WACO, Texas (Sept. 5, 2017) – A high-flying summer internship with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) sounds like a dream come true, and it was for Lilly Johnson, a senior aviation administration major at Baylor University. Johnson spent her summer piloting some of her dream planes while assisting EAA with government relations, advocacy and safety at its headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“My favorite plane was a Ford Tri-Motor, which was flown by the airlines in the ‘30s and ‘40s. I also flew a home-built Vans RV-7 and a home-built Wag-Aero Cubby,” Johnson said.
Johnson is from Denver, Colorado, and used skills she has gathered from Baylor to succeed in her role with EAA. Johnson’s knowledge of aviation and experience as a pilot made her a huge asset to the departments she interned with and to EAA as a whole.
“I was able to share the same passions and interest in general aviation as everyone at EAA,” said Johnson. “I helped the advocacy and safety team to prepare for EAA’s event called AirVenture, which is a huge fly-in with over 11,000 airplanes and nearly 600,000 people. We worked with the government VIPs that came in from the FAA, and NTSB, elected officials on the state and federal levels and the president of Botswana.”
Johnson said attending the AirVenture event was a milestone for her. In addition to providing work experience, the internship also allowed Johnson to live out her passion of flying.
Upon graduating in May, Johnson would like to work in the government relations department of a company or organization, or for one of the aviation-related government entities, such as the FAA or the NTSB.
“Lily is a one of our top aviation students, and this internship was a great opportunity for her,” said Trey Cade III, Ph.D., assistant research professor and director of the Baylor Institute for Air Science. “I have no doubt she will use this experience to be successful in her future.”
Johnson also received sky-high praise from EAA supervisors.
“Lily quickly became an integral member of the EAA Government Advocacy team this summer,” said Mackenzie Dickson, senior government advocacy specialist at EAA. “From assisting with policy work, to interacting with high-level government officials at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and bringing her excellent organizational skills to planning for our 2017 Founder’s Innovation Prize, Lily was vital in helping the team work toward achieving EAA’s advocacy goals for the organization’s 200,000 members.”
The EAA was founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for building their own aircrafts. Over the years it has expanded to include nearly every type of aircraft from antiques to classics, warbirds to helicopters and more. In addition to building, EAA has also grown to incorporate areas for pilots, restorers and aircraft enthusiasts. As the association continues to grow, EAA seeks to serve the community and increase participation in the field of aviation. To learn more about the Experimental Aircraft Association, visit the EAA Website.