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EAA has influenced Katie’s life since her parents (who don’t fly) first brought her to AirVenture as a 10-year-old infatuated with building model airplanes. A Wisconsin native, she volunteered during most of her teenage years in Vintage Showplane Camper Registration and dreamt of one day building or restoring an airplane she could fly herself. She was one of the first 3,000 Young Eagles, going on to become a Young Eagles pilot in 2003. That same year, she landed an internship with EAA Youth Education, and from there, went on to earn her CFII rating and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Education. She spent over a decade working in the Light-Sport aircraft manufacturing industry, where she helped build, maintain, and flight test LSA aircraft, in addition to serving as a transition instructor for new owners and writing technical manuals for both aircraft and avionics. Katie has worked on construction, wiring and repair of many kit planes, including Van’s, Jabiru, Sport Performance Aviation Panther, Arion Lightning, and Zenith aircraft, earning her A&P certificate in 2017. She is working toward her PhD in Aviation from St. Louis University, with the safety of Experimental Amateur-Built aircraft as her primary research focus.