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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedVolunteer Spotlight
Jeff Gilbert
Story and photo by Kristy Hemp

Jeff Gilbert, Photo and Imaging Vice-Chairman
Hometown: Fremont, Wisconsin

Position: Logistics—coordinating the flights, ground work, and getting the pilots and the photographers in the right place at the right time.

Years volunteering: 23. My son, Trevor, started coming when he was 5 and was my right-hand man.

What do you enjoy most? The people. Not only the crew I work with, but the overall aviation community.

Day job: Maintenance supervisor

Aviation background: I wanted to fly since I was knee-high. About 15 years ago I went ahead and made the commitment, and now I’m a private pilot.

Who introduced you to aviation? My uncle. He took me up, and it only took one ride to get me hooked.

What aircraft do you own? Beechcraft Sundowner

Building anything? I have a Bushmaster project that I’m working on to fly out of my 1,000-foot grass strip.

If you could fly any airplane at AirVenture, it would be? Cessna 175—nice performance and short-takeoff ability.

AirVenture aircraft arrival you would run to see? Early arrivals—watching the pilots fly in and listening to the tower talk. I’m impressed with the great job they do.

Most memorable AirVenture experience? My son’s (Trevor’s) first Young Eagles flight. He was so afraid. Steve Buss, EAA executive director of Young Eagles, took him aside and talked to him and got him in the airplane. Now he’s a commercial pilot. It only took one flight for him, too.

What surprised you about AirVenture when you first started to volunteer? All the various shapes of airplanes that can fly and that there are so many different kinds of airplanes.

Favorite spot to relax at AirVenture: After the air show I like to go down by the ultralights and watch them fly as the sun sets.

Fun aviation story: I cut my hand and was given directions to the “Nursing Station.” I found it and walked in. Well, it wasn’t that kind of nursing station—I was so red!

Aviation inspiration: Bruce Moore—one of EAA’s photo pilots. His “oneness” with his airplane is so impressive.

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