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Jim O’BrienJim O’Brien
Always fascinated with aviation, Jim’s love was fostered by his brother-in-law, Denny Fitch, the United Airlines Check Airman on Flt. 232 that crashed in Sioux City, IA in July of 19, 1989, only a few months after passing his PPL. Long before and since, Denny has been his ‘real-life’ hero.
After receiving his pilot’s license, Jim bought a Taylorcraft. The Taylorcraft was a very affordable airplane at the time, especially for a father raising a family. Over the years, Jim has owned several planes, two Taylorcrafts, two Cessnas, and now he and his son Jimmy, both own Aeronca Champs.
Jim’s first visit to AirVenture was in 2011. Since, that first visit, he has been involved with Chapter 1 in Riverside, CA at the Flabob Airport. Starting out as VP, Jim has since been elected President, and has his hands full with a chapter of almost 200 members. They fly 50-60 Young Eagles each month, and host a pancake breakfast on the 3rd Saturday of each month. In conjunction with the EAA Chapter personnel in Oshkosh, Jim was able to help plan the first Chapter Leadership Boot Camp. Chapter 1 hosted the first boot camp in January of 2016, and has since seen that program grow to locations all across the country.
Jim is committed to promoting EAA and its mission. He believes in EAA’s leadership, programs, and loves talking EAA and aviation to anyone who will listen. His personal mission is to make EAA’s Chapter Network the stronger than ever, through support, effort and good old-fashioned face-to face interaction.