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EAA President Speaks to Appreciative Crowd at Wicks Forum

SS2 First flight
EAA President Rod Hightower speaks at the first Wicks Aircraft Forum.

October 13, 2010 — EAA President Rod Hightower spoke to a group largely made up of EAA members who attended Wicks Aircraft Supply’s first-ever Wicks Forum last Saturday at its headquarters in Highland, Illinois. Hightower, who began his new position leading EAA on September 7, discussed EAA’s future missions in attracting more people to aviation, working with regulatory agencies to help lower the barriers to flight, and further improving EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

“It’s always a pleasure to meet passionate EAA aviators that live the aviation lifestyle and who work hard to involve youth in flying and building,” Hightower said.

Also appearing from EAA was Ron Wagner, manager of field operations, who presented “Ten Ways to Improve an EAA Chapter.”

The one-day event began with a tour of the 106-year-old Wicks Pipe Organ Company and concluded with a tour of Wicks Aircraft Supply, a business the Wick family launched in 1975. Between tours, attendees heard from several presenters, including:

  • Roy Beisswenger, host of the Powered Sport Flying Radio Show, who spoke about the joys of slow flight and open or no cockpits in ultralights, powered parachutes, and gyroplanes.
  • Marc Cook, editor of Kitplanes, addressed the pending phase-out of 100LL aviation fuel including a personal account of flying his own Sportsman on biofuel.
  • Paul Lupton, of West Bend, Wisconsin, EAA Chapter 1158, and its popular summer Air Camp, discussed and demonstrated some of the projects he uses to motivate and educate kids between 13 and 14 years of age. The eight-day camp also provides each child with glider, hot air balloon, and helicopter rides and culminates with a half-hour flying lesson.
  • Robert Hamilton, of Dynon Avionics, discussed the evolution and utilization of EFIS units in homebuilts and LSAs.

“It’s our way of giving something back to the aviation community,” said Wicks President Scott Wick. “The immediate feedback was very positive and we are hopeful that we can make this an annual event. We’re even thinking of taking the Forum on the road.”

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