Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation

Past Events

The Foundation would like to help grow the Sonex community - if you have pictures and information to share from a past Sonex event, please share it with the rest of the Sonex community!

Send your past event info here!

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Wayne Flury, organizer of the Buffalo, MN Sonex Fly-in, sent us this great article about their recent spring event. He also sent a short article published in the Minnesota Flyer magazine. We are glad to see such enthusiasm for a local grassroots event. Thanks for sharing Wayne!
Thursady, July 10, 2014
Al Eidukas, organizer of the Great Lakes Sonex Fly-in Bolingbrook, IL, sent an update about the recent gathering that took place at Clow International Airport. You can also view great photos of the event on our photo sharing site. Thanks Al for your time and commitment to this growing event! 

Al writes, "The second annual Great Lakes Sonex Fly-in was another great success. This year's 2nd annual event was held on June 28th at Clow International Airport in Bolingbrook, Illinois.

Several informative presentations were made on subjects ranging from avionics & data collection to kit building, to an update on the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation from Foundation president Robbie Culver. Eric Seber also gave a presentation regarding his efforts with a youth education Sonex Aircraft project. Weather was very unpredictable this year with chances of thunderstorms all throughout the day but that didn't stop Bob Meyer, Bill Larson, and his wife Pam from flying in. The group had the opportunity to get up close to check out the planes and talk to Bob and Bill first hand. Door prizes were provided by several vendors, as-well-as the Sonex Foundation and EAA Chapter 461.

Thank you to EAA Chapter 461 for hosting, Clow Airport's support and the Illinois Aviation Museum for sponsoring this event. But most of all a Big thank you to all those who attended, because what is a fly in all about - The planes, the people and the conversations."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Update from Mike Singleton about another successful Great Southern Sonex Gathering:
The 11th Annual Great Southern Sonex Gathering was held at Coulter Airfield (KCFD) in Bryan, Texas, on Saturday, November 2nd. Attendance was good with an official (registered) count of 64 and an unofficial count of 80. Five Sonex aircraft were present including a Onex. Again this year, Robert and I were privileged to have EAA Chapter 1531 as co-sponsors.

Unlike last year, the weather was almost perfect with clear skies, great visibility, and very comfortable temperatures. We expected and should have had more Sonex aircraft this year, but due to flooded airfields, vacation schedules, engine upgrades and other reasons, we were short of the anticipated numbers. In spite of that, we had very enthusiastic participation?

Sonex rides were given and forum/discussion groups occurred. Phil Davis and Derek Hodges gave a presentation on building and flying their Onex, Mike Singleton invited participants to join the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation and led a discussion on Sonex group fly-out destinations. Martin Ranck exhibited some of his assembled Waiex parts and Margaret Hastedt displayed her recently purchased Sonex kit. However, the highlight of the presentations was Robert Barber’s illustrated report on his Sonex trip from Coulter Field to Alaska, including a flight from Anchorage, to Talkeetna, then a detour over the Denali area to a landing at Ft. Yukon, 8 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

We thank Wick's Aircraft Supply, Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, and Sonex Aircraft, LLC for their door prize contributions.

A few honorable mentions in addition to the Sonex pilots who flew in go to Phil Harper for his annual pilgrimage from Springfield, Missouri; to Larry Perryman, one of the original co-founders of the GSSG; to the wives, families, and friends for their tolerance of our Sonex addictions; and to all those that pitched in to help when it was needed. A special thank you goes to our wives Nina and Connie for all they do to help make this such a successful annual event.

To those that couldn't make it this year and those that will be flying their new planes, we invite you to join us next year for more Sonex fun! Great Southern Sonex Gathering Website
Friday & Saturday, October 11 -12, 2013

Update from John Davis at the American Sonex Association about the successful ASA Crossville Fly-in:

Well we could not have had better weekend weather and the aircraft arrived in droves.  About 2:00 PM Saturday Afternoon we hit the historic and magic BIG 40 aircraft.  We started a new tradition this year when an aircraft arrived we gave them a number and let the blow their own horn with a small air horn and so many had come in that when number 40 did not get to blow his horn because we ran out of air in the can.  Next year we will have a bigger can.
A staunch supporter of ASA, Lonnie Prince put on a presentation of how a prop is carved and a Prince Prop was raffled off and won by  Robert Kolacki ,he had just ordered a prop from Lonnie just before Lonnie and Kathy left the fly-in.

