By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – A local group of aviation enthusiasts is looking for others who share a passion for building aircraft and flying them. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 673 at Marlboro Airport hopes to welcome some new members to its ranks.
“We are interested in everything aviation,” said Christine Puliam, president of Chapter 673. “We are always looking for new members to share our common interest.”
Puliam?is a longtime aviation enthusiast who decided to become a pilot when she was 14. With degrees in both physics and astronomy, she works at Harvard University as an astronomy public relations specialist. She spends a lot of her free time at the airport.
“We like to go flying but we also like socializing and learning more about aviation,” she said. “Even just watching aircraft fly. Some of our members are licensed pilots; others just love being around aircraft. We support general –non-airline and non-military– aviation.”
While many airports have recently obtained the reputation for being non-friendly, such is not the case at Marlboro Airport, the oldest continuously operated private commercial airport in Massachusetts.
The Experimental Aircraft Association is a group started in a Midwest basement 60 years ago by a handful of people who were interested in learning how to build their own airplanes, a category officially called “experimental” by the Federal Aviation Administration, but commonly known as “homebuilt.” The EAA has since expanded to all 50 states, plus many locations overseas, and has more than 100,000 members.
“Some people think flying is too expensive to be a realistic undertaking,”?Puliam noted. “Not true. It's no more expensive than boating, golf, or owning a motorcycle.”
EAA Chapter 673 was created in 1980 by some local people who owned older and antique aircraft, nicknamed “The Marlboro Antiquers.”
“We do have fun at our meetings,”?Puliam added.
Recent speakers and topics have included a World War II B-17 navigator; an American Airlines pilot who gave a behind-the-scenes look at airline flying; a presentation about the latest upgrades to electronic airways management systems; and the experiences of several general aviation pilots who have flown small planes all over the world, including crossing both oceans.
The chapter also holds informal cookouts several times a year during the good weather and in August will host “A Day at the Airport at Marlboro.” The last one drew over 2,000 people who enjoyed an aerobatic (stunt plane) performance, a parachute drop and aircraft exhibits.
This year's event will take place Saturday, August 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no fee for admission.
The chapter meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the airport's EAA clubhouse. The current bi-monthly newsletter can be accessed at http://vp1pops.com/e_newsletter_may-june_2013.pdf. For more information, contact Christine?Puliam at [email protected] or visit www.673.eaachapter.org.