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Wed, Jan 25, 2023

EAA Celebrates 70 Years of Sharing the Spirit of Aviation

Three-Score and Ten Young

Conceived of as an informal flying club on 26 January 1953 by veteran aviator Paul Poberezny and a group of three-dozen Milwaukee-area aviation enthusiasts, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has since grown to some 270,000 members organized into 900 local chapters—each committed to sharing the spirit of aviation, and in so doing increasing worldwide participation in aeronautical endeavor.

Comes now 2023, and the 70th anniversary of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s founding—an auspicious occurrence of which current EAA CEO and Chairman Jack J. Pelton remarked: “For seven decades, EAA has allowed people to passionately pursue that dream [of flight] with imagination and innovation, as they found kindred spirits that created an aviation movement that has no equal in the history of manned flight.”

While the EAA’s original founding group consisted primarily of individuals enamored of building, restoring, and modifying their own aircraft, today’s organization encompass a far broader scope of aerospace interests, and instantiates Paul Poberezny’s “welcoming all who wished to participate” ethos.

The EAA in 2023—by dint of both its network of local chapters and the considerable resources of its Oshkosh, Wisconsin headquarters and museum—seeks to introduce persons of all ages and backgrounds to the myriad wonders born of humankind’s vast and varied aerospace pursuits.

In addition, the association works to break down social, economic, and regulatory barriers to flight, thereby democratizing aviation and affording any and all individuals so inclined to avail themselves of aviation’s bountiful opportunities.

Of the EAA’s innumerable programs and functions, none is more widely-known or eagerly anticipated than the association’s annual fly-in convention, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The event is the world’s largest fly-in convention and sees upwards of 600,000 attendees and ten-thousand aircraft converge on Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) every July.

Mr. Pelton set forth: “EAA’s founder, the late Paul Poberezny, often said that he never expected this little Milwaukee airplane club to grow into what it has become, but it tapped into a basic aspiration—the freedom to fly.”

FMI: www.eaa.org

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