Past President's Blogs

  • Tuesday, December 08, 2015 7:00 PM | Tom Park

    Respected Members of EAA Chapter 582,

    A journey that began 36 months ago for me, is now coming to close.  I am proud of the work that was started on my watch and I want to thank all those who gave tirelessly of themselves working with me and the chapter along the way.

    l would like to offer my congratulations to our newly elected officials.   Jeff Hamons, our newly elected President, has the skill and diplomacy to handle the job, and he will be a great leader to take us into 2016 and beyond.

    The future belongs to those who can see it…. I see many great and wonderful times ahead for Chapter 582.  I look forward to being a part of this exciting journey… only now I can enjoy ride from a different seat in the airplane.   


    Tom Park

    Past President, EAA Chapter 582

  • Thursday, May 08, 2014 6:41 PM | Tom Park
    EAA Air Academy

    One of the main objectives of EAA Chapter 582 is to educate and introduce aviation to young adults.  We do this with your membership support and our Young Eagles Program.


    By various activities throughout the year, the Chapter is able to send teenagers to an aviation based, science camp offered by the EAA Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


    The week long sessions are divided into 4 different age groups and maturity levels.  The camps are intended for students that have expressed an interest in aviation and would like to learn more. 


    If you are a Chapter 582 member and know of a teenager you feel might benefit from such an experience.  I would like to hear from you.


    If you are interested in becoming a co-sponsor with the Chapter in sending a worthy candidate to camp, I would like to hear from you too.


    You can learn more about this program, if you visit the EAA, Young Eagles Air Academy website at:    



    This is a wonderful program the Chapter works hard to provide to young students.  Even if you personally do not know of a candidate for aviation camp but would like to become involved in our Air Academy selection and nomination process, please drop me an email or give me a call.  This is just another way of getting involved with the Chapter, while helping to provide a lasting memory for a teen.             


    Tom Park

    EAA, Chapter 582 President

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 1:00 PM | Tom Park

    Several days ago,  I received my copy of Sport Aviation (for those of you who don't know, this is the monthly magazine put out by EAA National).
    Many of the articles I would classify as "teaching articles" written by pilots who connect with their readers by sharing common mistakes or situations that could happen to any of us who fly.  Some of  the articles are written about building techniques and some are written about the latest break through in aviation technology.  All are written with you, the general aviation aficionado in mind.   
    This is good publication for those who enjoy the real nuts and bolts about flying.   A magazine written (for the most part) by pilots... for pilots.
    I say these things because one of the articles I read in this months publication, resonated with my thoughts as an EAA Member and Chapter President.
    In a tribute...  or maybe I should say, "thank you" to Paul Poberezny (Paul was the founder of the EAA) Jeff Skiles, Vice President of EAA, communications and member services writes:
    Paul's greatest skill was in understanding EAA members and the organization that he created.  Paul knew that EAA isn't a thing, but a movement.  Paul understood that every EAA member has a voice and that leadership doesn't occur by going your own way.  True leadership only ocures by bringing people along with you giving them responsibility and ownership. 


    I believe Paul saw it correctly.  Like Paul, I believe the EAA is a movement.   A movement of people who love general aviation.. that's you and me.


    If aviation is your passion, then Paul is right.  We have a responsibility to work together to champion our cause.  It's not only about airplanes or flying, it's about aviation.  It's the package.  


    Now, more than ever, general aviation needs you to be involved.  We all have an obligation to stay motivated.  To be informed, to be current, to participate.  We share the responsibility, not only to our fellow aviators but to our youth that general aviation lives on.  


    We are all part of the movement.  We own the the movement.  We are the movement.  The EAA and Chapter 582 is our voice.  We must use it.


    Don't leave the survival of something you hold so dear, your passion of flying, in the hands of someone else.  It is up to you....  For without you and your contribution, your commitment to the cause,  general aviation as we know it, may soon cease to exist.



    Tom Park

    President, EAA Chapter 582

  • Friday, March 28, 2014 12:47 PM | Tom Park

    I need your help. That's right.... a little bit of your time.... and expertise!

    Honestly.... "I".....  personally, don't need your help but there a few young aviators out there that do.

    You have heard me say, there are many way of staying involved in aviation, but "giving back" is perhaps the most rewarding.  When you share your passion with others.... well, I think you find, you feel good about yourself when you go to bed at night.
    What I am talking about here is a "win", "win" for everyone.  What I am talking about is getting involved with our Young Eagles Program.

    Do you remember your first airplane ride?  Do you remember the excitement you felt as you were about to crawl into the airplane?  Do you remember who that person who made that ride happen for you?   That was a long time ago, but I bet you can still remember the moment.   Well.....  what are you willing to do to make that ride happen for someone else?

