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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 30 September 2010


Dear readers,

Hi everyone,

Just rushing this newsletter out before I leave tomorrow for the US.  Part of my trip will include attending the Ercoupe Owners Convention in Mount Vernon.

The next fly-ins are The 1st French Ercoupe Fly-In and the Solent Aviation Society Fly In at Popham, UK, so please take note of these at the end of the newsletter and try and attend!

Happy flying,

Mike Willis, G-HARY

Quick links to contents of this newsletter:
Fly-in reports

Ercoupe news

Ercoupe parts available

Haim Merkado writes: Hi Mike, I bought an Ercoupe some 12 years ago, flew it for a few times, loved it and crated it to the UK.

In the UK few years later it was develop a spar corrosion on the fuselage side and we could not fix it   I have disassembled the aircraft and all its components are for sale. Can you help me sell the bits that we can keep the other flying

Yours Haim

Sad news

Mike writes: Back in April we had a lovely meet-up at Great Oakley for the Royal Aero Club air races.  What made a very enjoyable day even more interesting was finding out one of the pilots shares my name – Michael Willis.  It was therefore inevitable that I would be routing for him and his Mooney in the race.

Last Saturday he was a competitor with his son James for another of the Royal Aero Club races - the Merlin Cup - in the Isle of Wight.  Unfortunately his plane and an RV collided in mid-air.  The RV managed a belly landing, but sadly Michael and James were killed.

Ercoupe flying in Argentina

Daniel Arditi writes: Dear friends, Here is a new video in which you can see one of our Ercoupe Argentina Group members flying his coupe.

Hope you enjoy.  Best regards!,

Daniel Arditi

Ercoupe Argentina Group Regional Director

Fly-In reports

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

Robert Rombouts writes: Three times a day, I was consulting all the different good German Wetter sites (Met offices), my chances to fly back to Belgium start to be a huge problem. If you see a front coming from the south covering the middle of Germany and the west where I was, then turning back to the south and coming back, you feel with all the warnings on the maps that it is safer to stay where I was.

Arriving on Sunday the 8th in Dabie EPSD, and expect leaving Tuesday 10th was not possible, I had nice company, good food, nice bed, who will return in hazardous weather conditions? Better one Robert on the ground than be a fool in the air, not taking any risk and stay.

After a week a calm and nice weather is expected around Thursday 19th and Friday 20th in Germany, Holland and Belgium.

“Le beau-soleil nouveau est arrivé”, Yes, 19th Augustus 2010, Robert and his nice prepared OO-PUS are ready for take off (I bought 20 ltr fuel for €1.02, and it was real 100LL Avgas). So I rolled out of the Polish-German hangar to find out if the Met Offices predict the right weather.

Because it is an unmanned airfield, I received previously a telephone number only to explain where I am flying to in Germany, no FLP is requested, we are in Europe. Wrong, it was a telephone Flight Plan to a very nice girl (I suppose), who speak very well Polish but her English was for a Belgian difficult to understand, this delayed my time by 20 minutes, but I may airborne immediately, very kind of her.

The grass runway 06 was a mini water pool, from all the rain of the previous days, but luckily I was flying alone. Fast running dark clouds in the sky didn’t give me a good feeling, but after half hour flying it starts to be better, only the head wind was around 20kts at 2000ft. Ground speed of about 61-68mph on my GPS was not very encouraging, my first leg (86nm) was calculated at 85mph with landing at Kyritz EDBK, and I landed after 1hr45 or 45 minutes slower as predicted. This made me worry for the next leg to Bielefeld EDLI (161nm), what will be my leg time?

Kyritz is a very nice airfield, 1000m Asphalt runway, kind and helpful people, very good restaurant, I didn’t eat at the spot but a lot of customers prove the quality. Fuel was self-service for €2.636 ltr, not cheap. The Met give me 260°/25 kts at 2000ft, my heading to fly was 250° so exact headwind. 

If I forget the clouds, the wind and the bumps, then it was a good trip. Time flies and arriving at Bielefeld around 4 pm was quite late, leg time 2hrs35 instead the 1hr53 calculated. With a cross wind of 18kts I landed on 29 on the marvellous asphalt. Refueling € 2.28 ltr, eat a sandwich, fill a Flight Plan and what now? I didn’t recalculate my leg time but without wind I had a 2hrs45 fly time, what brings me roughly more than 3hrs. Tired and had enough with the previous 4hrs I did already a break was necessary, I booked a room for the night and order a taxi.  Relaxed with a nice shower and delicious food at the hotel, I didn’t need to count the jumping women or was it sheep?

Friday 20th, scandalous good weather all over Europe, still a small head wind (190°/10kts visibility 30km), no complaints. Heading 270° via Holland (Nijmegen) afterwards to Midden-Zeeland EHMZ, and along the coast to Ostend. That was a 3h40hrs leg time over the amazing Delta of the Schelde a tourist trip at 3500ft, incredible visibility a pilots dream.

OO-PUS and Robert where again back home save and happy, total time of this journey from Poland to Ostend was 8hrs, don’t think I will create a daily scheduled connection. With 943nm and 15hrs22 logged for the all trip, I enjoyed and learned a lot.

