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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 50 May 2014


Unbelievable that this is the 50th European Ercoupe Newsletter. I'm not sure where the years have gone. The weather in the past few weeks has been good, so I've been taking the opportunity to go flying. I hope the rest of you have too, and that maybe you would like to write about your flying for the next issue?

Best regards,


Mike Willis, Alon A2 #188 G-HARY

Ercoupe news

European Ercoupe Fly-In 2014 - its not too late to join!!!

The 8th European Ercoupe Owners Fly In at Antwerp
31st May and 1st June 2014

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

Because I have to make reservation for the BBQ, and order commemorative-trophy, it is very important we know how many pilots will attend during this unique weekend, so if you have the smallest chance of intention to join us, please let me know.

This year a fee of € 50 for the participation is asked, and you will receive:

• The evening BBQ with wine, plate-fork-knife-seat..and music
• Five (5) coupons for free drinks, and personalised badge.
• A huge clean asphalt runway of 1.510m, so you cannot miss your landing.
• Free landing fees, parking, flight-plan, Met and Security search.
• Free lottery during BBQ, for a full fuel tank fill-up, only for Erco’s.
• A unique commemorate-trophy of the Fly-In.

In addition we have the possibility to assist you with:

• A technical assistance for small repairs.
• The Tulip Inn Hotel is at social price.
• Good weather, if enough available.

Because it is the 8th time this Ercoupe meeting is organized in Antwerp (Belgium), we expect a USA Ercoupe Owners delegation, that will be a surprise, it will give our meeting a worldwide character, who knows...

We welcomed the following Ercoupes during the past 7 years:

In 2007, the first year, 19th  + 20th  May (6 Erco’s)
SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira. Sweden
D-EOPI with Peter Nobmann and his wife Anke. Germany
G-ARHB with Keith Peacock and Sid Turner. England
G-AVIL with David Hulks and Pam. England
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium
N9516V with Vincent Oomen. Belgium
Visitor: Rob Maatman with Stinson. Nederland

In 2008 second year, 3rd + 4th  May (3 Erco’s)
SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira. Sweden
N-3330H with Hartmut and Rainer Beil. Germany
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium
Visitors: Tony and Anne Smith & Rob Maatman

In 2009 third year, 23rd + 24th June (2 Erco’s)
SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira. Sweden
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium
Visitors: Jean and Françoise Flacelière & Rob Maatman & Hilde Van Haarlem

In 2010 - a surprising year, 15th + 16th May (8 Erco’s)
SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira. Sweden
D-EJOR with Stephan Vatter. Germany
D-ENUC with Heiko Binder and his father. Germany
D-EOPI with Ronny Druck and Sandra. Germany
G-ARHB with Sid Turner and Keith Peacock. England
G-HARY with Mike Willis and Brian. England
N-3330H with Hartmut and Rainer Beil. Germany
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium
Visitors: Rob Maatman & Hilde and father Van Haarlem.

In 2011 – 5th year, 4th + 5th June (3 Erco’s)
SE-BFX with Sven-Eric Pira. Sweden
G-ARHB with Sid Turner and Keith Peacock. England
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium
Visitor: Jean Flacelière by car & Rob Maatman with Stinson

In 2012 – 6th year, 19th + 20 May (2 Erco’s)
N-99280 with Hilde Van Haarlem, Peter & Roland, a beautiful just restorated Ercoupe, congratulation. Nederland
SE-XIP with Thorpe Sven-Eric Pira. Sweden
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium

In 2013 – 7th year, 11th + 12 May (2 Erco’s)
N-3330H with the brave Hartmut Beil. Germany
OO-PUS Robert Rombouts. Belgium

I must admit that the 2013 edition was a catastrophic year, the weather was terrible, and Hartmut was the one who did his flight in very bad condition, I didn’t expect one Ercoupe, so terrible it was.

Giorgio Pace and his friend Angelo, where blocked in south Germany just after the Alps, and could not continue their flight to Antwerp.

Sven-Eric Pira who never missed one Antwerp Fly-In, could even depart from Sweden.
The Van Haarlem family, had exactly the same problem, as all the other pilots. I was so sorry for all of them who did all the flight preparations and were obliged to cancel. So guys, this year it will be marvellous, because it will be blue skies...

The 2014 Fly-In will be perfect, the weather conditions are very different as the previous years, let’s hope it will continue. As I wrote already before, we don’t need heroes but happy Ercoupers who enjoy a safe trip.

Until now I received already the following intentions; Sven-Eric Pira + Ulrich Hertig + Rob Maatman + Family Van Haarlem (if free from work)...sorry if I forget one, you can always correct it, just to come.

Don’t be shy and send as soon as possible your intention to come, if the weather does not permit or other dramatic situations occur, then you can always cancel. Don’t forget to book your Hotel, during the Fly-In it could be difficult to book a room.

