AKIA Covers Lengthy Agenda with EAA

Members of the Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) sat down recently with senior staff at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, WI to discuss a variety of issues affecting both organizations. With EAA planning to honor the memory of founder Paul Poberezny at next year's AirVenture, all items relating to homebuilt aircraft met with enthusiastic response.

Both organizations support the One Week Wonder project in which EAA will invite the public to experience hands on participation in the construction of a Zenith CH 750 at AirVenture 2014. Construction of the aircraft will be completed in one week, providing people with an opportunity to see how much fun and excitement is involved in building an aircraft.

EAA will be making changes to the area and activities in the north display area (where most kit makers display their aircraft) and the buildings just to the south of that area. AKIA is charged with coming up with an appropriate name for the display space.

Reflecting on a consensus of their membership, AKIA requested that EAA shorten AirVenture by one day, since the field is virtually deserted on Sunday. They also suggested having an "AKIA Day" at AirVenture, which EAA enthusiastically embraced, and will begin working on an outline for appropriate activities.

Jack Pelton (left), Rick Larsen, Sean Elliott, Dick VanGrunsven, Jeremy Monnett, Charlie Becker, and John Monnett explored a wide range of issues affecting EAA and AKIA. (EAA photo)


AKIA will be providing EAA with a list of manufacturers' representatives who will each spend time at Interview Circle during the week discussing the kits they have designed and are currently manufacturing. EAA was asked to provide AKIA members with a new exhibits liaison to assist with AirVenture issues before, during and after the convention. AKIA also stated concern about Sport Aviation magazine and their desire to see more articles about homebuilding which for decades was the core activity of EAA.

Dick VanGrunsven, CEO of Vans Aircraft and President of AKIA, expressed a wish for support and involvement with aircraft building projects for teens. He explained the benefits of involving young people in kit building which are extensive. There was also candid discussion about Transition Training Instructors, LODAs, the Type Club Coalition and encouraging Angle of Attack Systems for homebuilts.
"The meeting was very positive and productive," said VanGrunsven. "We covered many subjects. I found the people at EAA to be very understanding about the importance of the kit and homebuilt aircraft industry. AKIA looks forward to working closely with EAA to further our many mutual interests."

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, 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 a Subsonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

One Reply to “AKIA Covers Lengthy Agenda with EAA”

  1. To be honest, even having to have a meeting about this is ridiculous! The EAA was, is and should always be about the home builder....they shouldn't have to be reminded about it. I'm more interested in what they are doing to drive more folks into aviation, period. I know of no one who is even wanting to be a pilot these days, the FAA is brutal, plane prices(especially LSA's, and the above folks are partially to blame for this!!)are off the charts, and have kept this a club for rich retirees(no one in the above group is under 40...and that's too old!!). I'm 48 myself and cant see a way in...I'm not rich enough. I really want to do this, be a pilot, but I honestly can't see this in my lifetime, much less my future. Sorry for the reality check, folks, but that's the truth.

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