As four planes approached the Mack Mesa Airport Saturday night in a V-formation, one broke rank, pulling up while the other three continued on.
The “missing man” formation was a worthy tribute for Eddie Clements, a man who dedicated much of the last years of life to educating youth in aviation. Shortly after, a trumpeter belted out “Amazing Grace” in what was to be a fitting end to Clements’ memorial.
The only problem was attendees just had too much to say about the man.
Around 100 people attended a service for Clements at the airport Saturday to say goodbye to their friend, husband, father and mentor. Clements died July 22 at age 69 while attending … more
Founder and general manager of High Country Aviation Workshop for Kids (HAWK) leaves behind extensive education legacy
By Beth E. Stanton
Eddie Clements, EAA 841022, a founder and general manager of the High Country Aviation Workshop for Kids (HAWK) at Mack Mesa Airport in Colorado, died unexpectedly on July 21 shortly after arriving at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 with the HAWK students and mentors. He was doing what he loved until the end: flying airplanes and passing along his passion for aviation to the next generation.
HAWK Aviators (whose story was featured in the April 2018 issue of EAA Sport Aviation, “Spreading Their Wings”) is a nonprofit organization that is the brainchild and extension of EAA Chapter 800. HAWK mentors expose youths to multiple facets of aviation: building, repairing, designing, and flying airplanes and balloons. Participants earn flight time in exchange for assisting aircraft maintenance or building. “The reason why we are where we are today is because we had Eddie who put in so much time and effort,” volunteer John Caldwell said.
Eddie’s aviation career spanned decades and a variety of capacities, creating a vast network of contacts he was able to draw upon for resources to help support the HAWK program. His enthusiasm for hot air balloons was all consuming, and he competed and instructed in them for more than 30 years. Eddie recited the Balloonist’s Prayer to his passengers countless times over the years. Now those whose lives he touched say it for him:
The winds have welcomed you with softness.
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well
that God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of Mother Earth.
Eddie’s son, Tres, was one of the reasons for the founding of HAWK. Tres, a former Scaled Composites employee, owns an aircraft engineering firm in San Luis Obispo, California, and is the pilot and caretaker of Burt Rutan’s Boomerang. In an interview, Eddie said, “I started HAWK because I watched Tres grow up around aviation and watched the effect it had on him. If I can pass the good aviation does to other kids, then HAWK is a success. I have had a front row seat as to how aviation improves kids’ lives.”
It is my sad duty to report that Eddie Clements has passed away while at AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. As Eddie was our founder and the visionary leader behind HAWK, we are all feeling his devastating loss. It will take some time to determine how to best carry Eddie’s vision for HAWK into the future. We will provide updates as they become available. As the HAWK board, we ask you to give his family the space they need to be together and grieve.
We would appreciate receiving any memories you have of Eddie. Please email them to [email protected]
As usual the past 3 months have gone by so fast at 10CO that it is hard to keep up. There is so much happening with EAA Chapter 800 and HAWK that I have not had time to sit down and even get the newsletter out. In this time frame there has been the Fat Tire Jamboree at 10CO. EAA 800 and HAWK worked together on to provide help, meals, t-shirts and other support so that the event went smoothly. EAA 800 supplied the food and the meals and Ken and Jeri Hurt plus Kim deserve a big big thank you. The meals were excellent and nobody went hungry. (Although more people attended than planned.) The weather was perfect for the Jamboree and the Jamboree came off without a hitch. 50 some airplanes and over a hundred and twenty-five people ate at the event. Both EAA 800 and HAWK managed to get sufficient funds to help pay for the campground fees for Kids to Oshkosh for both organizations. The fat tire Jamboree was a huge success. Travis Reese and his wife did an excellent job with promotion and logistics. Thank you both! And thanks for including EAA 800 and HAWK in the planning.
Greg Lucas donated the Poker run winnings to HAWK $320.00 – that was a pleasant surprise- Thanks Greg!. Travis Reese donated $300.00, Tyler McClymond donated $400.00, Rick at Sun Country Cubs donated $500.00. And thanks to everyone who donated to EAA 800 and HAWK to support the programs. Both EAA Chapter 800 and HAWK paid for the band and the food out of what was donated but the donations exceeded the expenses. Life was good for all who worked the Jamboree.
