88CHARLIES was founded by five local aviation enthusiasts and pilots in 2008. Named after the Palmyra Municipal Airport, which has the designation of 88C, 88CHARLIES is a grassroots effort that is making a difference in the lives of young people. The five founders had an ambition to give youth an opportunity to expand their knowledge of aviation, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and history through aircraft restoration with weekly workshops.
Alan is an entrepreneur with a passion for aviation. He operated his own auto repair business for 25 years, served on the Palmyra Village Board for 7 years, and also served as a municipal judge for 12. Additionally, Alan is a light sport aircraft repairman. The owner of a 1946 Luscombe 8A and a Smith DSA 1 Miniplane, Alan loves to talk shop when it comes to aircraft. He is a member of the Midwest Antique Airplane Club (MAAC), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the Vintage Aircraft Association.
Alan’s appreciation for aviation and all things mechanical came from three influencers in his life; his grandfather, Roy, his father, Carl, and a family friend, Stan. Those individuals taught him an appreciation for mechanics, instilled in him a passion for aviation, and showed him that goals are achievable even with adversity to overcome. These things, and more, are the types of skills and life lessons Alan hopes to pass on to the students and participants of 88CHARLIES.
A lifelong resident of Palmyra, WI, Alan’s goals for 88CHARLIES are to see young people find their way in life, to respect others, and to become honorable adults.
Dave is a Journeyman Ironworker and former Erector, working in the trades for 39 years. Growing up on a farm in the age of spit and bailing wire, his love of building things started early in life. He loves the challenge of taking things apart and reconstructing them. Currently, Dave owns two Piper PA-16 Clippers, and a Loehle 5151 Kit.
Originally introduced to aviation by a family friend, Dave has been hooked ever since. A member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) since high school, Dave also fabricated and raced late model stocks. In addition to EAA, Dave also holds memberships in EAA chapter 117, the Midwest Antique Airplane Club (MAAC), the Vintage Aircraft Association, and the Antique Aircraft Association (AAA).
Dave is astounded at the growth of the 88CHARLIES organization. When originally developing the idea for 88CHARLIES, Dave wanted to do something for kids who lacked engagement in school; he wanted the opportunity to engage kids through aircraft mechanics. A current resident of Helenville, WI, Dave enjoys seeing kids active in 88CHARLIES as they have fun and learn things along the way.
An engineer by trade, Bill Rosman was a precise craftsman. He brought a vast knowledge of mechanical design, painting, and finishing to 88CHARLIES. Bill sometimes took good natured ribbing about his pursuit for perfection. However, we all knew that his eye for detail was a necessary component that shined in the finish product.
Bill was quite involved in aviation, particularly with restoring and building aircraft. He built a KR2 and a Soneri, and restored a 1941 Aeronca Chief. Additionally, he teamed up with his son, Mike, to complete two airplanes. Together they spent two and a half years building a Sonex from a factory kit. Upon completion of the Sonex, and 112 hours flown, it was sold to garner funds to purchase a 1946 J3Cub. The Cub, from Hood River, OR, hadn't been flown since 1955. Bill and Mike did a complete restoration on the Cub, also doing an upgrade to the engine with a C85. Mike was able to grace the skies with the J3 Cub in November 2012.
Mike is a Business Development Executive with an eye for detail. With the help of his father, Mike built a Sonex airplane, and restored a 1946 Piper J3 Cub. He also has a 1979 Steen Skybolt.
Mike's appreciation of aviation derived from his father, Bill, who taught him the importance of patience and paying close attention to detail. Mike is involved in the Midwest Antique Airplane Club (MAAC), the Experimental aircraft Association (EAA), EAA Chapter 1177, the Antique Aircraft Association (AAA), The AAA Wisconsin Chapter, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and the Palmyra Flying Club (PFC).
A resident of Eagle, WI, Mike sees 88CHARLIES as an interactive opportunity to teach the skills of mathematics, science and technology. He also feels it is a great organization to get a start in the aviation industry to both learn the mechanics of the machines, and how to fly them. Mike hopes to share the knowledge that was given to him by his father with the youth involved in 88CHARLIES.
Currently an engineer at General Electric Healthcare, Steve is a trained pilot with diverse skills. He has 2300 hours of commercial pilot time with instrument, complex, hi-performance and tail wheel ratings. He is currently a Certified Ground Instructor, and a Certified Flight Instructor.
Steve is heavily involved in the aviation community as an active member in the Midwest Antique Airplane Club (MAAC), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Antique Aircraft Association (AAA), the Airpower Museum (APM, and the Palmyra Flying Club (PFC). In additoin to his industry memberships, Steve is also involved in a build-a-plane project with Waukesha Public Schools.
Steve calls the Town of Eagle, WI, his home and currently owns a Stearman, a Piper Pacer and a Rutan Long Eze. He thinks the best part of being involved in 88CHARLIES is the students, and strongly believes in the adage "It's not the effort that counts, only the results". Steve hopes to make a difference in others's lives through his contribution with the 88CHARLIES organization.