By Amy Beitzel
As a new intern on the Lost in Oscar Hotel project, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the world of general aviation.
My first introduction came on March 6, when I accompanied professor and pilot Joe Murray to a presentation at EAA Chapter 1252, in Columbia Station. Prior to this evening, I had never heard of the EAA (or Columbia Station, for that matter).
The meeting was held at a VFW hall, and while driving blindly into a setting sun, balancing a Google map on my lap, I instinctively made a right at the first banner announcing a fish fry. My instinct paid off, and although gaining entrance into the building proved tricky, once inside, chapter leader Paul Koziol and his wife Vicki were incredibly gracious and welcoming.
Before my introduction to the EAA and the members of Chapter 1252, I, like many, assumed that an individual that pursued aviation as a hobby had a certain level of access and privilege. This assumption was quickly replaced by a new understanding – to be an aviation enthusiast, all you really need is a passion for flight.
The Koziols and the Columbia Station EAA members impressed me with their dedication not just to each other, but also to their community. Theirs is not an exclusive club, and they make a point to reach out to the public and share their love of flying, while encouraging and fostering young enthusiasts.
In a fast-paced, achievement driven world, the individuals of EAA 1252 bring back the joy and sense of adventure that should accompany reaching for the heavens. And when Paul Koziol tells me that I too can learn how to fly, I believe him.