HAWK owes a very big thank you to Beth Stanton for her excellent article in the April Sport Aviation about the EAA chapter 800 and HAWK program. Beth Stanton, the author of the April Sport Aviation article, attended the Jamboree and was amazed at the goings on at MACK. Beth felt like royalty, as she got an hour of instruction in the HAWK balloon, she was introduced to the flying fun of Randy Miller’s 450 Stearman, flights in Carbon Cubs and to cap her trip, about 45 minutes of time in Rlee and JF’s A350B2 Eurocopter. Bet she is still grinning. If you see Beth at Oshkosh, say Hi from EAA 800 and HAWK. Beth had a really good weekend camping at MACK. Her article has really generated donations in both cash and goods to help keep the programs viable. Some of the donations include $2000.00 from Micheal Jager, Mark Guenin donated $1000,00. Erwin Oertli, and Brian Kelly of Balloons West donated a used AX8B balloon system with 4.9 basket, burners and tanks, Josh Stanley donated an AX8B envelope with 4.9A1 basket plus an 8HP Fan for HAWK to repair and sell. Gary Owens donated numerous rivet guns, angle air drill, straight air drill, bucking bars, Cleco’s and P&W 985 tools. Brian Miller had a really good pneumatic Rivet puller donated by a guy named Tom out of Dillon Colorado.
HAWK mentor Tim Allen, HAWK’s certified ground instructor Michelle, HAWK president Brian Miller and three HAWK kids Caiden, Ryan and Jake made a road trip to Salt Lake City and picked up Will and Karen Jefferies’ Hot Air Balloon, tether harness, night lights, radios, inflation fan, 6 tanks, and other stuff they donated to HAWK. The kids set up the balloon the end of June. Braden inflated the balloon with HAWK kids help. The Galaxy AX7 N5244J is in exceptional shape. The balloon is solid red and the kids are calling it the Tomato. The balloon sat for years and does not have a lot of time on it. Will can no longer fly due to new knees and other parts. It will make a good backup for N90555, the balloon HAWK kids are currently flying. THANKS WILL AND KAREN. The balloon will teach lots of kids. In addition, I am going to fly out to Oshkosh in the Mooney and stop to look at a 2 thirds scale Fieseler Storch Fi 156 a nice gentleman wants to donate to HAWK and possibly we will pick up on the way back from Oshkosh as Russel Franke is towing a transport trailer to Oshkosh. Mike Duggan of Longmont EAA 648 and Tom Aguirre donated his flight bag and headphones to the program. Every week something new shows up. BETH YOU DUN GOOD! (As a side note – HAWK only works on donations and currently pays for 3 hangers, the expenses do not stop. Hopefully with the sale of airplanes HAWK can do more to make aviation affordable for the kids. No mentors are compensated for their time, in fact most mentors contribute funds to keep the kids flying and building).
A very big thank you to West Star Aviation. West Star donated $2000.00 to EAA 800 and HAWK to help pay for fuel and meals for the kids. Thanks Mr. Krogman West Star president. West Star’s very generous donation helps make the trip happen. They have been our primary Oshkosh trip sponsor the past 3 years. They donated the awesome paint job on the Cherokee. Hightower Supply donated the Jet Glow paint which is the best and very expensive- Thanks Pat Trimm.
Saturdays in the HAWK hanger have been very busy. HAWK kids are making the necessary preparations for the trip to Oshkosh. HAWK was attempting to have their Zenith 701 flight ready for Oshkosh and up until the end of March thought it possible. The problems due to the Pega Daedalus wings have really slowed that project. Because of donations, and the funds from the jamboree meals, EAA Chapter 800 was able pay for the two campsites at Oshkosh for the kids. Preparing for the trip to Oshkosh has been interesting. The kids going have constantly changed and HAWK mentors have had so many problems that their schedules have also been constantly changing. This year scheduling has been worse than previous years. I would equate it to herding cats. HAWK and EAA 800 are taking seven kids to the Oshkosh show. The seven kids are the ones who are always working in the shop each Saturday. This years Oshkosh trip should be really interesting. Braden Hobbs, HAWK’s new 17 year old pilot, is planning on flying the Cherokee N9606W to Oshkosh (with Mom and Dad’s approval). Braden is working on his instrument and commercial fixed wing ratings and his private balloon rating. He is rapidly building hours. Sterling is planning on flying the donated Huddelston Arion Lightening N732RN to the show with plans of selling it to support the HAWK program. Anyone wanting a real nice light sport, this is the one. Shay and Logan are again flying their 172 to the show. Logan has soloed and is building time. The plan is similar to the past years. The ground caravan will rendezvous with the airplanes at Aurora Nebraska on Friday night and continue to Oshkosh Saturday the 21st. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. No problem for the ground crew, big problem for the 3 air crews.
