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VAA Work Weekend Activity

VAA Flightline Safety Operations Building Replacement

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Framing the Vintage Aircraft Flight Line Operations building during an April 2010 work party.

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Vintage Aircraft Flight Line Operations building exterior complete thanks to more than 35 volunteers. Photos by H.G. Frautschy

Thanks in large part to a generous contribution by a longtime Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) member and contributors to the VAA Friends of the Red Barn, this year’s upgrade to the VAA facilities on the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds includes a new building to accommodate one of the largest groups of volunteers during the convention, the Flightline Safety crew. From the moment an airplane exits the runway next to the Vintage area until it’s safely shut down in its parking spot, the Flightline Safety volunteers handle the aircraft and its pilot every step of the way.

From confirming its eligibility to park in the area using a combination of computer lookup and radio communications, to the dispatching of scooter-mounted aircraft marshallers who guide each airplane into a parking location, there’s plenty of coordinated activity to ensure it all goes smoothly and safely. For many years these volunteers have operated out of a small shack that has had to absorb activities such as computer operations, radio dispatch, and a gathering/rest location for the flightline volunteers. The building was beginning to literally rot out from underneath them, so the decision was made to replace the building with a new structure that will accommodate all those demands plus serve as secure storage for much of the equipment needed to support flightline operations.

The new structure was built during the first VAA work weekend of the year, April 22 to 25. More than 35 volunteers spent a cool and sometimes rainy weekend raising the walls and getting it under roof before the rain set in later on Saturday.

At the same time, a group of electrically talented volunteers added a donated set of high-bay lighting fixtures to the Vintage Hangar. Flashlights will no longer be required equipment for the type clubs during inclement weather!

Completion of the Flightline Safety building will take place during the last work weekend June 25-27. If you’re interested in volunteering during a work weekend, please contact Michael Blombach at 260-433-5101 or michael846@aol.com. We can’t promise you glory, but we’ll sure feed you well (thanks to the efforts of directors Bob Lumley and Steve Nesse!), and we’ll even give you a hat!

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