|Addison Hymer and Luke Lachendro stand next to the Lachendros' 1948 PA-16 Piper Clipper. The pair has been going far beyond the volunteering call this week in the Vintage area. (photo by Gary Flick)
By Gary Flick
August 2, 2013 - The Vintage area has been graced with a dynamic duo of youngsters this week who have taken the volunteering effort to new heights.
Luke Lachendro and Addison Hymer, both only 15, didn't know each other before this week, but have quickly become "inseparable and the go-to team" for volunteering around the VAA Red Barn, according to Vintage Director Steve Krog.
"The pair sold more Round Engine Rodeo shirts in two hours of walking around than the barn has all week," Krog said.
The youngsters have also been responsible for a number of new VAA memberships. Lachendro, who couldn't be less shy, explained his comical but effective sales tactics.
"If I see someone sitting by their plane, I ask if they are a VAA member. If they say no, I just talk, talk, and talk some more until they join!" he said with a huge smile.
Both are from aviation families and are no strangers to AirVenture. Hymer has been coming for "longer than she can remember," and Lachendro's parents actually met at AirVenture through Krog and have been back every year since.
Lachendro's aviation knowledge is more like that of a 51-year-old. According to Krog, he has been ready to solo since he was about 14.
January 30 is the magic day for Wisconsin native Lachendro, and he's not going to let the weather hold him off any longer than the law already has.
"I plan on soloing in a Piper J-3 Cub on skis, but if ski conditions are bad I'm going up in a Porterfield CP-65," he said.
Hymer, who is also intelligent far beyond her years, plans to begin lessons as soon as she returns to her home in Michigan and hopes to someday fly in her favorite plane, the F4U Corsair.
Both Hymer and Lachendro are amazing young people and great examples for other youth who wish to get involved in aviation. And as ahead of their years as they are, both are very modest and agree that the best part of volunteering at EAA is meeting all of the great people and pilots.