EAA’s Pilot Your Own Adventure Contest, supported by Flight Outfitters

The writing contest committee will be meeting later this year to start discussing and planning next year’s contest. To receive updates on the 2022 contest, please sign up below.

Everyone who flies has a story to tell, and we want to hear yours, and, just maybe, share it with the world. Aviators around the world share a passion for adventure, relishing both the journey and the destination, and celebrating the fun, freedoms, and friendships of flight. Tell us the true-life tale of your favorite aviation getaway as part of EAA’s Pilot Your Own Adventure Contest, supported by Flight Outfitters, and you might just win the AirVenture camping experience of a lifetime, or one of several other exciting prizes.

To qualify, your story should be about a time that you, or someone in your party, flew a non-commercial, general aviation aircraft to partake in an experience that was fun, adventurous and inspiring and that was only made possible by the ability to fly. Maybe the destination was a weekend camping trip, a particularly memorable fly-in or a remote backwoods picnic. Or, maybe the adventure came from something experienced in-flight, such as seeing the Nazca Lines, Niagara Falls, or a pod of whales from the air. The inspiration might come from the companionship you shared, the fun you had at the destination, or the beauty of the flight itself that you were able to experience.

In addition, your story must be:

  • True — all entries must be non-fiction, based on real facts, real events, and real people.
  • At least 500 words, and no more than 1,000 words long.
  • Accompanied by a minimum of three and a maximum of six photographs with captions of no more than 30 words each.
  • Typed or handwritten, and must be legible, clear, and easy to read.

Entries may be submitted online. Hard copy submissions may be sent to:

EAA Aviation Center
Attn: AirVenture Writing Contest
P.O. Box 3086
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086

The contest period was from April 1, 2021 through June 1, 2021 at 4 p.m. CDT.

For all official rules and other details, including judging criteria, click here.

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.

5th Place

Erica Zangwill

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.

4th Place

Tucker Axum

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.

3rd Place

Michael Gerhardt

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.

2nd Place

Sheera Kaizerman

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.

Grand Prize

Peter Shannon

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.

PRIZES

Information regarding the 2022 prizes will be posted at a later date.

Grand Prize
The Grand Prize winner will be provided the use of a unique teardrop camper on a campsite in Camp Scholler on the AirVenture grounds for eight nights, from July 25, 2021, to August 1, 2021. In addition, they’ll receive two weekly wristbands, and a collection of gear and apparel from Flight Outfitters as follows:

Second Prize
Gear and apparel from Flight Outfitters as follows:

Third Prize
Gear and apparel from Flight Outfitters as follows:

Fourth Prize
Gear and apparel from Flight Outfitters as follows:

Fifth Prize
Gear and apparel from Flight Outfitters as follows:

Follow Along on the #FOCamper’s Journey to Oshkosh

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.

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