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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedSean D. Tucker Presented with Freedom of Flight Award

Sean D. Tucker receives his Freedom of Flight award from Tom Poberezny.

The Freedom of Flight Award is EAA's highest honor, bestowed annually to an individual whose contributions to aviation closely mirror the integrity, entrepreneurship, and innovativeness of EAA members. Read about Sean's honor and all the other aviation awards presented this week to individuals.

Rand Siegfried
Rand has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in developing the future vision of EAA as a member of the board of directors. He has focused on member value and the continued impact EAA can have on people within the community.

Rand and his brother, Rick, grew up around aviation. Rand soloed a glider on his 14th birthday; on his 16th birthday he soloed a powered plane and got his glider flight instructor certificate. On his 17th birthday, he gained his private pilot certificate. He is also a certificated flight instructor. He is continuing the flying tradition, teaching both of his children to fly powered planes and gliders.

For the past 10 years, Rand has served on the EAA board of directors. He has also been on the board of the Beechcraft Heritage Museum. He began coming to the convention as a child, when the event was still held in Rockford, Illinois.

This year he flew here with his daughter, she in a Cub they built together and he in a Tri-Pacer.

Rick Siegfried
Rick grew up in an aviation family, so he has been around airplanes his entire life. He has been on the board of directors for Warbirds of America since 2004 and has acted as president since 2004. He has focused on the important role organizations like EAA have in government relations so pilots can continue to enjoy the right to fly.

EAA President/Chairman Tom Poberezny said, "Rick's leadership in the Warbirds of America has brought energy and excitement to this area of aviation and history. He has worked to expand the presence of warbirds both at AirVenture and throughout the entire year."

Over the years, he has owned a Piper Pacer, a Beechcraft Bonanza, and an AT-6. He has been coming to Oshkosh since 1984, and enjoys continuing the aviation tradition with his daughters and grandchildren.

Doug Bartlett
Doug was a gymnast while in high school and during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy. In 2002, after retiring as a captain in the Marine Corps, he gained his instrument rating and started doing aerobatics-what he describes as "gymnastics for old people." Three years later he was the Intermediate National Aerobatic Champion. He now competes in the Unlimited class.

Tom said, "As president of the International Aerobatic Club, Doug increased the focus on the aerobatic community. He has pursued opportunities to expand membership through outreach toward those with a passion and interest in aerobatic flying."

He has spanned the world of aviation, from sky diving to flying hang gliders to competing in the Edge 540. He also flies a Lancair Super ES built from a kit he donated to Mundelein High School in Mundelein, Illinois.

Peter Raab
Tom Poberezny said, "Peter has acted as an outstanding host for international visitors to Oshkosh and has helped support EAA's presence throughout Germany and the rest of Europe." He has been coming to AirVenture for 26 years, volunteering at the International Visitors Tent for the past 16 of those, where he helps with German-to-English translations. He also does the German greeting every morning at 10:30.

Peter has been flying since he was 13, when he started taking glider lessons. He saw an article about Oshkosh in an aviation magazine in Germany and has been coming ever since. Each year, a group of people from the Frankfurt area comes to Oshkosh to help out with the International Visitors Tent-a group which grew to 10 this year. Peter also works for EAA during Germany's annual Aero Friedrichshafen.

He describes EAA as "the biggest family in the world. I can go anywhere in the world and find friends I made here."

Judy Mueller
Judy has decades of leadership through her organization of nightly presentations at the Theater in the Woods. Because of her efforts, tens of thousands of people have been entertained by some of the world's best aviation speakers.

Freedom of Flight Award
The Freedom of Flight Award is the organization's highest honor, bestowed annually to an individual whose contributions to aviation closely mirror the integrity, entrepreneurship, and innovativeness of EAA members.

This year's award goes to Sean D. Tucker, who Tom Poberezny says "personifies passion, energy, innovation, and excitement in aviation. He has acted as an ambassador for EAA and its values with his decades of aerobatic performances in air shows throughout the country."

He has been flying air shows since the mid-1970s, and in that time, he has performed more than 1,000 times at 425 air shows across the world. He also established the Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety, a flight-training institution dedicated to increasing aviation and pilot safety.

Sean exemplifies the spirit of EAA through the dedication he shows toward flying and the world of aviation. He has flown 750 practices a year for the past 20 years but says he is still learning.

Sean has been an EAA member for 20 years and says that through his membership, he has met mentors who have shaped him as a pilot and he has been able to act as a mentor to many others.

He says that AirVenture is one of his favorite events to come to. "Even though I am so tired afterward, I leave with more passion for flight. It fills me up," he said.

