Volunteer Spotlight — Dennis Crispin – Hangar Flying

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This piece originally ran in the July 2023 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.

It would seem for Dennis Crispin, EAA 258290, that his whole life has been directing him to volunteer for his local EAA chapter and AirVenture. His first clue came in the form of his favorite childhood book.

“When I was about 5 years old, my grandmother gave me a kid’s book entitled Famous Planes and Pilots,” he said. “It was the first book I tackled, actually read by myself. It instilled a fascination for aircraft that has followed me forever, and I set a goal that someday I would learn to fly.”

Eventually he earned a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and multiengine ratings. As a teenager, Dennis read Paul Poberezny’s articles in Mechanix Illustrated about how to build the Baby Ace. This inspired him to set another life goal — to someday build his own airplane. Thirty years later the construction of a Cozy MK IV got underway. “Other events of life got in the way, and I had to stop that project,” he said. “It was a great disappointment.”

As life went on, EAA and heading to Oshkosh was always in the back of Dennis’ mind. He would eventually join EAA Chapter 569 out of Lincoln, Nebraska, and serve as chapter secretary, newsletter editor, and president.

In 1984, he had the chance to visit Oshkosh. “I thought I’d go see that thing in Wisconsin I always wanted to do,” he said. Since then, Dennis has missed only two AirVentures: in 1985 (he “felt bad all week” about it) and in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event. He gets the most out of his AirVenture experience by coming to Oshkosh early and volunteering.

“I volunteer at the campground registration ramp,” he said. “Last year was the 25th consecutive year to volunteer on the registration ramp … a couple of years before that I parked airplanes on the North 40 …. It’s a big operation. No one really realizes just how big it is unless they are out there in the…

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