Steve Owen, EAA 382581, first attended EAA Oshkosh in 1982 after he happened to read about the event in an aviation magazine while he still lived in the United Kingdom. Ten years later, Steve moved to Oshkosh, got married, and began volunteering with EAA. Although not a pilot, Steve loves all kinds of aviation and is firmly dedicated to supporting EAA and its mission through his volunteer efforts.
Since Steve began volunteering with EAA in 1992, he’s helped in numerous areas, including during Young Eagles rallies and local chapter pancake breakfasts. However, flightline operations, specifically the North 40 during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, has primarily been his volunteer home.
“I went to the Volunteer Center, volunteered at a couple of places [during EAA Oshkosh],” Steve said. “I ended up one day on flightline operations on the North 40 with Jim Casper, the late Will Schaick, and a couple of other people. The rest, as they say, is history. I volunteered pre-convention, during convention, [and] after convention since 1992. I became co-chairman in 2007 or 2008. I took the responsibility of setting up pre-convention. … I basically guide everybody in getting ready for convention — markers, fencing, all that stuff.”
While it was the air show and fly-in that brought Steve across the Atlantic Ocean to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in the early 1980s, it’s been the people he volunteers with that’s kept him so involved with EAA since moving to the United States.
“People and fun are the two words I would say [for why I volunteer],” he said. “That’s the easiest answer I can give. I enjoy it. I’ve made a lot of friends all over the country, all over the world. It’s the people. That’s why. My boss laughs at me because I take 40 hours of vacation to spend 120 hours out there [volunteering].”