EAA Chapter 272 is part of the international Experimental Aircraft Association headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Our chapter was chartered in 1966, for pilots and aircraft owners in the Duluth, Minnesota - Superior, Wisconsin region. Our current members are from the immediate area, but also from northern Wisconsin from Solon Springs to Poplar to Port Wing, and from northern Minnesota from Duluth to International Falls. The chapter's members are also in Texas, Virginia, North Dakota and Florida. Our mission has evolved over time.
We began as a club sharing expertise in aircraft construction and aviation knowledge. Then in the 1980s, we initiated, organized and presented community airshows: the Bong Bridge Dedication in 1985, Concorde/Duluth in 1987, and the Blue Angels Airshow in 1989.
Since 1989, the chapter’s direction has moved towards aviation education. A disassembled aircraft was purchased from the University of Minnesota Duluth, assembled by club members, inspected by the FAA, and then made available for initial pilot training and advanced ratings to anyone in the community who wanted to become involved in flying and join our chapter. The operational costs were partially subsidized by the chapter.
In about 1988, we began a regional scholarship program titled the Carl Lucas Memorial Fund with donated monies, and some earned from our airshows. The chapter sends out letters to all the high schools in northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin publicizing our scholarship awards. We now award one, two or three scholarships of $300 to $500 each to students entering aviation related studies. The principal amount in our scholarship fund totals approximately $9,000. We hope our scholarship fund will someday be self-sufficient without being subsidized in large part by our general funds.
In 1993 EAA 272 joined the international EAA “Young Eagles” program. Annually we have introduced 100 to 300 youths in the area to aviation through this program. We estimate that we have introduced aviation to approximately 5,000 area youths. In the past, we have included the entire seventh grade of Superior Junior High School in this program. The students tour the airport, get an aircraft preflight familiarization, and their first ride in an airplane supplied and piloted by our volunteer members. If these students want to follow-up with more training, we provide a series of classes that span nine Saturdays called “Young American Flyers.” This is a more in-depth educational program in the fundamentals of aviation.
In an effort to expand our programs, we have constructed a hangar with classroom space at the Superior, Wisconsin Airport. We have used the chapter’s savings for the construction, with an additional $11,500 in cash donated by our members and through fund-raising, and donated services of $2,300. This does not include all the manual labor donated by our members for this project.
EAA Chapter 272 is incorporated in the State of Minnesota, and is a 501c(3) tax exempt organization.