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Dick Koehler Named Chairman’s Award Recipient

Retired U.S. Navy captain, professor recognized for his work helping homebuilders

By Ti Windisch

July 25, 2017 - Dick Koehler, retired U.S. Navy captain and professor at the University of the District of Columbia, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award honors an individual whose participation and contributions in aviation represent the essence of EAA.

“Through his 100-plus Hints for Homebuilders videos, his monthly Koehler’s Korner column, his work as a technical counselor, his role as a workshop instructor, or his own homebuilding, there is no question that Dick is a perfect fit for the Chairman’s Award,” Jack said. “His help, both in person and through videos and articles, has helped an untold number of homebuilders and others involved with aviation.”

There’s no doubt he’s helped many other EAA members in his volunteering, but Dick has simpler motivations for why he continues to be so involved in the aviation community.

“It’s fun, of course,” he said. “It’s been my lifelong hobby, playing with airplanes, and I’m very fortunate to continue doing it now that I’m retired. I enjoy it.”

In addition to having fun, Dick has helped countless EAA members in his 30-plus years of volunteering, both at home with Chapter 186, and on the road.

Dick has presented SportAir Workshop sessions across the country and regularly gives how-to demos at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. He’s also a technical counselor and flight advisor, although Dick might be best known outside of the Washington, D.C., area for the more than 100 Hints for Homebuilders videos he’s made, which often feature his brother, Robert.

Although Dick enjoys all the work he does in aviation, some of his favorite, stand-out moments are when he meets someone who found his videos especially helpful.

“I’ve had two or three or four occurrences, either a personal note or bumping into somebody on the grounds, where they personally thanked me for the Hints for Homebuilders videos,” Dick said. “It helped them fix or improve their airplane. I think that brings me the greatest satisfaction, knowing my videos really helped somebody.”

Dick will be officially presented with the Chairman’s Award on Thursday, July 27, at the Homebuilders Dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets for that event are available at Homebuilders Headquarters. 

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