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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 33 February 2011


Dear readers,

Apologies for the missing issues over Xmas and the New Year, due to a combination of being very busy, and a business trip to California and Nevada. But it's also been very quiet on the Ercoupe front - very little news coming in, so I assume no one in Europe is doing much flying this winter. But somehow as usual when I sat down to edit this newsletter I find far more contributions have actually come in than I have remembered, so I do hope you enjoy it.

Thanks also to Tony Smith for pointing out that this is the 3rd anniversary of the newsletter. It is hard to remember back to February 2008. I had just bought some new Web Design software and wanted to try it out. Building an updated web site for my business seemed to large a task to begin with, so I thought an email newsletter would be an easier job. But what topic could the email cover? In the end the choice was a blog about ink jet technology (my day job), or Ercoupes. So there you go!

Do please contribute to this newsletter, no matter how small your contribution is welcome and will be enjoyed by others. And thank you to those who write in with kind comments. The newsletter is read around the world and brings back happy memories to many!

Happy flying,

Mike Willis, G-HARY

Ercoupe news


Robert Rombouts writes: I am very happy to announce the 5th European Ercoupe Owners Fly In at Antwerp; 4th and 5th June 2011.

Believe me it is closer than we all think, we are already preparing this wonderful June flying weekend. Hoping, dear Erco-flying-friends, you all intend to come, some already confirm they will, thank you.

Because we learn each year from our mistakes and feel to improve this meeting, I decide to change a very important point.

If I can receive early enough your confirmation (until end March) that you will attend the Fly In, I can make a group reservation at the Campanile Hotel, a very big advantage to be all together in the same place and perhaps a cheaper rate.

Also instead to freeze in a very loud disco hangar for the BBQ, there is a possibility at the same Hotel to have a separate room for the group with a choice of a Menu “fish” or “meat”, then we change the name “BBQ” to “Banquet”.  This will be an improvement for a normal chatting all together, friendlier and warmer.

I intend not to make other changes what we propose already each year:

- Free landing fees for all flying aircrafts
- Free tank full up. Only for Ercoupes-Aircoupes
- Free “Banquet” for Ercoupe-Aircoupe pilots, co-pilot or crew
- A possibility for technical assistance and small repair. Only for Erco’s.
- The Campanile Hotel is at social price for Antwerp, if booked early. The exact fee will be confirmed later (around € 85 for single)

This year trophies:

- Longest distance to Antwerp “EBAW” and back home safe.
- Oldest Ercoupe, the serial number will be taking in account, not the condition.
- The “Surprise” Trophy.
- Commemorating nickel for all Erco pilots, co-pilots or crew
- The “Ercoupe Lovers” lanyard and pin

Because it is the fifth time this meeting is organized, an USA Ercoupe Owners delegation will be an amazing surprise and give the meeting an extra international character, who knows.

In 2007, the first year we may welcome the following Ercoupes and pilots;

SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira.
D-EOPI with Peter Nobmann and his wife Anke.
G-ARHB with Keith Peacock and Sid Turner.
G-AVIL with David Hulks and Pam.
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts
N9516V with Vincent Oomen trying to sell his M10.
Visitor: Rob Maatman

In 2008 second year we welcomed;

SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira.
N-3330H with Hartmut and Rainer Beil.
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts
Visitors: Tony and Anne Smith & Rob Maatman

In 2009 third year;

SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira.
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts
Visitors: Jean and Françoise Flacelière & Rob Maatman & Hilde Van Haarlem

In 2010 or last year - a surprising year ;

SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira.
D-EJOR with Stephan Vatter.
D-ENUC with Heiko Binder and his father.
D-EOPI with Ronny Druck and Sandra
G-ARHB with Sid Turner and Keith Peacock
G-HARY with Mike Willis and Brian Clark
N-3330H with Hartmut and Rainer Beil.
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts
Visitors: Rob Maatman & Hilde and father Van Haarlem.

The 2011 edition could be a fantastic one if we may expect for the first time the two new restored Ercoupes from Nederland, one from Rob Maatman and the other one of the family Van Haarlem. In addition I hope to see the F-AZDG from Jean Flacelière whose Ercoupe is now in perfect mechanical condition.

Don’t be shy and send as soon as possible your intention to come, if the weather does not permit or other dramatic situation occur, then you can always cancel. All visitors are also welcome to the “Banquet” and the huge reservation at the Hotel.

Hope you will have an enjoyable nice flight to Antwerp, a friendly meeting with all the European Flying Ercoupers. Yes we can – and will do too.

More details at my website

Robert Rombouts,

Ercoupes for sale - Mahogany Ercoupe models

Curtis Smith writes: I have several Mahogany Ercoupe models that sell for $149 at malls and shows.  I sold these to EOC members previously for $110 plus shipping.

The plane measures 13.5 inches nose to tail, 18 inches wingspan and 4.5 inches high. It weighs 2 to 3 lbs.  I will sell these last remaining models for $90.  Shipping is included for US, but please add $40 for Europe.

