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