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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 41 April 2012


Dear readers,

Quite a bit of news has been coming in, so time for another newsletter. Please don't forget, any contribution large and small, in English or any other language, is gratefully received and will be of interest to our 100+ European Ercoupe lovers!

Best regards,

Mike Willis, G-HARY

Ercoupe News

European Ercoupe Fly-In Antwerp, May 19-20, 2012

Robert Rombouts writes: Dear European Ercoupers, just to remind you all that in less than 1 MONTH we have the 6th Antwerp Fly-In.  Thank you to all who reply me, and specially those who confirm the intention to attend.

Still it is not too late to send your hope to come with your Ercoupe-Aircoupe.  It is not easy to organize such a meeting and wish all will come.  Concerning the hotel reservation, “Crowne Plaza” at Antwerp, you have to book them now urgently, and you mention “Ercoupe Fly-In May 19 & 20” at

With hope to see you at Antwerp, and if you need more information I will help you as much as I can.

With very kind Ercoupe greetings.

OO-PUS & Robert

The wreck of G-ARHD

Liam Boyle writes: Hi Mike, Well I have searched for the wreck of G ARHD from the air on Tuesday, not an easy task.  Unfortunately I did not find it, but I have spoken to some people at Eglinton airport.  A couple of years ago Eglinton airport wanted to remove the wreck from its location and put it on display around the airport, but the farmer who owns the land the wreck is on would not let them remove it. I will attempt to visit it on foot 2 weeks from now.  I have spoken to a pilot who knows exactly where it is.  He also told me exactly what happened to it, in a previous newsletter it was reported as a forced landing in a snow storm, but in fact it crashed in fog unknowing how low it was.

Also the Ulster Flying Club is having a fly in on the 22nd to 24th of June, we had one of the last and it was fantastic. Also I greatly enjoyed the last newsletter.

Looking forward to meeting you at Sywell

Best regards, Laim

Jim McMeekan writes: Hi Mike, some pretty sad photos attached showing the wreck of Air Products Aircoupe G-ARHD in which I did my first solo.  My son took these recently in the Sperrin Mountains in the west of Northern Ireland.  This machine was based at Newtownards along with my Aircoupe G-AROO.  G-ARHD was sold to Enniskillen Flying Club and ended up crashing in the Sperrins in November 1973 (no injuries to crew).  The valuable components were removed over a period of months but the wings and centre section were left as it is quite a trek to the nearest road.

Best regards Jim McMeekan

Don’t just check NOTAM’s…

Mike writes: I thought I’d look for the report on G-ARHD’s accident, but unfortunately the Air Accident Investigation Reports on-line only go back to 1980.  But I did notice their web site allows you to search for crash reports up to December 2013.  Worth checking before you fly!!!

New Aussie ‘Coupes

Tony Smith writes: Hi Mike, A brief note about "upside-down" Ercoupes!  The two Ercoupes that were exported to Australia last year have at last appeared on the RAAus register.

415-C N93917 (c/n 1240) was registered as 24-8004 17.11.11 (cancelled from US register 15.6.11)

415-C N93404 (c/n 727) was registered as 24-7986 1.11.11 (not yet cancelled from US register)

Recreational Aviation - Australia (RAAus) is the governing body for sport aviation in Australia with a numerical system of registration (no National marks carried as the aircraft don't fly overseas)

For more details see:

Hope all is well, particularly with the better weather. (Ed: is that a joke???)

Cheers - Tony Smith

Our spy in Argentina

Tony Crowe writes: Some Ercoupe photos for you.  A friend of mine Nigel Hitchman went to the EAA Argentina Fly-in Gral Rodriguez 10/11 March.  He spent two enjoyable days at the fly-in, very hot and sunny most of the time, but it had been heavy rain on the Friday evening, which put off some of the visitors, including a newly completed Beech Staggerwing.  They were lucky with the weather because Monday morning it was heavy thunderstorms and poor visibility!

Lots of interesting aircraft are based there already, so even though there weren’t many visitors there was still a lot to see.  About 15 came from Uruguay and a couple from Brazil and Bolivia, but disappointingly only 50 or 60 visitors from inside Argentina!  But that included these Ercoupes.


First time left seat in an Ercoupe

Liam Boyle writes: Hello Mike, I am happy to tell you today Friday the 13th of April I flew in the left seat of Aircoupe G AROO today, this truly was the greatest flight of my life so far.  I feel now I am a real "Ercouper".  Shortly after 15:00 myself and James McMeekan departed Newtownards with me in the captains seat!  I had a little difficulty taxiing, I’m used to using toe brakes which the Aircoupe does not have.  I flew for just over an hour.  I did a couple of circuits and I’m proud to say each landing was a "greaser".  I hope to fly G AROO solo in the very near future now then I'll be authentic ecoupe pilot!

Best Regards, Liam Boyle

2 new Ercoupes at Panshanger

Haim Merkado of North London Flying Club at Panshanger has confirmed he imported the two Ercoupes reported in the last newsletter.

