The Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) was formed this past summer to provide corporations with a vested interest in homebuilding an opportunity to speak with a unified voice on issues of safety and industry growth. To broaden their resources, the group has invited three prominent figures in aviation to provide guidance and counsel in select key issues affecting the industry through an Advisory Board.
These include Tom Poberezny, who functioned as President of EAA for 23 years and was Chairman of AirVenture for 35 years. He has had extensive experience dealing with the FAA and NTSB and has a thorough knowledge of the evolution of the Experimental/Amateur-Built (EAB) movement.
Frank Christensen was head of Christen Industries, and revolutionized the kit aircraft business with the introduction of the Eagle aerobatic aircraft kit in 1977. He also organized and supported the Eagles Aerobatic Team for 25 years. As a founder of the modern kit aircraft movement, he has had extensive experience with issues of marketing, liability and insurance.
Dale Klapmeier, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft, got his start in aircraft kit manufacturing with the VK-30. He successfully transitioned into certificated aircraft production with the SR-20 and SR-22, with more than 5000 units on the flight line. Given his experience with EAB and Part 23 aircraft, Klapmeier has keen insight into the issues facing both types of manufacturing.
“In accepting our invitation to participate on an Advisory Board, these men bring a level of credibility, knowledge and experience that not only contributes instant recognition to AKIA, but which will be invaluable in addressing the issues currently confronting all of us in the EAB movement,” said Dick VanGrunsven, President of AKIA. “We’re pleased to have them with us and believe they add significant power to the voice of AKIA.”