When the call went out in April 2021 for stories about pilots’ favorite aviation adventures for EAA’s Pilot Your Own Adventure Contest, supported by Flight Outfitters, we didn’t expect to get so many entries. Out of the 267 stories sent in, five winners were chosen. Their stories cover a variety of adventures all around the world, but all captured The Spirit of Aviation.
The fifth-prize winner is Erica Zangwill, EAA 1394520, of North Carolina. Erica’s story takes readers with her and her husband Brandon as they fly around the country-literally! “I feel excited and very, very lucky to have this opportunity,” Erica said. “I’m also excited to attend my very first AirVenture – we’ve literally been counting the days!” To read Erica’s essay, click here.
The fourth-prize winner is Tucker Axum of California with a story of friendship. Tucker began flying in 1999, and spends his days working as both as special agent for the U.S. government and as an author. With a life filled with adventure, Tucker hopes to inspire people with his story. “I wrote [my] story to inspire people to be adventurous and to show the importance of friendship,” Tucker said. To read Tucker’s essay, click here.
The third-prize winner is Michael Gerhardt, EAA 498733, of Alabama for his story about a father-son adventure. Originally from South Africa, Michael has been flying since 1978, looking for adrenaline rushes the entire time. His favorite part of flying adventures like this one is the natural beauty he gets to see. “This country is gorgeous,” Michael said. “There’s aspects of it that one … tends to forget in the concrete jungles in our cities.” To read Michael’s essay, click here.
The second-prize winner is Sheera Kaizerman of Massachusetts and her whirlwind of a story. Earning her pilot’s certificate not long after the story took place, Sheera loved being able to retell her exciting journey. “I always meant to write more about it and never did, so this was a really great outlet,” Sheera said. To read Sheera’s essay, click here.
The grand-prize winner is Peter Shannon, EAA 1248421, of California for his step into the past. Peter has been flying since 1994, but this journey taught him something new about flying. “It was kind of like opening a new window with flying,” Peter said. “There’s so many windows into the history of this country and the ways to see it, and it’s really unique when you’re in a GA aircraft.” To read Peter’s essay, click here.
Entry information for 2022 will be posted at a later date.
The contest ran from April 1, 2021 through June 1, 2021 at 4 p.m. CDT. Information on the 2022 contest will be posted at a later date.
For all official rules and other details, including judging criteria, click here.