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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 36 August 2011


Dear readers,

As I mentioned last issue, it is so good to be back in the air. I got back from Air Britain Fly-in at North Weald this year in just 30 minutes instead of the 6 months last year!

We are now in the middle of fly-in season and there are several reports this month. Do try and attend some of the coming events - there is a ful listing at the end of this newsletter. You will be made very welcome whereever you fly - that's the attraction of an Ercoupe!

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

Ercoupe for sale

Ronny Druck writes: Hi Mike, you can add in the next Newsletter that I´m going to sell my Ercoupe D-EOPI.  This is a 1947 Erco Ercoupe 415D C/N 541.
Thanks and best regards, Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Ronny Druck
Tel. +49 631 3038893,

Mike adds: I couldn't resist this old photo of D-EOPI - presumeably the lady on the right is ready to hand swing the prop?


Ercoupe wanted

Ken Lyndon-Dykes writes: Hi Mike, I really miss my proper Ercoupe but I will buy the first shiny one that comes on the market! 

Meantime here is a couple of photos of my pretend Ercoupes VM and PROV.  VM has just completed major renovation.

Regards to all Coupers,

Ken Lyndon -Dykes


G-ONHH back with former owner

Richard Tarry writes:  Dear Mike,  Good to hear from you.  I can’t make Sunday at Gt Oakley as I have just started the harvest.  Its good to have G-ONHH back and she is flying as she should but then again she is an Aircoupe, the best light aircraft in the world.  I am sure I will see you around at some airfield.  Have a safe trip on Sunday hope the weather keeps up.
Kind regards, Richard Tarry

Anniversary flight

Les Slifkin writes:  Mike, thanks for the great newsletter. You have some beautiful countryside to fly over.  My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary by taking a trip to Santa Barbara, California for 3 nights, then to Half Moon Bay, 1 night, then to Watsonville, 2 night.  Taking a train to Santa Cruz.  Then on to Visalia, 2 nights then on to home base: El Monte.  744 statute miles, 10 hours of flying, six airports and seven landings (took a friend in Visalia for a ride).  5.2 gallons per hour.  And most importantly, the weather was perfect.  Had tail winds from Watsonville to Visalia showing 148 mph on the GPS.  Powered back and enjoyed the ride.  Some day I hope to drop in on you and enjoy a fly-in as a visitor.
Best wishes and good weather, Les

Fly-in report

Air Britain Fly-In North Weald – July 2 & 3 – 2011

Robert Rombouts writes: We could not dream a better weather as during this Meeting in North Weald, what a big difference with last year.  As usual I flew already the Friday 1st July straight form Ostend EBOS to Dover VOR and then direct to North Weald. After contacted London Info, I had to change to Manston Radar then Southend Radar and finally EGSX. Perhaps the other route via Clacton over the Channel and direct to North Weald was easier and not so radio intense.  Believe me that I enjoy this flight with such a beautiful visibility, a dream that was reality, only 1hr45-flight time.

A warm and friendly welcome from Phil Kemp, his brother Nigel and all the Air Britain members makes the beauty of the North Weald Fly-In.

Mike Willis with his Alon G-HARY arrived followed, as coordinated, Sid Turner and his grandson with his Alon G-ARHB the Saturday morning.  By car, Andrew Gardner joined us, an Ercouper in heart and soul as we all are. Tony & Anne Smith were already with their camper at the airfield.  All good friends as usual together sharing the latest news and improvements realized on our Erco’s.

What can be more relaxed and enjoyable than to sit in the sun, smelling the BBQ and chatting.  The time we spend together is always to short and already we planned the next meeting.

Due to the nice weather, the number of aircrafts arrivals was enormous.  Sid and his son returned that Saturday back to Earls Colne, afterwards Mike depart also to Bourn and will return the next day on Sunday.

Phil drove me in the evening to the hotel after admiring how to inflate two balloons, we expect a small trip but this was not possible.  A good night rest, and in the morning I enjoy a real English breakfast, the blue sky was also ready for the all day.  Mike arrived very early the Sunday as I was preparing my return to Ostend for in the afternoon at 13:00 Zulu.  In the hotel I prepare and send my Flight-Plan to Belgocontrol with my iPad, an easy improvement.

We expect Rodney & Mary Tapp from Manston, but we were not sure because they just returned from Colorado the day before.  With pleasure we saw in downwind an Ercoupe and were so happy they could come.  When the G-ERCO taxied in from runway 20 Mike and I enjoyed the arrival of a famous pilot’s couple, yes, both have a license and even Mary had hers before Rodney.  It was the first time I personally met them, and as every Ercouper, they are very kind ones.  With a hamburger and a hotdog we talk a lot between a bite, because I had my departure time it was too short, but we promise to see each other soon again. Two other ex-Ercoupers Ken Lyndon-Dykes and David Hulks were also there and came and found us! 

The return to Ostend was very smooth and with a very good visibility, 1hr30 delight but a little tired from the running on the airfield, age is taking my power.  I was so sorry when Mike proposed me to do the following days some flying around in the north of England; I was not in the mood, sorry Mike it was a very good proposal.

