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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 18 July 2009


Dear readers,

Apologising for being late with this newsletter is becoming a habit!  But soon I hope to be back to normal.

No UK EMU in July I’m afraid, but we plan visiting Panshanger August 16 to join their Revival day, and in September there is the Solent Aviation Fly-In at Popham.

Happy Flying,



Sad news from Great Oakley

Leslie Miller writes: A bit of sad news comes out of Great Oakley as a friend of mine was killed on Saturday morning 27th June when his Taylor Monoplane G-CEKB (his initials) possibly had engine trouble whilst taking-off. You may recall this lovely little Red & Silver aircraft that flew on the morning of the Ercoupe fly-in.  This is a sad loss, in 2002, 03 and 04 he very kindly picked me up and took me for some great days at Old Warden with his wife and friends.

He was a great aircraft engineer, and in fact this aircraft was the newest of the two he has built over the past 20 yrs - both were immaculate.

I have since been able to visit the crash site to pay my respects to Cecil, and together my friends and I placed a small posy of roses and a card with all our names on it on the impact point.  The actual spot is to the extreme right beyond the trees that the Ercoupes were facing when parked during your visit, on the very edge of the corn field within yards of the taxi way.

Cecil had over 800 hours on Taylor Monoplanes and it appears from the chaps at Oakley that he was under 100 feet when the power was lost, and that he possibly did a 'NO-NO' in attempting to turn in to land, instead of a 'straight-ahead’ into the corn field.  Hindsight is so easy, the poor chap only had seconds to react, so who are we to say 'right or wrong'

I am not sure if you knew that over 40 years ago he worked on two of the Ercoupes present at the fly-in.  When I met up with him on that morning prior to the arrivals, Cecil expressed to me his wish that the two of those he had assembled over 40 years ago at Stapleford would be attending.  Soon his wish came true as both landed  - it really made his day to see them and to be able to talk to the present owners.  Ironically he lost his life some yards in front of where they parked on that beautiful day. 

It would be a very fitting tribute if you were to arrange a further fly-in at Great Oakley and a fly-by of the two Ercoupes he assembled G-ARHB and G-ARHC over the crash site.  I’m not too sure if Cecil’s family would feel able to attend due to the trauma, but maybe they would decide to see our respects being paid to him - we will see.

So sad, Regards Leslie

G-COUP for sale

Mark Gerrard is sadly selling his Ercoupe as he is soon moving to the US. This is the ad published in the latest issue of Pilot magazine:

Ercoupe 415C, 1946, G-COUP. Price: £13,500. A rare opportunity to own a true classic. Original two-control configuration, 75hp Continental, fresh annual. Narco Radio & Mode C. Total time 1650 hours. Tel: 01798 874099, Work: 01798 874099.


Stephan Vatter writes: We are progressing with the readiness of the D-EJOR. New windows are already fixed and working finally! The controls, wings and immatriculations are also applied.  Now it is looking again as a real plane! We expect to finish this month, and can apply beginning of August for the annual (if no further complication will come up).

There were delays to renew the magnetos.  The safety belts had to be replaced too, they are refurbished and back in place.  My time table is so badly late, that I don't care any more when it is, but the plane will be beautiful.

That's the actual situation!  This year I will fly again to Tannkosh with my GROB 115, because I don't believe that in 14 days the Ercoupe will be ready.  Heiko will fly with his D-ENUC.

Kind regards Stephan.

English weather

Dave Winters writes from the US: Mike, your opening line in the last newsletter is a hoot!  "The weather in the UK has not been very settled" - since about 1,000 BC (at least!).

AIRPORT ANNOUNCEMENT:  "Visitors are advised that the Sun never sets on the British Empire, nor shines in England.  Travellers from the European Union will have a separate announcement.  Please dispose of all copies of ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER at the gate."  The truth is, I miss it, all told. 

Dave Winters

Oshkosh web site

Tony Crowe writes: Have you noticed that one of the banner photos at the top of the front page of the 2009 Oshkosh web site is an Aircoupe ?

Antwerp fly-in report

Robert Rombouts writes: Here is a nice report about the Antwerp fly-in.  Sorry that it is in Nederlands but the pictures are nice.  Robert


Trip report

North Weald 20/21 June

Mike writes: As usual we planned an Ercoupe Meet-Up at the annual Air Britain Fly-In, held June 20-21st.  This is always popular at this great airfield just north of London, and within easy reach of Robert Rombouts, who comes every year and stays for the long weekend.  After he missed the Great Oakley fly-in back in April due to bad weather in Ostend he was determined to join the UK Ercoupe squadron again.  But it was not to be, as Robert made the mistake of visiting his optometrist – see his letter below.  Derek Tregilgas also apologized for not being there, but his excuse was a little better as he was working – see his letter below too!

