The Southern Illinois Chapter 277 of the Experimental Aircraft Association has been awarded the prestigious Illinois Spirit of Flight Award.
This honor is bestowed annually to an organization that has made a substantial contribution to aviation in Illinois. The organization's activities must be Illinois based and continuous over a long period of time.
Southern Illinois Chapter 277 has been promoting aviation education and safety since the 1980s. This group of local retirees, teachers, professors, engineers, lawyers, and tradesmen all have two things in common; a love of aviation and a desire to spread this love throughout the Southern Illinois community.
Since the chapter’s inception, its’ members have built and flown over 50 personal aircraft, from both raw components and purchased kits. In addition, members present educational programs at their monthly meetings, have organized both fly-ins and drive-in breakfasts at the Williamson County Airport. The chapter members have used their own aircraft to give hundreds of children free flights and have hosted several historic WWII aircraft (including the only flying B-29 bomber aircraft). The chapter also provides support for the Big Muddy Air Race which is held annually at the Southern Illinois Airport.
Chapter 277 members have held many aviation science type of educational programs for kids. These programs teach such topics in a fun way that interest kids. Examples are: 1) Building a water-propelled rocket out of a pop bottle! 2) Demonstrating the properties of air!
Several members have flown memorial “Missing Man” formation flights for special public events to commemorate fellow aviators who have “Gone West.” In this very emotional ceremony, a formation of four or more aircraft flies over the event while Taps is played. One pilot pulls up and out of the formation leaving the empty slot of the fallen aviator for all to see.
Chapter 277 is proud to receive this award and wishes to invite the public to all of our monthly meetings or other events. The monthly meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month at 7:00 PM in the AVTECH Building at the Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale, Illinois.
For more information about this award: http://www.ilavhalloffame.org/spirit.htmck to add text, images, and other content