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European Ercoupe Newsletter

No. 9 October 2008


Dear readers, yet another month passes, and at least in the UK we had one good weekend's flying weather. By a miracle this coincided with our 3rd EMU (Ercoupe Meet Up) at Popham. This was memorable because we got 4 Ercoupes toegther! Below you can find out all about it from Robert's review, and there are links to lots of photos.

In the UK we are proposing more EMUs for the coming months so hopefully we will beat our record of 4 'coupes at a meet-up.

Robert Rombouts is keep to persuade other coutries to consider EMUs in mainland Europe. It doesn't involve much work at all - there is no fly-in to organise. All I do in the UK is look for other events going on, and propose we join in too!

Don't forget - please keep sending me news, articles, fly-in reports, interesting trips or web links that may be of interest to fellow 'Coupers. And if you prefer, please send in French or German, and we will translate into English for you! Many of you have made kind remarks about the usefulness and interest of this newsletter, but please help by making a contribution, no matter how small! This issue we have our first non-English contribution - some jokes in French from Robert.

Mike Willis G-HARY

Ercoupe News

More European Ercoupes?

Mike Willis writes: Leslie Miller, who lives in Clacton, UK was kind enough to send me some photos of Ercoupes he had found on the Internet. One in particular, a rather fine Alon A2a, caught my eye. The registration is CS-AIG, and at first I could not think which country this is. Of course it is Portugal, but I didn’t know there were any ‘Coupes there. But it turns out there may be two. Apart from CS-AIG photo link there is an Ercoupe 415CD on the register, CS-ACO. Maybe Ercoupe expert Tony Smith can help us with some more information?

Trip reports

EMU 3 POPHAM (EGHP) 21 September 2008

Robert Rombouts writes: This 3th Ercoupe Meet-Up at Popham organised by the UK Wing Leader, Mike Willis, was again a real flying success. Because I am not in a hurry, I take my time and enjoy it fully, so I flew the day before - 20th September - from Ostend. Fair misty weather, but we are used to it, the TAF’s are:

EBOS 09005KT CAVOK 13/08 Q1032. (Ostend) - Wind 90°/5kt/Ceiling and Visibility OK.
EGKK 07005KT 7000 NSC 12/08 Q1032. (Gatwick) – Wind 70°/5kt/Ceiling and Visibility 7000mtr.
EGHI VRB03KT 5000 BR FEW 045 09/08 Q1032. (Southampton)
EGLF 00000KT 9000 NSC 09/08 Q1032. (Farmborough)

This means I can fly straight to Dover VOR from Ostend at 3000ft, because the Channel was CAVOK. They where right, until in the middle of the Channel its looks good, but where is Dover? Believing my GPS I was flying dead on, and 10 NM from Dover I saw the nice white cliffs. From Dover I flew straight to the Washington Intersection VRP near Shoreham, and then to Popham (EGHP).

CoupesIn the UK the visibility was from fair to not so fair, but in the air you don’t have a lot of options - you continue your planned route, or land on the nearest airfield around you. After 2hr 05 I arrived at EGHP Popham grass runway 08, flying over the silos then small left turn and hop touchdown. During taxiing I thought they surely make a mistake, I am not the Spirit of St.Louis. A swarm of spotters arrived from everywhere; if I received for each photo a GBP 1 could stay some weeks in the UK! Believe me I feel flattered with little Ercoupe Sweety II.

A very kind and friendly reception from the manager Dick Richardson, who I thank very much for helping me with a B&B, he even personally drove me in his Mercedes to it. He and his wife went recently to Gent (Belgium). A lot of good jokes make it very pleasant.

CoupesNext day, Sunday 21st, same sunny open weather but that stupid haze - Mike had in Cambridge 3 km visibility with it improving around midday. Mike with his G-HARY and Keith with his G-ARHB landed at the same time around 12:00 as a formation flight, but Mike came from Bourn and Keith from Earls Colne, impressive coordination.

Happy to see Mike and Keith again at this Solent Aviation Society in Popham, exchanging all our flying and other news with good snack and drinks, I enjoy it always. But we expected also Andrew Gardner with his G-ARHC; he had a radio problem but he eventually landed before I left for the journey back to Ostend. After a nice family photo of our four Ercoupers together we all left back to our home base.

