This plane was donated by James Ellrodt of Tavares, Fl

Article and Photos By Ted Luebbers

A vintage 1947 Stinson single-engine aircraft was donated recently to the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 based at the Leesburg International Airport in Leesburg, Florida. James Ellrodt of Tavares, Fl donated the plane.

Ellrodt had heard about EAA Chapter 534 and their work with young people, by teaching them how to build and repair older aircraft. He felt that his donation of this plane would continue to encourage some of the local young people to become involved with aviation.

Bob Pitzer, one of several of the chapter’s aircraft mechanics ( A & P ),starts work on the Fairchild engine.

EAA Chapter 534 has a long history of accepting donations of damaged aircraft, older planes, or unfinished aircraft building projects. The owners of these planes or projects no longer fly or have lost interest in completing their building projects.

Most of the control surfaces are made of aluminum so they will not need to be recovered.

This chapter has an active aviation youth program that works with young people who have expressed an interest in aviation, either becoming a private pilot or some other aspect of aerospace.

The chapter has within its adult membership a number of people who have expertise in aircraft building and repair and provide mentorship for young people.

The kids are taught how to use tools properly, work with adult mentors fixing airplanes, and learn the basics of aerodynamics.

Close-up of the Stinson’s Fairchild engine.

Over the years the chapter, with the help of their National EAA organization, has been able to grant five Ray Aviation Scholarships to deserving young people from this area. These scholarships provide enough money for them to earn a private pilot’s license at a flight school of their choice. Currently, the Ray Aviation Scholarship grant is $ 11,000.

EAA Chapter 534 also has a Young Eagles program that provides airplane rides for free in single-engine general aviation aircraft.

The chapter’s pilots donate their time, personal aircraft, and fuel to take young people up in their planes to experience the wonder and freedom of flight.

By participating in this program the kids, ages 8 to 17, get many additional perks such as a free online Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course to prepare them to take the Federal Aviation Administration written exam, and a free student membership in EAA.

The instrument panel will be updated.

With the help of youngsters and members restoring the old Stinson, it will be returned to airworthy condition. When completed it will be sold and any profit will be applied to the continuation of the chapter’s aviation youth program.

EAA Chapter 534 is a 501-C3 nonprofit organization so any financial or in-kind donations are tax-free.

The chapter is indebted to James Ellrodt for his generous donation.

If you would like to find out more about EAA Chapter 534 or EAA National you may go to the following websites, < > and<> .



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