If you have ever flown your homebuilt aircraft into AirVenture, your first stop was probably the Homebuilt Aircraft Registration hut, also called the Homebuilders Headquarters. Here volunteers help you obtain your wristband for the week or day, pay for a camping place, and hand out the annual commemorative mugs, patches, and stickers.
The volunteers also provide prop cards–both generic cards and those recognizing special achievements–and register the plane for judging. Perseverance Awards are given to homebuilders who competed their plane within the last 12 months and fly their progeny into AirVenture. The Registration folks also rent out tie-downs and hammers at a price that’s hard to beat….$20 for the tie-down set (with a $15 refund once it is returned) and $20 for the hammer (with a full refund once it is returned).
Like nearly all functions at EAA AirVenture, registration and the Homebuilder’s Headquarters is run by dozens of dedicated volunteers. Dennis Hasha from Alabama oversees the operation. Bonnie Schesnuk from Canada runs the Hospitality Team. Volunteers come from all over North America to help out. Some work from about 6:30 in the morning until 8 pm, like top lieutenant for registration Mike Dooley, while others work a couple of hours a day. Most return every year to help out.
A lot more happens in the little Homebuilders Headquarters building that most of us imagine. Folks in there also support all homebuilt volunteers, including workshop instructors, homebuilt camping, homebuilt parking, homebuilt patrol, registration, and welcome wagon folks. They provide water and lunch from the back room of the diminutive building. Support for the Wednesday morning donuts, Wednesday evening corn roast, and Thursday evening Homebuilder’s Dinner comes from the Hospitality Team, which is housed in the building. It is even the central base for the EAA Homebuilt Council members. The Homebuilders Headquarters is a tiny building with a huge mission staffed by scores of volunteers.