EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

 for Sun, Aug 3, 2008

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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 8 August 3, 2008     

New job brings EAA copywriter full circle
By Kristy Hemp

Iíve been attending AirVenture (or EAA as we called it) since 1982. With just two years under my belt, I didnít understand a whole lot, but that would soon change. AirVenture was a staple family vacation each year. Once I was taking on summer jobs, I had to make sure to clear the week of the show right away. But aviation was present all year in our home. My dad, a pilot since 1983, built an Avid Flyer Mark IV in his workshop, and I would join him from time to time to help out. "Epoxy" and "aileron" were household terms. I look back now and realize how unique that actually was.

The summer following my high school graduation, I started flying lessons in an Aeronca Champ, and attended EAA Chapter 913 meetings in New Holstein, Wisconsin. I earned my private pilot certificate in September 1999 in a Cessna 152. You always hear people talk about the $100 hamburger. Well, I had the $100 load of laundry! Iíd fly home from college to do laundry to keep up my hours. By the time I arrived at the airport, finished my pre-flight, and landed at my home airport, it was a lot longer than my 45 minute drive. But that really didnít matter.

Working at EAA is very nostalgic for me. This is a place where I grew up. Getting ready for AirVenture this year has really stirred up old memories. I see the North 40 and visualize my dad and me sitting on Runway 9/27 listening to the tower call in the planes for the night. Weíd pretend we were the controllers and try to call the instructions before they did. Thatís where I learned what "rock your wings" and "put it on the green dot" mean.

Kristy in the early 80s at AirVenture.

Starting a new job just weeks before AirVenture is chaotic, yet exciting. Iím now getting a behind-the-scenes look at all the work that made my stays in Oshkosh so memorable. Aviation as part of my background has also helped me understand our client, the members, better. It gives me a great place to pull from when Iím writing.

Iím very proud that EAA is taking initiatives to promote women in aviation. Up until now, I havenít met a whole lot of women pilots. At EAA, Iíve met five women pilots on staff, and I will be joining the Women in Aviation International local chapter here in Oshkosh. The gathering of women pilots in AeroShell Square at AirVenture this year provided amazing awareness for women in aviation. I first realized the need to promote women in aviation one afternoon when I took my brother, Mike, flying. He was 13; I was 19 at the time. We were walking into the FBO and a gentleman very nicely said, "So, youíre taking your sister up flying!" From that point on, I became very interested in supporting women in aviation!

Life has really come full circle for meófrom a little girl making airplane radio sounds in the backseat of the airplane, to writing for the organization that started it all. What do I like best about working at EAA? Working with people who share a common interest (or love) of aviation. Although, having lunch watching Young Eagles flights in the GlaStar at Pioneer Airport is a close second! At other jobs, people thought being a pilot was very unique and adventurous, but at EAAĖthey understand it!

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