My first experience with homebuilt aircraft was in the 50’s when there was a Breezy on Bowman Field. Later I rode with a friend in his AT6 to the EAA annual Fly-in (before Oshkosh) in Rockford, IL where I became interested in the Wittman Tailwind. The Tailwind impressed me because it was two-place, small, fast, clever design and economical to build and fly. In approximately 1958 I flew to Oshkosh to meet with Steve Wittman where he was headquarted to learn more about the Tailwind. I was impressed so purchased a set of plans.
EAA was in its infancy but I learned about its structure and how Chapters were formed. As I recall a minimum number of prospective members was required to start a Chapter and that number was ten. So we pursued the idea and in 1961 Chapter 110 was formed. As I recall, Willie Willburn was the first president. Web editor’s note: Howard wrote the initial letter to EAA national requesting the formation of a local chapter in Louisville. The rest is history. Click here to see this letter.
By this time my tailwind was taking shape with the fuselage pretty well completed with the finish welding done by a friend. Dick Mulloy of Kentucky Flying Service ordered a brand new Continental 0 200A, 100HP engine and sold it to me for $2200. I was transferred by GE to Indianapolis where the plane was completed by me and a friend. It first flew in 1967. By this time I lived in the Chicago area so traveled to Indianapolis on the weekends to complete the required 50 flight hours in the given test area. After that I moved the plane near my home in Barrington, Ill.
In 1967 I was transferred back to Louisville and the Tailwind came with me to live in one of the “Old Tees” although they were the “New Tees” back then. By this time Chapter 110 was well on its way to being the very successful Chapter it is today.
After retiring to Florida in 1985 and returning in 1997 I found the Chapter “Happy and Well” so became active again.