By TED LUEBBERS
Andre Nedeau wanted a retirement project, but what he found was a welcoming community at the Leesburg International Airport (KLEE) in Florida.
A member of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534, Andre recently hosted his fellow chapter members in his hangar to get an update on the project that is taking up a lot of his time.
From Ottawa, Canada, Andre lives in Florida in the winter to escape the cold climate of his native country.
His project is the rebuilding of a kit plane that had flown at one time, but it had been damaged in its long distant past. Another person attempted to rebuild it, but lost interest and sold the project to Andre.
He made a long motor trip to Georgia and brought the pieces back to Leesburg on a trailer, stored them in his hangar and began to investigate what he had.
“I was looking for a building project and I am in no rush to complete it,” he notes.
When the project is finished he will have a Rans S-9 Chaos. It is a single seat ultralight originally designed for aerobatic use.
It is powered by a Rotax 503, 47 horsepower engine. The engine has been rebuilt professionally and is ready to go. It is a two stroke motor that has a pull type starter, similar to a lawn mower, and burns 4 to 4.5 gallons of gas an hour.
In order to save weight the plane will not have an electric starter. Andre will have to tie the tail down, then move to the front side of the plane to pull the handle on the starter rope to turn over the engine.
Among Andre’s other interests is hang gliding and paragliding. He can be found often at some of the local hang gliding ports around Central Florida, and he usually makes a trip to Bucaramanga, Colombia, in the winter to practice paragliding.
Andre is a very active member of EAA Chapter 534 and can be found at the EAA hangar at the Leesburg Airport on Thursday mornings helping the chapter’s “Hangar Monkeys” with aircraft building projects, as well as keeping good order in the hangar so everyone can find the tools they need for their projects. He is a stickler for getting people to put tools back in their proper spots.