    If you have a little spare... (and I truly mean "a little")... and think you would like to re-live your first ride, by sharing that experience with another first time flyer.....  We could use you.

    From being a committee member, helping to select candidates for the  EAA, Air Academy, to working a few hours during the summer at one of the scheduled Young Eagle Events, we could use your help.

    If you are a pilot... great.  If you are simply willing to help..great...  Give me a call.

    EAA, Chapter 582 has much to offer our members.  Our members have much to offer our youth.  Sharing our passion... helps insures our passion will live on.  It is up to us to invest..... it's up to us to give back.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Tom Park
    President, EAA Chapter 582
  • Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:48 PM | Tom Park


    February 12, 2014



    Dear EAA, Chapter 582 Members and Friends:



    As Chapter 582 opens the New Year, we begin to organize our activities for 2014.  In my January statement, I began to lay out our “Flight Plan” as I introduced our new website and Member Portal.


    As we all know, the world of aviation is changing.  Over the past decade, the ever increasing fuel prices, insurance premiums and federal regulation have crippled general aviation.   Sadly, the days of heading out to the airport to do a few “touch and goes” or fly over to Sandusky for lunch are almost gone.


    Affordable, recreational flying as we once knew it, has all but dried up…  and along with it went many of the things we used to do with our airplanes to staying current.


    As private pilots, we relied on these “Saturday afternoons” not only keep our flying skills sharp but our aviation knowledge current.  The airport provided us and general aviation an environment where pilots could talk and learn from one another.


    Sharing the experience of another pilot’s “mistakes”, even in conversation, made you a better pilot when you were the “pilot in command” of your own ship.


    My point to all of this is: as aviation changes, pilots also need to change.  Specifically this includes the way we train and keep ourselves proficient. 


    If you intend to pilot an aircraft, then you need to recognize your need of continuing education.   By remaining involved, either by actually flying, taking class, reading or listening, you keep your knowledge current and yourself safe.  If you love flying and I know you do…. then you owe it to yourself and your family to stay proficient.


    There are many ways to accomplish this task but I believe the most effective way is a combination of many avenues.


    Learning is a collaboration of efforts.  Of course time spent in the airplane is agreeably the most valuable, but again, maybe not the most cost effective or efficient.  It was once said, “You learn to fly on the ground, not in the cockpit of an airplane” and I find this to remain true today.


    Here is where I ask you the simple question, “Have you renewed you EAA Chapter 582 Membership yet?


    I believe your EAA membership may be one of the single best investments you can make in your flying.  If you’ve only ever viewed our Chapter 582 as a “social club”, then I ask that you reconsider your thought.   I believe your EAA Membership is your door to opportunity and education.  You just need to, again recognize it and step through.


    As a member you have access to a facility and learning center that is second to none.  From here, members can learn about aircraft design, building and engine repair.  

    Our Chapter learning center allows you to participate in FAA related seminars, enroll in continuing education classes and view safety videos offered via our new Website and Member Portal.


    Our website alone offers you the ability to stay in touch with the changing aviation world. With the click of a mouse you can read current aviation blogs or ask questions of other pilots about “cold starts” or “flooded engines”. You can follow aviation threads where you can renew your medical or file a flight plan.


    Even the chapter simulator offers our members an affordable alternative (it’s free) to staying current.  You can practice working in instrument conditions while “shooting an approach” right down to the minimums without burning a penny of gas!


    And, although you may have never considered it, how about teaching a class?  On, “what” you ask.  Then I will say,  “On something you know nothing about!”.   Teaching is another excellent way of educating yourself while helping others to learn.  Time in the classroom, either from behind the desk to in front of it, keeps you current and your knowledge fresh.


    Your EAA membership offers you useful, hands on learning that may someday save your life… and that’s a fact.


    So, if you are serious about your flying… then you need to be serious about your training… You need to find new ways to keep yourself proficient.


    Chapter 582 offers opportunity and an environment to learn.


    All you need to do is recognize your need.


    Get involved, stay informed!  Stay safe.



    Tom Park

    President, EAA Chapter 582



    And finally, for our members who no longer climb in to the cockpit, for those of you who just enjoy being around airplanes and want to give something back.   How about getting involved with our Young Eagles Program?  Watching a youngster go for his (or her) first airplane ride…. Well, is moving.  I guarantee, not only is it fun; it is rewarding.  We could use your help. 

  • Thursday, January 09, 2014 1:04 PM | Tom Park

    Dear EAA Chapter 582 Members and Friends:


    As the hangar door is now closed on 2013 we are proud of the many accomplishments of our chapter members this past year.


