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Our speaker December 8, 2004 was Peter McKenzie, local CFII.
While in the United Kingdom this summer, Pete did some flying.
The rules and cost of flying are quite different in the UK and Europe.
Pete told us about these differences.
It makes you glad that you fly in the USA.
Peter's presentation was a real eye opener; flying in the USA is cheap,
compared to the UK.





Bryan Brotheridge gave the AOPA Safety Foundation program
"Fuel Awareness" at the September 22nd. 2004 meeting.
We lose more than one aircraft a week to fuel related accidents. It doesn't always happen to the other pilot. Almost all of these accident could have been prevented with
better preflight planning, diligent monitoring of fuel consumption, and
increased knowledge of aircraft fuel systems. This interactive seminar will
help prevent a fuel mismanagement accident statistic. Carburetor and injection systems were discussed along with an introduction to auxiliary fuel tanks. Also discussed was proper leaning to help conserve fuel in these times of high fuel prices.

This program counted as a WINGS seminar, as Bryan is a Safety Counselor.
Thanks to Bobbi Lasher for setting up this presentation.

Photograph By Roger Scruggs



Fred Mahan was the speaker for the August 11, 2004 meeting. His Power point/photograph presentation of his self-fly trip in Australia was great.


David Fuchs the Director of Aircraft Maintenance at F.I.T. Aviation was the speaker at the May 12th 2004 meeting.
Dave reviewed for the membership, the importance of proper log book documentation and the use of adlog to make that process easer. He answered numerous maintenance related questions from the members. It was a very informative presentation, thank you Dave.




Cake for all, thanks to the Lasher's first flight of their new aircraft.


Member projects and Bill Baer highlight
the March 10, 2004 EAA 724 meeting at Island Aviation. It was a full house at the FBO. The Chapter voted to make the FBO our new permanent meeting place as remodeling construction allows.


Using Alternative Sources for Nav and Strobe Lights

By Scott Gettings, EAA 724

Many experimental builders are concerned with the high prices and lack of flexibility when using products from Whelen or Aeroflash to light their aircraft. In some configurations, a complete nav/strobe system can run the better part of $1,000.00. Ouch. I'd prefer to spend that money on an engine.

Another consideration if you are building in a "lensed" wingtip light for reasons of appearance and/or aerodynamics is that the fancy streamlined light housings are just not necessary. They only add unnecessary cost and weight.

Strobe and nav lights have geometric visibility and intensity requirements for certified and experimental aircraft. These specifications are available from multiple sources, including Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. Basically, you need 360 degree strobe coverage horizontally, plus 30 degrees of vertical visibility. The side position lights need 110 degrees of horizontal coverage, and a white tail position light must be seen from 70 degrees aft. The intensity requirements are a little vague for experimental a/c, but 400 candlepower (cp) for strobes and 40 cp for nav lights appear to be acceptable values. These requirements can be met in many ways, most often by two "external" wingtip combination lights, or two internal wingtip and one tail strobe/light.

Light Intensity and Luminescence
In searching for alternative light sources, I found that bulbs may be rated in lux, lumens, candles, candela, foot-candles, millicandles (mcd) and candlepower (cp). This is confusing, since there are not good conversions among these measures. In the most simple terms, it appears that candles and candela are the same, and a candlepower is one candle of brightness measured at one foot. A lumen is the light produced by one candle shining in one square foot one foot away. A lux is 1 cd at 1 meter. Overall, it sounds like these terms are pretty similar for our purposes. You just need real bright lights on airplanes. For more information, see:

The prices for aircraft strobe systems are truly shocking. For each location, you need the bulb, its lens, and the power supply. I began searching for alternatives to high aircraft prices since strobes are made for many other vehicles at a fraction of the cost (no surprise here). However, it is quite hard to get light intensity specs for most non-aviation strobes. If this were possible, you could probably find acceptable strobe bulbs in the $10-20 range and similarly inexpensive power supplies.More practical strobe alternatives may include non-standard vendors of bulb-power supply systems or using LEDs. If you plan to use a conventional system, you can get inexpensive bulbs that will put out >400 cp for around $30 at:

Rollison Airplane Company, Inc.
Bloomfield, Indiana
or visit us at:

Call Rob Rollison to get just the strobe bulb if you want to mount it separately. Their power supply is around $150, and will push 3 strobes in flashing patterns. This is far more reasonable than Whelen's unit at around $400. Rollison also carries the 16-guage, shielded 3-wire strobe cable for about $0.50 per foot, which is far less expensive than anywhere else. You need this shielded cable to avoid RF interference.