I decided that I would visit Air Britain on both days, and as it is only a 30 minute flight from Bourn I flew down each day.  Saturday was a bit overcast but flyable, so off I went and arrived at around 11am.  I was greeted by Tony Smith, one of the organizers of Air Britain and fountain of all knowledge on UK Ercoupes.  He was standing next to G-EGHB, the Ercoupe that Peter Vallance restored at the Gatwick Aviation Museum.  This is a 415D 1946 that was one of the Maypole Ercoupes (see EEN 2 for the full story, downloadble at  Ken Lyndon-Dykes now uses it and keeps it flying.  Ken is quite a character, having been a champion event rider for many years and now a well-known saddle fitter.  But he has aviation interests too, principally two Jet Provosts that are based at North weald.  The main flying the Ercoupe gets is as a taxi from Rochester, where it is based, and North Weald.

Ken and his girlfriend Amanda were keen to watch the final practice session for the British Grand Prix so we went off to the Squadron bar to watch it.  So while everyone else was outside watching the new arrivals and talking flying we were in watching the very exciting motor racing!  Ken and Amanda were dedicated enough to even bring a small portable TV in case the one in the Squadron wasn’t in use!!!  And of course there was no question in joining us the following day as they were going to be watching the race live at home.

About half way through the grand prix practice session we saw Andrew Gardner taxi past in G-ARHC.  As it was a long way to walk to where the Ercoupes were being parked I sent Andrew an SMS telling him where to find us! 

Once the racing was over and we were full of cheeseburgers and diet coke we went off to see the Jet Provosts.  One thing Ken had told me when I arrived was what a great little plane the Ercoupe was and how cheap it was to run.  My wife does not agree with that last part!!!!  When we were looking at the jets Ken told us that the cost of hangarage, maintenance (including the ejector seats), insurance etc. gives fixed costs of around £20,000 a year each.  On top of this the fuel is around £400-600 an hour, depending on what you do.  Then I understood why he thinks the Ercoupe is cheap – everything is relative.  Then he offered Andrew and I the chance to sit in one – which we immediately taken up.

After a quick walk around it was time for everyone to leave.  But the next morning I was up again and down to North Weald, again at around 11am.  There I joined Mark Gerrard with G-COUP and Keith Peacock and Sid Turner with G-ARHB.  Almost immediately I got a phone call from Rodney Tapp, who had planned to join us in G-ERCO from Manston.  But unfortunately the cloud base was too low for flying and there was little chance of change so he and Mary would sadly not be joining us.

We went over to the tent to check in and a nice surprise.  Air Britain had declared Ercoupes a ‘featured type’ and we were given vouchers for 20 litres of fuel!  To my horror I remembered I had fueled up before leaving that morning and only used 10-12 litres to get there.  But then I remembered that having brought a friend with me I’d left the tanks ¾ full, so I managed to upload it all. 

The saddest part of the day was watching mark put a ‘For sale’ sign up on his Ercoupe.  He has accepted a job in Maryland, USA and will be leaving our shores in September. 

It was good to chat to everyone and enjoy the Air Britain hospitality, and we all wished that Robert, Rodney and Mary had been able to join us too.  The weather was better, with the sun appearing a few times.  And so we set off for home looking forward to the next meet up.

Mike Willis

Robert’s reason for not joining us

Robert Rombouts writes: Dear Mike, today I had the saddest day in my flying life.  First I went to the oculist to check my eye, as every year, four years ago a cataract operation was done.  She proposes to clear the eye with a laser, because it starts to be cloudy.  The intervention was quick and painless, but with big consequence.

In the evening I had my medical for my licence, the doctor grounded me immediately for one or two months, no eye operation may be done before agreement with the Brussels Medical Organization!


Now I am desperate, and all my flying for the best part of the summer is gone.

Sorry to tell this, I have to cancel this year my North Weald and other Fly-Ins till I receive my licence back.  The good thing is I see much better with that eye.

My very best regards, hoping you will have a wonderful Fly-In.


Another excuse!

Derek Tregilgas writes: Hi Mike,  Oh how I wish I could join you for this one! I'm setting off at midnight tonight for Osaka, then on to Los Angeles, Chicago, Amsterdam, and finally back to Singapore on the 3rd July. Sounds odd, but I'd much rather be at North Weald!

