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EAA Members, Chapters, and Their Role in Our Aviation Community

Silver Dart

Several exciting items have come to my attention in the last few weeks.  These involve our community outreach to others and the role of volunteers.

EAA Volunteers:
How does a small staff of dedicated EAA employees manage the incredibly large amount of work that goes on internationally? Thousands of unpaid volunteers help carry the load, and these volunteers rely on EAA staff to support and direct their efforts.

Let me give just one example: 

Michel Bryson, chairman of the International Visitor’s Tent at Oshkosh, and Paul Gregory, EAA Chapter 1410 newsletter editor. These two volunteers are working across an international boundary months prior to AirVenture 2009 to plan the strategies and the liaisons necessary to advance the ‘Canada Centennial of Flight’ theme this summer. Neither is employed by, but both are a vital part of EAA. EAA volunteers are participants!

EAA Chapters:

Not only do local EAA chapters offer encouragement and support to their fellow members, but chapters reach out to others in the aviation world and offer assistance in any number of ways. 

Two examples:

I recently received the following e-mail from Michel Moreau, president of EAA Chapter 266 in Montreal:

“I am happy to confirm that the Chapter 266 Board has approved my suggestion of a donation of $200 towards the expenses of the first 10 hours of test flying of the Éxpervier.”  (You will recall our past coverage of the Éxpervier, an aircraft designed and built by ME students at the University of Sherbrook.)

Michel went on to challenge our Chapter 1410 for a corresponding donation, which we were happy to meet.

This next example comes from EAA Chapter 338 in San Jose, California:

Chapter 338 is pleased to announce that Chinmay Jaju, 15, is the 2009 recipient of the Harold & Leona Boyles scholarship. This $2000 award is presented to young individuals who are interested and active in aviation, and exhibit the desire to learn to fly. 

The scholarship will be used to reimburse direct flight training costs.  By working with Aerodynamic Aviation, a local flight training school, EAA 338 was able to leverage the value of Chinmay’s award.  The funds will be used to purchase “block time” thereby earning an additional 10% ($2,200 total value).  Furthermore, the owner of Aerodynamic Aviation – Zdravko Podolskihas generously offered to waive the $50/month membership fee for the Chinmay; and volunteered two hours of his time for Chinmay’s stage checks - valued at $100. Chinmay is a sophomore at San Jose’s Lynbrook High School.

“From the day I built my first model airplane and saw it fly, I have been fascinated with anything and everything that flies,” he said. But he Chinmay is more than just fascinated…he’s active and involved. Chinmay has successfully designed, built, and participated in several “free flight” airplane model competitions. In essence, the model is in “autopilot mode” for the entire flight, so everything the model does has to be adjusted on the ground before the flight.

Chinmay has flown his model airplanes competitively across America, and in 2007 won first place in the nation out of all the junior fliers for winning the most first place awards throughout the year. During the same year, he also won the Nationals, a single weeklong contest comprising a variety of different airplane classes. It is the single biggest competition that takes place every year in the U.S.

At the Nationals, he qualified for the United States International Team consisting of the nation’s top three fliers. They traveled to Kiev, Ukraine, to compete in the Model Airplane World Championships. Out of 18 countries, the United States team came in third place. Chinmay placed first out of the United States fliers and 6th in the world. He received a commendation by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilman Pete Constant at City Hall.

“Since I was a little boy playing with paper airplanes in the park, learning to be a pilot has always been one of my dreams. This scholarship will give me an opportunity to take the first step towards achieving my dream.”

Chinmay first experienced the joy of flight when pilot Ari Krupnik, EAA 431276, gave him a Young Eagles ride.

“Eventually, I would like to apply everything I've learned to build an airplane of my own,” Chinmay said. I for one have the utmost faith in him – and am looking forward to what the future holds for this well deserving scholarship recipient.

By Lorin Dueck - EAA 668568
President, EAA Chapter 338 San Jose, California

What are Volunteers?

Volunteers are people from all walks of life, all ages and stages. What they have in common is the desire to make a difference in their community - and in their own life - by giving of their time and expertise.

Volunteering is the most fundamental act of citizenship and philanthropy in our society. It is offering time, energy, and skills of one’s own free will. It is an extension of being a good neighbour, transforming a collection of houses into a community, as people become involved in the improvement of their surroundings and choose to help others.

By caring and contributing to change, volunteers decrease suffering and disparity, while they gain skills, self-esteem, and change lives. People work to improve the lives of their neighbours and in return, enhance their own.

Older adult volunteers know that experience matters and volunteering provides opportunities to use valuable skills, to give back to the communities, to mentor others, and to create and maintain relationships.

Volunteers play a vital role in Canadian society.

Volunteers are people just like you.

Thank you.

Source:  Volunteer Canada  (info@Volunteer.ca)

So what’s this all about?

As I look forward to the 2009 year, I can’t help but be optimistic and excited about our aviation future. When we have people with a great volunteering spirit, dedicated to helping and encouraging others, we will be just fine!  Is this your year to volunteer?

- Jack Dueck

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