The founding members recognized that the heritage of EAA goes far beyond its aeronautical elements. It was their beliefs that inspired a heritage of self-help, inspiration, education, high standards and social interaction.
It was their actions that guided what EAA is today:
- Paul and Audrey Poberezny and the founding members insisted that homebuilt aircraft design was engineered to be as safe as possible. Today, over 20% of the general aviation's fleet are homebuilts.
- They worked in collaboration with the government to make aviation more accessible. Over the years, that commitment to accessibility and affordability of general aviation led to the dramatic increase of Sport Pilot enthusiasts.
- All were welcomed to join and participate, no matter their gender or ethnic background. Currently, EAA members represent 105 countries around the world and over 1000 local chapters.
- From the very first fly-in, Paul set the standard that litter was unacceptable on the fly-in grounds. To this day, AirVenture is one of the, if not the, cleanest conventions in the world.
- Our founders encouraged and supported youth's interests in aviation, starting programs in schools that helped young people experience the challenge and motivation of working with "hand and mind." Since then, EAA and thousands of volunteers have continued EAA's strong commitment to young people with the launch of such programs at the Young Eagles. Since 1992, more than 1.3 million young people have been touched by this program, delivered in the field by over 40,000 volunteer pilots.