Light Emitting Diodes have come a long way in the last few years. Although LEDs were initially used only for low-light displays, higher powered lights have now come on the market. Unfortunately, the cheap "high intensity" LEDs sold by Radio Shack and most other vendors really don't help us much. Very recently, a company called Luxeon has produced inexpensive, truly high-intensity LEDs you can buy over the internet.

LEDs draw amazingly small amounts of current, such as from 350 milliamps up to 1 amp. Using this little current not only helps in the total power requirements of a plane, but also allows much lighter wiring to the nav lights. LEDs also come on in nanoseconds, last 100,000 hours and have no filaments to break.

LEDs can be used for strobes when both the intensity and visibility requirements can be met. Depending on your installation, this may require multiple LEDs and/or a reflector. For example, replacing a tail strobe/white nav light could be done with a small cluster of Luxeon LEDs. A strobe using LEDs will require a device to flash its power supply, which can be done using a variety of inexpensive options.

The newer, truly high-intensity LEDs can also easily supply the intensity and visibility requirements for nav lights. These can be wired directly since no flashing is required.

Wiring LEDs
Hooking up these lights is very simple and inexpensive. There are two main critical factors: you can't hook them up with the polarity reversed, and you can't over-drive them past their maximum current. You can push them a little, however.

You will need to know the voltage drop of the LED(s), which is called Vf (for forward voltage) and their normal current in milliamps (ma). This is on their spec sheets. Typical values might be 3.2 volts and 350 ma. You can hook as many LEDs in series as you want until the sum of their voltage drops equals your system voltage. For example, if you used four, 3.2 Vf LEDs in series, you will use up 12.8 volts. You probably have 13.4 or so volts in your "12" volt system, so this will work. The basic formula is:

V= V(system)-V(sum of LEDs in series)

If you only want to use 2 LEDs at 3.2 Vf, and you have a 13.4 volt system, you will have 13.4-2(3.2)= 7 volts. You have to dissipate the remaining 7 volts to avoid exceeding the maximum current for each LED. You can do this with a $0.10 resistor.

Ohm's law says V=IR, so
7 volts / 0.35 amps = 20 ohms

Get the nearest 1/2 watt resistor to your value (22 ohm in this case) and put it in series with your two LEDs. Be sure to hook up each LED from positive-negative-positive-negative so you keep their polarity correct. The resistor can be on either side of the LEDs. The LEDs will get a little warm, but the resistor will get hot so keep it from touching anything important.

Since the LEDs are so cheap, you may wish to simply put as many as you wish to "eat up" your system voltage. If you want to get fancy, you can get small, constant current drivers from a number of sources (below) to deliver an exact current. These drivers deliver a constant current to the LEDs, but seem unnecessary for our applications. If your system voltage drops momentarily, the LEDs will harmlessly dim for a second or two. In my experiments, they don't change that much with minor fluctuations. You can also wire LEDs in combination parallel and series if needed, as long as the individual Vf and current requirements are met.

An easy way to build your system is to place a milliammeter in series with your test circuit of LEDs. With a direct current readout, you can play with different size resistors and number of LEDs to optimize your system. You can also use the simple calculator at: . This company also offers LED drivers for less than $20. Another, less expensive supplier is American Backplane, 355 Bantam Lake road, Morris, CT 06763 (860) 567-1568. Neither source of drivers is as inexpensive as a resistor - or even another LED!

Sizing LEDs
The only company I found that offers high-intensity, affordable LEDs is Luxeon. See and download the "Star" datasheet. (Log in as a "guest").