Please send your payment to: Curtis Smith, 1127 Camino Hermosa, Corrales, NM 87048-8438, USA.

 Curtis Smith email:

Ercoupe maintenance in France

Jean Flaceliere écrit: Chers Ercoupers, Bon début 2011 pour les Ercoupes: notre nouvel atelier aéronautique N.A.T. accueilera les Ercoupes de tous types et autres classiques, avec des prix intéressants grâce à l'exemption de T.V.A. des associations.

Vous serez dorénavant les bienvenus dans notre nouvel atelier NANGIS AIR TECHNIQUE, lequel vient d'efffectuer d'importants travaux sur mon 415 C sn 3782 F-AZDG, suivant agrafe.

NANGIS LFAI est accueillant: 2 pistes 1000 m., pas de taxes atterrissage, automate 100 LL, bar restaurant sur place, hôtels, garage avion possible.

Good start for 2011 Ercoupe: Our new workshop Aeronautics NAT, host of Ercoupe and all types and other classics, with attractive prices thanks to the VAT exemption of associations.

You're now welcome in our new workshop NANGIS AIR TECHNOLOGY, which has carried out important work on my 415 C sn 3782 F-AZDG, as shown in the photos.

NANGIS LFAI is welcoming: 2 strips 1000 m., no landing fees, 100 LL, bar and restaurant on site, hotels, hangar available.

Bien cordialement,

Jean Flaceliere, tel: 33630715332 email:

Aerial photos

Les Lifkin writes: I gave myself a birthday present by hiring an aerial photographer, something I have been wanting to do for years.  The photo team (husband & wife) are based at my home field: EL MONTE, California.  I met them January 1st when our Pilots Association had its annual fly-in to Catalina Island.  We started talking and it went from there.

The shots are around the San Gabriel mountains near the airport.  We hope you enjoy them, it was fun doing it.






Les and Loretta Lifkin


Future Ercouper

Guy Loveridge writes: Hi, I stumbled across your web site whilst researching the idea of getting flying again.  I was in the RAF VTR - University Air Squadron back in the late 1980's/early 1990's.  My log book shows 18 hours 59 mins on Bulldog and Chippy. I also have 1 hour 15 mins of Lancaster time and 35 mins Spitfire.

I am married, career minded, with 3 kids etc now, but an Ercoupe struck me as a fabulous way of getting flying again. I am going to train for a PPL this summer, if all goes to plan!

So, really enjoyed your web site, it is now in my "favourites" and I hope to be able to let you know that I have progressed to pilot status, and Ercoupe owenrship!  (It was an Ercoupe or an Auster - and the Ercoupe is much cuter an closer to the Bulldog and Firefly I was used to 15+ years ago!)

All the best and thanks in advance,  Guy Loveridge.


Trip reports

BBQ in Las Vegas

Mike Willis writes: With my annual trip to the US in late January coming up I emailed Linda Abrams in SoCal and Max D in Las Vegas to see if there were any Ercoupe fly-ins I could drive to while I was there.  Linda replied with some bad news - she has low compressions in her Ercoupe - but flying is taking a back seat at the moment as she got engaged on New Year's Eve. Congratulations Linda!

But Max, who I have never met or heard of before, invited me to join him and a lot of other pilots who have a gathering at his hangar at North Las Vegas airport every Saturday morning.  And what fun it was.  Max had warned me that they just get together and tell lies over burgers and hot dogs, and that pretty much sums it up.

I found gate 20a in the perimeter fence as Max had told me, but the gate was locked with a key card entry machine.  So how to get in?  Easy, within a minute a lady pulls up in her pick up truck, opens the gate with her card and drives in.  I just walk in behind, glancing around in case there is a CCTV camera watching.  But nobody sees or nobody cares, and I soon see the smoke from the barbecue at hangar Q6.

Max has been running these Saturday morning sessions since 1987, around about when the hangars were built.  I was surprised to see a barbecue at all on an airfield, particularly at a hangar, but Max explained that although technically against the rules the authorities are scared of them.  In fact over the years the airfield cafe has closed and reopened many times, with poor business attributed to Max and his friends.

The hangar is unlike any others I've seen.  Although an aircraft occupies much of the space and there are some tools laying around, the rest is fitted out with kitchen units, a fridge full of beer etc. This is more like a clubhouse than a hangar.  Slowly around 20-30 turn up, and everyone knows each other except for me.  They all introduce themselves and all ask where I'm from and how much is Avgas in Europe? Although a few still fly and own aircraft, most are retired pilots.  They all have interesting tales to tell. Several were based in England during military service or have been on holidays. One was involved in the atomic bomb testing in New Mexico and then the Pacific.  Another tells of his school class near to New York hearing a strange noise one day.  Everyone rushed out to see the Hindenburg airship passing, a magnificent sight. A couple of hours later it was in flames. 