We were pleased to have the Sonex Aircraft, LLC represented by Joe Norris and the pretty factory Waiex along with Wayne Daniels in Purple Haze chasing him all the way from Oshkosh to make sure that he did not turn around at the Illinois border since it was the first time the aircraft had flown out of Wisconsin .

We hosted 142 folks including 6 Charter members that has been at all 10 fly in's and they each received a windbreaker with the 10 year special patch and their name on the jacket.  
We flew 32 Demo rides with Mike McClellan leading the pack with 11, served about 500 meals over the weekend made a lot of new friends and saw a bunch of old friends.
The longest distance traveled was as close to being a tie as possible with Walt Truk from San Antonio Texas and Aaron Knight from Norwell MA with Aaron beating Walt by .6 mile.  Best in Show award went to Vic Vicari from Goreville IL.

We had the usual amount of maintenance problems and everyone got fixed and on their way except for 1 engine problem that we hope to have fixed today.
Several builders brought spare parts and pieces and there was a lively exchange of parts and money at the Swap tables.

I was presented with a Rocking Chair for my retirement and everyone was asked to sign it It will be in my family for a long time.  An old friend Dick Martin presented me with a lighted plaque that has the 10th year patch, my old Air Force C-124 Aircraft, my face and on the top is the likeness of N555SX,  Dick could not make the fly-in but sent it along with our friend Jim Shell. It is setting above my head on my desk as I write this message.

Saturday afternoon we flew a Lost Wingman formation for Michael Arnold, who had attended 2 previous ASA events and was registered for this years event when he tragically lost his life in the Washington DC Navy Yard Shooting. The flight consisted of Bob Frost/Charlie Steffy Lead, Kip Laurie 2, John Davis 3, and Aaron Knight 4 with Peter Van as Camera Man.

We had great door prizes from all of our sponsors Prince Prop, Sonex LLC, MGL Avionics, Great Plains Aircraft,  Wicks, Avery Tool, BandC Supply, Trade A Plane, Aircraft Spruce, Sportys Pilot Shop, Delta Pop Antenna and Light Speed.
The night ended with the tradition hanger cleaning where everything was put back in its place and the hanger was cleaned. Fantastic weekend. 

We hope to see you here next year, October 10-11, 2013!

John Davis ASA
Saturday, September 5th, 2013

Update courtesy of Mike Smith, event organizer:

For those of you who could not make it for the 5th Annual Northeast Sonex Fly-in on Saturday, September 7, 2013, it was awful. The weather was terrible; people were mean; food was gross. OK, now that you don't feel so bad you can stop reading any further...


For those who were there, THANK YOU for your participation! There were 61 people who signed in, and I know there were several more that never made it to the sign in table, so we had about 70 participants!! That's just totally awesome!

Thank you especially to those who flew in their Sonexes and Waiex. We had 8 Sonex and 1 Waiex, and if the weather in Canada had been better we would have had 4 more! We also had several other interesting aircraft fly in including a Lancair, Cub, several RV's of various flavors, a Kitfox, a couple of Skyhaws, and a Cherokee (I don't think the two private jets were there for our event!). Next year there should be at least 3 more Sonexes flying in: Me, Keith Macht and Howard Linker, as well as (hopefully) a Onex from Dudley Foster!

Casey Lyon was present with his Viking-powered Sonex, which now has well over 100 hours on the engine. Casey can't say enough about the engine. Max Emmighausen was also present, and was about to start his own Viking installation with Casey's help the following day.