The most usable form appears to be the Star in the Lambertian (140 degree) light pattern. It is less than the size of a quarter, has a built-in heat sink, and has multiple solder terminals to choose from. Luxeon stars come in 1-watt, 3-watt and 5-watt sizes. You can only get red (at this time) in the 1-watt size. They put out 44 lumens, where the green 1-watt size only puts out 30 lumens. However, you can get a 3-watt green with around 80 lumens and a green 5-watt with 120 lumens! The green 5-watt have a voltage drop Vf=6.8 volts, so two of these could be hooked directly to a 12 V system. In my experiments, two of the red, 1-watt stars are so bright you can't readily look at them - bright enough! Other experimenters have measured the output from these LEDs with satisfactory results:

For strobes, you could use the white Star III, which produces 80 lumens @1 amp and 3.9 Vf. Five of these would give you 400 lumens. They cost $15 each, so you could make a combination tail strobe / position light for $75 that lasted forever. This is one heck of a lot cheaper than the $180 Whelen tail combination light I bought - and no power supply or heavy cable. You just need a simple switching circuit to flash them.

The best place to buy these is at They have the best prices right over the internet.

A combination conventional strobe and LED nav light wingtip with reflector might look like:

The Luxeon Stars and a sample driver alone are quite small:

Hopefully this short article will give builders some inexpensive alternatives to their nav and strobe lights.

Scott Gettings
Melbourne, Florida
Glass Goose in progress



Bill Baer briefs the Chapter on the recently installed WSI Corp software. While not only providing excellent weather briefing capability used by the major airlines, it also has a feature to point and click for TFR's. The system is located in the lobby of Island Aviation, free to all pilots, and extremely user friendly. The TFR's and briefing information a pilot receives has just been approved by the FAA as a valid and legal brief and precludes having to phone FSS.


Bill Baer auctions two "collector" t-shirts with the proceeds going to the Chapter, thanks Bill.




The February 11, 2004 meeting was devoted to project up dates.
Below are photo highlights of the meeting.

John Murphy


Larry Olson


Charlie Gray




Bio for, Craig Covault, Senior Editor, Aviation Week & Space Technology

Craig Covault, Senior Editor for Aviation Week, has written about 2,000 major articles on space and aeronautics during 31 yr. at the magazine.

As Senior Space Editor in Washington for 20 yr. he covered Apollo, Skylab, shuttle, the ISS and space science and military programs. Covault also covered operations on all eight Russian space stations and he has written extensively on national security and White House space policy.

Covault has filed stories from 20 countries and written extensively from Russia, China and Japan as well as Europe.

As Paris Bureau Chief in 1992-1996 he covered numerous European military aeronautics and space issues and NATO air operations during the Bosnian war, including reports from on board the carriers USS Saratoga and USS Roosevelt.

He is a pilot and flown numerous bomber, fighter and command and control aircraft for stories in Aviation Week including the F-100, F-106, F-4, F-15, the Av-8 Harrier, F-111A, FB-111, AWACS, JSTARS and several missions on the B-52 and KC-135. He has also flown on board the NASA Gulfstream II STA Shuttle Training Aircraft on about 30 steep shuttle approaches.

He was also the first American to fly with the Russian Strategic Bomber Force on board a Tu-95 Bear-H cruise missile bomber.

Covault has participated in numerous space mission simulations with astronauts and is the only active journalist who has simulated EVA wearing a space suit underwater for Hubble repair and station assembly.

As Senior Editor, based at Cape Canaveral, he helps coordinate worldwide AWST editorial coverage.



The Valiant Air Command (VAC) and EAA Chapter 724 (click here to e-mail Tony Yacono Young Eagles Chairman) will conduct a “Young Eagles” event to be held at the VAC’s museum at the Space Coast Regional airport (Titusville) on the 13th of December 2003. The VAC museum’s address is 6600 Tico Rd, Titusville and is located just south of State route 405 on the northeast side of the airport on the perimeter road (Tico Rd).

Children between the ages of eight to seventeen are eligible for an introductory flight in a general aviation aircraft. The members of the EAA and the VAC will donate their time, aircraft and fuel costs to introduce young people to the world of flight hoping to encourage them to learn more about the fields of aviation and aerospace. They must be accompanied by a parent of guardian to authorize the flight. The young eagles and a parent/guardian will be admitted to the VAC museum free of charge. Other family members or friends may attend for the normal museum fees ($9.00 adults, $8.00 seniors or active military).

Registration will start at 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM. The flight will be approximately 15 to 20 minutes. All flying will terminate an hour prior to sunset.