Tony Smith writes: Hi Mike, further to the reported arrival of the two Ercoupes at Panshanger; attached are photos of them.  Photo credits to Phil & Nigel Kemp.
Cheers - Tony S.


An Ercoupe is a flying coffin

Ernst Viehweger writes: An Ercoupe is a flying coffin a letter published in the AOPA-Pilot-magazine of
May 2012 on page 22 in response to a previous article “Budget Buy: Easy Flyer” in the March issue, a review of the Ercoupe.

“Tom Horne beat me to it! I was going to write an article about Ercoupes, except mine would not be nearly so nice. I have owned two of them.  In reality it's a coffin with wings.  Flying an Ercoupe is a bit like flying a kite-with you sitting on the kite.  You are at the mercy of the wind, be it straight down the runway, crossways to the runway, or at altitude; the poor little things don't have a chance with the winds.  On crosswinds they have the nasty habit of lifting the upwind wing, which causes you to turn into the wind to lower the wing but that turns the nose wheel so that you go shooting off for the alfalfa.  If the wind is stiff straight down the runway you are sort of OK if you are really, really good, but as soon as you turn off the runway onto the taxiway you are right angles to the wind.

The Ercoupe has to be the only tricycle-gear airplane that can ground loop.  I once learned this the hard way; when light on fuel and only me, the entire setup weighs next to nothing.  And clouds!  Boy, I've never seen an airplane that is so affected by up and down currents under those big fluffy clouds; it is not possible to maintain a constant altitude no matter the attitude of the airplane nor the power setting.  And Horne is very right that you don't want to be low and slow in an Ercoupe.  A lot of Ercoupe accidents are powerloss events.

William C. Buhles, AOPA 5989360
Davis, California”

IMHO the real reason for this statement is worn out rubber-bumpers of the main landing gear.  After over 60 years the rubber sure becomes a "little more" flat.  You can see and measure this on the top of the rudder-fin.  To ground it should be 6' 3" = 190,5 cm according the outline on the first pages of the Service Manual (SM).

If these compression-elements are only a little more flat, your AOA (angle of attack) of the wings is higher while taxiing and after touch down.  And this increased AOA leads to a difficult and dangerous behaviour in crosswind conditions.  BTW those 8 rubbers -you see 4 of them at page 33 (low, right) in the SM - are comparatively cheap and also not too difficult to change.

Unfortunately (?) there is no limit for those bumpers, how far they can be worn out.  Or maybe it is even better, every owner can decide it by himself?  But really bad is one thing:  before I replaced those bumpers, I hadn't measured the distance of the
rudders above ground.  Hopefully any other owner is giving us this information!

I changed my rubber bumpers two years ago, - and I was surprised about the much better ground handling and crosswind behaviour.  The disadvantage of new rubber bumpers is only one thing: now the horizontal stabilizer is significant higher.  So this place is not so comfortable anymore for the flight preparation!  But that's life: you can't have all!

I wrote already some remarks to the AOPA-magazine.  Please spread this info too!

IMHO that moron writing about a coffin should use the leftovers of his brain and maintain his plane.  At least a little or as far as possible.  But that action is perhaps logical when people are spreading and believing "this is a fool-proof plane"
It is not fool-proof, so it can't even fly without fuel.  But also this fact is not considered in his letter, look to the last sentence!

Ernst, D-EHIR

Ercoupe videos

Robert Rombouts writes: Hi Mike, finally after changing and changing, I could put the now two videos on YouTube featuring in flight photography.

1) “Ercoupe 2012 OO-PUS EBOS-EBAW

2) “Ercoupe OO-PUS My Name is (1)”, that was the original that I was afraid to put on YouTube, but try to make an humoristic video!

Best regards, Robert

Fly-ins 2012

6th Ercoupe Fly In, Antwerp May 18-19

Robert Rombouts writes: Dear ALL, the date of the next “6th Ercoupe Antwerp Fly In” is the 18 & 19 May, 2012. Hoping you will put this Very Important date in your new 2012 Agenda. I will be very happy to see you all at this event.

Best regards, Robert

AeroExpo 2012, Sywell, UK May 25-27

This was a great event last year, with 5 Ercoupers there, although none with Ercoupes! Let's hope the weather is better this year. And will Derek T be back to repeat his late night antics after a beer or three? Deatils can be found here:

Landing slots need to be booked and are filling up fast, so book yours now at

Liam Boyle will the there from Northern Ireland, and hopfully Jim McMeekan too.

Air Britain Fly-In 2012, North Weald, June 9-10

Phil Kemp writes: Dear Robert & Mike, I hope you are both keeping well. On behalf of the Air-Britain Fly-In team I would like to send you our thanks for your continued support for our event, Christmas greetings and our best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe 2012.

I sincerely hope that you and your fellow Ercoupe owners will join us again at North Weald in 2012, when our event will be held over the weekend of 9-10 June.

All the very best and I look forward to saying hello again next year.
Best wishes
Phil Kemp
Air-Britain Fly-In Director


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