Chapter 863

Lebanon, TN


Our new website is up at  Be sure to bookmark the new site. This site will be taken down by 3/31/20.

November 2019 Chapter Meeting

Check our Photos Album for the latest on our November 2019 Chapter Meeting. Congratulations to our winners of the Chili Cook Off. 


Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Gala - 2019

Chapter 863 attended the 2019 Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Gala where our very own Deborah Baugh was inducted into the Hall of Fame! Congrats Deborah! Be sure to check out photos page.


B-17 Visit

We had a very successful B-17 tour stop at Lebanon from May 24 through the 27th.  We flew two media flights on Thursday the 23rd, and a total of 11 flights during the tour.  Thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard in the heat.  And, thank you to our B-17 crew (Rick Fernald, pilot, John Ricciotti, pilot, Bill Hooten, Glen Hill (maintenance), Gene Loos and Dale Ensing, (tour coordinators).


5th Saturday Breakfast

Our 5th Saturday Breakfast, March 30th was a tremendous success.  hank you to all who attended and a special thanks to the team of volunteers who made it possible.

Please enjoy this video, created by David Ludwikowski



March 2019 Chapter Meeting


Our very special guest speaker was our own Ron Dillard.  He instructs unusual attitude recovery in his beautiful blue and white Citabria.  And, of course, this was the topic of his presentation.  Thank you Ron.  "Throttle back, level the wings, pull up".

EAA B-17 Visit

The EAA B-17 will visit Lebanon Airport over Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday the 23rd is for media only.  Public flights and static tours start on Friday the 24th and run through Monday the 27th.

Go to B-17 TOUR  to book your seat in advance or you may purchase at the event if they are not sold out.


February 2019 Chapter Meeting

Derek Rowe,  Teacher, Aerospace and Aviation, President, High School Aviation Association and Director, AvNation was our very special guest at our Valentine's Day Meeting.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal, catered by Demos' and were wowed by Derek's stories of his aviation life experiences.  He captivated us with his knowledge and humor.


January 2019 Chapter Meeting

Rinker Buck, author of Flight of Passage and other fascinating books was our very special guest.  A great meeting attended by nearly 60 members and guests.  Rinker shared stories and read selections from Flight of Passage and was quite entertaining and funny.  He brought and sold several copies and autographed them all.



Bill Sattler Foundation Letter

2018 Wrap Up

We have had an exciting 2018.  Our 5th Saturday breakfast keeps growing in popularity bringing fly-in/drive-in guests from all over.  Our Young Eagles program also continues to grow with even more YF pilots joining in.  We also had a very successful Fall Classic Fly-In.  And our Great Chili Cook-Off brought 11 chili contestants along with a record number of eaters.  Our guest speakers brought fantastic presentation to share. We don't plan on slowing down in 2019.

Our chapter also continues to grow and we now have a huge "younger" group.  For those that haven’t done so or have some updated information to add, please visit our website and navigate to “Join, Renew or Update” found on the left side bar.  Fill out the form and submit.  You will not get an acknowledgement until I receive it and send you an email.  Please be sure to hit the submit button.  Also, being a chapter means we are affiliated with a larger (mother) organization.  Some of you may need to renew your membership with or even join EAA in Oshkosh.  Please review your status. 

Our annual chapter dues are now due.  $25 individual and $30 family.  Please contact April to arrange for your payment.

Our Christmas party was a wonderful success with over 100 in attendance.  Thank you all for coming.  I hope you all had a great time.  Thank you to John and Deborah Baugh for your continued generosity providing your beautiful hangar for this event for so many years and all that you do for our chapter. Thank you to those who brought side dishes and deserts.  

Congratulations to our chapter award winners:
President’s Award - Jerry Pepper
Pioneer Award - Bill McNutt
MVP & Spirit Award - Robert & Cathy Pesak
Young Eagle Award - Jerry Kirby
Horizon Award - Matt Bryan

Congratulations to our “Money Tree” winners:
$650 was up for grabs; the biggest purse in the history of our chapter.  We got down to three finalists: 
Bonnie McCrary
Brian Thompson
Chuck Dugger
After a little negotiating between them, they decided to split the pot. $216.66 each.