The good news is that I have now received a new registration document from the FAA for my Ercoupe and am delighted to see that the original 1946 reg of N99495 has been retained - excellent. I'll operate it for a while with these marks and then look at the options available to put her on the UK register. I'm sort of hoping that the Ercoupe will be the next type to be allowed to operate under a permit though, so please do keep me posted if you hear anything on those lines. Anyway, as we speak (hopefully), Mark Masters is busy at Coventry strapping the wings on prior to a test flight and certification. All going well she will be taking up residence in the bay at Great Oakley within the next few weeks and ready to join the party (I really need to get back to the UK more often though!). I just cannot wait to see her joining in the fun at a forthcoming EMU somewhere.

Loved your latest newsletter once again Mike - super job - especially your comment regarding the "other" five beauties that managed to inspire a larger picture - great stuff.

Hope all goes well over the weekend, cheers for now, Derek


Ercoupe stories

Jean Flacelière writes:

Ces histoires de commandant de bord"paysan"' sont toutes vraies, même celle de mon ercoupe F-BDPQ, bien sûr; !
These flying stories of a "farmer" Air France captain are true as the one concerning my Ercoupe F-BDPQ indeed !

Copier le lien donné par Ginette ci-essous à la main pour pouvoir les lire toutes.
Please publish the web address sent by Ginette, and you can read all the Darolle's stories

Thank you Ginette, with many ercoupe's kiss from the Europeans Coupers!

Jean Flacelière


Chers amis Ercoupéens, Européens, Francophones ou pas, je vous adresse ce joli petit texte qui nous vient de la Californie, envoyé par Ginette AELONY, grande amatrice d'Ercoupes (voir la photo de ses jumeaux). Vous aurez compris que le F-BDPQ est mon ercoupe.

Ginette est Française, elle a connu son mari, officier américain, sur Chateauroux US airbase, et à crée une famille en Californie ou elle réside toujours.

Son ercoupe magnifiquement refait, est remotorisé avec un 0-200 100cv, la photo des 2 coupes est prise à Torrance CA.

En France, il nous reste le met. d'Angers le dernier WE d'Aout.

Mon ercoupe entre en renouvellement le 29, juillet à Nangis: si je suis prêt à temps, j'y descends en avion, sinon en auto ou TGV.

Si vous voulez nous y accompagner, je peux vous retrouver à Paris - nord, ou Nangis, ou Angers.

Vous aurez bien sûr de l'essence 100 LL, pour les avions classiques.

Je vous enverrai demain les forms d'inscription.

A bientôt,


hello Un petit récit qui va te plaire

L'Ercoupe 415 C est, en 1962, un bel avion. Un avion superbe. Biplace. Métallique. Confortable. Equipé. 75 cv, la radio, et tout et tout. C'est en plus un avion qui a la particularité d'avoir les commandes conjuguées, le volant actionnant simultanément les ailerons et la direction, sans que l'on ait à toucher au palonnier. Le rêve pour quatre pilotes muretains, qui viennent de débusquer l'oiseau rare à vendre dans un hangar de Toulouse Lasbordes. Ils sont prêts à mettre la main à la poche, et à ramener l'avion à Muret, le vendeur est d'accord sur le prix. Il n'y a qu'un seul hic. A Muret, le président du club refuse absolument d'accueillir cet avion dans l'unique hangar du terrain, où il a d'autres projets. Mais qu'importe, notre quatuor tient à acheter cet avion, qui est une occasion exceptionnelle. Jacques est d'ailleurs prêt à abandonner la construction du Jodel qu'il a entreprise, et vendre sa part pour se consacrer à l'Ercoupe.

Alors, un beau soir, malgré l'interdiction présidentielle, l'Ercoupe se pose en catimini sur le terrain de Muret. Jacques et ses trois copains ont soigneusement préparé leur coup : Cet avion va disparaître sitôt arrivé. La caisse à clous est là, sur l'Ercoupe, les ailes se démontent assez facilement, et hop ! au boulot ! En quelques minutes, voilà le F-BDPQ sans ailes. Les ailes sont soigneusement rangées au fond du hangar. Et maintenant, convoyage routier ! Moteur démarré, l'Ercoupe taxie jusque sur la petite route, escorté de deux voitures, et voilà, à la nuit tombante, cette étrange machine lancée sur la Départementale 43b, puis sur le Départementale 15, on n'oublie pas de s'arrêter au stop. (Aujourd’hui, il y a un rond-point, ça serait encore plus drôle). Le voisinage ne remarque même pas le bruit du 75 cv à hélice, à une époque où les routes sont fréquentées par des 4CV et des 203.

