EAA Chapter 534 chefs Marty Harris and Eric Stoltz kept the blueberry pancakes ready.

Article and Photos By Ted Luebbers

A more perfect day couldn’t have been ordered for the Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In / Drive-In held on March 30, 2024.

The Leesburg International Airport was a beehive of activity with planes flying in and out, cars filling the parking lot in front of the EAA hangar, and aviation people engaged in animated flying yarns.

Tables fill up fast

EAA Chapter 534 sponsors two of these events each year to acquaint the flying community and the general public with the chapter’s mission to promote general aviation and introduce young people to the world of aerospace.

Chapter 534 membership is made up of pilots, both active and retired, aircraft builders, aviation enthusiasts, and an aviation youth program.

Keith Phillips, Pilot in Command, led a flight of three aircraft in formation from the Spruce Creek aviation community. His co-pilot was Harry Hinkley.

On any Thursday morning or Saturday, their hangar door is open and members are working on aircraft building or repair projects. Some of the more knowledgeable members may be working with the Squadron 534 aviation youth group helping them with some of the skills they need to learn about how to fly, build or repair airplanes.

EAA Chapter 534 also runs monthly Young Eagle rallies to give young people the experience of their first flight in a single-engine light plane.

EAA Chapter 534 member Mark Peebles shows off his vintage Fairchild.

 The hope is that this experience will be a significant enough event in a kid’s life to inspire a lifelong interest in aerospace. It might even cause one or two of them to become a licensed private pilot.

On this day 21 planes flew in from various parts of Florida and the parking lot for cars filled up fast. They all came for the famed breakfast of blueberry pancakes with all the fixings and to meet with like-minded folks to do some serious hangar flying.

Chad and Cristie Haas, EAA members from Apopka, FL made the trip by plane.

Including chapter members, there were 104 people served at this event. This is probably a record for EAA Chapter 534.

EAA Chapter 534 is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization and able to receive tax-free monetary or in-kind donations. 

If you would like to find out more about EAA Chapter 534 you may go to the following website, www.eaachapter534.org .

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