EAA Chapter 297 was chartered January 15, 1968 in Wilmington, North Carolina and met in members' homes in the early years. Initially, there were ten members who lived in the Wilmington and Chadbourn areas. As the chapter grew, the Columbus County members formed their own Chapter in Chadbourn.
In the mid-1970's, the chapter met in a leased hangar at the Wilmington Airport until a Chapter building and hangar were built at Debose Field (now Stag Air Park, Inc.) in Pender County near Burgaw in 1987.
Today, the chapter's membership has grown to almost 100 members and meetings are held the first Saturday of each month starting at 10:00 a.m. Visitors and new members are welcomed, so come visit us!
In December, on the Chapter's regular meet day, we hold a Christmas dinner party in the Chapter meeting room. It is a covered dish affair with the Chapter providing the meat and beverages.
Because EAA Chapter 297 is located on the beautiful grass strip Stag Air Park we are able to host three fly-ins at our home base each year. These are typically held on the second Saturdays of February, May and October. These fly-ins feature an Eastern North Carolina BBQ lunch catered by the Jordan Chapel. We also host one fly-in at the Wilmington International Airport.
This year, we have three youth programs on our schedule. Of course, one of these is the EAA Young Eagles program. We hold rallies at Stag Air Park and on three or four evenings in July fly Young Eagles at the Elizabethtown Airport for Boy Scouts from Camp Bower who are working on their Aviation Badges. For the past several years Chapter 297 has sent one or two 14 or 15 year old youngsters to the EAA Air Academy Camp. Also, this year, the Chapter is tutoring a group of middle school students using airplane model building and aviation ground school topics as learning aids.