Bax Seat Trophy
The Bax Seat Trophy is given to the EAA member who has furthered aviation by communicating the excitement and romance of grassroots aviation.

This year, it is being awarded to the Uncontrolled Airspace podcast by Jack Hodgson, Jeb Burnside, and Dave Higdon. This is the first time the award has been given to a new-media outlet. Their work exemplifies how general aviation communication is moving into new media.

"Jack, Jeb, and Dave are really able to communicate all of what is great about flying at a grassroots level," said Charlie Becker, EAA's director of member programs.

The podcast is a result of AirVenture when Jack, Jeb, and Dave were brought together to work for EAA's AirVenture Today newspaper. Although the idea came about in 1995, it took Jack until 2006 to convince Jeb and Dave to give it a shot. This past Wednesday marked the 200th episode.

The three are somewhat awed by their selection for the Bax Seat Trophy. Jeb said, "Our first reaction to Tom Poberezny's letter informing us of this honor was, 'Uh…us? Really?' and then the honor of this award sank in. We're deeply grateful."

Jack offered, "This is just a wonderful moment for us, to be recognized in Gordon Baxter's name for something we all love doing - what could be better?"

Said Dave, "They're talking to those other guys behind us, right?"

Dorothy Hilbert Award
The Dorothy Hilbert Award recognizes a female EAA volunteer who exhibits the same passion, dedication, and devotion for volunteerism as did the late Dorothy Hilbert.

Donna Sisk from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is this year's winner. She has been a convention volunteer for 33 years and heads up the Chapter 439 Maintenance Support. She began volunteering with camper registration, while her husband, Vadie, volunteered as a judge. Twenty years ago, when the head of maintenance realized he needed a liaison, Donna stepped up.

Now, Donna is in charge of organizing more than 40 volunteers from Chapters 439 and 132 to help cover all of AirVenture's hidden jobs-from putting up flags to distributing hand sanitizer.

While many of the chapter members say they work for her, she insists that they work with her. She says that she is "humbled and honored" to be singled out for the award.

Manager of Convention Administration Jill Schumacher said, "Her day starts very early, while many others are still sleeping. Donna and her crew are always willing to help with anything. All I have to do is call Donna, and volunteers magically appear."

Preston Little Award
The Preston Little Award is given to volunteers who demonstrate selflessness, cooperation, and professionalism in support of the air operations during the annual EAA convention.

This year will mark Ron Scott's 50th year volunteering for EAA. After leaving the Air Force in 1955, he bought a Taylorcraft and began flying it around southeast Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, he met EAA founder Paul Poberezny who introduced him to homebuilding.

When the yearly convention was held in Rockford, Illinois, he volunteered his time to help set up the five speakers, four radios, and three telephones EAA used. The PA system used a total of 50 watts. As the communications chairman since then, he has overseen the move to Oshkosh and the 6,400-watt PA that covers the entire flightline.

Ron helped to pioneer aviation fiberglass technology with his homebuilt Ol' Ironsides, which was one of the first airplanes to have fiberglass landing gear and use fiberglass as part of the structure of the airframe. It has been flying for 41 years.

Ron worked for EAA and served on the EAA board of directors from 1971 to 1979 and is still active in his local chapter. He lives on a grass strip in East Troy, Wisconsin, where he is working on a modified Pietenpol with a group of friends.

Roscoe Morton has been chief announcer and communications chairman since 1974, and he has been volunteering with EAA for 48 years. During his time with EAA, he has interviewed more than 800 of aviation's "greats, near greats, and wannabes" who have come to Rockford and Oshkosh. He has built and restored numerous aircraft over the years, including a GlaStar he built with David Clark.

Roscoe first soloed, illegally, at the age of 15 in 1947 in Kansas. He worked as a locomotive fireman for the Santa Fe Railroad company to pay for his lessons. He then moved on to receive his commercial pilot certificate where he flew everything from DC-3s to 747s. Last year, he received the FAA's Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying.

August Raspet Memorial Award
Since 1960, the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award has been presented every year to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design. The award is named for the late Dr. August "Gus" Raspet, a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast.

This year's award goes to Ken Krueger who perfected matched-hole parts production on curved surfaces for Van's Aircraft, allowing the company to offer an almost jigless kit. He also worked on the design work for the RV-10 and RV-12.

Ken grew up in an aviation family, so his engineering career started early, building model airplanes and starting his flight instruction at the age of 17. He graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in aerospace engineering. He has worked for Douglas Aircraft Company, Boeing, as well as Van's.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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