September-October HAWK and EAA800 happenings.

The HAWK airplanes: Backdrops at Veta & Adam's wedding © Eddie Clements, Photographer
The HAWK airplanes:
Backdrops at Veta & Adam’s wedding
© Eddie Clements, Photographer
The past two months have had the HAWK and EAA kids very busy. The kids prepared the two flying HAWK airplanes to partake as a backdrop in a wedding in the large hangar at MACK October 7th. The WestStar employee who designed the Paint Scheme on the Cherokee – Vita married her fiance Adam and requested her work be displayed as a backdrop for the wedding.

The next weekend October 14th EAA Chapter 800 scheduled a young eagles flight day to introduce kids to aviation. By the end of the day 21 kids had experienced airplanes for the first time, thanks to the following pilots- Sterling Hurst and Kim Neibauer flew the Cherokee, Pat Wehling flew the Dakota Hawk. Randy Owens flew his Zenith 701, And Alfred Gabelli flew his 172.

October 15 was the EAA chapter 800 meeting. After the EAA 800 lunch, the HAWK airplanes were used to fly the WestStar employees and kids that were responsible for the awesome paint job on the Cherokee. (Some of the employees could not make the date so another weekend will be scheduled for them). Ladd the 10CO airport manager did an awesome presentation about his brother-in-law. Randy Bresnik – The commander of the international
Space station- go to NASA TV and watch The crew in action. Ladds wife Ronnie presented HAWK and EAA 800 pictures and posters of Randy and the station crew- hopefully we can get some of the crew to sign them. Shay B did an awesome job framing them for display. Seems Aviation runs deep in the 10CO family. GOOGLE Randy Bresnik – it is very interesting.

The airshow display managed by HAWK kids © Eddie Clements, Photographer
The airshow display managed by HAWK kids
© Eddie Clements, Photographer
October 21-22 the Hawk and EAA chapter 800 Kids with the help of HAWK mentors took turns displaying both HAWK airplanes and the FIREFLY donated balloon basket and various aircraft parts and tool boxes they made at the Grand Junction Airshow. Saturday the weather gods caused the show to be cancelled about halfway through the show. It was a real rodeo getting the airplanes put away and the display stored before high winds and rain arrived. A hangar was located for the Dakota Hawk and the Cherokee was tied down with heavy weights. Sunday the weather was perfect and the show went on. The Blue Angels did their excellent job of closing the show. GJ Air Show Promo

Copper State Air Show in Mesa Arizona was the next weekend (October 27-28). Kim and Braden Flew the Cherokee to the show. Sterling Drove his Car down as he had friends to visit around the area. While at Copper State Sterling signed Braden off to do his solo cross country back to Grand junction regional, then back to Mack with stops in Winslow AZ for Fuel and again in Blanding Utah. All went well until Braden was just past Kayenta AZ and the engine decided to run Rough. Braden found himself in his first real aviation problem. After trying everything to clear the engine he made a good decision and deviated to Kayenta and landed. He could not get the engine to clear so Sterling, Nancy, and Kim picked him up and he returned Home by auto. Wouldn’t you know it – all the HAWK Mentor airplanes were down for annuals. Rather than drive for 10 hours to rescue the airplane The Mange Mooney was put back together and the annual finished by the crew. Eddie, Sterling, and Jerry F flew to Kayenta and the Cherokee decided to run properly, ( that’s why Jerry F was involved seems like he has a magic touch with fixing airplanes- they just work when he is around). Sterling flew it back to Mack. The general consensus was Carb Ice. Braden tried Carb Heat but not being familiar with how an engine runs rougher until it clears he made the correct decision and landed- another lesson learned. Other than a failed solo cross country everything turned out OK. excitement over. The oil was changed and the oil filter was cut open on the Cherokee and nothing was found to indicate a problem. The Cherokee is still flying kids for instruction regularly.

The builds

HAWK kids coating the balloon envelope © Eddie Clements, Photographer
HAWK kids coating the balloon envelope © Eddie Clements, Photographer
Numerous attempts were made to try to coat the HAWK balloon N90555 (Donated by Kent Barns and Thayne Peterson) all summer and all ended up being days to watch the wind blow. It seems like the wind gods waited until the balloon was out of the bag and then decided to blow just hard enough to make it impossible to inflate it to coat it. I will say coating a hot air balloon is a job.
HAWK kids packing the balloon envelope © Eddie Clements, Photographer
HAWK kids packing the balloon envelope
© Eddie Clements, Photographer
Imagine trying to paint a building inside that is 55 feet high and 70 feet long in an earthquake? After it is coated, then it will have to be annualed, and enough money found for liability insurance. Thanks FIREFLY Balloons for donating the 4.0 balloon Basket and special Firefly factory balloon coating. It is expensive.

Christa and her competed tool box. © Eddie Clements, Photographer
Christa and her competed tool box.
© Eddie Clements, Photographer
The tool box program is busy. Caiden and Christa finished their tool boxes and several more are close to finish. So far, 10 have been finished and there are over 20 more under construction. The kids really learn aircraft construction by measuring, cutting, forming and riveting the toolboxes using aluminum and aircraft construction techniques per AC43-13.

