Happy Birthday, Paul!
He is a veteran of WWII
and the Korean War... a noted test pilot... and recipient of
countless awards and honors. And oh yeah... he's also founder of a
little organization called the Experimental Aircraft Association.
It is hard to overstate Paul Poberezny's contribution to the world
of aviation -- especially for homebuilders around the world, from
garage tinkerers working on their own designs, to full-scale kit
Best of all... he's a good friend and very cool guy to "Hangar
Today, September 14, one of the most decorated men in the
aviation world turns 85. The staff of Aero-News wanted to be among
the first to say "Happy Birthday, Paul!" We expect to see you next
year, and many years to come, tooling around in "Red One" on the
grounds at AirVenture.
Paul H. Poberezny is one of the most decorated men in the
international aviation community, having received literally
hundreds of trophies, awards and honors for his countless
contributions to the world of flight. He is a 1999 inductee to the
National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, America’s
place of honor for its most legendary aviators. He received the
2001 Award for Meritorious Service to Aviation by the National
Business Aviation Association. Paul received the Wright Memorial
Award Trophy in Washington DC, December 2002.
Paul is best known, however, as founder of the Experimental
Aircraft Association (EAA), which has often been described as the
world’s most dynamic aviation organization. Each year,
EAA’s international Fly-In Convention, named "EAA
AirVenture," draws more than 765,000 people and 12,000 airplanes to
Oshkosh, WI for one of the world’s premier aviation
Paul organized the first Fly-In in 1953, the same year he
founded EAA with a handful of other aviation enthusiasts in
Milwaukee, WI. From the basement of his Hales Corners home, Paul
and his wife, Audrey, nurtured the small group and watched it grow
each year. Paul toured the US and other nations on behalf of EAA,
spreading a "grass roots" aviation message far and wide. He made
frequent trips to Washington, DC to speak to Congressional leaders
and federal aviation authorities, where he defended the rights of
amateur aircraft builders and sport aviation enthusiasts while
earning his livelihood as a military pilot and aircraft maintenance
officer. Today, Paul is considered one of aviation’s leading
spokesmen here in the United States and around the world,
representing the interests of more than 170,000 active EAA members
at local, national and international events.
As a youngster, Paul built model airplanes from scratch. By the
time he was 16, he had restored a battered Waco glider and taught
himself how to fly. He has been in love with airplanes his entire
life, although he has often remarked, "I’ve learned more
about people through my association with aviation than I ever did
In all, Paul has logged more than 30,000 hours of flight time.
He has piloted nearly 400 different types of aircraft, including
more than 170 amateur-built airplanes. He has also designed and
built more than 15 different airplanes and is currently working on
a number of separate airplane projects in his private workshop.
Paul also served as
Publisher/Editor of EAA’s publications, including five
monthly magazines and numerous technical manuals and research
papers, for 34 years. A collection of his "Homebuilder’s
Corner," which he has written since 1953, would be considered a
homebuilder’s bible. The memoirs of his early years, titled
'Poberezny ... The Story Begins,' were published in 1996 (a great
read... no kidding -- ANN E-I-C) and chronicles Paul’s
background and dedication to aviation.
The career of Paul Poberezny includes nearly 30 years of
distinguished military service as a pilot, test pilot and a veteran
of both World War II and the Korean Conflict. Prior to retiring
with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Paul became the only man in
the armed forces to attain all seven aviation wings the military
had to offer. Paul was able to accomplish this feat without ever
having the benefit of military aviation training, a truly
remarkable achievement in itself.
Admired for his leadership and ability, Paul has served on the
Board of Directors of many local, regional, national and
international organizations. He is, without question, one of the
foremost visionaries and innovators in the world of aviation today
-- and a genuinely great man.
Happy Birthday, Paul!
(Aero-News thanks our friends at the Wisconsin Aviation Hall
of Fame for Mr. Poberezny's biography)