(right) and daughter Paige, 17, Vintage Co-Chair for Flightline
& Safety EAA 141516, Hometown: Windsor, Colorado.
What do you do? Patty: Train the
volunteers to park airplanes and everything else they need to know in
the Vintage area. Paige: I assist the co-chairman (a.k.a Mom)
Years as a volunteer? Patty: 23.
Day job: Patty: Kindergarten
Describe your family’s involvement:
Patty: Met husband (EAA volunteer photo pilot) through CAP and ROTC. We’ve
only missed one AirVenture since we married. Our son Luke volunteered in
the Red Barn until last year. This year he’s at the Air Force Academy.
What do you enjoy most? Patty:
Training 100-200 people every year and communicating with them during
the year as we are getting ready to come back. Paige: It’s so cool to
know every year when you come back you’ll have that family of
Introduction to aviation: Patty:
My uncle who is a Korea and Vietnam vet. He took me flying when he was
at the Air Force Academy when I was 8. It was amazing to see the
landscape from a bird’s-eye-view.
Aviation background: Patty: I
joined CAP in high school. I was always interested in flying and their
search and rescue missions. I like working on airplanes as well. We have
an N3N and Tundra Cub that our son soloed in.
Building project? Patty: N3N in
If you could fly any airplane it would
be: Patty: DC-2. An amazing aircraft to be in and fly. Paige: F-16.
My dad was an Air Force pilot.
How has AirVenture (AV) changed over
the years? Patty: It’s grown. The amount of volunteers has
increased, and the amount of volunteers that come back every year. A lot
has been done for people to enjoy the experience more.
AV experience you won’t forget:
Patty: The year of Jennys to Jets and the Christen Eagles’ snap rolls
on take-off. Paige: The F-22s or when I went up in the photo plane with
my dad. It was a little spooky, but I knew my dad knew what he was
Most memorable person you met through
AV: Patty: Lifetime Member Don Straughn, who recently passed away.
He taught me how to identify airplanes and had the patience of a saint.
He brought integrity to everything he did. That’s why we are
dedicating our new Ops Center to him.
Favorite time of day at AV: Patty:
8:15 p.m. when there are about 50 volunteers piling into cars to go to
dinner and spend time together.
I would love to go to lunch with:
Patty: Eddie Rickenbacker–because he lived the era of Jennys to
Jets and flew almost everything.
Fun volunteer story: Patty: Every
year we have a volunteer party where we host a Vintage Idol and get to
see the hidden talents of our volunteers!
The one thing AV goers shouldn’t
miss: Patty: The continuous arrival of airplanes into Oshkosh.
Special bonus if you can listen to the tower.
AV survival tip: Paige: Bring a
good tent. Patty: Drink lots of water. Don’t miss out on volunteering.
It’s the greatest lifelong experience you can have.