A pancake breakfast will be available for a small charge ($3.00) and consist of orange juice, pancakes, sausage, and coffee .

Carol Ann Garratt, who recently completed a solo flight around the world in her Mooney will fly some of the Young Eagles.

Contact BOB JAMES, MIKE McCANN or BOB FRAZIER at Museum phone (321) 268-1941



National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA)

NIFA - National Intercollegiate Flying Association-

From November 12 through November 15, 2003, five schools, Auburn University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, Jacksonville University and Miami-Dade Community College, met at Melbourne Airport for the annual regional competition called Safecon, meaning Safety Contest. The event consists of 4 flying events; power off landings, short field landings, message drop and a navigation route flown using dead reckoning only, and 5 classroom events. A total of 91 contestants and their coaches represented their respective schools. These young people are the future of aviation and the future of aviation looks very bright.

Several members of BAA and EAA 724 volunteered as judges. Tony Yacono had the toughest job - he was the Safety Judge and had to select the team who were the safest on the ground and in the air. Two points separated the first and last teams. These young people are very good!

Saturday evening is the Awards Banquet, which the judges are invited to attend. There are ribbons for those who place in slots 4 through 10, plaques for 2nd and 3rd place and a big trophy for First Place in each event. There are also trophies for the Top Male Pilot and the Top Female Pilot, the top Ground Events school, the top Flying events school and the top Overall School. The first and second place schools were Embry-Riddle and Florida Tech, who will go on to compete in the National competition in the Spring. The competition is fierce, but good sportsmanship is everywhere. These are fine young people and will serve aviation well.

Bobbi Lasher 11/20/03



GROUND EVENTS These are timed events.

Computer Accuracy Contestant solves problems using an E6B (Whiz wheel).

Aircraft Recognition A series of 30 slides will be shown on a screen for 3 seconds each. Pilots then have 15 seconds to select manufacturer, number designation and official name on the answer sheet. (Only small parts of each plane are shown)

SCAN (Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation) Each contestant is given a complete packet with at least 40 questions and all pertinent information concerning a hypothetical flight

Judges hand out necessary paperwork, monitor against cheating, note time each contestant finishes and marks that time on top of answer sheet, time total event and collect all materials at the end. Each of the above events happen only once during the 3 day event.

Ground Trainer (Simulator) Pilot is given a copy of the pattern to be flown the evening before the competition. The simulator keeps track of the scoring, which is very strict tolerances.

Judge watches pilot. Each school enters several contestants in this event, so this will take a long time

Aircraft Preflight A single engine plane will be "bugged" with at least 30 discrepancies. Plane is kept hidden from view until contestant is ready to start. Contestant has 15 minutes for inspection. Each contest works by themselves.

Judges have a list of discrepancies. Pilot calls out what he/she finds and judge marks it on the sheet. Judge also times the event. Each school enters several contestants in this event, so this will take a long time.

Flying Events

Power off landing Each pilot will make 3 power off landings.

Short Field Landing Each pilot will make 3 landings.

Judges are stationed along the runway to observe where plane ACTUALLY touches down and at points to observe strategic parts of the flight pattern. You will have a score sheet to record your observations on. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Don't forget sunscreen!

Message Drop Each pilot makes a pass over the runway while co-pilot drops 2 balsa boxes, aimed at a target at each end of the runway.

Same as above plus judges measure distance from target to landing point of each box.

Navigation This is a cross county flight over a 3 to 5 leg course between 70 and 120 miles in length, using pilotage and dead reckoning ONLY. Contestant must make a flight plan from the lat long coordinates given and submit before taking off. Must also calculate time for each leg, estimated total elapsed time, estimated fuel consumption.

There will be judges in the room while pilots do their flight planning and will look at their plan to ensure that they are headed in the right direction.
Turn point judges will get themselves to their post, set out a letter made with large strips of plastic or canvas (supplied to you). Have a hand held radio with you and turned on. You will be listening for the pilots - they must announce their approach and passing over the point. You also will note the time they fly over head. You will also need binoculars. You will be given a box lunch to take with you. Don't forget the sunscreen!

This is a BRIEF explanation of the events and judges responsibilities. You will be given more detailed instruction before your event.

