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Mon, Feb 11, 2008

Defaced EAA Chapter Building Gets Fresh Coat of Paint

Airport Struck By Vandals January 28

Members of EAA Chapter 172, who discovered their clubhouse at Pea Patch airport near Blythe, GA was vandalized the morning of January 28, didn't stand still for very long in trying to return things to normal. Last weekend, several chapter members got together to repaint the front of the clubhouse.

As ANN reported, the chapter fell victim to vandalism in the early morning hours of January 28. Dozens of shotgun pellets struck three planes on the field, and the vandals spray-painted a swastika, Confederate battle flag, and "KKK" (and, even more pervertedly in this context, a "peace" sign) on the clubhouse used by the chapter.

Chapter members and airport users were shocked to discover the damage. "This is almost a terrorist attack," local flyer Thomas Whisnant said at the time. "Personally I can't understand why someone would do that."

Chapter President Sheila Connell told the EAA they have not heard anything from investigators regarding suspects in the case, but they’re hoping that a reward offered by the airport owners will persuade someone to come forward.

On Saturday, February 2, a group of members headed by Chapter Vice President Freeman Newman worked to paint over the graffiti. The work crew included Freeman’s father, Al, and fellow chapter members Everette Parks, Charlie Connell (Sheila’s husband), and Dennis and Fay Allen.

"It looks as good as new," Sheila Connell said. "I told Freeman that he’s member of the month next month." Connell added Jim McBurney, whose CH-801 was damaged by the gunfire, has begun work on repairing the aircraft.



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