AndrewCongratulation to Mike, he received an award from the organizing Society to bring so many Ercoupes to Popham, he deserve it. A “Meritorious” award was assigned to me, thank you for the attention, but I didn’t swim over the Channel, perhaps they where happy I left the airfield without some troubles, who knows?

A good slow flight back to Ostend (73mph), because I had a headwind of 10kt (I think it must have been more) and a fair visibility. Until Washington VRP it was perfect and quick but the leg from there to Dover was unbelievable long. PilotsCrossing the Channel direct to Ostend I had no horizon but I always had one of the two coasts in sight. The wonderful smooth flying over the water is a beauty, I like it very much. After 2hr35 I landed in Ostend with an urgent need to find the man’s room. Don’t drink too much when you fly an Ercoupe, Robert!

Again we had a wonderful Meeting, I was very happy with the EMU 3 that Mike organized, the real spirit of a friendly meeting with Ercoupers; this is also possible in Germany with the 10 German Ercoupes. Hoping somebody in Germany will try this idea of meetings.

Thanks and congratulation Mike, you did a very good job and the result is marvellous. See you all, Mike, Keith, Andrew and hopefully many more in Headcorn the 18th October.

PS My photos are on my website

TrophyMike adds: All four of the Ercoupe owners who flew into Popham would like to thank the Solent Aviation Society for a wonderful day. The organisation was wonderful - but also informal. As Robert says, we were mobbed on arrival by hordes of photographers. The Fly-In was dedicated to Luscombes and Pietenpol Air Campers, so we were very much a surprise act! Overall there were over 70 aircraft and it got so busy that Popham set up one runway for landings and another for take-offs. It was wonderful to see 4 'Coupes toegther at one field, and I was asked several times when was the last time so many were gathered together - anyone know?

The Solent Aviation Society made a number of awards, although I was unaware of this until someone ran up to me at the pumps as I was about to leave. I was awarded the magnificent Osprey Trophy in recognition of getting the 'Coupes there. So thank you to the others, and lets see the Ercoupe Squadron increase in size at future events.

There is a link on the Solent Aviation Society web page to photos of the event and I have also added some to my 'Flying Adventures on my web site - direct link here. In addition on the Flyer web forum there are some great photos taken as we land - although I noticed how dirty the underside of my 'Coupe was and have since had to wash it!

Tech corner

HB-ERB Conversion from 415-C to D

Karl H. Kuehner, Veterano Flying Group, Birrfeld Airfield (LSZF) Switzerland writes:

Since 2004, the Veterano Flying Group ( is the proud owner of HB-ERB, Ercoupe Model 415-C, Serial No. 4367, manufactured by ERCO in 1946. The original Continental C-75 hp engine was replaced with a Continental C-90 hp engine in 1968. A type conversion from 415-C to D was however not made at the time. The maximum takeoff weight of 1260 lb and noise class A (highest in Switzerland) being the disadvantages.

Conversion Project
It was clear for us that the documentation and the plane configuration should match, our goal being a conversion from 415-C to D with a maximum takeoff weight of 1400 lb and noise class D (quietest aircraft category).

SilencerThe early contacts with Holger Zinke, Hartmut Beil and Ed Burkhead - thank you again for all the information - were a great help to get the project executed.

Comparing different silencers, keeping in mind the attainment of noise class D, we decided to install a local product; the MSW OneDesign ( back muffler.

Experimental Aviation of Switzerland (EAS) supervised the required noise measuring, takeoff and performance flights. The tables below show the performance of our Ercoupe.

Noise level
The noise level of 59.6 dB(A), together with the takeoff and climb performance, were sufficient to achieve the target noise class D. 

Take off performanceTakeoff Performance

Climb performanceClimb Performance

The above actions were the "easy” tasks. The hard work was the compilation of all documentation to certify that our Ercoupe has all the required modifications for the Type D registration. A huge thank you to our colleague Thomas Schoch who can now be considered the Swiss Ercoupe expert.

The 415-D registration documents were received from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA in November 2007.

HB-ERB Configuration
Engine:               TCM C-90-12F
Propeller:            Mc Cauley MCC 1A90/CF7144
Back muffler:     MSW OneDesign
Noise level:         59.6 dB(A)
Noise class:         D

This short description shows that in our sensitive environment, "impossible” assignments are achievable with enough persistence. The whole conversion project had a time frame of two and a half years and was a very interesting experience for all involved. 

Help wanted
If our wing tanks are filled to over three quarters, we lose a lot of fuel through the vent holes in fuel tank caps while climbing. Any suggestions will be more than welcome.