Now the hanger talk-
N838CP the HAWK 701 has proven to be a handful. HAWK wanted to fly it to the show but issues keep showing up. Pat Wheling, one of HAWK ‘s mentors, and Tim Allen, another Mentor, have taken on the project with the kids. The Canadian Pega company, that made the wings, is no longer in business. HAWK has their build data but it is severely lacking. The center of lift is different than the standard wings. And the center of lift has presented a whole set of problems with the weight and balance. Pat and Tim are closing in. Hal Stockman (Zipper Big Bore) examined the airplane and engine and gave us some good ideas. He also had a spare Luga ground adjustable carbon fiber prop he fixed us up with. The prop is extremely light. I have never heard of a Luga prop. Apparently it is Russian. Hal is the guy who rebuilt the HAWK 912UL’s drive. Hal is a Rotax expert. Hal will be flying his new Rans S-7 with his special Rotax engine that turns out 130HP in the Oshkosh STOL show. You can always identify Hal as he wears coveralls with a reflective strip on them everywhere he goes. If you see him, say Hi. Last year Hal flew lots of Young Eagles at Oshkosh. N838CP hopefully will make the show next year.
Russel Franke got in trouble with his HOA at his home because he has to many airplanes in his yard (One can never have too many airplanes). Russel’s new lawyer neighbor who built a huge house directly across the street from Russel’s is really hassling Russell. Just like people who buy a house under an airport approach and then gripe about the airplanes. (The house now blocks Russel’s view. Russel did not contest it). Anyway Russell gave HAWK a Luscombe 8A he had in the yard to appease the neighbor. Hope it works for Russel’s sake, but doubt it. Anyway. the Luscombe Data plate says its an 8A but in reality it is an 8E as it has wing tanks and “D” window’s. The Log books show it as an ‘8A special’ The Luscombe society says Luscombe made some 8A’s that were similar to 8E’s. They had all the 8E modes but still had a continental 65 in them. On this airplane someone was modifying the firewall with the pan to accept electrical. The workmanship is not good and a new firewall has not been located to date. Russell also gave HAWK an 0-200 off a Cessna 150. The airplane and engine have full logs but the registration expired and the N-number is now on a Cessna 205. The project will be shelved for a while until parts are found. The air frame is in really good shape and should polish out. Thanks Russel!
N13245. the 172 Russel Franke gave HAWK is progressing nicely. Solomon, Krista and Jaden have the hail damaged wing skins drilled off. And Krista and Braden are riveting the new flap skin on and are about finished. Krista has all the new skins fit for the elevators and trim tab and is working on reassembly. Again Hightower Supply came through and supplied the Sherman Williams epoxy primer for the project. The 172 will be totally primed inside all the areas where the skins are removed and replaced. Krista and Braden are doing an awesome job of riveting the skins back on the flap.
N9606W is being cleaned, serviced and polished for the Oshkosh trip.
N90555 the HAWK balloon now has the fancy Firefly donated 4.0 basket officially installed with the extra Fuel tanks HAWK acquired with the donated systems. Watch for the HAWK balloon N90555 at Oshkosh. It is signed up for the Monday tether and the last Saturday free fly. EAA Chapter 800 president Kim Neibauer is towing it out. The winds have not been kind at 10CO so the HAWK balloon has not been flown much. Fall is coming – it has been a very hot windy spring as evidenced by all the Colorado and Utah wildfires. The HAWK kids are working on HAWK- EAA 800 banners for the balloon- hopefully they will be done, but like everything, time is flying by. OSHKOSH IS COMING!
As a side note, The Sport Aviation Article has generated a lot of interest by other EAA Chapters and interested individuals as to how EAA Chapter 800 and HAWK set up the program. Oshkosh will be interesting in that I am going to take paperwork and other items to share with other chapters who want to talk about the program. So far the HAWK program has been a resounding success and others want to copy it. All of the HAWK mentors are more than happy to share any info with other EAA chapters about how to set up similar programs. HAWK started with nothing but an idea of doing something beyond Young Eagles. And HAWK has turned the idea into a real functioning program and kids are becoming pilots that would not have had a hope before. This is evidenced by kids flying airplanes into Oshkosh. It has not been done without trials and tribulations but so far the program is working better than anyone believed. Any EAA Chapter can do the same thing. It is really nice to see a dying EAA Chapter become a active viable program. EAA Chapter 800 now has a good turnout each chapter meeting of kids younger than 80, and now has aviation excitement again. Again I want to say THANKS to all the HAWK MENTORS who make the program work!
