Katie Bosman Krotje, AMA 336184, fell in love with aviation at the age of 8 after a member of her local model airplane club came to demonstrate rubber-band powered free-flight model to her 4H club. She learned how to build free-flight airplanes from kits as well as plans. Katie got started with R/C models by building a Gentle Lady sailplane and later, a Sig Riser, that she flew to First Place in the Senior Division at the 1994 AMA Nationals. As an active member of her local club, she wrote a column in the newsletter all through high school, and was awarded the top Charles H. Grant AMA Scholarship in 1996. Her interest in writing helped her decide on and complete an undergraduate degree in Communications.
Upon graduation, she learned to fly a full-scale 1946 Taylorcraft from a grass strip in rural Wisconsin, earning a Private Pilot’s License that confirmed her decision to pursue a career in aviation. She later earned an Instrument Rating, followed by a Commercial Pilot certificate, a Certificated Flight Instructor certificate, as well as a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Education at Middle Tennessee State University. During this time, she accompanied the Smyrna Flying Aces club to the AMA Indoor Nats in Johnson City, Tennessee, where she enjoyed helping kids in the club tweak and trim their models, while trying to get hers to fly for more than a minute – too often a rare event!
After time as a corporate pilot in 2008, she began working for Jabiru USA, a Light-Sport aircraft manufacturer in Shelbyville, Tennessee. She flew production test flights, sales demonstration flights, taught new owners how to fly the aircraft, wrote manuals for maintaining and flying the aircraft, and flew company planes to air shows around the country. In 2017, she used her experience from working on airplanes and engines to earn her FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic Certificate.
In late 2017, Katie began work on her Ph.D. in Aviation Safety at St. Louis University while securing a position with Garmin International as an Aviation Maintenance Trainer. She is one of four instructors who travel the world to teach aviation technicians how to install and repair Garmin integrated avionics systems. She credits her early background in model aviation as the foundation for all of her knowledge about aircraft structures and aerodynamics, and will forever be indebted to her friends and mentors who taught and encouraged her to build model airplanes. Katie has tried to “pay it forward” by helping middle-school girls build R/C gliders in a STEM summer program in Grand Rapids Michigan, speaking at the AMA Expo, and volunteering for the past several years on the AMA Scholarship Committee.
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