The Zenith 701 has been moving forward thanks to Pat W’s leadership. The kids Jaden, William, and Jake have installed the tail and are hooking up the controls. The small AN140-8S and AN130-8S turnbuckles are in the process of being replaced with 22S turnbuckles per the Zenith plans. The replacement turnbuckles were ordered from Zenith. Zenith aircraft has really worked with HAWK on the project.

HAL Stockman with Zipper Big Bore completely went through the prop drive gear box assembly for the Rotax 912 that will power the Zenith 701. Nothing was found to be out of order. Hal donated his very limited time to do the disassembly and check out on the drive. He also installed new parts at no cost to HAWK. Plus, he returned it from Reno-freight paid. Thanks HAL!

HAWK is trying to find a Zenith engine mount for the 912 installation on the 701. If anyone has one, let us know. The fuel tanks were modified by Sonic, welding ½ inch NPT outlets on the back of the tanks, and the fuel system is slowly coming together. Once the fuel tanks are installed in the wings, the wings will go on the airplane.

The Cessna 172 is scattered all over the shop and the kids are progressing with the rebuild. Solomon (age 12) has done an awesome job so far drilling the wrinkled firewall off. He has the firewall doubler off and there are not any elongated holes. He is very careful and drills the rivet heads off with a smaller bit, then the correct size bit. Then he carefully punches the hulls out. He is better than a lot of seasoned mechanics. He is impressive, and he asks questions if things are not working correctly. His tool box was flawless.

William and Caiden under Michele’s direction preparing the 172 wing to go in the wing jig. Also note the Zenith 701 in the background. © Eddie Clements, Photographer
William and Caiden under Michele’s direction preparing the 172 wing to go in the wing jig. Also note the Zenith 701 in the background.
© Eddie Clements, Photographer
Braden and Jake are re-skinning the flaps. The wing is in the wing jig and drilling the hail damaged skins off is next. This is a project for Christa, our 14 year old girl, Jake, William, Logan, Braden and any other kid that has finished their tool box properly.


William has started his formal flight training, Braden is working hard to get his Private in January when he turns 17. He just has a few minor flying items to finish, like his nighttime flights, as Mack is not lighted. Logan is working hard toward his solo and is building flying time in his mom’s 172 (Shay is a rusty pilot who got back into aviation by buying an airplane because of HAWK, not to mention her love of aviation.) Logan spends Saturdays, mostly working under HAWK supervision, on his mom’s 172. Jake is waiting for his dad to get his instructor’s rating. Then have him train him in the HAWK airplanes.

Brian (Jake’s dad) and HAWK’s president is currently getting his commercial and instructor ratings on the GI bill through Colorado Mesa University. He obtained his instrument rating last year under the GI bill and should be finished with his instructor’s rating this spring. (He is another rusty pilot who got back into aviation due to HAWK). He plans on being another HAWK CFI.

The Balloon flying will have a large effect on how the younger kids get private pilots licences. They can solo it at 14 and get their private at 16. Then everything else will be type ratings. This winter, it should be very busy as the kids will be able to fly it at no cost as long as they work in the shop, In the Grand Valley we can fly balloons anytime during the day as we get inversions and the air stays very stable in December and January. HAWK has managed to put together a really good balloon system at absolutely no cost to HAWK, just lots of work. The kids major expense will be a FAA private written and check ride.

Due to the number of kids wanting to join HAWK, HAWK has been forced to put together a waiting list and select the kids who are genuinely interested in aviation. HAWK does not lack for projects. The reason for the list is the lack of room to work and mentors. On any Saturday there are airplanes flying, toolboxes under construction, numerous airplanes in various stages of construction or repair. HAWK is a beehive of activity. All new HAWK kids get a young eagles ride in one of HAWK’s airplanes sponsored by EAA chapter 800. HAWK gets regular requests from parents wanting to get their kids an airplane ride. And HAWK and EAA chapter 800 work to accommodate them weather and pilots permitting.

The only time the kids slow down is for lunch. (Lunch is provided by John C) and has turned into a major project. Every Saturday John manages to feed a lot of kids and adults. A big thank you John from HAWK. No one goes hungry. John is also HAWK’s rainmaker. He is an expert at listing and selling donated items to keep HAWK’s cash flowing. Keep the donations coming so we can keep John busy. HAWK only exists because of donations of almost anything of value. Money is still the most important donation! HAWK really likes airplane donations. So if you have or know of an airplane available for donation let HAWK know.

The end of the year is approaching rapidly. If you have to pay Uncle Sam, consider a donation to HAWK. It is good for a tax write off, going to the education of youth about aviation. HAWK is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit. All funds go directly to the program. No one is compensated for their time. Every mentor’s time is also donated.

Go to website to see what is happening at HAWK
Any donations can be made through the website or by responding to this e-mail.

HAWK and EAA chapter 800 monthly schedule.

  • The 1st Saturday of the month is a project work day for HAWK from 10 AM until?
  • The 2nd Saturday is ground School in the morning 10AM to lunch then work on projects.
  • The 3rd Saturday is the EAA 800 chapter meeting 10-noon then lunch provided by EAA chapter 800 and the Ken Hurt family. Then its to the HAWK workshops for work on projects.
  • The 4th Saturday is again ground School in the morning, lunch then projects are worked on.

    Anyone is welcome at the EAA chapter 800 meeting or a tour of the HAWK program.