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EAA Chapter 1155 Honored
Story By: Chris Collins, EAA 528246, EAA Chapter 1155 Secretary
The 2022 Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame Spirit of Flight Award was presented to EAA Chapter 1155 of Mount Vernon, Illinois. Spirit of Flight Awardees are selected for their contributions to aviation in Illinois, with a particular emphasis on volunteerism and contributions to the community. Other annual awardees consist of museums, educational institutions, affiliated enthusiast clubs, aviation business associations, governmental entities, and related military associations including units.
EAA Chapter 1155, Mt. Vernon, Illinois, was organized in 1996. The chapter’s mission is to further aviation in southern Illinois.
From 1997 to 2012, Chapter 1155 hosted the Little Egypt Fly-In and Veterans Reunion at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. The free event featured Young Eagle flights and an opportunity for veterans of all conflicts to gather and share stories with future generations. At the height of the event, the ramp contained nearly 25 warbirds (retired and current) and more than 75 general aviation aircraft.
Chapter 1155 assisted with the Balloons Over Mt. Vernon event occurring over the same weekend as the Little Egypt Fly-In and Veterans Reunion. Balloons Over Mt. Vernon occurred from 2013 to 2018.
Beginning in 2013 and occurring every other year, the chapter has provided ground support duties at the EAA AirVenture Cup Race at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. More than 100 aircraft participate. EAA Young Eagles flights were conducted at all events mentioned above. The Chapter continues to offer at least one Young Eagle rally each year. To date, Chapter 1155 has safely flown more than 3500 Young Eagles missions. The Chapter has also hosted two very successful Flying Start events.
Other Chapter 1155 offerings/opportunities include Aviation Explorer Post #1155, flight training scholarship(s), a Pietenpol project, and a Young Eagles Build and Fly Program.
Perhaps the biggest contribution of Chapter 1155 is their work at the annual Midwest LSA Expo. For three days each September, chapter members conduct all manner of volunteerism at this national aviation event. Starting at set up and ending at teardown, the “Orange Shirt Crew” handles Unicom/air traffic monitoring, aircraft marshalling, ramp safety patrols, and water delivery. The Midwest LSA Expo enters its 14th year in 2022.
The Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame commends EAA Chapter 1155 for their efforts hosting and supporting the many events at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport, and for their support of the Young Eagles program.