July 27, 2014 - On behalf of your board of directors, EAA employees, and the thousands of EAA volunteers that make our annual convention and fly-in possible, I welcome you to Oshkosh.
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would never have believed the countless number of hours volunteers have donated to make this opening day possible. I can’t thank each of you enough for your generous support of EAA and our mission to make flying as available and accessible to as many people as possible, no matter what they choose to fly.
This week we honor our founder, Paul Poberezny, who understood before the rest of us that when you can bring people and aviation together, lifelong bonds with flying and with friends are formed.
Paul reminded us every year that Oshkosh is EAA’s annual family reunion. The airplanes brought us together, but friendships we make here and anywhere people fly keep us together.
Our EAA fly-in has grown into the world’s largest private aviation event. Hundreds of companies are here to show us their latest products and services. And thousands of proud airplane owners want to show all of us what skill, hard work, and imagination can do to build, restore, preserve, and enjoy flying for their own reasons.
EAA’s success has been built on the orderliness and cleanliness that Paul insisted on from the beginning. And the same attention to details and respect for the risks of all aspects of aviation are essential for a safe Oshkosh that we all expect.
We are looking forward to a great week with almost endless things to see and do, when almost anything imaginable will take to the air.
I thank all the volunteers for making this possible and ask you all to join me in remembering Paul’s credo of family, planes, and cleanliness this week at Oshkosh.