Poberezny at the Sun 'n Fun airshow in 2004
|Born||October 3, 1946|
|Alma mater||Northwestern University|
|Known for||Former Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) president, Eagles Aerobatic Team pilot, Young Eagles co-founder|
|Board member of||Garmin, AKIA, Cirrus Aircraft, Citation Jet Pilots Association, Angel Flight West|
|Parent(s)||Audrey and Paul Poberezny|
Thomas Paul Poberezny (born October 3, 1946) is a retired American aerobatic world champion, as well as chairman of the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Fly-In and Convention from 1977 to 2011 and president of EAA from 1989 to 2010. He succeeded his father, Paul Poberezny, who founded the organization in 1953.
Poberezny was a member of the Eagles Aerobatic Team (originally the Red Devils), which was formed in 1971 and flew for more than 25 years, setting the record for the longest-running aerobatic team with the same members. He led the effort to build what is now known as the EAA Aviation Museum, opened in 1983, and is a co-founder of the Young Eagles, an EAA program created in 1992 to give children the opportunity to experience flight and to learn about general aviation.From his involvement in the EAA, Poberezny is often credited with having led the introduction of the light sport aircraft category in 2004. In 2016, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
Tom Poberezny was surrounded by aviation from the very early stages of his life. Because of his father's early key involvement with EAA, the basement of Tom's childhood home in Hales Corners, Wisconsin was considered "the regional social center of [aircraft] homebuilding."Poberezny graduated from Northwestern University in 1970 with a degree in industrial engineering, and became preoccupied with aviation soon after. He joined the US National Unlimited Aerobatic Team and was part of the team that won the World Championship in 1972 at Salon, France. In 1973, he won the individual US National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship.
In 1971, Poberezny, Charlie Hillard, and Gene Soucy formed the aerobatic team The Red Devils (soon renamed the Eagles Aerobatic Team) and went on to perform at airshows until the Daytona Skyfest in 1995.This makes the Eagles the longest-performing aerobatic team in the world with one group of members. Poberezny also appeared as a pilot in the movie Cloud Dancer in 1980.
He was appointed to chairman of the EAA Convention and Fly-In (now known as AirVenture) in 1977. This annual event takes place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and attracts over 750,000 visitors with 10,000 aircraft from 68 countries, making it the world's largest aviation gathering.Much of the convention's subsequent growth occurred under the leadership of Tom. In the late 1970s, he led the campaign to build the present-day EAA Aviation Museum at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, which officially opened in 1983.
In 1989, Poberezny was elected president of the Experimental Aircraft Association.EAA promotes the hobby of building and flying small aircraft and has over 180,000 members worldwide. In 1992 he led the creation of the Young Eagles program, which introduces young people to aviation. The goal of giving one million kids a ride in an aircraft was met in October 2003; and in July 2016, the two millionth Young Eagle was flown by actor and former chairman of the organization, Harrison Ford.
Poberezny was a member of the Centennial of Flight Commission,a six-person board created by Congress in 1999 to coordinate the nation's celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' 1903 historic first flight.
Poberezny has also promoted the EAA's role in the light-sport aircraft category, bringing new opportunities for people to learn to fly or keep flying.
In March 2009, Paul Poberezny stepped down as chairman of EAA and Tom Poberezny took on these duties as well, with Rod Hightower as president and CEO from September 7, 2010. Tom Poberezny retained the positions of chairman of both EAA and AirVenture.
On July 26, 2011, Tom Poberezny and the EAA announced that he would be retiring from EAA effective August 1, 2011. The president and CEO, Rod Hightower, would assume Poberezny's duties until a replacement was found.However, on 22 October 2012, Hightower resigned as president and CEO of EAA, and on the same day, Jack J. Pelton was elected chairman of the EAA board of directors. He issued a press announcement saying that he would assume all leadership duties of the organization until suitable replacements could be named.
Poberezny currently serves on the boards of several aviation organizations, including the Board of Directors for Garmin International and the Advisory Boards of Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA), Cirrus Aircraft, Citation Jet Pilots Association, and Angel Flight West.
Poberezny was inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame in October 1996.He was also awarded the Distinguished Wisconsin Aviator Award in May 2007. Past recipients of this award include astronaut Mark C. Lee, Major General Albert Wilkening, Major General Fred R. Sloan, and astronaut Jim Lovell. In 2011, Poberezny was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
In early 2013, Poberezny received the prestigious Living Legend of Aviation award at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.Later that year, a campaign and website was launched dedicated to honoring Poberezny and his accomplishments during the 20 years he led EAA. The website also included a Roster of Support for others to add to the cause. Notable proponents behind the effort consisted of aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, Cirrus Aircraft CEO and Co-founder Dale Klapmeier, and retired test, fighter and air show pilot Bob Hoover.