Hope you will have an enjoyable nice flight to Antwerp, it will be a friendly meeting with all the happy European Owners Ercoupe Lovers.

Robert Rombouts
Mob: +32 475 470 775

Invitation to Ercoupers

Richard Tarry writes: Hi Mike, Just thought the readers might like to see this beer I found in my local. Has anyone seen this before?  No I am only joking. I brewed this beer for a special event and a friend created the clip and I think it really works.

Talking of beer I am having a bit of a do on the Saturday the 6th September I was wondering if anyone would like to fly in with their Aircoupe/Ercoupe to my strip at Pytchley, Northamptonshire, UK.  I could find room to park a few aircraft.  The strip’s about 450m, easy for an Ercoupe and is 31/13.

It’s going to quite informal and you would be fed and watered, but it is an evening "do".  If anyone wanted fly in early evening and park up, I would recommend bringing camping gear to stop over.  Yes it will be good!! And there is some very special entertainment.

Just let me know if anyone is interested it would be be great to see a few aircraft!

Kind Regards,
Richard Tarry, G-ONHH

Manston has closed

Mike writes: Sadly Manston airport in Kent has closed, with the loss of 150 jobs, and the radar service which covered that part of the English Channel and lower North Sea.  TG Aviation, a training and maintenance operation who handled GA, has been forced to leave.  The last full day of operations was Wednesday 14th May.  I had never flown into Manston; several attempts had always been cancelled due to poor weather.  But last Wednesday was a lovely day, and so I cancelled a meeting for the afternoon and decided to fly there.  However, when I called for PPR they told me “sorry, we are full”.  They have limited parking in their grass area.  The rest of the airport is huge of course, but the guys who could have escorted flyers to their area had already been laid off.  I drove to Bourn, fuelled up G-HARY and called again.  Same story, no room.  Many were still due to fly in and they didn’t know when anyone would leave.  I gave a sob story, explaining my first ever flight was in an RAF Chipmunk at Manston, I think around 1969.  “OK”, they said, “but not before 16:15”.  I arrived exactly then, and fortunately could just find a parking space.

A busy day of well-wishers was keeping spirits high, but they knew the following day they had to fly out the remaining aircraft and close down.  In fact on the Thursday, part of the ATIS recording included the words “the end is near”.  Sad times for me as I grew up close to Manston.  There may be a chance to keep it open, we have to wait.  An offer for the asking price was turned down on the last day before closure, which seemed to indicate that the owner never wanted to sell, just to close.  Like most ex-military airports, much of the land around the runway is likely contaminated, so it will be expensive to build houses there.  Not that anyone is likely to buy them as it is an area of high unemployment, even higher now!

Trip reports

From Hoover Dam to Llyn Brianne Dam

So how do you repay someone who takes you flying around the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas?  Take them around some dams in deepest Wales!

Jules had been kind enough to fly me around the Las Vegas area when I was there back in February, so when I heard he was visiting the UK I wanted to return in kind.  He was staying at Ludlow for a few days, close to Shobdon airfield and near the border with Wales.  So on a fine Saturday I set off to meet him there.

He was already waiting when I arrived, and raring to go. However, after a 1 and one half hour flight on a hot day I needed some refreshment first.  But then we set off to the west, heading for Wales.  It wasn’t clear at first if flying over the mountains was going to be possible as there was a lot of haze.  Some of the peaks are almost 2,000 feet!  OK, not such high mountains, but still around the cloud base in the UK on many days.  But as we got closer it was actually quite clear and we had a good flight.

I followed the advice of the guys at Shobdon, and headed down a valley to the first dam.  We then headed north over some lovely moors to dams 2 and 3 in the Elan Valley.  Much greener than around Las Vegas if not as dramatic.  One thing though, when I looked at the chart all of the Welsh place names around there are unpronounceable.  The thought crossed my mind that if I had to call Mayday and report my position I’d be done for!

But of course the flight was uneventful, and around an hour later we sideslipped into Shobdon and landed on the numbers ready for the first turnoff.  Shame then that someone was close behind and we had to do a fast taxi to the end of the runway!

So thank you Jules, I am very glad I was able to repay your kindness, albeit flying over less impressive dams.

Mike Willis, G-HARY


Air Britain 2014 - 14-15 June, North Weald

As always all Ercoupers will be more than welcome. Details are now available at

There are no landing fees for all aircraft attending the Air-Britain Fly-In, however for Saturday and Sunday arrivals the event is strictly PPR. If you are planning to fly in it is imperative that you telephone +44(0)1992-524510 (The Squadron/North Weald Flying Services) in advance to arrange your PPR slot timings and to obtain arrival instructions.

Every effort will be made to be as flexible as possible with the PPR slot system, as we recognise that weather, aircraft and aircrew serviceability can impact on the ability to meet slots.

All the best for now
Phil Kemp
Air-Britain Fly-In Director


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