Meet your new homebuilders community manager
Who am I, and why was I asked to write for Experimenter? Fairly simple, I’m Chad Jensen, EAA 755575, and I am your new homebuilders community manager for EAA. The opportunity to work and serve at EAA has been something I’ve been seeking and looking forward to for a long time. I am a homebuilder, taking nearly 2,000 hours over an exact five-year period to complete a Van’s RV-7. The commitment and dedication needed to see an amateur-built airplane from plans, pieces, and parts to flight status is nothing short of a monumental task, yet those of us who have the passion to create a flying machine tackle it with enthusiasm backed by support from our EAA member friends and local chapters.
It’s that enthusiasm and support that attracted me to experimental aviation in the first place. I learned to fly in 1999 at a quiet small-town airport, and from the moment I set my seat in the seat of that Cessna 152, my instructor (an EAA member) began extolling the virtues of various aviation organizations. Since then, EAA has always struck me as an organization working for its membership. My first visit to AirVenture was in 2002, and I am happy to say that my 10th anniversary at AirVenture will be as a member of the EAA staff!
It seems as though the void left at EAA by my predecessor, now retired Joe Norris, will require some time to fill his shoes. But with that, it has created a grand opportunity for me to help the EAA membership keep the homebuilding movement steaming ahead with growth.
I have a strong and competent understanding of homebuilder hurdles, questions, and triumphs through my own experiences, including building an airplane in my garage, then flying it, along with years of working at an FBO, partially restoring a vintage Piper Cherokee 180, and serving nearly all board positions with EAA Chapter 129 Bloomington/Normal, Illinois.
Experimental aviation is my passion, and that being what our founder created this organization for means that it is something truly special, and I am honored to be here at EAA to serve the membership and builders among you, and to service the needs of the homebuilt community. Many of you have enjoyed Mr. Norris’ DARside column in Experimenter, and I hope to also communicate with you about homebuilding topics regularly through this publication.
Over the course of my nearly 10 years of AirVenture visits, I have made some fantastic new friends, and have developed relationships through various online forums for both general homebuilding and for type specific airplanes. I will remain active in those groups that I’ve become a part of over the years, and will expand my online presence to the many other type groups out there. I look forward to meeting new folks in all areas of the homebuilding sector of EAA.
Please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call to say hello or talk about the needs of the community I now serve. I am more than happy to help!