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Vicki Cruse
Story and photo by Kristy Hemp

The IAC has added a pavilion dedicated to its former president, Vicki Cruse.

The International Aerobatic Club (IAC) added to its building this year, a structure dedicated to the late Vicki Cruse. The open-air Vicki Cruse Educational Pavilion is named after the highly regarded aerobatic pilot and former IAC president.

Vicki began the project before her death in an accident at the World Aerobatic Championships in Silverstone, England, in 2009.

Vicki was the 2007 National Aerobatic Champion and made the U.S. National Aerobatic Team multiple times.

Now that Vicki’s vision has been realized, the IAC is putting the facility to good use, according to Trish Diemer, IAC manager.

“We have four forums each day from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on topics such as safety and aerobatics education,” she said.

“The Buehler Trust has supported us because we are using the pavilion for educational purposes, which is very important to them,” said Diemer. A formal dedication with the Buehler Trust will take place on Thursday, July 29, at 1:30 p.m. in the new pavilion.

“Everyone thinks it’s beautiful,” Diemer commented. “We have a wonderful sound system; it turned out better than I thought.”

On the Fly, EAA’s roaming radio program, broadcasted from the pavilion. They talked with IAC President Doug Bartlett and Kirby Chambliss. “Kirby got his start with the IAC,” explained Diemer. “You have the possibility of hanging with the air show pilots here!”

On Friday, the Starjammer will be at the IAC building. It’s a one-of-a-kind monoplane, which is said to have an on-board sound system that can create sounds as loud as 200 decibels. That’s louder than Concorde and the space shuttle.

“Vicki was a one-of-a-kind person, so generous,” recalled Susan Liebeler, international fundraising chair for the Ninety-Nines, of which Vicki was a longtime member. “She was a wonderful mentor to younger pilots and had a wonderful competitive spirit.”

The Ninety-Nines are on-site at the IAC building and are having a raffle to benefit the Vicki Cruse Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Ninety-Nines intend for 100 percent of tickets sales in Oshkosh to go to this fund.

The prizes are divided into two categories: for pilots and for everyone. You could win: a four-day emergency maneuver training course, tailwheel endorsement, seaplane course, mountain/canyon flying seminar, Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation package to Mexico, or a vacation package to Hawaii.

The drawing will be held at the close of the AOPA Aviation Summit November 13, 2010. Winners do not need to be present.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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