Your officers and board members for year 2019 are:
Gary Piper - President
Gary Soloway - Vice President
April Eshelman - Secretary/Treasurer
Janet Piper - Young Eagle Coordinator
Dan Allen
Deborah Baugh
Doug Eshelman
Gary Farmer
Jim Jones
Chuck Johnston
Myron Lasater
Toby McCrary
Mike “Big Foot” Russell
Brian Thompson

Some new and interesting ideas for 2019 have been floating around.  The board will meet soon and a survey will be sent via email for the chapter’s input.  Please be sure to voice your opinions and ideas.  This is YOUR chapter.

Our next event is our New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas gathering to kick off 2019.  Come join the fun.  You are invited, but not required, to bring a black-eyed peas dish or supporting side dish or dessert.  We will be in the Sattler Foundation Hangar (hangar 2, M54) and start around noon.  Y’all come.

A huge thank you to Myron Lasater who served as our president for the last two years.  Myron, you did an outstanding job that is evidenced by the level of participation in our chapter.  Thank you for staying on our board.  I look forward to your guidance and support.  I have big shoes to fill.

Finally, I am humbled and honored that you elected me your president for year 2019.  My first and foremost objective is to be sure this is a totally “inclusive” organization.  Please, if you see someone you don’t know, introduce yourself and get to know each other. Let’s have some fun.

Ashley McNutt

Aspire Home School Group

We hosted 50 home school students and their parents Friday May 18th at M54.  Here are a few pictures and comments from parents.


 We had the most AMAZING field trip today visiting the Lebanon Airport! We got to visit with the LifeFlight, tour the maintenance area, check out some awesome planes in the hangars , tour the FBO, visit Bakers School of Aeronautics and so much more!!!!
Benjamin got to not only ride in his first plane, but he got to fly it!!!! Today he became a Young Eagle and has a new love for flying!!! Thank you Gary Piper for such an awesome opportunity!!!

Michelle McFarlin

Dear Gary,

  I am sure that Michelle has most likely thanked you on behalf of the Aspire homeschool group, but I also wanted to personally thank you for taking so much time organizing all the activities yesterday.  I know it takes a ton of effort to get as many people involved in order to bring an event like that to a whole new level of excellence. Mr. John Baugh, the Vanderbilt Life Flight team, the wonderful people in the FBO, Gene Gracyalny in maintenance, Mrs. Jennifer Baker at the school, Mr. Dan Allen, Mr. David Logalbo, Mr. Chuck Johnston and of course you and your lovely wife, Janet all deserve so much gratitude for everything!! (I hope I didn’t forget anyone!). Everyone was so informative, welcoming, and so kind to the kids.  

  Thank you again for taking the kids and I up in Cheen!  Victoria and Jake could not stop rehashing the entire day when we got back home!  I also wanted to tell you that it really made my day to be able to fly over and wave to my other kids who were too young to come today.  That was such a treat!  I never imagined that I would ever fly in a Piper Cub and I loved every minute!!    

  Words just can’t express how much we enjoyed the entire day.  Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved.  We will really cherish the memories!  

  On that note, we are looking forward to coming to the Young Eagles events in June, and the kids are excited about getting involved in whatever kid related activities that may come up with in the future with the Lebanon Airport and Young Eagles.  

Thank you again!!  

Jaime Teet and family


May Meeting

We had an amazing presentation at our May meeting last Thursday evening.  Edgar Harrell, USMC Ret., was our special guest.  Mr. Harrell was one of the very few survivors of the USS Indianapolis.  After delivering “Little Boy” to be dropped on Nagasaki, the USS Indianapolis was ordered back to the Philippines, without an escort.  They were ambushed by a Japanese sub shortly after mid-night July 30, 1945.  There were 1,196 souls on board, about 900 made it into the water and only 316 men were still alive when rescued 5 days later.  CPL Harrell gave a gripping account of his ordeal.  You can find more information here including a link to his book “Out Of The Depths”.


April Meeting

Mark Lightsey presented his program on the Caudron C.460 replica he built and flew.  He has done many reproductions and restorations.  Great presentation.  Check his website at



March Meeting


Our March 8th meeting was titled “The A-10 Warthog, A Truly Unique Fighter”.  The presenter was our own Michael Kennedy, LT Col, USAF, ret.  He gave a wonderful presentation of his experiences flying the Warthog with the 23rd Fighter Wing.

We had a near record attendance and all were thoroughly satisfied.




