Grass Roots Effort to Honor Tom Poberezny

Tom Poberezny with Young Eagles. Photo: Courtesy
Tom Poberezny with Young Eagles. Photo: Courtesy

A growing number of EAA members have realized that something important is now missing at EAA and AirVenture; namely, Tom Poberezny. Tom led EAA for over 20 years, and he epitomized the core values of the EAA culture. A group of industry leaders have formed a movement to see that Tom is recognized for his lifetime efforts.

The time has come to recognize Tom’s legion accomplishments at EAA which during his tenure greatly enriched the extraordinary legacy of his father, Paul. It’s time to bring him back to AirVenture, to have him drive around in Red Three again, and to have him share with us the knowledge, experience and perspective he accumulated in his career. We need his expertise, his clear understanding of what EAA stands for, and his views on how to keep it balanced in a constantly changing aviation world.

Tom devoted 42 years working to ensure that EAA would succeed and survive. While he was President and Chairman, the organization grew dramatically in size and scope. He oversaw the funding, design, and supervised the construction of the world-class EAA museum that has no peers. He initiated the Young Eagles program, the world’s most successful program for introducing young people to aviation. He spent years developing the Sport Pilot license and the FAA-LSA category, and he preserved the 51% rule governing EAB aircraft. Finally, he was an extraordinarily effective fundraiser who brought many able and influential people into the EAA fold.

A more complete list of Tom’s accomplishments can be seen at You might find some surprises on that list.

The movement’s announcement was signed by:

David Gustafson (EAA 73537), Dick VanGrunsven (EAA 3204), Jim Irwin  (EAA 209874 ), Dale Klapmeier (EAA 271667), Frank Christensen (EAA 36663), Burt Rutan (EAA 26032), Bob Hoover (EAA 21285), Michael Herman (EAA 264039), Mike Heuer (EAA 2562), Nicolas Chabbert (EAA 384951), Richard Sugden (EAA 368843), Jim Koepnick (EAA 222987 ), Ron Scott (EAA 13464), John Roncz (EAA  112811), Brent Blue (EAA 377214), Brian Becker (EAA 96430), Mike Melvil (EAA 53387), Jeremy Monnett (EAA 590707).

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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