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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 29 August 2010


Dear readers,

In the UK the weather hasn't been wonderful, but my Ercoupe is having an engine overhaul at the moment so it has made little difference to me! Hopefully I will be flying again within a couple of weeks now.

This newsletter there is a great report of the German fly-in in Schönhagen, which unfortunately suffered from bad weather. There is also full information about the next two big fly-ins - Great Oakley in the UK 28 August and the French Ercoupe Fly-in at Nangis 11-12 September.

There was some confusion about the last newsletter where I mentioned 'download images'. If the photos appear when you read this newsletter then no problem. If you don't see them then there should be a way in your email software to 'download images'. Of course the best thing to do is add this email to your address list and then there should be no problems.

Happy flying,

Mike Willis, G-HARY

Quick links to contents of this newsletter:
2nd German Ercoupe fly-in report

Ercoupe news

Air to air Ercoupe video

Recently posted on YouTube, this is a wonderful video showing Heiko and Stephan's Ercoupes D-ENUC and D-EJOR with their matching colour schemes. This video really captures the pleasures of flying Ercoupes around the beuatiful countryside, in this case Germany. Enjoy!

Fly-In reports

2nd German Ercoupe Fly-In – 7th & 8th August at Schönhagen.

Robert Rombouts writes: The 2nd German Ercoupe Fly-In organized by Hartmut Beil from Berlin, was as last year at Hartmut’s home base in Schönhagen, South of Berlin. We thank him very much for his courage initiative, each meeting is special and this one was for me very educative.

As usual, I try to write as good as possible my trip to, at and from Schönhagen. This time I prepare my route very carefully, intending to fly first to Poland and rejoin the meeting on Saturday the 7th. Due to bad weather in Belgium, I had to postpone my flight to Poland and did a direct to Schönhagen EDAZ. The Ostend Meteo assures me that the best day to leave was on Friday 6th; because a high pressure was all over Germany. It is frustrating when you have to wait with all your luggage and maps a few days, and must admit that tomorrow will be better.

Friday 6th August, time to take off, 10:30 local time Ostend, Robert prepared with his charts – maps – diversion routes in case, happy for a 5:30 hours flight with the first leg to Bielefeld EDLI. Believe me it was a high pressure, 30 km visibility, smooth airliner stability, a dream for every pilot. Arrived at Bielefeld after 2hr45 on a 3500 ft altitude with 10 Knt tail wind, I had a quick sandwich, refuelled and went direct to Schönhagen.

In the mountains after Bielefeld I had a decreasing visibility but nothing dramatic, passing all my airport waypoints that I planned to pass in case of emergency, until I passed Magdeburg (38 NM from my destination), a very gentle girl from Bremen Radar advised me to land as soon as possible because of heavy rain over Schönhagen, even the airfield was closed. I must admit the clouds were lower and lower and the colour went from dark grey to black. At that time I was about 18 nm from my final destination, found the chart of the Lüsse (EDOJ) airfield, with enormous grass runways, a glider airfield. That landing there was a very quick; nobody in the air and on the field. I taxied to a nice villa that I presumed was the bar, what else I could do. Leaving my poor OO-PUS in the rain and heavy wind, I ran for shelter. I met a very nice chap, a French gliders instructor, who explained me that he just came from Berlin and had to stop his car because of the heavy rain. Lucky Robert and thanks to the good information I received from Bremen Radar. The airfield for glider instruction disposes about many beds and I could overnight without any problem, very nice proposition especially when I had only 20 minutes to end my trip.

After one hour I could not resist trying the last leg, I phoned Hartmut to explain where I was, and Schönhagen airfield to find out if it was open again. Very good reply from the dispatch, “yes, but we don’t fly any more and you can land on 07 or 25 as you wish”. This means in normal language, cross wind and get your thing on the ground in one way or the other.

Whith a fantastic help from my GPS, due to nice rain my windscreen was useless, still VFR looking down before the wing I saw after 25 minutes a beautiful asphalt runway that I kissed with my wheels, performing an unusual dive approach ignoring all Ercoupe datasheets and ideal approach speeds. Hartmut was waiting in the rain, we both happy that I arrived save. Then a beer is a golden drink, the colour, the taste, and the relaxation. Hartmut welcomed me with a very nice commemorating pin that I will keep as a precious memory.

