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Meet Timm Bogenhagen, EAA 379292

Senior Aviation Specialist

Randy Hansen

I grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin. Although I lived under the approach to Runway 25 at Merrill, Wisconsin, aviation was not a part of my life. As a kid I was heavily into motorcycles. Most weekends in the summer I spent traveling to different parts of the state racing 250 cc motocross. After high school, college seemed to be the right choice, so I spent three semesters at a state university. After realizing college was not free, I decided to join the Army. After four years’ active service I returned to college to earn a business degree and a commission from the Army ROTC program.

Upon graduation, an interesting opportunity became available to work at an airport as the operations supervisor. Early into this job I realized that I needed some experience that could only be gained by learning to fly. About that time I was given my first ride in a light airplane, a C-172. It was an awesome experience, and I was totally intrigued about the thought that I could fly an airplane. The day after that first flight I made an appointment for lessons. Three months after that first lesson I was issued my private pilot certificate. Six months later a Cessna 140A showed up at the airport. The little taildragger was so neat I had to buy it. I flew that Cessna for 650 hours over nine years.

One night in 1997 I was surfing the EAA website and saw a link for career opportunities. I must admit, the thought of working for the organization had occurred to me years before while camping under the wing of my 140 at EAA’s fly-in convention. I decided to apply and was lucky enough to be offered a paying job. Since then I have been blessed to work in a field that I am passionate about. While at EAA I have worked to support the membership with job titles of government programs administrator; ultralight programs manager; and currently, senior aviation specialist.

While working at EAA I have sold my Cessna 140A and bought, flown, and subsequently sold a Quicksilver MXL ultralight and Aeronca 7AC Champ. I currently own a Challenger II that I trained ultralight pilots in, but I’ve now converted it to an experimental light-sport aircraft.

Working at EAA, I’ve heard a lot of talk about building aircraft. At first, it sounded a little overwhelming, but as time went by I became infected with the idea of building a plane. But, I already owned a flying plane and did not have a lot of disposable income to throw at a project. So I was looking for something that I could complete for not a lot of money. Barnstormers.com came through with an ad for a complete miniMAX kit with new Rotax 277, for $1,900. I called and two days later was driving to Iowa to pick it up. While building the plane, I realized that it was a lot of fun and not difficult at all.

I worked on the miniMAX over a five and a half year period, taking great joy in creating this flying machine with my own hands. My personality keeps me fairly organized and able to pay attention to the details. When I brought the miniMAX to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007, the judges liked it and awarded it Grand Champion Light Plane.

Since the MiniMax was done, I was on the hunt for another project to give me something to do in the basement. Through word of mouth I became aware of a HiMax kit that had been sitting in unopened boxes since 1994. After negotiating a favorable purchase price, I have been building this plane in my basement. I have finished the tail and right wing, the left wing is nearing completion, and the start of the fuselage is milling around in my head.

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