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EAA Chapter # 37, in Opa Locka Airport, South Florida

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EAA Chapter 37 meeting at members RV 7 project
June, 2005

Some members like flying, some members like building. All of us like to talk and we can spend hours at meetings, dissecting the nuances of ways to put an aluminum tab, to hold a wheel column, or the merits of one engine over another, or the best way to mix carbon fiber and fiberglass and aluminum and wood. Some members even know what they are talking about occasionally? Besides the meetings once a month, we do occasionally get together to give mutual help to a member with some problem or other. Mostly, it seems the fellowship and cameradie are the best aspects of our monthly bull s*&^ sessions. The subject of the next meeting will be the member who is not there!

Club photo at Ray's house about Jan. 2003.
It was a cold winter in Florida that night at about 63 F.

Ray's Pietenpol tail feathers done.
Buildng in the open under the mango trees in the backyard.

Our Mission Statement is to have FUN! We build airplanes, we sometimes fly and we always eat a lot of donuts brought fresh by Jim Smith our newsletter writer and Vice President.


President: John McDonald. John is the driving force, tel: 305 940 8757 He likes to rent planes and fly for pleasure. He tapes a lot of airplane shows and brings the video tapes to the meetings for when the conversation lags.

Vice President and Newsletter writer is Jim Smith tel: 305 868 5746. Jim is a retired commercial pilot, certified in many kinds of planes and last known to fly the 747 Jumbo jets all around foreign parts of the world. To the envy of us smaller folks.( e-mail ) Jim announced at the Oct 21st Friday meeting at the Opa Locka Airport that he has lost his address book and changed his email address to:

Treasurer: Ernesto Santana, tel: 305 554 5123 is a jokester and super salesman, but builds a darned meticulous quality Barracuda. It's almost finished and cost OODLES of money with the very best of everything. ( e mail: )

Technical Counsellor: Is an American/Finnish old guy called Risto Martilla. tel: 305 981 7931 ) He knows more English than I know Finnish. He works full time as a line inspector repairing big jets. While building his own amphibian design in his living room as a hobby. He actually spends weeks calculating formulas of strengths of materials and things on paper, before construction of anything. Which to me is a novel approach?

The FOUNDING MEMBER is Dick Nafe, who is in his 80's and can't drive to meetings at night anymore because of his eyesight. He's cracked up the odd airplane experimental, so has a fund of real life interesting stories to tell. I don't like the part about picking nails out of my butt from the plane seat in my Pietenpol. But he says it's true from first hand experience? Dick always has at least three projects going in his Homestead, garage. His phone number is 305 245 4047.

Ray Auxillou is building a plane hopefully under $5000. A scratch Pietenpol. tel: 305 685 9752

FLOATING MEMBERS: We have a lot of floating members that come and go!

Ricardo's Tomahawk at North Perry field
This is a two place plane with a Lycombing 112 hp

Ray Auxillou and Ercoupe at North Perry Airport

Nelson's RV 7 project.
Ray, Nelson and Ernie


John McDonald 1530 NE 153 St. N. Miami Beach, Fl, 33162, tel: Home: 305 940 8757. Work: 305 652 6460 e-mail:

Jim Smith 7930 Biscayne Pt. Circ, Miami Beach, Fl., 33141. Home phone: 305 868 5746 e-mail:

Nelson Tower. Is building an RV7, 6701 SW 84 Ave., Miami, Fl., 33143 tel: 305 598 6278. e-mail:

Risto Martila, 1530 NE 118 St., Apt. A, Miami, Fl. 33161 building an amphibian of his own design, from scratch tel: 305 981 7931

Ralph Mirabal, 3502 NW 194 Terr, Miami, Fl., 33056, tel: 305 986 1989 e-mail: Ralph is building a Zenair Zodiak 601 and is a very meticulous worker.

Ray Auxillou, 2471 NW 152 Terr. Miami Gardens, Fl., 33054 tel: 305 685 9752. He is building a Pietenpol from scratch. He's a rough and ready builder, not into quality finishing, but more for functional use. He's an ex-sea captain.

Marcos Menendez, 1530 NE 118 St., Miami, Fl. 33161

Bert Garcia, 770 W. 71 Pl., Hialeah, Fl., 33014, tel: 305 557 0785. e-mail: Bert has a Cessna 150.

William Bond, 10300 SW 116 Ave., Miami, Fl. 33176.

Ernie Santana, 11045 SW 42 Terr, Miami, Fl., 33165. tel: 305 554 5112 work phone: 305 796 0396 e-mail: Ernie has almost finished his BARRACUDA after 8 years of building.

Dave Williams, 456 Bahia Ave., Key Largo, Fl. 33037, tel: 305 451 5936 e-mail:

Ricardo Sotolongo has a Piper Tomahawk and has owned a number of planes and his son is flying a freight plane of some kind around the Caribbean.

Dick Nafe up Homestead Way. In his 80's and has two or three plane building projects going at any given time.

Eddy Sanchez tel: 786 356 9993

Risto our tech counsellor
Risto is critiquing the work of Nelson. Ernie in background.

Ralph Mirable in foreground
He is building a Zenair Zodiak 601, a kit plane.


We've had some good bull sessions at recent meetings, but due to a preponderance of hurricanes and very hot weather, not much work being done on homebuilt projects. Then on Oct 21st. Risto showed up with some neat fiberglass wing ribs and aluminum caps, a fuel tank he had built. Looks to be about 6 gallons? John took some photos and in due course we will post them. The wing ribs made of three layers of 7 ounce fiberglass cloth. Risto made a wood form, then made a fiberglass mold, using paint instead of gelcoat and is busy laying up wing ribs. They look good, certainly strong and light. Very interesting. Risto is a Finnish American. His struggle for vocabulary makes him hard to follow, but Risto is also an Aviation Engineer for big jet maintainance as an Inspector. He loves mathematical formulas and calculating strengths of different pieces of the amphibian he is building. He spends more time doing written and mathematical stress analysis for each piece of his plane, than most people do building. To each his own.! We had a very interesting evening listening to him expound on the mathematical strengths required, the calculations used and practical considerations. It takes him about 12 hours labor to make one wing rib. But hey, if it makes him happy? ( grin! )
On the other hand, my 1929 Pietenpol is essentially a wooden egg crate slung under a barn door and will eventually have a Corvair engine out front. Different strokes for different folks.