A very nice hotel on the premises of the airfield, good restaurant, very nice and kind girls, Robert was as in heaven, luckily, I was at EDAZ.  A very good sleep and expected breakfast at 10:00.

Hartmut with his unbelievable energy, proposed me at 8:30 a check flight with the OO-PUS, afterwards the breakfast, then all the technical improvements he suggests for my Ercoupe.

Because I have an oil leak on my nose wheel (No oil any more now in the cylinder), Hartmut show me a complete nose wheel construction in detail with all the components he had as spare. Hartmut is fabulous.

Then, how to polish an Ercoupe, his Coupe is a real mirror, so we start polishing the tail of the OO-PUS, now I will never forget it. Then very meticulous I wrote a list of all the improvements Hartmut suggest me to do, exactly 12. This meeting was high tech, wonderful if we have an Ercoupe specialist as Hartmut as friend.

Not expecting other Ercoupe arrivals, we went to the restaurant to fill the stomach after labour. Ernst Viehweger and his wife were waiting for us, but didn’t came with their Coupe due to the very bad weather south of Berlin.

Surprise, Sven-Eric phoned me a few minutes later that he was waiting on the OO-PUS tail, he and his son Thomas came with his Torpe SE-XIP from Sweden in 3:00 hrs, much quicker than the Ercoupe.

Result; we are 4 Ercoupers together, chatting in a very friendly and relaxed way for hours on the first floor terrace of the EDAZ airfield. Hartmut suggested to test the OO-PUS again after he bent the right aileron - I had a left wing drop in flight.

We flew to an abandoned military airfield near Schönhagen for low passes. I was not so relaxed when Hartmut asked about the stalling speed over the trees at 300ft.

Wonderful day; we did more than I expected, it was an amazing meeting with friends, a technical meeting, a perfect Ercoupe meeting, thanks Hartmut.

Last day Sunday, I intended to fly to Poland (Stettin) as I did in 2008, only 1hr20 fly time, but just on that part of German and Polish border, heavy rain was shown on the radar map. I wait until 15:00 local, and decide to take the risk. Hartmut was so kind to join me on my way to Stettin, unluckily drizzle spoiled the freshly polished Coupes, but the rain stopped and Hartmut returned after 10 minutes to his home base.

Again nicely supported by Bremen Radar and now in good flying conditions, until I was 30 nm from Dabie EPSD (Stettin potato airfield), low clouds with visible rain showers that you can avoid partially, was the final approach. Again nobody in the circuit, direct approach after checking the wind sock (you must know where to find it), because the communication is all in Polish, with the normal procedure of this kind of airfield I landed without problems, nobody will understand me there even my Flemish will not help. All grass and a lot of water on the runway, normal when it was raining heavily during a few days, I taxied to the biggest building with the windsock and yes a big C.

Secured the OO-PUS outside and tried to find somebody to explain that I was arrived save on the field, but no luck. Next day I found someone and could have a shelter for the OO-PUS in a huge hangar with real heavy German doors; (it was before a military German airfield).

I expected to stay for only two days in Poland and then fly back to Belgium but no luck. I only found strong wind, storm, rain on the radar maps, so Robert was stuck in a Polish airfield for..........

To be continued when I arrive in Belgium, I hope not by train.

Robert Rombouts, OO-PUS

Fly-Ins 2010


August 28       Great Oakley Vintage Fly-In

Mike Biddulph writes: We would like to extend an invitation to all pilot/owners, especially those with vintage aircraft, to our Fly-In on Saturday 28th August at Great Oakley near Harwich, Essex.

The airfield is one of the fastest growing, & best light aircraft airfields in the country.  It is situated near the East coast of England not far from Harwich in Essex on a picturesque estate in beautiful surroundings.

There are two active runways available, 09/27 and 04/22 making it easily accessible in most weather conditions and a fantastic airfield to visit throughout the year.

The airfield has been developed over the past few years & boasts large hangers to accommodate home based aircraft such as a Harvard, Beech Staggerwing, Auster, Bucker Jungmann to name but a few.

