Avionics News December 2012 - 43

G

ently laying on the skin of the B-17 Flying Fortress, Michael Peer leaned over the nacelle and eyed the carburetor on the aircraft’s 67-year-old radial engine. This week, he’s tending to the World War II bomber, next week he’ll work on a 1929 Ford Tri-motor. For more than a year, Peer has enjoyed the privilege of servicing and maintaining the Experimental Aircraft Association museum’s diverse collection of aircraft. Along with sheet metal work, painting, and fabric repair and installation, Peer handles avionics troubleshooting and installation, performs inspections and assists in restoring vintage aircraft. “Every day brings a new challenge and another experience,” said Peer, who serves as aircraft maintenance technician for the EAA. “It is interesting to think of all those who came before me during an aircraft’s time in service, and what things were like when it was new. It was a goal of mine to begin a career in aircraft maintenance and restoration. I was especially interested in working on the World War II-era aircraft and the large radial engines. I am fortunate to be able to maintain such aircraft.” To help in his endeavor, the AEA Educational Foundation awarded Peer the 2010 David Arver Memorial Scholarship. Using the $1,000 to help offset the cost of tuition and textbooks, Peer graduated from Fox Valley Technical College in 2011, with an associate degree in aircraft electronics and an airframe and powerplant mechanic’s license. “The scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies and helped me afford my education,” Peer said. “I was also able to spend time volunteering at the EAA Kermit Weeks Hanger instead of focusing all of my time on paying for school. While working there, I learned about vintage and warbird aircraft.” Since being with the EAA, Peer has logged a number of exciting experiences – moments that only fellow avionics technicians can truly appreciate. “I enjoyed seeing the Aspen EFD 1000 power up after I installed it in one of our North American T-6 Texans,” he said. “It was nice to see it operational after spending so much time installing the components of the system and fabricating the wire harnesses. I also enjoyed being able to participate in the test flight and calibration of the unit. It was my first big installation project, and it went very smoothly. I will always remember that experience.”

Peer feels a deep appreciation for the aircraft he cares for day after day. EAA’s touring B-17G, nicknamed Aluminum Overcast, was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945. Purchased a year later from military surplus for just $750, the aircraft has flown more than 1 million miles hauling cargo, performing aerial mapping, and for pest control and forest spraying.

Photo by Brady Lane

Mitch Zehr (right) and Michael Peer transfer accessories from a high-time B-17 Wright 1820 engine to an overhauled engine.

The touring 5-AT Tri-motor leased from the Kalamazoo Air Zoo was delivered to National Air Transport in 1929, where it likely delivered freight and mail. Eventually, it was sold to Northwest Airways for the Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago route and then sent to Fairbanks, Alaska, where it carried freight for what became Wien Alaskan Airlines. The Tri-motor’s history also included stints in scenic flying and other industries. EAA’s own Ford Tri-Motor 4-AT-E, which also tours the country, was number 146 off Henry Ford’s assembly line.
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Avionics News December 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News December 2012

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
ADS-B Circa 2013
Member Profile
Family Matters
Remembering Monte R. Mitchell
Before & After
A Conversation With...
History's Caretaker
Pro-to-col
Business Basics
Theory & Practice
AEA Members Make Headlines at NBAA Convention
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2012 - Intro
Avionics News December 2012 - Cover1
Avionics News December 2012 - Cover2
Avionics News December 2012 - 1
Avionics News December 2012 - 2
Avionics News December 2012 - 3
Avionics News December 2012 - Point of Communication
Avionics News December 2012 - 5
Avionics News December 2012 - AEA Now
Avionics News December 2012 - 7
Avionics News December 2012 - 8
Avionics News December 2012 - 9
Avionics News December 2012 - 10
Avionics News December 2012 - 11
Avionics News December 2012 - 12
Avionics News December 2012 - 13
Avionics News December 2012 - The View From Washington
Avionics News December 2012 - 15
Avionics News December 2012 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News December 2012 - 17
Avionics News December 2012 - 18
Avionics News December 2012 - 19
Avionics News December 2012 - ADS-B Circa 2013
Avionics News December 2012 - 21
Avionics News December 2012 - 22
Avionics News December 2012 - 23
Avionics News December 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2012 - 25
Avionics News December 2012 - 26
Avionics News December 2012 - 27
Avionics News December 2012 - Family Matters
Avionics News December 2012 - 29
Avionics News December 2012 - 30
Avionics News December 2012 - 31
Avionics News December 2012 - 32
Avionics News December 2012 - 33
Avionics News December 2012 - Remembering Monte R. Mitchell
Avionics News December 2012 - 35
Avionics News December 2012 - 36
Avionics News December 2012 - 37
Avionics News December 2012 - 38
Avionics News December 2012 - Before & After
Avionics News December 2012 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News December 2012 - 41
Avionics News December 2012 - History's Caretaker
Avionics News December 2012 - 43
Avionics News December 2012 - 44
Avionics News December 2012 - 45
Avionics News December 2012 - Pro-to-col
Avionics News December 2012 - 47
Avionics News December 2012 - Business Basics
Avionics News December 2012 - 49
Avionics News December 2012 - 50
Avionics News December 2012 - 51
Avionics News December 2012 - Theory & Practice
Avionics News December 2012 - 53
Avionics News December 2012 - 54
Avionics News December 2012 - 55
Avionics News December 2012 - AEA Members Make Headlines at NBAA Convention
Avionics News December 2012 - 57
Avionics News December 2012 - 58
Avionics News December 2012 - 59
Avionics News December 2012 - 60
Avionics News December 2012 - 61
Avionics News December 2012 - 62
Avionics News December 2012 - 63
Avionics News December 2012 - What's New
Avionics News December 2012 - 65
Avionics News December 2012 - 66
Avionics News December 2012 - 67
Avionics News December 2012 - 68
Avionics News December 2012 - 69
Avionics News December 2012 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2012 - 71
Avionics News December 2012 - 72
Avionics News December 2012 - Cover3
Avionics News December 2012 - Cover4
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