August 2, 2013 -This is Audra Fill. She is attending her first EAA Oshkosh and can look forward to a lifetime of repeats. At 10 weeks old, Audra is already an EAA lifetime member (EAA Lifetime 1121089).
Her parents believe she is the youngest lifetime member ever. And we have a hard time imagining one younger...or maybe we can, but more on that in a moment.
Audra's parents, Brandi and David Fill, are also lifetime members and big supporters of the EAA way. They are devoted to EAA's sense of community, supporting fellow aviators, and spreading the word about the joy of flight.
They've taken the perhaps unusual step of making their very young child a lifetime member because they want to put their little girl on the path to a life in aviation and also to set an example for others about flying.
"Looking around," says David, "all the lifetime members we see are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. And we think it's kind of important to get some younger people involved. So we wanted to set an example, and also get her involved."
"She was born into aviation," adds Brandi, "so we figured this would give her a good start. We're about to make her a Young Eagle too."
Brandi and David are active in aviation as pilots, complementing David's aircraft brokerage, Fill Holdings LLC.
Audra and her parents are from Stafford, Virginia. They fly their own Piper Aztec for business and pleasure. Audra had her first flight when she was only 16 days old.
Being an infant lifetime member is not without its challenges. "One is she can't feed herself," laughs Brandi, "so the Lifetime Member Dinner was very difficult. They also had to note in her account not to send her a custom lifetime member jacket for another five years, because even then it won't fit her."
While currently their only child, the Fills don't expect Audra to hold the "youngest" record for long. "We are planning," explains Brandi, "on the hour our next one is born, we're gonna give them the membership.
"We're gonna push the button on the Internet, and make him or her a lifetime member...so that they will both be able to enjoy Oshkosh together."
David says, "The biggest challenge now is we're gonna need a bigger airplane soon, to fit all the kids, and bring them to Oshkosh."