The new year offers a new adventures for the HAWK and EAA 800 kids.
HAWK continues to grow and the end of 2017 was definitely interesting. The November EAA meeting featured a talk by an IAC judge DJ Molny. His talk with video was about how scoring of the aerobatic flights in the aerobatic box is accomplished. It was really interesting and boy does it require a sharp eye. Anyone that missed it sure missed a good presentation.
The December EAA meeting was the annual EAA lunch and was again, like last year, held at the El Tapatio Restaurant. It was a social gathering and an awards presentation. All the officer’s got pins and a certificate. Sterling got a second one for Information officer and Steve Linderman for Web officer. Ken and Jeri’s was for MVP. Ken and Jeri Hurt were given the award for most valuable EAA 800 2017 player because the Hurts coordinated the Young eagles flights and also ran several fund raising projects, plus they do lunch at every EAA meeting..
The Cherokee annual became due January 1st 2018. The annual was started over the Holidays in December and turned into a real rodeo, and prevented Braden from taking his Private checkride on his birthday in January. (He scored 92 on the written- not bad considering he is the first person to take the private pilot written after attending HAWK ground School). Several AD’s were due and required the airplane to be shut down for longer than planned. The AD on the Control Yoke inspection revealed a crack on the LH yoke. This seemed like a minor problem. Wrong! Seems this is a common Cherokee problem on the older plastic yokes. A used yoke was located but after getting it shipped in during the Holidays on inspection also was determined to be cracked. New replacement yokes do not exist. The Piper Factory tech rep was a good help and finally led to a good used yoke in an aircraft salvage yard. (The piper Tech was very professional and helped with several AD’s on our aircraft). Unfortunately the used yoke found is still a plastic yoke and the AD still Applies. It will get the airplane flying until a better yoke is found. Braden is designing a new aluminum yoke in Solidworks and the FAA has agreed to work on getting it field approved as they are well aware of the problem. Braden was exposed to solid works in a class at HAWK run by Jeff Goodrich of RADCAD design. Braden then worked with Jeff after hours. Apparently Braden is the Solidworks tech at his High school and is set up to test shortly to become Solidworks certified. Braden has a miniature example of the yoke he designed printed on a 3D printer. The kids are learning.
All this rodeo caused Braden to not be able to complete his private on his birthday. He was ready but the airplane was not. The other AD that was due is somewhat easier but required some disassembly of the aircraft. This AD affects the balance weight tube for the elevator and after talking to the Piper tech it was determined the HAWK Cherokee has the tube the AD applies to. The Piper Service Letter and the AD do not offer any indication as to what tube is in Cherokees. After talking to the Piper tech it gets down to the color of the ears where the elevator cables attach.. The non AD tube has Green ears and also has a wall thickness of .120. HAWK’s tube is .090 thick and did not have green ears. This requires removal every 2 years for a magnaflux or dye check inspection of the bolt holes where the tube attaches to the Stabilizer. Ours passed crack inspection. Piper does make a new tube that does away with this AD- just requires money to acquire one. The Cherokee was detailed by the kids while all this was going on. The airplane will fly again in 2018 and Braden will finish his private pilot’s license.
The HAWK Balloon is flying regularly and kids are building time. The balloon has flown over 10 hrs of kid instruction in December. And lots of kids are getting burner time. N90555 the HAWK balloon flies extremely well. It will fly over 3 hours on 30 gallons of propane. Not bad for an old recoated balloon. Hopefully by summer several kids will be private balloon pilots.
The HAWK builds
HAWK kids worked on drilling rivets out of the hail damaged control surfaces of the 172. And are doing an awesome job. The kids learned a lot building tool boxes. Now they are using what they learned on airplanes. As soon as funds are available new skins will be ordered..
The Zenith 701 is progressing nicely. Pat W. and his group of kids are doing an awesome job and hopefully it will fly this summer. The tail is back on and all the controls work. Even in the correct direction. The wings are nearly finished and are about ready to install. Tim Allen, our newest mentor, built an engine mount for the Rotex 912 per Zenith plans and it looks like factory. Lane and Cindy J donated the 4130 tubing to make the mount. THANKS Lane and Cindy. Tim owns Bulldog Machine and does very high end work on zip lines and other technical projects. He put the paper engine mount plans for the mount into Solidworks and then machined all the joints to fit perfectly. Tim’s dad, Bill Allen, built lots of airplanes including gyrocopters and founded a gyro Company in Utah called Hawk. Small world that they had the same name as ours but no connection. Bill was a true craftsman. Seems Bill passed his talent to his boys. HAWK is really excited about Tim joining us. Watch for more exciting things out of HAWK due to Tim – Tim has some unique ideas for HAWK kids and worked with kids on Darpa competitions in the past. HAWK is very lucky to have a person like Tim involved.
The Donated Bonanza F35 is now officially HAWK’s and the paperwork is on the way to Oklahoma. The airplane is going to be moved into the build Hanger to start an Annual. Hopefully it will not require too much. We do know the prop has a major AD on it. Hopefully it will be good. It will have to be sent to a prop shop and probably will be the last item done as it is not cheap to do. We will see how the airplane checks out. At least the airplane was donated and anything made off it will help HAWK. HAWK’s plan is to sell it for operating capital. So if anyone wants a nice Bonanza get in line? HAWK has a tentative sale depending on the annual results.
One of HAWK’s mentors Russell Franke is working to get gliders going in HAWK. He has purchased 2 Schweizer 2-22’s and a flyable PA-25 Pawnee plus 2 Cal Air tow planes that need a little work. I have a schweizer 2-33 that needs some minor work and HAWK is working with several CFIG glider instructors and tow plane pilots to get them involved with HAWK. This summer should be interesting at Mack with powered airplanes, gliders, and balloons. We will be busy teaching kids. Time will tell!
HAWK is really becoming known. The Grand Junction Jr Service League, a non profit that works with educational non profits, donated $1000.00 to the HAWK program to help finish the 701. This was Brian M’s project and I am sure this is only a start with them. They are really impressed with what HAWK is doing..
Watch for a full article about EAA 800 and HAWK in Sport Aviation in the next few months.
Beth E. Stanton is working on an article and the article may be out before my next HAWK update. Beth stopped by the HAWK Cherokee at Oshkosh 2017 and talked with the kids. HAWK is very fortunate to have someone of Beth’s caliber doing an article about the HAWK program.
HAWK and EAA 800 continue to make flight possible and affordable for kids.
Go to hawkaviators.org to keep up with HAWK happenings.
As always, thanks to everyone that makes HAWK viable. The list is getting long.