Regular fly-ins are organised each year for specialist aircraft groups and clubs.  It is hoped that planning permission will be granted for another large hangar to include a viewing balcony and control tower.

The Proctor restoration workshop, which was formed in 2007, will be open at set times on the day for interested parties. Two of these fine Percival touring aircraft can be seen under rebuild to flying condition.  A third Proctor has just arrived from Sweden for possible rebuild as well. it is planned to wheel her outdoors for the photographers.  Great Oakley is one of only TWO PLACES IN THE WORLD where three Proctors can be seen together on one site.

The whole airfield has a very "personal touch" about it, being friendly, the grass is well kept and there is good signage on the airfield.  The airfield support room (once known as the club house) has been recently refurbished and serves good food and drinks; eat on the veranda whilst taking in the wonderful views of the local countryside.

Great Oakley airfield is a reminder of the "Halcyon"days of light aviation yet remains in touch with modern times. There are few fences or restricted areas , its a place where visiting pilots can relax, and enthusiasts can get close to aircraft.

Fuel is available ( served by the owner Tim Spurge). On our fly- in days we have a large BBQ  with plenty to eat and drink.

If you intend to arrive by road,  Great Oakley Airfield is based on a farm in the North East corner of Essex, 5 miles to the West of the old town of Harwich.

The best way to find the airfield by car, regardless of your starting point, is to take the A12 to COLCHESTER then head towards HARWICH on the A120. Continue on the A120 all the way to WIX where you would ignore the FIRST right turn to WIX (to avoid driving through the village) and taking the SECOND right turn into HARWICH ROAD. A short way in, take the first left into OAKLEY ROAD and continue to the junction of WIX ROAD bearing left onto SCHOOL ROAD. Drive a short distance until you see the sign for Great Oakley Airfield.

Once on the grounds continue to follow the track past the lake to your right until you reach the Airfield. where there is plenty of free parking.

May we look forward to seeing you on the day, and hope that good weather will prevail, which will in turn bring in a host of classic light aircraft, including De Havilland, Percival, Miles and many others classics.

The Proctor restoration group are holding a raffle for all pre 1960 vintage/classic arrivals, the prize being a full tank of fuel to see you home and beyond or cash to the equivalent value. Tickets are available on booking in, the draw taking place at 3:00 pm.

Please do consider coming on the 28th August , either as individuals or in groups, you will not be disappointed, & of course you will be made very welcome.

Good food, and plenty of it is provided for our fly in days. To help us provide this please R.S.V.P  me to confirm numbers.  This is VERY IMPORTANT it ensures we can provide sufficient food for all comers with no disappointment and of course to have refreshments ready for you on arrival when you book in.

I look forward to receiving your confirmation and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have, either email or reach me on 07884 002 447.

Hope to see you on the 28th.  Mike Biddulph from 'The Percival Restoration Team' -- on behalf of Tim Spurge Owner Of Great Oakley Airfield

September 9-12   Mount Vernon Outland Airport, Illinois (KMVN) - 2010 EOC National Convention

The annual Ercoupe National Convention in the USA is in Illinois this year. Full details at

September 11-12      Nangis, France - 1st French Ercoupe fly-in

In one month, our aviation meeting "Aircraft ancient, classical or otherwise”, will take place the weekend of Saturday & Sunday 11 & 12 September in France at LFAI Nangis, an east suburb of Paris. It is co-organized by the local flying club Albert Moreau (CMAA) and fans and/or owners, based or not, with their beautiful old machines.

Our first French Ercoupe air-meet is planned at this event.  The airfield does not have landing fees and has a 100 LL gas provider.

You can download a pdf file of the DGAC/SIA/VAC airport chart of Nangis by clicking on the chart image.

Other air travel charts, Notams and more are available:" with English, and our airclub Albert Moreau

If you want a hotel reservation, airfield restaurants, please email me. 

See you all there with EEOC members. Jean Flaceliere

September 19      Popham, UK- Solent Aviation Society Fly-in


Ercoupe mailing lists

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

Social and general content
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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 
Ercoupe photo album 
Ed Burkhead's site

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