Whether you fly, build, restore or simply enjoy airplanes and aviation, you are welcome to attend our events and join our chapter. We are a group of aviation enthusiasts, aircraft builders, and pilots who get together with like minded people to share ideas, exchange information, encourage safety, serve the local aviation community and have a lot of fun doing so. Please come to our next meeting or event as our guest.
For more information on our chapter, please contact our president via the contact information provided in the sidebar.
Our chapter is part of the worldwide network of EAA chapters. EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world's most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA's 170,000 plus members enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. To find out more about EAA and our programs and services, please visit our home page at EAA.org.
In the summer of 2004, a local builder of a Van’s Aircraft RV-8 decided to test the waters in the Merced area for interest in forming an EAA chapter. Dwindling numbers at the annual Merced Antique Fly-In, a determined need for local builder support, and a desire to bring renewed energy and hope to the Merced Municipal Airport were primary motivations. After conferring with EAA’s national office in Oshkosh, Scott Chastain disseminated over fifty invitations for a formational meeting to be held on Saturday, September 11th, of that same year. A minimum of ten current EAA members were needed to create a chapter. Remarkably, exactly ten people showed up at that meeting, and an interim Board of Directors was hastily elected for the application process. Insurance and application fees were sent to Oshkosh the following week, along with the required ten signatures.
On September 23rd, 2004, the number 1401 was assigned to the chapter with certain provisions, namely, that chapter by-laws be adopted along with articles of incorporation. Over the course of three months, the interim Board of Directors revised these documents to suit the needs of the chapter and then sent them to the California Secretary of State for adoption. It was during this time that meetings at the Hangar Café continued monthly, and members attended introductory forums on basic aircraft sheet metal design and construction. Additionally, the chapter membership voted to assign a permanent name to the organization: Gateway EAA Chapter 1401.
On January 23rd, 2005, George Daubner, the flight operations director at Oshkosh, contacted the interim president of Gateway EAA to inform him that the chapter had been selected to host “Fuddy Duddy,” a fully restored B-17 bomber, during its national Allied Victory Tour. The aircraft is scheduled to touch down at Macready Field on May 9th, 2005, and will remain in the area for three days. This extraordinary event will provide opportunity for increased membership and community recognition for Gateway EAA. The event will also serve as a prelude to the 2005 Merced Antique Fly-In in June - the first Merced fly-in with a Merced EAA chapter presence.
Gateway EAA is committed to serving Merced and the surrounding area in order to promote the advancement of education in recreational, sport, and general aviation and related activities.