Congratulations to Andrea McGilvray, IAC 438132, on being chosen as a 2020 Chapter Newsletter Editor Award winner from the chapters’ office at EAA National. The award recognizes hours of hard work contributing to the success of EAA chapter 35. The chapter newsletter is one of the most important tools of communication a chapter has to keep members and prospective members informed and engaged.
Normally presented in person at AirVenture, this year the awards ceremony was live streamed on Thursday at 6-6:30pm CT. You can access the video here: https://www.eaatogether.org/live/hangarflying/6173676275001
Andrea joined her local EAA chapter based in San Antonio to stay in touch with like-minded aviation folks. When she became a board member at the chapter it started her interested in writing articles for the chapter newsletter. Her infatuation with aviation provided material for multiple articles. She volunteered on the newsletter and was put to work as the Newsletter Editor.
The EAA chapter 35 members have a wide variety of knowledge and are very active. No one has to go very far to get an answer to builders’ questions and there is a lot of information shared on a monthly basis in the newsletter. Andrea enjoys getting out all this good information to her fellow aviators and has plans to make the newsletter even better using current technology.
Samples of her work can be found on the EAA 35 website: https://eaa35.org/
Since Andrea started writing, two of her articles have appeared in Sport Aerobatics; That Looks Like a Classic – PIREP on my Hatz CB-1 in the November 2019 issue and Flying with Legends – Training with Patty Wagstaff in the June 2020 issue.
A pilot for over thirty years, Andrea only seriously started flying the last five years. Initially she became an Ultralight Pilot first and then continued on her journey to become a Private Pilot. She got her tailwheel endorsement in a Champ in 2016 and earned her Canadian Private Pilot Certificate flying a Cessna 172 in 2017. She went on to train with the likes of Patty Wagstaff, Budd Davisson and Steve Wolf.
Andrea started competing in Primary at the 2018 Texas Hill Country Hammerfest. She has since competed in Sportsman in 2019. In her blog, Andrea says of competition, “I got this Akro bug in the worst way. If you have never had it, you don’t know how crazy this is. How fun and amazing strapping an airplane on and becoming one with it. Competition is not for everyone for many reasons, but my reason is to get is as good as I can and have some baseline/structure. So far nothing has spooked or scared me and I intend to stay that way. But my envelope is going to be pushed. I want to win at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships, and not third place - I want first! I know a little of what this will take, it will take lots of 100LL and I need serious help from a ground coach.”
In addition to competition, her favorite thing is to give rides in her Hatz biplane. "My goal in aviation to share this amazing gift of flight with others. I want to pour the joy and happiness into a cup and share it with anyone who wishes to have some. I have given rides to many people over the last three years (nearly 50 at my last count). All of them have this amazing smile when we come back from a flight. Their smiles, excitement, and gratitude are way too amazing not to share."