About the Duke Flyers Association

The first talk of an association started with Ellett Lawrence, P-538 when we (Jim and Marge Gorman) were at Duke School in Wichita, KS prior to taking delivery of N410G P-596 on April 10, 1983.
We procrastinated until we met Bill Passey at Mesa, AZ airport. Like a lot of us he noticed our landing and came over to see another Duke. Over dinner that evening we thought it might be worth a try to form some sort of a loose organization with the purpose of helping each other fly and maintain this great airplane.
Upon returning home an owners list was secured from AOPA and a first mailing went out in June 1988. 80 people replied in the affirmative and with dues of $25.00 we were on our way. By the time of our first fly-in at Mansfield, OH we had 165 members and $3,400 in the bank. 22 Dukes arrived for that first fly-in.
Ellett Lawrence our first President designed our letterhead and membership cards (both still in use). Bill Passey, Vice President; Marge Gorman, Secretary and Treasurer; Jim Gorman, Newsletter were also elected. Interesting enough both Ellett and Bill later bought King Airs. We have issued over 1000 memberships and average over 300 members on a yearly basis. Of the first 100 members, 20 are still members 23 years later.

About the Beechcraft Duke

The first Beechcraft Duke was delivered in August of 1968. The Duke (BE60) quickly proved to be a superior performer with 2 380 hp Lycomming TIO-541 Direct Drive engines, a six place cabin pressurized for high altitude comfort. The A and B model were subsequently produced with minor improvements. The last Duke was produced in 1982 after a run of 596 airplanes. There are some 411 still flying. The Duke is fast, comfortable, quiet, and extremely stable. The Duke performs as well or better than any other aircraft in its class.

The Annual Fly-Ins

Each year the Duke Flyers have held an annual fly-in with the help of our member-sponsors. The fly-ins offer members the oppotunity to socialize, learn, and build closer ties with other Duke flyers.

List of Annual Fly-Ins
Year Location Member-Sponsors
1989 Mansfield, OH Gormans
1990 Mesa, AZ Bill Passy
1991 Centennial, CO Kooi's and Bacons
1992 Corpus Christie, TX Bruce James
1993 Mesa, AZ Bill Passy
1994 San Jose, CA Greg Jellinek
1995 St. Louis, MO Larry Moskoff
1996 Centennial, CO Ron Knudson, Kooi's and Bacons
1997 Tullahoma, IN Gormans
1998 Kansas City, MO Gerry Fischer, Jim Foreman
1999 Colorado Springs, CO Uhalts
2000 Rockford, IL Larry O'Connor
2001 (Cancelled due to 9/11)
2002 Sault Ste Marie, MI Ron Comeault
2003 San Diego, CA Bill Black, Shakre Razook, Bill Passy
2004 Lexington, KY Kevin Scully, Roger Storch
2005 Wichita, KS Beech Airport, Olsons, Gormans
2006 Centennial, CO Ron Knudson, Kooi's
2007 Chino, CA Copenbargers and Uhalts
2008 Dayton, OH Olsons and Gormans
2009 Lake Tahoe, CA Greg Jellinek
2010 Waukesha, WI Dane Scag
2011 Santa Fe, NM Debbie and Al Uhalt
2012 Brunswick, Maine Ab Fuoss
2013 Duluth, MN Matth Opack, Kent and Jim Rhude
2014 Tullahoma TN Beechcraft Museum
2015 Albuquerque, NM Gary Tillery
2016 Dayton, OH Earle Olson
2017 Driggs, ID Bob and Michael Hoffman
2018 Owensboro, KY Ray and Susan Assmar