If Hartmut didn’t organized the meeting I will not imagine to start that trip, thanks Hartmut you give me the opportunity to do it. The only point I am worried about is the nose wheel was leaking oil, but now the leak stopped, all the hydraulic oil is gone, this need my urgent attention.

Happy I join the Schönhagen meeting and also that I continued to Poland, learned a lot, the German airspace is easy to fly with a very good support of the different Radars. You can fly hours without talking on the radio, just listen; it is so simple and enjoyable in good weather.

Robert Rombouts & OO-PUS

28 August 2010 – Classic Fly-In – Great Oakley UK

Robert Rombouts writes: I had the feeling that Great Oakley didn’t like me, two previous attends were impossible; bad weather at Ostend grounded me for joining the Ercoupe meetings. I had the impression I never will land at Great Oakley.

The unstable weather during the all week, made me sad, again it will be a no go. Wrong, Saturday 28th August was a beautiful sunny day, some clouds at 2000ft, the 20kts head-wind was not a problem. This time I will make it.

Ready for the trip at 10:30 local, I took off from Ostend with the OO-PUS to enjoy a flight to Vabik (ref.point) at mid Channel then Clacton VOF. So beautiful, so relax, so smooth at 2500ft, with 40km visibility, a dream that I cannot explain with words.

We have a beautiful North Sea in the sun, with the small boats that are not, the water is dark blue with some white waves, unbelievable I start to be romantic.

Believe me, my flight was a magic good one, after 1hr39 I had Great Oakley inside, grass runway 27 right hand approach, I landed on a immaculate perfect green carpet. Unbelievable that runway, I thought it was so flat that it could be asphalt. Here I must congratulate the owner of this airfield, a so well kept runway. I was anxious about my defect nose-wheel, but my concern about a bumpy runway was wrong, you could compare it as a green of a golf course.

A very nice girl, Derek’s daughter, did the PR for all incoming pilots in a very professional way; you feel immediately the spirit of the airfield. I was very happy to see Derek again after so long time; thanks to him I did the flight, he creates the opportunity of the Fly-In. He was very busy running around constantly, you had the impression he was everywhere at the same time, resulting in a perfect and friendly organization of the event.

Keith and Mike arrived shortly after me with the G-ARHB; Keith’s motor just had four new cylinders. Mike’s G-HARY is still waiting in the workshop for his 0 time motor and will be soon back in the air as new. With our four Ercoupers we had our talking and talking, no beer because we are serious conscious pilots who like to return safely home.

Mike showed us on his iPad the fantastic professional presentation he creates of the “European Ercoupe Owners” he will show during his visit in September at the “Ercoupe Owners Convention” in Mt.Vernon USA. We missed Rodney and Mary Tapp, a minor technical problem was the reason they could not fly from Manston to Great Oakley, we were so sorry. We visit also the workshop restoring two Proctors, very interesting how they do it, all wood frames, marvellous.

With a delicious BBQ we had on the terrace, our strength came back and we were already thinking about our return. The weather was degrading and the Sunday forecast was even catastrophic, it was very wise to leave as soon as possible as the other participating plane did too. Here I had a small problem; I need a Flight Plan to Ostend, and how to send it? Luckily Mike with his iPad was the solution; Mike logged in at the Belgium FTP website, unbelievable those iPad, and thanks to Mike again in a few minutes he save my life, flying without a FTP is murder when your destination is Ostend.

We intend leaving both around 16:00 English time, with more clouds than this morning, but still a perfect flyable weather, even the wind didn’t changed. The result with now a tail-wind I did the return in 55 minutes, a personal record; it could be shorter if I did it in a straight line from Clacton to Ostend over open water. I noticed a maximum 118 mph ground speed; OO-PUS can also fly very quickly. Exactly the same scenario as my morning flight but much quicker, I landed at Ostend in full sunshine on the 26 right hand. Before Mid Channel London Information, who was very busy, suggest me quite quick to change frequency, I could understand that no Basic Service over open waters is needed, and in case I will ditch it was the Belgian’s who had to take care of me, very clever.

This “Classic Fly-In” at Great Oakley was for me a wonderful meeting; fantastic flight, friendly meeting with dear Ercoupers, beautiful airfield, an incredible day I will not forget. This Fly-In is already booked in my agenda for next year, and I hope more Ercoupers will attend, you will not regret it, you can even buy fresh farm eggs, an extra reason to make the trip.

My sincerely “Thanks” to Derek and his team, to Mike Willis who send us all the wonderful opportunity of this Fly-In, I enjoyed my trip, and feel still the remaining satisfaction of a wonderful day.

Robert & OO-PUS

Fly-Ins 2010

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

This annual fly-in is now a fixture on the UK Ercoupe calendar. Again we are promised a warm welcome from the Solent Aviation Society and the Bournemouth Branch of Air Britain. As well as an Ercoupe fly-in this is a "Rallye Rally". All aircraft types are welcome, there are no landing fees and variuos trophies will be awarded on the day.

Visit Popham's web site at for joining instructions and noise abatement.


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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