    Let’s take a look at some of these


    • Many members are working on or have completed plane projects
    • 2013 Plane Fun was very successful at providing Aviation Exposure, Young Eagle Rides, and Fund Raising
    • Young Eagle Growth through partnerships with Wood County Airport and the Toledo Public Schools
    • Began developing programs with the Aviation Explorer Group (sponsored by the Boy Scouts)
    • Began developing programs with the Girl Scouts
    • Many social and learning activities were provided by our members for our members to enjoy.  Such as fly-ins, fly-outs, cookouts, hanging at the hanger events, educational seminars, camping experiences, air shows and holiday parades
    • Began the FLAIRE Project which is a Chapter program to involve our members in designing and building an airplane

     I am excited by what we have done in 2013 and even more excited by what we are about to do in 2014.

    Our chapter focus will be the continued development of our Strategic Plan to be known as the EAA Chapter 582 Flight Plan which will focus on…


                 THE BIG 6….

    • Membership
    • Communications
    • Aviation Learning
    • Chapter Management
    • Chapter Activity
    • Philanthropy - EAA Young Eagles Program

    This is my first edition of Notes from the EAA Chapter 582 President and in the months to come I will be providing more detailed information about each of the BIG 6 areas.


    Stay tuned and as they say “get in, sit down, buckle up and HANG ON…” 2014 is going to be a GREAT FLIGHT!


    First; (Communications) Communications are the number one necessity of any organization.  Without a method of keeping the members informed, the direction and accomplishments of the club are lost.  In the end, involvement and interest of the members wane and ultimately membership dwindles.  Good Communications are a necessity.


    For a number of months now a new, interactive EAA Chapter Website and Member Portal has been under construction, today it has been launched.


    The objective of the project was to offer the membership better communications and understanding of chapter events.


    Previously, the chapter relied on disjointed methods of communicating information to its members.


    We are moving to consolidate chapter communicates via one centralized Member Portal or Website.  The new webpage is interactive so you will be able to go online, pull up a chapter directory and see who is a member and how to contact them.


    Members will also be able to communicate with each other, conduct business, see photos and participate in chapter related blogs.  All on line, all at their finger tips!   

    Now, Memberships will be renewed on line and visitors to our site will be able read about our Chapter and join, if they choose, all with the click of the mouse.


    Nominations to send our, “would be” aviators to the EAA Air Academy will also be handled here.  Simply click on the application, fill out the form and submit your candidate for consideration.  It’s that easy.


    I am excited about our new Member Portal and I think you will be too.  If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment and visit our latest website and member portal.  We have tried to combine all the best features of our old web page with many new and exciting functional abilities:


    Second; (Membership)  Dues Payment Online.   As I touched on earlier, we needed a way for members to pay and renew their dues on-line.   Until now, Chapter memberships began and expired each January first.   Now memberships will run for a 12 month consecutive period from the day the member joins.  Gone are the days of the pro-rata membership and costly billing and accounting expense associated with sending out membership invoices.  Memberships will now be handled online via the new Member Portal.  The process of invoicing, payment and follow-up will all be managed online.  Simply go to the Chapter website, click on the “Renew or Join Here” and follow the prompts.


    Of course not all of our members are computer savvy or feel comfortable paying on line, so rest assured the traditional methods of manually paying will still exist (Note: the new website and Member Portal is password protected and secured by internet pay-pay security).   But, for those who choose to send in a check, an invoice will be generated automatically and an email will be sent directly to you notifying you where to send your payment and what to expect along each step of the renewal process.


    This is a good spot to mention, “Member Status”.  Paid up members will receive a key FOB that will be electronically coupled to the hangar doors.  Non-paid members well….. let’s just say, Membership does have its privileges.


    Third; (Chapter Activity) Events are the life blood of our organization.  As you can see many of the BIG 6 areas are Event driven.  The new Website was designed to promote events and participation through easy registration.  Whether you are hosting, promoting or attending an activity the Events module is for you.  The Member Portal will help you stay informed, 24 x 7 x 365 days a year.


    In the past, chapter events were often left to the last minute to organize.  Dates were confused, events got scheduled on top of other events, responsibilities were overlooked and liabilities became an issue.  Now events and class registrations will be accomplished quickly and easily through the member portal.  You’ll be able to read about an upcoming event, review the details and register, all online.   You will also be able to host your own event or class by filling out an “Events Form” and submitting it to the board.  Your event will be registered, approved and put on the schedule for all to see and register for.


    Fourth; (Chapter Management), Inventory Control is now available to track the many assets we own as a chapter to help our members in their building projects.  A custom program has been developed and donated to the club by Eric Bower a programmer.  The inventory program is available on the home page of our new website to help you find the tools you need.


    Ladies and Gentleman; our flight plan is ready and with your help we will have a great flight and a great year.


    FLIGHT CREW prepare for TAKE OFF...


    Very Truly Yours,



    Tom Park, President

    EAA Chapter 582

    2014 – January Notes from EAA Chapter 582 President

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