Welcome to EAA Chapter 1373!

The X chapter

16+ years of the 'X' chapter

It was a dark and stormy night… (Wait, that's Snoopy's line. I’ll begin again.)

It was 2003. Chapter 800 (Mack, CO) had established a vibrant aviation community, but its membership was spread far and wide. Rotating the meeting location between Grand Junction, Montrose, Delta, and elsewhere had become tedious, and interest in creating a new chapter in the Montrose/Delta area began to grow.

Naturally, there would be some effort involved. Ross and Lowell told Frank "we'll find out the steps to start a new chapter, and if you want to file the paperwork we're with you". Frank was determined.

The next thing you know Don was documenting the very first meeting of EAA Chapter 1373, held May 3rd, 2003. Nominations for officers included Frank (President), Ross (Vice President), Byron (Secretary/Treasurer) and Don (Newsletter Editor). And before any of the nominees could object someone moved to close the nomination process. The deed was done. The 'X' Chapter was born.

Charter members: Arthur Pontow, Bill Patterson, Bob Trumpfhelter, Byron McNew, Craig Hamm, Don Geddes, Don Morton Sr., Don Hamilton, Frank DiCenso, Herb Anderson, Jack McCaslin, Jamie Jacobson, Lowell Manary, Marshall Burr, Merle (Ric) Lynch, Richard Sundquist, Rob Hauck, and Ross Hauck.

The above is documented in the first newsletter, which I’ve added to the Newsletter archives here. Take a look! The early newsletters were printed and mailed. I’ll scan and post these as I have time. Electronic versions began in 2008 and are already posted in the archives.

1373Newsletter - 25May2003 thumbnail image

Other parts of the story above are what they call in court “hearsay”. If I’ve gotten any of it wrong please correct me!

Several of the original charter members are still active in the chapter today. Others have moved on, but overall membership has grown to over 50 active builders, pilots, and aviation enthusiasts.

In more recent years, the Delta airport has become our primary meeting place. Blake Field (AJZ) is central to our membership, the county and the FBO (Smiling Aviation) are very friendly to general aviation, and several of our members have hangars here. We also have members at Crawford (99V), Westwinds (D17), Montrose (MTJ), North Fork Valley (7V2), and Telluride (TEX). And some of our members have their own private airstrips.

Aviation enthusiasm is alive and well on the Colorado Western Slope! Chapter 1373 has grown even since I joined three years ago. We have many active builders and flyers, and pilots who inspire Young Eagles with their first ever plane ride.

Whether you’re a long-time member or joined recently, bring your ideas to our next meeting, or post in the Forums. This is YOUR chapter. Where do we want to go next?

And if you’re not yet a member, please join us! You don’t have to own an airplane or be a pilot. An interest in aviation is all you need. Come fly with us!

—Alan Collins, EAA 1373 Webmaster

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