Christmas came early to the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 at the Leesburg International Airport.
Earlier this month, trucks from LakeSide Electrical Services rolled up in front of the Mid Florida Chapter hangar door and started to unload tall ladders and a lot of boxes.
A few days before, Tracey Dean, the Leesburg Airport Manager, had contacted the chapter president Steve Tilford, to see if it would be possible to install some overhead lights in the hangar. The old ones were probably put in when the hangar was built twenty-five or thirty years ago and were fluorescents, many of which had not been working for some time.
When the old light fixtures were taken down several were found to have bad ballasts and hornets’ nests in them. Those poor mud daubers were now going to have to find new homes. The fluorescent lighting was so dim that some members had to bring in their own high intensity flashlights when they were doing some close work.
The new lights are light emitting diodes (LED) made by Envoy Lighting and each produce 21,000 lumens of white light. We were to get six of them and they were to turn night into day. They hang down from the ceiling about three feet and bathe the hangar floor in welcomed energy efficient white light. Now you almost need sunglasses!
For some years chapter members and their aviation youth members had been hampered by a lack of suitable light by which to build, repair, and teach local kids the excitement of working on airplanes.
It really is a safety issue when intricate technical work is being done on aircraft to have good lighting.
Chapter volunteers were available to move planes and other current building projects around so the electricians could set up their ladders where they needed to be.
Chapter 534 members are grateful that Tracey Dean was able to find a little extra money in the airport budget to upgrade this hangar.
Steve Tilford, being a resourceful chapter president, decided to upgrade the chapter’s air compressor. It worked okay but vibrated a lot and sounded like a 747 flying through the hangar. It just so happened that somebody had recently donated a much newer, quieter, and higher capacity air compressor to the chapter. With all these electricians in the hangar, this was the best opportunity to hook it up. In short order the new compressor was wired in and up to code.
These changes will make the mission to expose local kids to the wonders of aviation much easier. The chapter hopes to be able to inspire young people to learn how to fly, build and repair airplanes.