This year four (4) Ercoupes in North Weald, a very good success, we hope always more and that a trip to North Weald in such a beautiful weather was a real pleasure as I enjoyed it.

Until next year North Weald, a so friendly and interesting Meeting organized by Air Britain.
Robert Rombouts

3rd German Ercoupe Meeting Schönhagen

Robert Rombouts writes: Sadly, I could not fly this year to Schönhagen, the unstable bad weather forced me to be reasonable and drive by car, the last year experience of being stuck during more than a week was not a good idea. As visitor to this event, I have little to report.

Hartmut had a good idea to have the 3rd German Ercoupe Meeting with the Cars Classic days who was enormous, more that 250 classic cars from all over the world was impressive. A very detailed explanation was given during the display by one of the organizer who knows each car perfectly.

The weather was on Saturday exceptional good, the photos taken prove it, many visitors for the classic cars, motorbikes and airplanes show came to admire the classic beauties.

As normally you expect during such events; booths with spare parts for cars, hamburgers, drinks and souvenirs.

Now our Ercoupers, Sven-Eric Pira flew with headwind (8hrs) with his SE-BFX already on Friday, he polished his plane that was shining as a star on the classic airplanes space. Unfortunately, the number of aircrafts (6) was not in proportion with the number of cars, but the weather and perhaps more publicity will improve this event. From Worms Stephan Vatter flew on Saturday in the beautiful weather with his D-EJOR, he enjoyed his trip, tailwind, so much that he returned the same day and didn’t wait until the expected thunderstorm of Sunday will arrived. On his return he break his personal longest leg with 3hrs25.

Then Hartmut and his brother Rainer taxied in from his hangar with his N-3330H who is a model of mirror polished Ercoupe, congratulation Hartmut, it could not be done better.

With a few drinks and local hamburger, we had a friendly talk, but we missed always somebody and could not make our commemorating photo all together. Hartmut gave us as souvenir of the Meeting a very useful Flight Controls Gauge carton for the Elevator-Rudder-Aileron allowed free moving distance to check before each flight.

I was sad to have to drive in such a beautiful weather, but too late. Until next year Schönhagen, hoping I could do the trip in better weather conditions.

Robert Rombouts, OO-PUS

De Havilland & Ercoupe Fly-In, Great Oakley, 17 July

Derek Tregilgas writes:  Having advised everyone that the projected BBQ supposedly taking place for this fly-in had been cancelled due to the appalling weather conditions that weekend it was taken for granted that the event wouldn't take place at all. My brother and I had resigned ourselves to spending the day sheltering in our bay immersed in all things Percival when Tim Spurge sauntered around the corner and announced that he had just received a call to say that a flock of various De Havillands were airborne and ducking and weaving their way towards Great Oakley.

In a state of amazement we bravely stuck our heads out of the hangar into the passing squalls and sure enough, were greeted by the sight of two Tiger Moths wheeling overhead into the circuit. Fortunately the gusty wind was straight down the runway which allowed no less than twelve aircraft to drop in - some of them actually landing in the middle of one of the many passing showers. Having made this extraordinary effort in weather conditions that would have seen Chuck Yeager sitting it out in the pub it was unfortunate that no burnt offerings were on offer as originally advertised. Freebie tea and bikkies were provided however, which mellowed the hungry travellers.

In all, three Tiger Moths, two Leopard Moths, two Hornet Moths, three Chipmunks, one Auster and a Cessna 180 ended up gracing the turf. These intrepid aviators had started their tour the day before from Sywell and dropped in to Bruntingthorpe, Wittering and on to Duxford. On Sunday the tour was continued to Rougham, Great Oakley, Stow Maries, and finally to Stapleford where the travelling band had diminished to just two aircraft, Mark Miller with Hornet Moth, G-AELO, and John and Joe Baxter in the yellow Tiger Moth G-BPHR. The remaining participants had all either diverted elsewhere or fled home ! Hats off to the Moth Club for venturing forth and including Great Oakley in their Vintage Air Tour for 2011 on a day when most sane mortals would have been staying nice and warm in the pub with Chuck Yeager ! Hopefully this event will be repeated later this summer with some sunshine thrown in and this time, a BBQ !

It was a great shame that the Ercoupe squad were not able to join in the 'fun' on this occasion but I'm sure the Moth boys (and girls) would be delighted to see our little twin-finned beauties gathered along with the Moths at the next Oakley event.  

The panoramic shot was provided by Mark Miller who organised the proceedings (Mark - I hope you don't mind me forwarding these pics of yours to Mike (Ercoupe - G-HARY), who 'reckons' he had a tech problem with his machine (I personally think he simply went to the pub when he saw the forecast !)

I trust all's well with everyone, and many thanks once again to the Moth Club for their outstanding effort on this unique occasion,

Derek Tregilgas

Fly-Ins 2011

Start putting these dates in your diaries!!!

12 - 14 August, Old timers Fly-In Schaffen-Diest. Belgium

Further details at:

26 - 28 August, Tannheim Fly-In. Germany

2-4 September, LAA Sywell Rally, UK

18 September, Solent Aviation Society Popham, UK

No site yet, but do make plans to attend this fly-in, its always friendly and they are so pleased to see Ercoupes.


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Ercoupe photo album 
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