Comme une bagnole, je vous dis ! Même pas besoin du palonnier. Les gaz, le volant, et roule ma poule. On approche de Seysses. La maison de Jacques est là, à gauche, au bord de la route. Les deux voitures mettent le cligno. L'Ercoupe fait comme il peut. Hop, petit coup de volant, le voilà rentré dans le jardin. Puis dans le garage. Terminus. L'appareil est à destination, mais la caisse à clous va encore servir...

6h00 du matin, le lendemain. Les gendarmes sonnent au portail. Le président, alerté par quelque taupe, a hélé la maréchaussée. " Bonjour, vous avez un avion, ici ?" - Ben un avion... j'ai des pièces d'avion, oui. "Regardez, j'ai un fuselage ici, le moteur est dans l'atelier de derrière, l'hélice est là-haut sur l'étagère, et les ailes..., elles sont dans le hangar à Muret. Alors vous voyez, c'est pas demain qu'il revole." Les gendarmes repartirent comme ils étaient venus, persuadés d'avoir affaire à une pure crise d'ego

Le F-BDPQ revint plus tard sur le terrain, et vola quelques années avant d'être vendu à Luchon. Les manoeuvres louches, il y en eut encore de nombreuses, diurnes et nocturnes. Pour illustrer un peu, j'ai joint une photo de l'époque, où l'on voit, sur le terrain de Muret, l'Ercoupe avec les ailes démontées. (ce n'est pas ce jour-là). Le principal protagoniste Jacques est visible sur la photo (à droite, cigarette). De toute façon, il y a prescription, ce mois-ci, il y a dix ans qu'il nous a quittés. Les trois autres personnages sur le cliché sont étrangers à cette histoire. Mais deux des protagonistes sont encore vivants, et quarante sept ans après, ils en rigolent encore. Comme a bien rigolé le gars de la DGAC à qui j'ai conté cette histoire vraie aujourd'hui.

Jacques Darolles Aviateur paysan

A bientôt de tes nouvelles

Upcoming events

Fly-ins en France

Angers Marcé Airport LFJR will be opened the Saturday 29th August 2009 to Sunday 30, for the"2009 Anjou Ailes Retro".

Please find registering forms above for the August  29 - 30th Angers LFJR 2009 "Anjou Ailes Retro " on this page

Forms and information

Many thanks for your mails or call, for any confirmation, information or more details: my cell phone number is : 336 30 71 53 32.

Jean Flaceliere


These monthly Ercoupe Meet-Ups are designed as an excuse to fly! There is a separate email list consisting of UK owners and known Ercoupe enthusiasts who are updated 1 week and 1 day ahead so you know who will be there (weather providing). If anyone else would like to be included on the EMU email list then please let me know.

August 16 Panshanger Revival Day, Panshanger Aerodrome, Hertfordshire

Vintage aeroplanes, cars and motorbikes on display. Dress to a 1930s theme and get in for free. Otherwise tickets £10 in advance, £15 on the gate. Mike writes: I'll find out the details and let the UK flyers know.

4-6 September, Sywell LAA (PFA)Annual Rally
The LAA is reintroducing the annual rally this year on , so it would be good to have Ercoupe/Aircoupe representtation there. Unfortunately this now clashes with the rescheduled 3rd European Ercoupe Fly-In (see below).

20 September, Solent Aviation Society Luscombe, Pietenpol, Autogyro and ERCO/FORNEY Fly-In, Popham
Yes, after we got 4 'Coupes to Popham last year, the Solent Aviation Society has put us on the programme. So we have to go!!!

Other fly-ins of interest

August 15-16  Schaffen-Diest Old Timer Fly-In. (Belgium)
Yearly old timers Fly-In, very interesting but small grass airfield. Full details here

September 4-5-6 Hahnweide Oldtimer Airshow und Meeting. (Germany)

Important meetings

July 27-31 EAA Airventure, Oshkosh, USA

Classified ads


Ercoupe project wanted
Hilde van Haarlem writes: My father is very interested in finding a "project"; an Ercoupe which needs some restoration. Do you know any project available? Thank you in advance for your response. With kind regards, Hilde van Haarlem Netherlands


Ercoupe mailing lists

For a continuous discussion on Ercoupes, or a daily digest, do register for these Ercoupe mailing groups:

Social and general content
Technical information

Ercoupe Web sites

Ercoupe Owners Club
Robert Rombouts' site
Harmut's Ercoupe Maintenance & repair site
Ernst Viehweger's German Ercoupe web site
Mike Willis' site
SoCal Ercoupe Owners site 
Al DeMarzo's site which includes his 'Ercoupe swap page' 
Ed Burkhead's site

Don’t forget – any contributions to the next newsletter very welcome – email them to me at