Add to Calendar
Monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM. Meetings take place in the EAA Chapter 41 clubhouse hangar (#11) at Brennand Airport in Neenah, unless otherwise noted. Come early to enjoy a meal starting around 6:00.
Guests are always welcome!
6:00 PM – Food and Social Time
6:30 PM – Chapter Updates & Announcements
7:00 PM – Program: Last Plane Out of Cambodia with CIA/Air America Pilot Neil Hansen
Former Air America pilot Capt. Neil Hansen began his aviation career in Detroit as a pilot for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. He later spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War era as a captain for the CIA’s airline that operated there during the Vietnam era and the ‘Secret War’ in Laos. His adrenaline addiction then took him to a flying job in Cambodia just prior to the Khmer Rouge takeover. Capt. Hansen’s presentations bring audiences with him into the cockpit and onto the dirt mountain landing strips of Southeast Asia during a time in history when flying conditions were risky and avionics technology comparatively primitive.
A sought-after speaker in the aviation community and frequent presenter at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Hansen is the author of “FLIGHT An Air America Pilot’s Story of Adventure, Descent, and Redemption” (History Publishing, 2019). The historical aviation narrative incorporates the pathos of a war zone and its periphery, including Hansen’s harrowing escape piloting the last plane out of Cambodia hours before it fell to the Khmer Rouge, and later his inability to let go of the Air America adrenaline addiction that took him down a path he could have never imagined.
This spring marks the 45th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, Cambodia, and Laos. Most Americans are unaware that the iconic photo of the fall of Saigon, “The Last Helicopter” by photographer Hugh van Es, is an Air America helicopter, and not a military chopper. Even lesser known is that the fall of Saigon was preceded by days by the fall of Cambodia, in which 1.7 million Cambodians lost their lives. Capt. Hansen fled mere hours before the Khmer Rouge closed the airspace. Capt. Hansen will present “Last Plane Out of Cambodia” on April 21 at Chapter 41’s monthly meeting. He will be in attendance from 6–9 pm. Copies of his book will be available.