| John Sickafoose |
| Alan Sickinger |
EAA chapter 1077 was formed in 1994 by John Sickafoose and a band of 13 like minded men. All were pilots at various stages of their flying lives. Many of them were already EAA members.
Looking back, Don Knisely was the first person to base a private plane at Harry Clever Field. In 1930 he traded a Harley Davidson motorcycle for an airplane that he didn't yet know how to fly. Don flew until the age of 93. Art Sickinger had earned his private certificate as a young man while he was a paratrooper in the army. When he got out, he bought an airplane and flew it home. John Gowins Sr. gave Alan Sickinger his first airplane ride. Alan became a pilot in 1977 and has owned at least one airplane ever since.
Among this group of aviators were four father and son pairs. John Haines, Floyd Haines and Larry Tinker were builders. Alan Sickinger was an excellent shade tree mechanic and John Sickafoose was an IA. Ron Prince and John Haines were both fixed wing and rotary wing pilots. John Gowins, John Sickafoose and Bruce Blackwell were flying for a living. John Haines was running the airport.
Sickafoose missed attending regular chapter meetings like he had done when he lived near Canton, Oh. He had thought for a long time that this area would benefit from a local chapter but had never done anything about it. He started talking to Haines and others about starting a local EAA chapter. They spread the word and when it seemed like there was enough interest, Sickafoose “Bit the bullet” and contacted the National EAA about starting a new chapter. The paperwork was submitted and on August 24 1994, the aforementioned list of names became EAA Chapter 1077. Sickafoose was elected to be the first president. (The original charter hangs on the wall of our new Hangar/Educational Center….more on that later.)
Then in 1995 Sickafoose’s flying job came to an abrupt end. He made the decision at that point in his life that a “Change in latitude” was in order and he was going to start spending his winters in Florida. He told the guys of his plans and that they needed to select a new leader. John Haines was elected the second president of Chapter 1077.