There's lots of teasing and joking within the group. All of a sudden I find myself surrounded. "We have a job for you" says Max. "In fact it's a tradition for newcomers." Someone dials a number on their cell phone, switches it to speaker so we can all hear it ringing.  When it's answered I say my piece as instructed. "My name is Mike and I'm from England, and we have a hymn to sing to you".  The crowd immediately starts chanting a rude verse. Yes, it's another prank, this time being played on someone who hasn't left home yet to join the party.

One old boy sits down with Max to ask his advice.  Before retiring Max was a doctor, and his "patient" has brought along a medical report and some MRI scans for a second opinion.

The food is great, some home-prepared like a spicy sausage that we all sample. There's no charge for the food, drinks and beer, but you are expected to make a donation.

Slowly the group drift away and by 1 pm it's time for me to leave.  Thanks Max, I had a great time meeting everyone.  To everyone else, if you find yourself in Las Vegas on a Saturday morning, forget the gambling or lying by the pool - go to Doc's BBQ!

Humour corner

Except from a romance Novel

He held me firmly but gently just above my elbow and guided me into a room.  I had never been there but I knew this was his room.  I knew what he was going to do to me, and I knew I was going to let him.  The door closed quietly and we were alone.

He approached silently from behind and spoke in a low, reassuring voice close to my ear. "Just relax."

Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong, calloused hands start at my ankles, gently probing, and caressing upward along my tender calves slowly and steadily.  My breath caught in my throat. I knew I should be afraid, but somehow I didn't care. His touch was so experienced, so sure.

When his hands moved under my skirt to my thighs I gave a slight shudder and partly closed my eyes.  My pulse was pounding. His knowing fingers continued upward across my abdomen, my ribcage. And then, as he cupped my firm, full breasts in his hands, I inhaled sharply.  Probing, searching, knowing what he wanted, his teasing hands quickly moved to my shoulders and slid down my tingling spine. My entire body was throbbing when he discovered my pink, lace thong.

Although I knew nothing about this man, I felt oddly trusting and expectant. "This is a man," I thought.  A man used to taking charge. A man not used to taking "No" for an answer.  A man who would tell me what he wanted. A man who would look into my soul and say...

"Okay all done. Here's your purse, ma'am.  Have a nice flight."

Sent in by Jim Brennan, many thanks.  Yes, our American friends are having to learn to cope with increased security checks!

History Corner

Svarta Farna

Tony Smith writes: As you haven't heard from me for quite a while, I thought I'd let you know I'm still here!  In your Newsletter No.27 (May 2010; shows how far behind I am), you ran an ad for Ercoupe SE-BEE.

This has had a bit of a chequered history so I thought you may be interested in a bit of detail.

ERCOUPE 415-C SE-BEE (c/n 2614)

Manufactured 1946 and initially registered NC99991; re-registered N99991 in 1949 and subsequently fitted with a Continental C-85 engine in place of the original C-75.

Purchased by racing driver Arnold Sundquist for $2,600 in the mid-sixties and the C-85 engine replaced by a 100 hp Continental O-200. Owner and aircraft moved to Sweden in circa 1969.  The colour scheme of matt black top-side, light blue under-side with US star insignia was retained and the aircraft flown for a few years with US marks (registration pending on USCAR of 1.1.73) by A.Sundquist but registered to his company, Partille Hardkrommar AB, located in Partille near Gothenburg.

He had two accidents with N99991, the first on 8.2.69 at Kesjvn, Partille, reported as possibly a forced landing.  The second accident happened when the aircraft landed on the ice on Lake Vdttern, Vdrnamo Beach, Motala (date not known).  Recovered by the Fire Brigade but during the operation the tail section was pulled off.  The Ercoupe was repaired with a tail unit from a scrapped Ercoupe, a new O-200 engine being fitted at the same time.  Sold to G.Rosen, Vanersborg in 1974 but could not be flown in US marks as the US CoA had expired, so was grounded.

Sold in 1977 to a new owner in Lasca, subsequently being sold to two further owners before being purchased by Sven-Uno Anderson, Landeryo in 1982 for 15,000SKr.  Due to corrosion, considerable restoration work was required including fabricating a new plastic engine cowling, a non-standard fuel system, brakes from a scrapped MFI-9 and returning the all-metal wings to fabric covered.  Entered on the temporary  register as SE-BEE 1.88 and the first flight after restoration was in 1990, being operated on a Permit.  Named "Svarta Farna".  Flew about 100 hours on a special permit before being transferred to the main register 23.8.94.

Any feedback or additional data would be most welcome!

Cheers – Tony Smith

Fly-Ins 2010

Start putting these dates in your diaries!!!

5th European Ercoupe Owners Fly In, Antwerp; 4-5 June, 2011

See Robert's article at the top of this newsletter.

3rd German Ercoupe Fly-In, Schönhagen, 16-17 July, 2011

During those days a Classic old-timer cars and planes is organized, a very good combination to do an Ercoupe Meeting.


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 
Ercoupe photo album 
Dave Abram's site
Ed Burkhead's site

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