Gateway EAA - Chapter 1401

Merced, California

Meet the Crew


Michael Bodine
 Mike is a native Californian who was introduced to flying when he joined the Civil Air Patrol in high school. His first flight was in a Cessna PA18 tail dagger. He spent the first half of his flying experience flying low and slow in tail daggers, in a Taylor Craft and a Cessna 170. He graduated to faster and bigger with a Cessna 207 which he owned for almost 10 years. After several flying hiatuses he purchased his latest, a B model Mooney, which he used to commute daily from Merced to San Jose International. It's said that Mike went to work in San Jose just so he could remain IFR current. He acquired over 600 hrs of real instrument flying in the 3 years he commuted. He has since retired. 

 Vice President


Doris Mitchell


 Secretary: Gail McCollugh

 Email Gail

 Most people that frequent Macready Field knows of Gail. She comes from a flying family; Father, 2 sisters, husband (Jack) and twin sons. Gail grew up on a ranch and learned to fly in the 1960's off a dirt strip at Red Top Ranch. She possesses ratings for commercial and is a CFI. Her favorite aircraft is her Cessna 170B taildragger which was the 2nd to the last off the assembly line in 1956. Gail has flown to Baja five times in her 170 before there were any roads there.


 Flight Adviser:




Treasurer: Kathleen Wollen

Email Kathleen


 Web Editor: Bonnie Gottschalk




Larry Lenz 

 Email Larry

 Larry considers himself an “Air Force brat,” and his venturing into an RV-7A project comes with a wealth of technical experience. A native of Merced, Larry has built and flown RC aircraft since he was 15 years old. He served in the United States Navy where he received advanced training in electronics and avionics. Larry and his lovely wife, Norma, are avid Harley Davidson riders and are extending their adventurous spirit by investing in a beautifully self-built hangar in which they are constructing their Van’s tri-gear. When the project is completed, Larry hopes to taxi out of the “storage shed,” as it is officially called, onto the adjacent grass strip in Snelling where he can take off for some great flying adventures. Larry’s daughter, Becky, also loves to fly.

 Bob Puphal

 (no email)

 Bio coming soon



 Richard Walker

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Richard has been interested in aviation since he was 8 or 9. He built flying and static airplane models back then as well as model rockets. After graduation from High School he attended a Junior College Flight Training Program and got his private pilots license. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and received his Bachelors Degree. He joined the air force and received his pilot wings in 1972.

He married and later settled in Merced with his wife Susan, a near Native of Merced . He has been involved with EAA since the late 60's.

 John (Fuzzy) Mitchell

 Email Fuzzy

 Often referred to as “Fuzzy” in local aviation circles, John currently flies a C-172 Skyhawk  at Macready Field. John’s first flight took place on Christmas Eve of 1945 in a PT-19, back when the present-day alley of T-hangars was the active runway at Merced. A private pilot with SEL and MEL ratings, John is currently involved with the restoration of a 1946 Swift GL-1B. He is the original owner of the bird. John is another chapter member who comes to Gateway with a wealth of technical experience, serving as a field service engineer for General Electric jet engines during his service in the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1955. Anyone can meet John lounging in his hangar, #11, during the annual Merced Antique Fly-In. Doris, John's wife, is Gateway EAA's Vice President.

 Young Eagles Co-Director
Linton Wollen

 Email Linton

 Linton is a retired High School teacher. He learned to fly in 1960 in Long Beach in a Piper Cub. Prior to being drafted into the Army, Linton rebuilt a damaged Cessna 140 while attending Long Beach Community College and earned an Airframe ticket. Since then he owned and flew another C-140 flying it Coast to Coast and Border to Border in just one summer. While teaching in Merced, Linton bought and recovered a 1945 Piper L-4 (Piper Cub with liaison windows} that was previously owned by the Merced CAP. Linton later added a partner and bought a 1967 Cessna 150. Approximately 10 years ago he purchased a 1968 C-172. In 2000 Linton, together with his wife, Kathleen, flew 54 hrs on a trip to Oshkosh and other points east. Linton is Instrument and Commercial rated.

 Young Eagles Co-Director


 Email Kathleen

 Bio and Photo coming soon!

Outer Marker editor
Bonnie Gottschalk    


Email Bonnie


Bonnie along with her husband, John own a local music store in Merced and Clovis.  She is not a pilot but loves being the passenger in her husband's Cessna,  She had her first flight experience in a Cessna at the age of fifteen and was thrilled when her husband obtained his license in February 2007.  When she joined us this summer she offered her services as newsletter editor since she has had experience with other organizations doing so. She is originally a Hoosier who moved to Merced in 1988 to escape the cold and humidity.  

 John Gottschalk

Email John

 Bio coming soon!

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Jan 28 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Thursday, Feb 4 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday, Feb 13 at 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Thursday, Feb 25 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

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