Wishing you all much fun with your Ercoupes,


Upcoming events


These monthly Ercoupe Meet-Ups are designed as an excuse to fly! There is a separate email list consisting of UK owners and known Ercoupe enthusiasts who are updated 1 week and 1 day ahead so you know who will be there (weather providing). If anyone else would like to be included on the EMU email list then please let me know.

EMU 4 October 18 Headcorn EGKH
We tried to get there back in August for the first EMU but the weather was appalling. Join us for try two! You should PPR by calling 01622 890226 on the day.

EMU 5 November 22 or 23 White Waltham EGLM or Panshangar EGLG
Either of these locations would be good, with fine restaurants. Both are grass so would need dry days before hand as well as on the day!

EMU 6 December 13 Duxford EGSU
This is Duxford's Xmas Dinner Bonus Day. Reduced landing field and museum entrance, plus a discounted Xmas dinner. We could all pull crackers together! Fly-in or drive-in.

EMU 7 January 3 North Coates or Tibenham
North Coates holds their annual Brass Monkey Fly-In. An alternative New Year event could be at Tibenham (close to Norwich), which I think runs one every year. I went last year and it was very busy.

Other fly-ins

October 25 Vintage Aircraft Club Fly-In, Leicester EGBG
This is an open event.


ATIS Hotel

“ATIS” stands for “Automated Terminal Information Service”, which is a recorded message, broadcast at most busy airports around the country. ATIS gives pilots the current wind, air traffic, and runway information and each time the information changes, the broadcast is revised, with each revision being assigned the next letter in the phonetic alphabet. This designation is included in the broadcast, which is identified as, “Information Alpha ......” Bravo, Charlie, etc....

At ATIS-equipped airports, pilots are required to listen to the recording prior to contacting Approach Control or the tower and must repeat the “Information so-and-so” identifier when they make their initial radio call. Sometimes, the results can be hilarious.....

The scenario: it was night over Las Vegas and “Information Hotel” was current on the ATIS. Mooney 33W wasn’t too sharp, but he didn’t let that stop him from talking to Approach Control.

Approach:”33W, confirm you have “Hotel”

33W: “Uhhhmm, we’re flying into McCarren International. Uhhhmm, we don’t have a hotel room yet.”

After that, Approach was laughing too hard to respond. The next several calls went something like this call to United 583 (which didn’t make it any easier to stop laughing)....

Approach: “United 583, descend to Flight Level 220.”

United 583: “United 583, down to Flight Level 220. We don’t have a hotel room, either.”


Entendu sur la fréquence Tour de Toulouse Blagnac (118.10 MHz)

Pilote : « Air France 120 Echo Bravo, on approche 4 nautiques finales ILS 33 gauche. »
Contrôleur : « Air France 120 Echo Bravo, autorise atterrissage pist 33 gauche, le vent est Calme. »
Pilote : « équipage aussi … »
Contrôleur : « Air France Echo Bravo, correction, le vent est nul … »
Pilote : « équipage aussi »

Entendu sur la fréquence Sol de Toulouse Blagnac (121.90 MHz), un matin avec un banc de brouillard assez fin qui masquait les pistes.

Après quelques atterrissages d’A320 et de 737, arrive un 747 qui n’était pas un habitué du terrain. Une fois posé, cherchant à regagner le parking :

La contrôleuse, pleine de bonne volonté, cherchant à rassurer le pilote, lui dit le plus naturellement du monde : « Vous êtes sur Papa 40, j’en suis sûre, je vois votre queue qui dépasse du brouillard », ce à quoi le pilote plein d’humour répondit : « Vous êtes sûre que vous ne voyer pas ma dérive plutôt ? »

Fun stuff

If you enjoy watching old planes flying I can highly recommend this 14 minute video taken at a recent Shuttleworth Collection Flying Day. It is unbelievable that some of these very old aircraft are still flying.

Classified ads

For sale

I have a panel mount and cable for a Skymap II or III GPS. Email me if you are interested. Mike Willis


Ercoupe project wanted
Hilde van Haarlem writes: My father is very interested in finding a "project"; an Ercoupe which needs some restoration. Do you know any project available? Thank you in advance for your response. With kind regards, Hilde van Haarlem Netherlands


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 
Al DeMarzo's site which includes his 'Ercoupe swap page' 
Ed Burkhead's site

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