[Eddie:] Here is the report of my part of the weekend.
I had Hector Brown pick up cards for me in the poker run (The Mooney would not have been good on back country strips) – the long and short of it is I ended up with 2 kings, two 10’s and 2 2’s. Not a good enough hand to place first against a full house. Greg Lucas – Hectors Co-pilot held up 3 car envelopes – Hectors, His and Mine and I picked one envelope out of the 7 3 envelope stacks. The fun part was I left the winning hand on the table. Greg Hector’s co-pilot won. Greg was so impressed with the HAWK kids and the program he donated the winnings to HAWK. HAWK is now $340 richer. In short HAWK ended up winning the Poker run! All the HAWK kids need to definitely tell Greg thanks. (Greg wants to come down occasionally and mentor HAWK kids-Great guy. Tell him thanks. (Ask me for his number.))
The 2nd thing – Larry Martin was taxi-ing his Cessna 180 N67WW and ran into the famous airplane eating hole- Troy Ball found it last year. (Ladd had just removed the cones and was taking Beth to the airport). OOP’s. Anyway, The HAWK kids got the HAWK balloon tether ropes and with Bobby Boes and spectators help get his airplane out of the hole in one piece. The wing tip was a little customized by crunch but otherwise the airplane was OK considering. Hector Larry’s Mechanic had returned home to Glenwood springs and did not have time to look at the damage. I being the nice guy I am plus Braden (Nice guy he is) Larry, Jake (Another nice kid), Michelle (the nice fiberglass go getter girl ) and Brian (Questionable 🙂 took the project on and straightened the bent parts. The wing looked as good as new when we were done. Larry was so happy he tried to pay me but I told him to give HAWK the money. At Hectors shop rate it came out to about $600.00. Brian, HAWK’s president was more than happy to take the check. Heck I did not even get to see it. So final total with the gambling money was $950.00 to HAWK. not bad for a week ends work. Larry continued his fishing trip.
On an important HAWK thing- Steve Brown and Lexi are so impressed with HAWK they want us to take over the Hay hanger to expand. They will insulate it and heat it. Ladd said the rate would be $2000,00 a month. The good part is we would have everything in one place. (Give me more room to pile free stuff). The cost scares me- I told Steve it is up to the HAWK VIP’s (Board) not my decision. HAWK needs a board meeting sometime in the future.
I talked to Hal Stockman about the 701. He said the same thing Darrel at WARP Drive said on the prop we have. It is too Long for our engine. Hal has a Luga Prop that is the correct one made in the Ukraine. (He runs them on his airplane) They are the same price, about $690.00, for a complete ground adjustable prop as Warp Drive charges that just for the 3 blades. Hal said he has one in stock. He offered to pay the freight. Hal said we should be able to get at least $200.00 for HAWK’s warp drive Rotex hub on BarnStormers. That would make the 701 prop very inexpensive. Hal was a wealth of knowledge. Another great guy.
Steve Wood looked at the new Luscomb 8 HAWK now has. The data plate shows it as an 8A. The airworthiness paperwork, with the same serial number, says it is an 8E One log calls it an 8A special and the other one says 8E.
Steve says it is an 8E, as it has two wing tanks and rear windows plus all the E upgrades. In the paperwork it is called out as an 8A special. He has never heard of a special. He is interested enough, he is checking it out. He has agreed to help us with whatever we need for it. He is excited about it. Says it will be a nice airplane for the kids. He was upset the N number is gone -Russell let the registration expire and the number is now on a Cessna 205.
Beth had an awesome time- She is taking what she experienced to her editor – He makes the decisions about what goes in Sport Aviation – We shall see- Maybe MACK and HAWK can take over Sport Aviation (HA HA). I can tell you she was impressed. She said her HAWK article was accurate but there is more going on than she even dreamed. Everyone made a good impression on her. THANKS everyone- good show. AND THANKS BETH FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR HAWK!
Thanks to the kitchen crew both EAA and HAWK- well done!