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EAA Surpasses 200,000 Members
Continuing to grow and engage flying enthusiasts
September 22, 2016 - EAA has reached a major milestone, as our association has surpassed 200,000 members!
“We reached this milestone by building on the legacy established by our founder, Paul Poberezny, more than 60 years ago when he stated that all who wish to participate are welcome,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and chairman of the board. “Paul understood the basic desire for the freedom of flight, and the dedication from EAA’s members, chapters, and staff have made it possible to grow the organization to new levels. I thank every EAA member who has contributed through the years to EAA’s achievements. We celebrate this milestone together.”
Pelton added that EAA’s value and growth are especially notable as a counter to a decreasing number of active pilots in the U.S. Fewer than 600,000 active pilot certificates are now held by U.S. residents, a number that EAA and its members have sought to reverse with programs to meet the organization’s mission, which focuses on “growing participation in aviation by sharing The Spirit of Aviation.”
Among EAA’s popular outreach initiatives is the Young Eagles program that introduces youth ages 8-17 to aviation by offering free demonstration flights hosted by members and chapters. In July, EAA member and actor Harrison Ford flew the 2 millionth Young Eagle during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the association’s annual fly-in convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
EAA continues to expand its programs for members involved in homebuilding and restoration of aircraft. We’ve also created partnerships with other aviation-minded organizations, such as the Soaring Society of America, IMC Clubs, and the Academy of Model Aeronautics. These cooperative ventures are discovering ways to work together to inspire interest in all forms of flight, including emerging unmanned aerial technology or “drones,” as well as creating pathways for people to engage in and enjoy aviation in various ways in their own hometowns, whether it is directly through flight or other educational activities.
“EAA’s success is based on a basic principle of sharing the knowledge, information, and passion for aviation,” Pelton said. “Our organization is also dedicated to getting it done – breaking down barriers that keep people from pursuing their own dreams, and encouraging innovation to take us over the next horizon of flight.”