Experimental Aircraft Association Inc

Written by Paul Wynns

The Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. (EAA) is a leading voice in the world of aviation, particularly in the realm of experimental and recreational flying. Founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for building their own aircraft, the EAA has grown into an international organization that encompasses all aspects of aviation. The association is headquartered at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a location synonymous with the EAA's most famous event, AirVenture Oshkosh. This annual gathering, often referred to simply as "Oshkosh," is one of the world’s largest aviation events, drawing hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts from around the globe to celebrate aviation for a week each summer.

The EAA's mission is to grow participation in aviation by promoting the spirit of innovation, freedom, and community that characterizes the world of flying. Its membership consists of a diverse group of enthusiasts, including pilots, aircraft builders, and those who simply love aviation. The association offers a wide range of services and resources to its members, including educational programs, workshops, and publications designed to support every aspect of aviation hobbyism.

EAA’s commitment to education is perhaps most evident in its Young Eagles program, launched in 1992, which aims to introduce young people to aviation. Through the program, children ages 8 through 17 are given the opportunity to go on introductory flights in light aircraft, free of charge, conducted by volunteer EAA-member pilots. These flights aim to inspire the next generation of aviators and aviation enthusiasts.

In addition to fostering a passion for aviation among the young, the EAA provides extensive resources for those interested in building their own aircraft, restoring vintage planes, or learning about the latest innovations in aviation technology. The association advocates on behalf of its members on regulatory and policy issues, ensuring the interests of the recreational and experimental aviation community are represented.

The EAA’s broad scope encompasses a fascination with the full spectrum of flying machines, from homebuilt to vintage, from warbirds to light-sport aircraft, and even drones. Through its comprehensive network of chapters, events, and outreach efforts, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. plays a pivotal role in fostering an inclusive, knowledgeable, and passionate aviation community.