Earl Luce of Brockport, New York, will receive EAA's 2009 Tony Bingelis Award recognizing his many contributions to EAA and the homebuilt aviation community.
Luce, EAA 303169, has belonged to EAA Chapter 44 for more than 30 years, helping his fellow members with aviation projects and technical help. He used his appliance and electronics business building to establish the Luce Aeroplane, a workspace where homebuilders can get advice and help on their airplane projects. Over the years Luce has provided advice on more than 30 projects.
Besides being an EAA Technical Counselor for 20 years, Luce has provided countless teaching sessions and has taught gas welding for EAA's SportAir Workshops.
Along with his chapter work, Luce is an active Young Eagle pilot, has made numerous presentations at other EAA chapters, and wrote for EAA's Sport Aviation and Experimenter magazines. Luce is also a frequent presenter in EAA's Hints for Homebuilders video series, providing helpful tips on subjects ranging from motor mounting to the proper way to cut tubing.
Luce's extensive list of personal homebuilt projects includes several plans-built aircraft like a Sorrell Guppy, a Skycycle ultralight, and a W-10 Tailwind. Luce also rebuilt a J-2 Cub. But Luce's greatest achievement came when he reverse-engineered plans for aviation legend Steve Wittman's Buttercup.
Wittman built the original Buttercup, which is displayed in the Wittman Hangar at Pioneer Airport, in 1937, but never created plans to reproduce it. Luce put the design to paper, and today offers detailed plan drawings of the LuceAir Replica Wittman Buttercup for sale to the public.
The Bingelis Award will be given to Luce during the EAA AirVenture Homebuilder’s Dinner on Thursday, July 30, during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. Tickets will be available at Homebuilder’s Headquarters during the convention.
The Tony Bingelis Award was created in 2002 to recognize an EAA member who has contributed to homebuilt projects and safety promotion while maintaining EAA values. The award honors the late Tony Bingelis, a homebuilding authority, EAA Sport Aviation columnist, and author of a highly acclaimed series of books on homebuilding, Sportplane Builder; Firewall Forward; Sportplane Construction Techniques; and Tony Bingelis On Engines.