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.
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.
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"
Kristy in the
early 80s at AirVenture.
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!