edge of the horizontal to elevator hinge line is not straight. Another problem from the original build, its minor but still needs attention. I even missed this one.
ALWAYS’S ALWAYS have a second or 3rd or 4th set of experienced eyes look and critique your Build. You may think something is correct but you are so used to looking at the stuff you go blind to problems; I learned this rebuilding Type certificated airplanes at Wegner aircraft. We always had a final inspection by someone not familiar with the rebuild. There have been numerous accidents caused by such simple items as the trim tab rigged backwards.

Lowell, as usual, came through in a real time of need. Kelly at MITCHELL instruments Donated a new fuel transmitter to the project but it would not fit through the hole in the tank and would have required removing the windshield to drill larger. Lowell just happened to have a gauge that matched our capacitance sender. As usual, he came through. Nice to have a gentleman like Lowell working with HAWK. (All our gauges are MITCHELL gauges. Kelly at MITCHELL has been extremely helpful and their products are exceptional).

I talked to SANDIA AEROSPACE last year at Oshkosh about an STX transponder. They offered to donate one to the project last year but I never got back to them. Don C really wanted a Transponder for the trip (flight following) so I called SANDIA to see if the offer still stood. Guess what – they were waiting for my call. REALLY REALLY GREAT GUYS and the transponder is awesome. I will be ordering one for my airplane. Plus, we are looking at putting one of their new ADS-B units in the Cherokee.