Jim Heindl, EAA 570224, has been volunteering with EAA since 1993, primarily with flightline operations. For his volunteer service through the years, Jim was named a Brown Arch Brick Award recipient at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.
Jim has always had an interest in aviation, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that he heard through his sister that there were volunteer positions available during the week of EAA Oshkosh.
“I heard about flightline operations and it was like the best-kept secret in terms of trying to get a hold of somebody where you could sign up,” Jim said. “I dug and dug and asked questions, looked around and everything, and finally wound up getting a hold of Jim Casper from flightline operations and told him I’d like to volunteer and be a part of that group. I’ve stayed there ever since. The energy and the camaraderie are the two biggest things to me with flightline operations that keep me coming back.”
Eventually, Jim was named a co-chairman for flightline operations, a further sign of his dedication to volunteering with EAA and FLO specifically. As a co-chairman, Jim is an important cog in making sure everything runs smoothly throughout the week.
“I am responsible for other volunteers that are assigned to me to work a certain position on the field,” Jim said. “We are primarily north of [runways] 18 and 36, and our positions are all interspersed in through there. Each day we get assigned to a different area. And, of course, then we get a different group of people depending on who signed up and who is the vice chairman assigned to that area. When I find out who they are, we basically all introduce each other and … find out if they’ve been volunteering in flightline ops before or not. And if they haven’t, [we] find out if they’re still able to fulfill the assigned position. But I won’t micromanage; I’ll just kind of shadow them out there to make sure that everything’s safe for them and us.”