Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 1, 2013

Building a better bird

COOKSON — Dennis Stephen has been flying home-built aircraft for 39 years. Not for a career or business-related activity, but just for fun.

The Cookson resident has constructed three experimental amateur-built aircraft during this time and is now looking to get the word about the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter that meets every third Thursday of the month at the Tenkiller Airpark.

Stephen said the Cookson EAA Chapter 1040 was once active, but membership eventually waned. He and about 20 other members are now in search of other people who share their interest and passion for flying and building planes.

“When I moved down here  - and a couple of the other people who retired and moved in from up north in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan - we were all members of EAA chapters back before we retired, so we kind of wanted to get one started again,” he said. “There used to be one here, and it was Chapter 1040. So we’ve revived it.”

Stephen and the other Chapter 1040 members would like to grow their membership base and draw other experienced pilots and flying enthusiasts, as well as draw people who possess novice interest and experience.

“The door is wide open,” he said. “We hold the meeting on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m., and we move the meeting around. The past couple of years, we’ve been moving it around to different hangars here on this airport. There was a time before that we actually used the airport office, and I’d kind of like to see us get back to that. It goes back to the point of trying to attract members. If you’re at the same place every time, I think it’s a little easier.”

Stephen said the EAA Chapter 1040 is based in Cookson due to the core co-ed membership using the Tenkiller Airpark.

“We’ve got one girl - she’s a retired school teacher - who is actually building an airplane right now,” he said. “So it’s not just a guys’ thing. Our wives and girlfriends enjoy flying with us, which isn’t always the case. My wife [Mary Ann] and I just took that [Van’s Aircraft] plane there in the back [of my hangar] to Florida about two weeks ago. We went to a big air show there called Sun ‘n Fun.”

According to the EAA website, the organization was founded in 1953 by a group of airplane aficionados made up mostly of airplane builders. The group also welcomes anyone with an aviation interest, as EAA has been the noted organization for the home built aircraft movement from basic one-place tube-and-fabric airplanes of 50 years ago to the contemporary wide spectrum of aircraft that include plans- and kit-built models.

Stephen has constructed three planes, while two were made using Van’s Aircraft kits.

“That actually is the most successful producer in the world really. In fact, as of the past 10 years probably, Van’s Aircraft has been the biggest producer of small planes probably in the world,” he said. “There are over 7,000 of them flying now, and they’re flying all over world. I have a buddy in Germany that’s got one.”

Get involved

Anyone interested in learning more about the Cookson EAA Chapter 1040 should call him at (918) 457-4705 or fellow member Forrest Wood at (918) 457-5907. People are urged to have their e-mail address handy when calling to be added to the group’s mailing list.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Briggs.jpg Local man hit with assault, burglary charges

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of breaking into a motel room, tying a rope around a man’s neck and stabbing him repeatedly with a syringe.
    Jimmy Dale Briggs Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy whose mom scolded deputies in trouble again

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old theft suspect Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his brother.
    Deputy Kim Novak said authorities were dispatched to a home and ultimately took the teen into custody. While there, they also discovered items that had been reported stolen, including a bed and several tools.
    Novak said the teen is the same boy who has previously been found to be in possession of stolen items.

    April 16, 2014

  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video