Baker Air Service builds plane for AOPA Sweepstakes

Every year the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) commissions the building of a plane that is given to one lucky member pilot. This year they’ve asked Baker Air Service team Roger Meggers, Darin Meggers and Jon Anderson to build the plane.

 

 

 

By Angel Wyrwas

Every year the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) commissions the building of a plane that is given to one lucky member pilot. This year they’ve asked Baker Air Service team Roger Meggers, Darin Meggers and Jon Anderson to build the plane.

“I’ve been friends with the pres dent of the AOPA, Mark Baker, for years,” said Roger. “In fact, in 1998 I rebuilt Mark’s Super Cub. I wasn’t very surprised when he asked us to build the sweepstakes plane.”

Normally the sweepstakes plane labor is divided between different facilities to complete the restoration. This time will be different as this team of master craftsmen will donate the 1500 hours of labor it will take to restore the plane and complete it in-house.

Over the years Roger, teamed with different individuals, has restored 40 planes including the famous Piper’s first Super Cub that recently won Grand Champion at Airventure in Oshkosh, WI. Airventure is the world’s largest fly-in aviation event.

The sweepstakes plane, a 1954 Piper Super Cub, once belonged to Bill Allison, a well-known saddle maker from Roundup, MT. He and his wife crashed nose first after takeoff near the Powder River by Broadus, MT in 1997. The plane was partially burned but the pilot and passenger escaped unharmed.

Roger Meggers and Jon Anderson stand with the framework of the Super Cub Plane they are restoring. Photo by Angel Wyrwas

“We bought the damaged plane in 2012,” said Roger. “We chose it because it has a nice story line and we have a love of the Super Cub.” Currently Roger, Darin and Jon are gathering pieces and parts for the project. “Quite a few parts are being repaired which is time consuming,” said Roger. “Different companies donate or deeply discount their products to the sweepstake project. There is a lot of buzz this time because everyone wants a Piper Super Cub. It’s advertising coverage and promotion that would otherwise cost them a lot.”

Upgrades to the Super Cub include a 2,000-pound gross weight increase, a new iconic Piper yellow paint job, vortex generators, three-inch extended landing gear, AERO LEDs for exterior lighting, an updated panel that is ADS-B Out compliant, and a yet-to-be-announced engine with more horsepower.

For the first time in AOPA’s sweepstakes history, the association will give away the aircraft with three types of landing gear: hydraulic skis, amphibious floats and bush wheels. “This is a fun project,” said Roger, “and I enjoy working with the guys. The father/son time is great.” The aircraft will make its debut at the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo in 2018 before traveling the country and being given away in 2019.

      



GAMES