Tom Poberezny was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame on 1 October 2016 in Dayton, Ohio, making him and Paul Poberezny (1999 inductee) the first father and son duo to be honored by the Hall.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an annual air show and gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport and adjacent Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. The southern part of the show grounds, as well as Camp Scholler, are located in the town of Nekimi and a base on for seaplanes arrivals on Lake Winnebago is in Black Wolf. The airshow is arranged by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an international general aviation organization based in Oshkosh, and is the largest of its kind in the world. The show lasts a week, usually beginning on the Monday of the last full week in July. During the gathering, the airport's control tower, frequency 118.5, is the busiest in the world.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is an international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. Since its inception it has grown internationally with over 200,000 members and nearly 1,000 chapters worldwide, and hosts the largest aviation gathering of its kind in the world, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Patty Wagstaff is an American aviator and U.S. national aerobatic champion.
Robert Anderson "Bob" Hoover was an American fighter pilot, test pilot, flight instructor, and record-setting air show aviator.
Paul Howard Poberezny was an American aviator, entrepreneur, and aircraft designer. He founded the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in 1953, and spent the greater part of his life promoting homebuilt aircraft.
Young Eagles is a program created by the US Experimental Aircraft Association designed to give children between the ages of 8 to 17 an opportunity to experience flight in a general aviation airplane while educating them about aviation. The program is offered free of charge with costs covered by the volunteers. It was launched in 1992 and, by 2016, has flown more than 2 million children in 90 countries. The program's presenting sponsors are Phillips 66 and Sporty's Pilot Shop.
Anthony W. "Tony" LeVier was an American air racer and test pilot for the Lockheed Corporation from the 1940s to the 1970s.
The EAA Aviation Museum, formerly the EAA AirVenture Museum, is a museum dedicated to the preservation and display of historic and experimental aircraft as well as antiques, classics, and warbirds. The museum is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, adjacent to Wittman Regional Airport, home of the museum's sponsoring organization, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the organization's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event that takes place in late July/early August.
Charlie Kulp, a.k.a. the "Flying Farmer", is a retired aerobatic pilot. He has performed a comedy aerobatic routine every Sunday at the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Virginia for 34 years.
Sylvester Joseph "Steve" Wittman was an air-racer and aircraft designer and builder.
Sean Doherty Tucker is an American aerobatic aviator who is sponsored by the Oracle Corporation and performs in air shows worldwide as "Team Oracle". Tucker has won numerous air show championship competitions throughout his career and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2008. He has led several efforts to assist youth in learning to fly or becoming involved in general aviation, and currently serves as co-chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)'s Young Eagles program.
The Christen Eagle II, which later became the Aviat Eagle II in the mid-1990s, is an aerobatic sporting biplane aircraft that has been produced in the United States since the late 1970s.
Jack J. Pelton is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the former CEO of the Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Inc. Before becoming Cessna's CEO in 2004, Pelton was its Senior Vice President of Engineering. Prior to joining Textron in 2000, he was Senior Vice President of Engineering and Programs at Fairchild Dornier, and previous to this, worked at McDonnell Douglas for over two decades.
Charlie Hillard was an American aerobatics pilot, and the first American to win the world aerobatics title.
Gene Soucy is an American aerobatics pilot. The son of 2 pilots, he would wash airplanes at a local airport in exchange for flight time while growing up in Kentucky. He soloed in a glider at age 14, and in a regular airplane at 16.
Aviation in Wisconsin refers to the aviation industry of the American Midwestern state of Wisconsin.
Ladislao Pazmany was an aviation pioneer, aeronautical engineer, designer, builder, pilot, teacher, speaker, and author. Born a Hungarian, Pazmany grew up, went to school and worked in his formative years in Argentina, then immigrated to the United States where he lived for the remainder of his life.
Richard E. "Dick" VanGrunsven is an American aircraft designer and kit plane manufacturer. The number of VanGrunsven-designed homebuilt aircraft produced each year in North America exceeds the combined production of all commercial general aviation companies.
The Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) is an American aviation advocacy association that was formed in July 2012 and formally constituted at AirVenture 2012.
The Klapmeier brothers, Alan Lee Klapmeier and Dale Edward Klapmeier, are American aircraft designers and aviation entrepreneurs who together founded the Cirrus Design Corporation in 1984. Under the leadership of the Klapmeiers, Cirrus was the first aircraft manufacturer to install a whole-plane parachute recovery system as a standard on all its models—designed to lower the airplane safely to the ground in case of an emergency. The device is attributed with saving over 200 lives to date. From the brothers' use of all-composite airframe construction and glass panel cockpits on production aircraft, Cirrus is known for having revolutionized general aviation for modern light aircraft pilots.