There were at least a half dozen persons who were trying to decide what to build, and said they were leaning toward the Sonex for it's cost effectiveness. Several more had kits that were on the way or just delivered, and they were excited to get some up close and personal time with the Sonexes and Waiex at the event.

10 people were given introductory rides in the Sonex and Waiex aircraft. There would have been more, but a flat tire for one aircraft, and some late arrivals and no-shows due to weather at their home airports kept a few of the volunteer aircraft away.
And several more thank-yous:
  - Glenn Hunt for the tremendous help in organizing, and getting the food. He also spent a good deal of time on a taxiway helping to fix a flat tire!
  - EAA Chapter 1314, especially those who cooked and helped with things like set-up, sign-in and break-down
  - Our presenters: Al Lavender, Max Emmighausen and Keith Macht
  - Monadnock Aviation for their support, and use of the facilities
  - Our pilots who gave familiarization flights (I hope I got all the names right; let me know if I didn't!): Dave Storey, John Murr, Casey Lyon, Aaron Knight, Dana Thurston).
  - WICKS AIRCRAFT SUPPLY for all the catalogs and AWESOME swag, including a brand new HEADSET! Way to go, Wicks!

Some observations from this year's event:
- Having it at the FBO building worked a lot better, I think, for many reasons
- We were better organized and had a real sign-in :-)  We'll probably do a little better next year
- Having the event the weekend after Labor Day seemed to be a real hit with everyone, and we couldn't have asked for better weather!
- Having the raffle and then the presentations directly after lunch seemed to be the winning formula!
- In 5 years we STILL have not gotten a group photo or a photo of all the aircraft together! We need to work on that! I think next year we will do that DIRECTLY after lunch, and then do the raffle and the presentations. We will get this right eventually!!
- Next year we'll ask if we can leave an area of the ramp for Sonex/Waiex/Onex parking only. Not to be snobs, but just to keep the aircraft tightly together. With small aircraft like the Sonex line, we can park them closer together if we don't have to worry about keeping the ramp clear for other aircraft. Next year we may truly have 15 or 18 Sonex aircraft, so we'll need the room!

From our Pennsylvania contingent (2 Sonex / 1 Waiex), on their way home:
 We skirted La Guardia airspace just North of the Tappenzee bridge then turned West. Based on our line coming up, we cut the corner off of VT, so we actually were in 7 different states! I never did that in one day before. PA, NY, MA, VT, NH, CT, NJ

If you have never flown into Keene (EEN), please do so sometime! It is a lovely airport in a beautiful setting, with 2 awesome runways, self serve gas, and a wonderful and attentive FBO (Monadnock Aviation).

See you next year!

Mike Smith
Sonex #439
Sunday, July 28th to Sunday, August 4th 2013

The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation held its first initial meeting of the membership at AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. We've included some of the photos from the initial meeting, the Sonex Aircraft, LLC open house and mass taxi, and some of the other sights around Oshkosh during the AirVenture week. 

Thanks to all those who attended the initial membership meeting and to many people that made lasting friendships. We hope everyone made it home safely and look forward to seeing many of you at ASA's gathering in October at Crossville!
Saturday, June 29th, 2013

The First Annual Great Lakes Sonex Fly-In was held on Saturday, June 29th at Bolingbrook's Clow International Airport in Bolingbrook, Illinois. The event was very well attended despite weather that was less-than ideal. Several presentations were given with topics including a builder's experience constructing a Sonex with AeroVee, the benefits of using an EAA Technical Counselor during the build, general inspection techniques after the build, and a presentation regarding the new Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation given by Foundation President Robbie Culver.

"Though weather was not cooperating, Don Nienhouse [Sonex #596] was able to sneak-in with his Sonex and wow the attendees who were unaware of his Sonex arrival until they all stepped out into the hangar for a break," writes event co-organizer Al Eidukas. "We wrapped up the day of great presentations with a close-up look at Don’s awesome looking Sonex, and by giving away the door prizes contributed by Sonex, Dynon, Wicks, MGL, Aircraft Spruce and Chapter 461."