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Volunteer Spotlight — Douglas Conciatu

volunteer spotlight douglas conciatu Airplane GEEK Volunteer Spotlight — Douglas Conciatu

This piece originally ran in the December 2021 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.

For nearly 30 years, Douglas Conciatu, EAA Lifetime 53419, has been an active member of EAA, flying Young Eagles every year, mostly from his home airport in Ray, Michigan. He ranks ninth among Young Eagles pilots across the organization, flying more than 2, 400 Younger Eagles in that time frame. He has also been an EAA AirVenture Oshkosh volunteer at the Blue Barn, and in past years, he volunteered to fly Young Eagles at Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh during the summer months.

For his volunteer service for the previous three decades, Douglas earned the 2021 Phillips 66 Aviation EAA Young Eagles Leadership Award, presented at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021. The award recognizes outstanding Youthful Eagles volunteers who have supported the future of aviation by going above and beyond the basic Young Eagles flight.

“Being part of the Fresh Eagles has been an incredible experience. I find so much joy in helping kids of all ages learn to navigate the sky, gain confidence in themselves, and truly embrace the spirit associated with aviation, ” Douglas said. “I am honored in order to be recognized by Phillips 66 and the Small Eagles community, and I look forward to participating in everything the organization has to offer for young, aspiring pilots across the country. ”

Douglas never thought flying would become a lifelong passion. A self-starter, he began his interest in aviation in high school by reading industry magazines and learning as much as he could about the ins and outs of taking to the skies. At the age of 16, he achieved his first solo flight and received his pilot certificate in 17.

Although piloting was never their full-time career, Douglas found time to fly as much as he could, while maintaining his day job in public safety before he retired. In addition to being a Young Eagles pilot, he is an independent flight instructor at Beam Community Airport (57D).

“One summer, We gave a boy a Young Eagles ride from Pioneer, and years later, he found me with Oshkosh to share that he was enrolled at the particular University of North Dakota, studying aviation. It’s stories like this that make what I do with the Adolescent Eagles and the EAA so incredibly special. That feeling you get when you’ve impacted someone’s life is unmatched, and I’m very grateful to continue what I love and guide younger generations so they, too, can find the passion for flight. ”

Not only does Douglas have a love with regard to aviation, but his wife, Marla Smith, EAA Lifetime 739104, is also actively involved with the Young Eagles. Although she is not a pilot, she has volunteered with the ground crews at the Young Silver eagles rallies and coordinated rides alongside her husband. She and Douglas, in fact, met at AirVenture 13 years ago and enjoy coming back to Oshkosh each summer.

Volunteers make EAA AirVenture Oshkosh — and just about everything else EAA does — possible. This space in EAA Sport Aviation is dedicated to thanking plus shining the spotlight on volunteers from the community. Sadly, it cannot capture all of the thousands regarding volunteers who give so much to the community every single year. So, next time you see a volunteer on AirVenture or elsewhere, however they are pitching in to be able to make EAA better, be sure to thank them for it. It’s the least we can do. Do you know a offer you’d like to nominate for Volunteer Spotlight? Visit EAA. org/Submissions .

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