Keeping The Champ Alive!

Published in Midwest Flyer – December 2018/January 2019 issue

Known by some as “The Stoughton Champ,” for the many years the 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champ (N84614) has been based at Matson Airport (2WI6) in Stoughton, Wisconsin, providing an economical means of flying for the family and friends that own it.

The aircraft took its maiden flight on June 24, 1946.

In 1970/71, Otis Lokken of Madison, Wis. and a group of his friends in Madison, Wisconsin, bought the airplane, and moved it to Stoughton, Wis. They recovered the airplane in 1972, and Otis earned his private pilot certificate in it, and eventually became its sole owner.

Otis’ sons, Mark, Marvin, and Myron, along with friend Doug Tomas, grew up around the airplane from the time they were 12 years old. Mark and Marvin also earned their private pilot certificates in the airplane. Myron earned his private pilot certificate and started flying the Champ in later years.

In 2010, Myron Lokken – living in Madison, Wisconsin – and Doug Tomas – living in East Troy, Wisconsin – purchased the airplane from Otis, with the intent to keep it in the family. In November 2013, they disassembled the aircraft for a complete refurbishment.

With the help of legendary aircraft restorer, Bill Amundsen of Stoughton, who graciously provided work space in his old Pontiac garage in downtown Stoughton, Myron and Doug spent the next four and a half years working on the airplane from the base structure on up, with the first flight taking place on July 14, 2018. Nine days later on July 23, Myron flew the aircraft to Oshkosh at the opening of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018.

The airplane was entered for judging in the EAA Antique/Classic Division, and was awarded “Outstanding Custom Class A (0-85 hp).”

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