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Make EAA Canada Great Again!

By Jack Dueck, Chairman, EAA Canadian Council

April 2018 - On January 31, 2018, the EAA Canada Inc. (EAA Canada for short) received its certificate of registration. This effort by your EAA Canadian Council began in 2004 and has now finally been achieved.

This new not-for-profit corporation is formed as a nonmember entity that will hopefully qualify as a charity in the near future, as its application finds its way through the halls of our Canadian Revenue Agency.

The purposes of this organization are to:

  1. Provide aviation-related information, education, and safety programs to the public.
  2. Promote and sponsor aviation-related activities at events; to promote efforts in Canadian aviation research and development.
  3. Provide scholarships, bursaries, and other forms of financial assistance to Canadian youth interested in aviation careers, and to provide awards for scholastic achievements.

This will provide an opportunity for revenues from supporters and revenue streams for our programs to be transferred to deserving Canadian candidates in their pursuit of aviation activities and learning.

EAA has had a Canadian footprint for many years. Looking through some historical documents, a June 1982 issue of Canadian Sport Aviation News lists 46 Canadian EAA chapters.

It all started back in 1955 when Keith “Hoppy” Hopkinson, with the help of EAA founder Paul Poberezny, persuaded Transport Canada to allow amateur-built aircraft to fly in Canada. Keith was tragically killed in an aircraft accident and last week we were saddened to hear that Keith’s widow, Isabel (Hopkinson) Sully passed away, her memorial service was held at Goderich, on April 2.

I have a copy of the March 1968 News from Experimental Aircraft Association of Canada by the late Herb Cunningham, and it is interesting to see the amount of activity on the homebuilt stage of 50 years ago. Chapter 154, Saskatchewan, at the end of 1967 had 50 members, of which seven had built and flown their aircraft and another 31 were in various stages of building. Additional articles chronicled fly-in activities at Oshawa and Abbotsford. New western Canadian homebuilts included “the Teal amphibian” in Kamloops, British Columbia; a Piel Emeraude in Edmonton, Alberta; a Jodel D.11 and a Pazmany in Calgary, Alberta; a Flying Flea in St. Albert; and the list goes on.

In the late 1980s, a disagreement over insurance issues turned quite nasty causing many of the Canadian EAA chapters to leave and form the RAA (Recreational Aircraft Association). While differing reasons for this divorce are offered, the departure reduced EAA in Canada to fewer than 10 chapters. Today there are 11 EAA chapters and about 6,500 EAA members in Canada.

Now, EAA is once again a Canadian registered corporation. It is not member-based, and its connection with EAA headquarters is its license agreement to use the EAA name, logos, SportAir Workshops, and EAA’s vast resources. This new corporation is formed solely for the promotion of aviation activities and careers in Canada. It has 11 directors, all Canadian EAA members, representing regions across Canada.

EAA continues to be the go-to organization for aviation-related activities on the North American stage. If anything in aviation exists, it will be seen at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the weeklong aviation convention and air show every July, the largest such extravaganza in the world.

We Canadians have the opportunity; make EAA Canada great again!

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