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I am thinking of volunteering at AirVenture for the first time this year.

Posted By:
Jeff Steininger
#1 Posted: 6/3/2011 13:19:54

If you have volunteered at AirVenture, I would be interested in any comments that you may have about your experience. I would like to volunteer for something, but don't know what. I looked over the list of jobs and I can probably do almost all of them and almost all of them seem interesting to me. So what did you do and what did you like or dislike about it? Where is the greatest need? I will be there all week, but will also be helping out at a vendor booth for part of the time.

John Thompson
#2 Posted: 6/4/2011 09:21:01

My primary volunteer spot is the north 40, specifically parking. Been doing that for years.

I've also done POP (boring), flight line security (ride a scooter and keep people behind the fire line during airshow), and did a few hour thing hauling printed stuff out to distribution points (driving a gator through the grounds, preshow).

I've tried to get in touch with trams 2-3 years in a row, but the guy never answers his email, and they don't seem to have their tram headquarters set up until the last minute. Since I get there the Wed. before, I would have thought that would be a great time for training and such. I guess they aren't that hard up for volunteers.

Frank Juedes
AirVenture Volunteer
#3 Posted: 6/9/2011 18:35:54

  Hi Jeff,

I volunteered last year at AirVenture. I work on the trams, and really loved it. All the people I worked with were really nice. A great group of people and I'm looking forward to this year.

Two years ago I work at the Appleton airport during the airshow, same out come. Great people and really loved it.

I think you will love doing it and the people make it so special. AirVenture is something I look forward to each year. I say bring a smile and make every one feel welcome, it's like one big family.

Jason Alexander
AirVenture Volunteer
#4 Posted: 6/10/2011 08:37:15


WELCOME!! This will be my 12th year volunteering at AirVenture. It has been and remains the highlight of my entire year (directing aircraft vs. being an optometric assistant)! Firstly, knowing you're a part of what makes AirVenture happen is a great feeling. Secondly, you get to see the convention from an entirely new perspective. Thirdly, Operation Thirst brings you donuts, sandwiches, cold drinks, and absolutely incredible people (you, too, will learn to bless the name of Operation Thirst as a volunteer!)

About the only advice I can give you is advice I rarely take myself: Take one day off to just walk around and enjoy AirVenture!


Mark Chouinard
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#5 Posted: 6/13/2011 15:27:20



Last year was my first trip to AirVenture and I worked on the Warbird Flightline... it was a blast, literally!  Prop blast, jet blast... it was serious work out there, but I don't think there is a better seat in the house once the show starts.  It gets pretty busy and plenty hot when the aircraft start moving, but you really don't think about it much.  I didn't operate tugs or anything... the more experienced guys took care of that delicate task... I mostly helped with wing walking, collecting and setting chocks, setting up and retrieving tow bars, etc.  The crews out there were really cool... sometimes they seem direct, as they should be when we are dealing with high dollar aircraft that are inherently dangerous to be around... but once the fast pace of the daily air show had passed, they seemed willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn.  I can't wait to get back out there.


I think you have to be a member to volunteer in specific areas (i.e. Warbirds, Vintage, etc.), but it is well worth the price of admission.  LOL!  I think you'll enjoy it no matter where you end up. 



Ron Blum
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#6 Posted: 6/22/2011 09:21:32

Jeff:  Everywhere and anywhere that you volunteer is a great experience like none other.  I have attended OSH every year since 1976 and have seen the "show" from the eyes of a child, a designer, an EAA employee, a homebuilt OEM, a certified OEM, a pilot and just an enthusiast.  Each and every year is different and better than before, building on the past.  Everyone is always very friendly; they're volunteers, too ... including the EAA staff that puts in tons of "free" hours to put on this event.

If you're looking for something with immediate gratification and long term effect, look no further than KidVenture.  The kids eyes just light up, and you know that you're making an impact.  -Ron

Janet Davidson
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#7 Posted: 6/22/2011 09:55:13

Jeff, and anyone else thinking of volunteering...


I'm going to put a quick plug for volunteering at Aeromart, run by Chapter 252 (Wittman Chapter).  Great bunch of folks to work with, and "Al's diner" provides delicious sustinence for the volunteers.  You get to see some pretty unique items coming in for sale.  And there's always the chance that you come home with something that was someone else's junk, but is now your treasure 


I've volunteered in flight line ops, as a greeter in the N40, at Aeromart and a couple of other areas.  I'd highly recommend trying a couple of different areas to see which you find the most rewarding.

Ron Natalie
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#8 Posted: 7/11/2011 16:02:47

Being a vintage aircraft owner I've volunteered in vintage for the past 14 or so years (who's counting).   There is a volunteer booth right in front of the Vintage Red Barn that can set you up.   I do the (vintage) flight line operations which is all parking and crowd control south of the Communications building.   There is training for this every day at either 9AM or 1PM and then you'll be put to work with a more experienced person.   Personally I work like hell before the show starts and then do a little of the show and and then come back and work some more. 


Deborah Penrod
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#9 Posted: 7/15/2011 21:28:15

Hope you've decided by now to volunteer. This will be my 2nd Airventure but 1st year as a Volunteer. I've signed on for Trams, so hoping to transfer skills acquired from driving trams at skydiving events! Born with tractors, trucks in my blood along with airplanes, I guess. I plan to have fun and meet lots of cool [Editor's note: redundent !!] plane people.

Marilyn Boese
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#10 Posted: 7/16/2011 00:46:40

When I am talking to someone who hasn't been to AirVenture I always suggest that they volunteer.  It just makes it more fun.  Vintage Division has an amazing group of volunteers, great location, and they train volunteers two times every day.  You can't beat that.  Parking planes and helping at the taxiway-pedestrian crosswalks is fine for me.   

There are EAA volunteers and also volunteers with separate 'management' at Warbirds, Vintage, Homebuilt, KidVenture...

I volunteer at the Welcome Center now, and also at the Wittman Hangar.  You should see the KidVenture stuff, it isn't only the small kids that are having a great time. 

It's all good.  POP (Protect Our Planes) is one of the newer volunteer efforts and they might have more need than others but I don't know that.  There might be lots of new volunteer areas to add to the great old ones. 

Eric Whyte
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#11 Posted: 7/16/2011 21:00:37

I agree with Marilyn, you really don't get to experience the full convention unless you are "part" of it. This will be my 30th year as a Volunteer, and I have done many things over the years. I have parked cars, Homebuilts, worked as a tour guide in the Vintage Area, been an on air host with EAA Radio and on the staff for the AirVenture Cup Race. The best part of Volunteering is the camaraderie with the people you work with and the satisfaction of being part of the event. I would suggest since it is your first time volunteering, a) ask members of your local chapter where they volunteer, b) try volunteering in a couple different areas to see what you really enjoy doing. 

Mark Huebbe
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#12 Posted: 7/18/2011 14:08:50

So who do you contact to volunteer?  I'll be flying my homebuilt up on the 23rd and would like to help out for the first few days before my family shows up on Monday.  I wouldn't mind helping out the homebuilt operations.

John Thompson
#13 Posted: 7/18/2011 19:32:27

Try this link:

volunteer page 

You can also check in at the volunteer centers across the grounds.