February Meeting

 Our February meeting was one not to miss. Major General Carl G. Schneider presented "Jet Pioneer", describing his military life from when he entered the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1946. He is brought his published memoir which was available to purchase. His bio and book website are found at the links below.





Time Changes Everything

Chapter member and filmmaker Trey Semmes has created and produced another great documentary.  And, it is being debuted at the new Veterans Museum in Lebanon this Saturday.  Let’s show him our support and at the same time tour this wonderful tribute to our vets.


Starting The New Year

2018 started with our Black Eyed Peas Party on New Years Day.  We had a great turnout and a lot of black eyed peas recipes to choose from, along with cornbread, salads and several delicious desserts.

Then our first chapter meeting was phenomenal.  Our special guests were the Aaron Tippin family who shared their passion for aviation and performed an intimate concert for us.They sang many of his hits

Son Tom performingTennessee Whisky

Tom, Thea and Aaron Tippin

Thank you very much


Michael Turnipseed

Michael had open heart surgery (12/13/2016) and is recovering well.  He has been to every chapter event since and will be released to fly in mid February.  Let's get him in all of our planes.  He is eager to fly.


Full Circle

Farewell to a friend

December 1, 2015 by General Aviation News Staff 7 Comments


Life has a way of coming around full circle, just one of the many lessons learned through owning a Luscombe.

Another is that you never know where that Luscombe will take you and who you will meet along the journey.

Our journey began in 2007, when my wife Sally and I embarked on the search for an aircraft for our personal use. A licensed private pilot from the 1970s, I had taken a 20-year hiatus from flying while our children attended college. Sally, who soloed in the 1970s but then abandoned pursuing her license, was game.

The search was initiated looking for a Stinson, but we soon found a 1949 Luscombe 8-F. Not familiar with the Luscombe brand, we took to the Internet to find out more. Our research eventually led us to Bill and Sharon Tinkler of Tullahoma, Tenn., who became our mentors in all things Luscombe.

We were in Nashville, and the Luscombe for sale was in Lebanon, all very close together in the state of Tennessee. So we found ourselves on a cold winter’s day heading to Lebanon to look at the airplane once again.

Ken Poley and the Luscombe.

When I first spoke on the phone with Ken Poley, who had owned the Luscombe for 17 years, his first words to me were, “It’s not LSA,” and our rela

tionship never really got much better after that. He did reveal a few things: He had worked

for Piper Aircraft Co. in Lock Haven in his teens, had flown B-26s in the Air Force, and was an engineer. He was selling the Luscombe as he was of an age where he had chosen not to pursue his third class medical.

That first meeting with the Luscombe was dreadful. It was a raw, cold winter day and there we were on the tarmac, learning that the Luscombe was an 8-F Special, meaning it had the Continental 90-hp engine, which had no starter or alternator. Consequently, the engine had to be hand propped to start, a talent with which I had no experience.

Ken provided direction to me as the starter, while Sharon held the brakes, but we achieved nothing other than a fully warmed up Jack. We decided to quit, rolled the plane back into the hangar, and Bill, Sharon, Sally and I went to lunch.

Bill was strongly of the opinion this was an aircraft to avoid, noting that hand-propping would lose its attraction. Later, we learned that the Luscombe had been involved in an incident in which it got away from Ken while starting it by himself. It knocked him down and proceeded across the tarmac until it did considerable damage to a new BMW and a nearly new Mooney, requiring an engine overhaul due to the prop strike damage.

It is an axiom among Luscombe owners that their aircraft found them rather than the opposing consideration, and this Luscombe had spoken to me. Sally deferred to my desire, and Ken and I negotiated a deal, which included an IA’s review of its mechanical health.

Arrangements were made to fly it to Lewisburg, Tenn., to have the evaluation performed, which was then rolled into our first annual. While the annual was being performed, another prior Luscombe owner and CFI, Mike Kellems, entered the shop. He agreed to teach me how to fly the Luscombe. The Luscombe remained tied-down at Lewisburg as I received 25 hours of instruction covering changes in regulations over my hiatus from flying, transitioning to a taildragger and the necessary license endorsement, buffing the rust off of any piloting skills I may have had and, of course, the required experience to insure the aircraft.

Owning the Luscombe in Middle Tennessee was a wonderful experience. We promptly named the plane “Huckleberry” after Mark Twain’s character Huckleberry Finn. We became frequent attendees to the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter-sponsored Saturday morning pancake breakfasts in Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Moontown, and Winchester, and were welcomed into a new family of friends through the Luscombe.

