A brief history of the Experimental Aircraft Association

By Willie Bodenstein


The EAA was founded in 1953 by veteran aviator Paul Poberezny along with other aviation enthusiasts. The organization began as more or less a flying club. Paul Poberenzy explained the nature of the organization's name, "Because the planes we flew were modified or built from scratch, they were required to display an EXPERIMENTAL placard where it could be seen on the door or cockpit, so it was quite natural that we call ourselves the "Experimental Aircraft Association"

An international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has since its inception it has grown internationally with over 200,000 members and nearly 1,000 chapters worldwide.

Airventure at Oshkosh during the EAA National Convention 2016. Photo © Willie Bodenstein

The organization is overseen by a chairman, a president, a CEO and a board of directors. Paul Poberezny assumed the duties of president and CEO at the 1953 founding. In 1989 he assumed the (newly created) position of chairman of the board, and his son Tom Poberezny became president and CEO. In March 2009 Paul Poberezny resigned, and the board voted to elevate Tom Poberezny to chairman of the board.

At AirVenture 2010, it was announced that Rod Hightower would succeed Tom Poberezny as president of the organization, effective September 2010. Hightower resigned on 22 October 2012 and at a board of directors meeting during former Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack J. Pelton was elected chairman.


EAA South Africa

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