Fred Immen ‘flew West’

It is with deep sadness that we were told of the passing of Fred Immen. He passed away on July 13 after a bacterial staph infection took him down a week prior. During that week of bed rest, he talked often of his love of flying and how all he wanted to do was to get into his plane and fly away. He passed peacefully with his family at his side proud to be the oldest family member in recorded history (92 11/12 years). We hope his spirit is now flying free, soaring through the high heavens where there are no FAA regulations or nasty weather conditions to ground his aircraft. During his life flying was his breath and solace, a time to soar above the bounds of earth and feel free.

His daughter shared a little of his history, as he didn’t share too much with us, as was his bent.

“I was always so astounded and impressed with his aviation history and flying abilities up to the last time he flew in June. He was always humble about his experiences and accolades in the aviation field. You may only remember him as a tough old bird and not very personable, that was just his façade – he was a very intelligent, solemn man with great integrity, thorough thinking abilities and humility. But, if you got him talking, he would share his knowledge and learning experiences freely. As I have been going through his papers and work history I am finding out even more about this amazing man. We lived together for 12 years and although I got some stories out of him, there was much he never thought to brag about, though he certainly could have. When he was a young lad his mother took him to see a barnstormer; he fell in love with planes then and there. Only 17 when he joined the Navy and learned to fly in a Stearman bi-plane, he could fly before he could drive. He went on to fly a total of 39 types of aircraft! Although the war ended before he was finished his training, he was proud to have been an active serviceman on D-Day. He was given the option of continuing his full time service or to go into the reserves and receive a full ride to finish his structural engineering degree from Cornell University (he had taken a leave from college to join the war effort). He opted for the Navy reserve where he spent the next 20+ years steadily moving up to become lieutenant commander of an elite helicopter squadron. He was hired by Boeing right out of college and became one of original designers of the B52 bomber. Eventually he moved on to helicopter design. When the government approached Boeing looking for top engineers, dad was hired away to work as a civilian for the Army’s aviation sector. He was awarded several aviation awards; the one he was most proud of being the FAA’s Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” award.

“Dad was a long time member of the EAA, always joining the nearest chapter to where he lived. He so enjoyed being an active member and always looked forward to the various events: fly-ins, meetings, air shows and in particular the Young Eagles. He not only wanted his own children to love aviation, but also all children. In his quiet way he always tried to be of help and support. Thank you for welcoming him into your group and giving him a place to share and be surrounded by other aviation enthusiasts.”

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T-shirts and caps available

The 2019 EAA Chapter 1541 t-shirts and caps have arrived. Both the t-shirts and caps feature the updated chapter logo. The shirts are a sky blue color, and the cap is dark blue with white trim. Both will be available for purchase at chapter events for $15 apiece. The 2019 Gold Members can choose either a cap or a t-shirt and receive it as a member benefit. We also have on hand some women’s sizes and it is a simple process to order more.

The chapter is also going to make available nice-quality polo shirts but these will be pre-ordered and pre-paid by those who want them before we place the order. Look for details soon on polo shirts.

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Break-in at Georgetown

There was a theft on Thursday, November 29th. The thieves broke into 5 hangars at Georgetown airport and took small tools and David Clark headsets. It seems to have been 3 people working together (one as lookout), ducking between hangars to avoid passers-by.

There is a $1,000 reward for their arrest and the recovery of the stolen items – call (530) 621-5655, case #18-10647. And be on the lookout for any great deals on small aviation tools or headsets.

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Call for DART Volunteers

The Lincoln Regional Aviation Association (LRAA) is sponsoring a Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) that will provide volunteer services for emergencies within our community.

These services range in air transportation for civilian, medical, emergency personnel as well as transporting food, medical supplies and material required to handle catastrophic events.

However, there is still much to do.

The Lincoln DART Team is still under development and the need for additional personnel / volunteers is greater than ever. Help is needed in “material and passenger” management, “Set-up / take down” crews and ramp personnel.

If you would like more information or to participate as part of this important team, please check out their web page.

Tragic News

As you may have already heard, chapter member Richard Bristow and his wife, Sue, were killed in an aircraft accident near Petaluma on Sunday afternoon. Richard has been an integral member of our chapter since its inception and was the chapter president in 2014-2015. Both Richard and Sue were regular attenders at chapter functions and I speak for all to say we are stunned and saddened at their tragic loss. Their family has been notified and we, as a chapter, will reach out to offer our assistance in any way possible. Our chapter will provide details as they come available as to arrangements and opportunities to help out.

The chapter has no information beyond what has been available in the media. As in all aircraft accidents, I would encourage everyone to refrain from speculation and expressed opinion as the authorities complete an investigation into the accident.

Please keep the Bristow family in your prayers this week.

EAA Chapter 1541 Membership Survey

Here is a brief Membership Survey. We ran this survey at the January member meeting last week at Cattlemens so if you did it there, you can ignore this.

We’d like your input on a few items covered by the survey, so please take a few minutes to complete it and return it. It would be greatly appreciated.

You can return it via a email, hand it to any board member in the next week or so, bring it to the BBQ Lunch/program this coming Saturday, or mail it back to our postal address (PO Box 1126, Lincoln, CA 95648).

We want to compile the results in the first week of February.