 Jack Hoke and his grandson Brennan Maxwell with the Luscombe.

Along with a new plane, 2007 brought yet another challenge for our family. We became third generation owners of the Hoke family farm in Carroll County, Maryland. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to which we agreed sight unseen. While we bought the property in December 2007, it was 2009 before we could sell our home in Nashville and move to Westminster, Md. Exploration led us to 6W6, an airfield with a turf runway in Hanover, Pa., to house the Luscombe in a large common hangar.

We settled into our new community and learned our new roles as stewards of the farm. But little did we realize how much change we would experience, and how much it was to affect our use of Huckleberry.

Our close proximity to the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) around the nation’s capitol curtailed opportunities for flights to the south. Soon our much-loved Luscombe was to find itself a neglected orphan. While we kept legal with timely annuals, there was little aviating.

There were two exceptions: An attempt to fly to Oshkosh in 2013 (which ended in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as a result of IFR-only weather conditions) and completion of the “Explore Maryland by Air” campaign in 2013.

In late 2013 we concluded that our commitments to farm, job, family, and an aircraft not welcome in the SFRA meant that the time had come for us to find a new steward for Huckleberry. Advertisements “For Sale” produced a call from a young man who asked if this Luscombe had been Ken Poley’s.

A one hour conversation ensued during which I was to discover much about the caller, Ryan Mudry, and Ken Poley.

As we talked, I learned that when Ryan was just 9 years old, he scraped together $40 so he could join EAA. This membership allowed him access to the presidents of local EAA chapters, including Poley, who was president of EAA Chapter 863 in Lebanon, Tenn., at the time.

Ryan called Ken. Their initial phone conversation was reported to have lasted over one hour while the professional engineer-pilot and the 9-year-old discussed everything about aviation, including Bernoulli’s Principle and Ken’s experience in the Air Force, where he was qualified in the B-25, F-102, F-89, and F-94C.  The call ended with the invitation for Ryan to join Ken for an aviation outing to an EAA pancake breakfast.

Thus began a friendship that was to last nearly 20 years, with Ken mentoring the wanna-be pilot, teaching him to hand prop the 90-hp Continental, introducing him to long-time friends as the Luscombe’s new starter, and allowing him training time in the Luscombe.

All of this led to introductions to three Congressmen from the state of Tennessee — Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bill Frist, and Rep. Jim Cooper — in a bid for the then-flying high school senior, with a perfect score on his SAT exam, for an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Alexander called Ryan on the day after Thanksgiving during his senior year and gave him the good news: He had secured the appointment.

Poley sold the Luscombe to us while Ryan pursued his aviation career at the academy, graduating as an officer and a pilot of the Air Force’s AC-130U gunship.

Ryan Mudry, the newest owner of the Luscombe.

While Ryan reached out to ask about the Luscombe, he wasn’t really in the market for an airplane, just curious. But I knew that Ryan was who the Luscombe belonged with, so I soon called him back with an offer he couldn’t refuse, and the sale was completed.

Arrangements were made for hangar space in Florida at Peter Prince Field, and I flew the Luscombe from 6W6 to its new owner.

And so yet another Luscombe friendship has been fostered, with the aircraft placed into the hands of a true steward.


Deborah Makes the Back Cover of Women In Aviation

42 Kindergarteners at M54

42 pint-sized students from Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville came by for some aviation theory and fun.  Janet and Gary Piper along with Myron Lasater made sure they got what they came for.  We all had a very fun time.


Great Video of Our Airport

 Below is the trailer of a great documentary celebrating our home airport and it's colorful history.  Below that is an excerpt featuring our chapter.


Scott Eshelman Featured in New Fighter Technology

Some Naval history I knew nothing about

The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to providing the bulk of US industrial output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great Lakes and their related industry. 
However there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked. 
Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses.  We could.
But how did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)?   
We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan!
Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! 
Sadly nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story.
Check out the USS Sable and USS Wolverine and see for yourself.


Contact Us


Newsletter/Web Editor:   Gary Piper                                                                                            Email:                                                                                                           Phone:    (615) 480-6471

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Apr 4 at 6:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Saturday, Apr 4 at 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Thursday, Apr 9 at 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday, Apr 18 at 6:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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