Thanks for volunteering to help. If you know anyone else who might volunteer, please let me know.

Bobbi Lasher


Lindbergh Symposium "Wings to Lift the World"
celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Flight

November 15 in Ft. Myers, FL


Dear Florida Chapters of EAA,

We would like you to know about our event in November 15 in Ft. Myers, FL. We believe your membership would be interested in our program, and hope you will include this event on your calendar. We have received permission in writing from Adam Smith EAA Headquarters to contact all the Florida EAA Chapters.

What: Lindbergh Symposium "Wings to Lift the World" celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Flight, an official Centennial of Flight event, with six speakers: Dr. Richard Hallion, Sergei Sikorsky, Peter Lawson-Johnston, Dr. Marie Hallion, Kristina Lindbergh, Jim Fowler and Reeve Lindbergh.

When: November 15, 2003, 9AM-5PM

Where: Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL

Cost: $50.00

For registration, directions and further details please go to:
or email:

(A brochure in pdf format with archival pictures is downloadable from the website.)

Any questions please contact me, Margaret Eiluned Morgan or telephone: 239-463-5633.

A further event in Florida that your members might be interested in: Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Lindbergh will be giving a talk at 10:AM, November 14, the Blake Library, 2351 Monterey Road, Stuart FL ; tel: 772-219-4957

Many thanks for your kind attention,

Margaret Eiluned Morgan
President of the Lindbergh Symposium



Carol Ann Garratt spoke to a packed house, at the EAA Chapter 724, January 14, 2004 meeting.


Carol Ann Garratt and Tony Yacono showing one of the charts used by Carol Ann for the trip and auctioned off at the meeting. The auction raised $142.00 for ALS.



Carol Ann departing COI after the EAA meeting.


My trip around the a Mooney M20J

Carol Ann Garratt

Carol Ann departed Kissimmee airport on February 28th 2003 for a 7 and a half month trip around the world. Her 7 months of planning were complete and the adventure was about to become a reality. Her trip is dedicated to her mother, Marie Garratt, who died of ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease 10 months earlier. Her objective was to raise awareness and donations to help fight this debilitating disease. In addition, she knew she was embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.

The trip proceeded westbound from Florida to California, non-stop, then on to Hawaii, American Samoa and New Zealand for a two-week rest. Continuing on, Carol Ann flew to Australia, Singapore, India, The Seychelles, and South Africa. After two weeks touring the countries around South Africa, she continued to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Egypt and on to Europe. Crossing the North Atlantic in mid-August and visiting Iceland and Greenland was breathtaking.

The flying was challenging and full of learning opportunities. The countries were interesting to visit with magnificent vistas and architecture. But it was the people and the aviation community worldwide that made this the most positive and uplifting experience for Carol Ann. She returned a more positive person with a desire to share the flying stories and pictures with others. A complete log of the trip is on her web site click here to visit her web site


This trip is dedicated to my mother, Marie Garratt, who died on April 24, 2002 after a 3 year battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a chronic, progressive disease marked by gradual degeneration of the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy; symptoms commonly appear in middle to late adulthood, with death in two to five years. The cause is unknown, and there is no known cure. Most people who develop ALS are between 40 and 70 and it is 20% more common in men than in women. My mother was diagnosed at age 76. Sarah, an ALS patient who corresponded with my mother by email and who I met in London, England, was diagnosed in her late 20s when she was pregnant with her second baby.

ALS is one of the most devastating disorders that affects the function of nerves and muscles. Based on US population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year. That's 15 new cases each day. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. Worldwide, over 300 new cases are identified daily.

To learn more about ALS please go to the ALS Foundation web site and the ALS web site.

To donate to research and, hopefully, treatment of ALS, please visit the donation web site.

In England the disease is known as Motor Neurone Disease or MND. The joint web site with the US and international ALS is and for European Donations, please see Thank you in advance for your donations to help fight this destructive illness.

Carol Ann Garratt in her Mooney on the ramp in Lakeland, Florida





31,643 nautical miles (before side trips). 226 flying hours. 7 months duration.

36,667 miles completed & 360 hours (with side trips), 7.4 months complete. What an experience



Oshkosh 2003 Review ... (read more)