Spread Your Wings at AirVenture

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Gary Baker

Gary Baker

A Lifetime member of EAA, Gary Baker has been involved in aviation since his first flight in 1976. When he was a high school senior, Gary was told that he would never be an airline pilot by an airline captain because of his poor vision. Gary proved that captain wrong and retired in 2020 from a 32-year career at a major airline. He has his ATP and flight engineer certificates, as well as instrument and multi-engine instructor certificates. With over 27,000 hours, he has experienced flight in 80 aircraft types.

Gary has never left his general aviation roots, flying into and attending Oshkosh every year since 1980, camping by his aircraft in the North 40 with his friends. He spent 18 years building an RV-6, completing it in 2014. Receiving his flight instructor certificate in 1980, he has taught and assisted many students and pilots in improving their skills over the years. He joined Chapter 846 in Wadsworth, Ohio, in 1993 and has been an active member since then. He has served as president (13 years), Young Eagles coordinator (since 1994), flight advisor (since 1995), and technical counselor (since 2014). Gary currently serves as chapter treasurer (2020). He has flown more than 150 Young Eagles and organized many Chapter 846 Young Eagles Days. He has also organized many tour stops for EAA’s B-17 and Ford Tri-Motor. He passes on his experience of speaking with that airline captain to the young people he meets to stress that they should not allow someone else tell them that they cannot do something if they are willing to work toward their goal.

Gary has spent many years volunteering at AirVenture, giving forums on flight testing and assisting at the sheet metal workshops. He also has been a member of EAA’s Homebuilt Aircraft Council. The council works with EAA staff on issues concerning homebuilt aircraft and the FAA, as well as organizing the Homebuilt area of the grounds of Oshkosh for the annual show.

Gary and his wife, Mary, reside in Medina, Ohio, near their two sons, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. Mary has assisted Chapter 846 as well, serving as web editor and transitioning the chapter’s website thru various iterations to the current site. Gary and Mary enjoy flying their RV-6 around the U.S., having flown it to the four corners of the country, as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. Son Brian, a veteran of many AirVentures since age 7, proposed to his girlfriend Amy during their ride in the Farmers Insurance blimp at AirVenture 2011.

Being involved with many EAA programs over the years has given Gary a wide and varied background as to how these programs can improve an EAA member’s experience. Gary looks forward to working with EAA members to improve their chapter.

Gary Baker

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