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Tom Poberezny

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Title: Tom Poberezny  
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Subject: Experimental Aircraft Association, Paul Poberezny, Gene Soucy
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Tom Poberezny

Tom Poberezny
Born (1946-10-03) October 3, 1946 (age 67)
Nationality USA
Alma mater Northwestern University
Organization Experimental Aircraft Association
Known for EAA President, Eagles Aerobatic Team member
Parents Paul Poberezny

Tom Poberezny (born October 3, 1946), has been the Chairman of the annual Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In and Convention from 1977 to 2011, and president of EAA from 1989 to 2010. Tom succeeded his father Paul Poberezny who founded EAA in 1953.[1][2]

Poberezny graduated from Northwestern University and became interested in 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, Tom Poberezny, Charlie Hillard, and Gene Soucy formed the aerobatic team of The Red Devils (soon renamed the Eagles Aerobatic Team) and went on to perform at airshows until the Daytona Skyfest in 1995.[3][1] This makes the Eagles the longest-performing aerobatic team with one group of members.[4] Poberezny also appeared as a pilot in the movie Cloud Dancer in 1980.[5]

Tom Poberezny has been the chairman of the EAA Fly-In Convention (now known as the EAA AirVenture Fly-In) since 1977. This annual event takes place in Oshkosh, WI and attracts over 750,000 visitors with 10,000 aircraft from 68 countries. In the late 1970s, he led the campaign to build the present-day EAA AirVenture Museum at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI.[3]

In 1989 Tom Poberezny was elected president of the EAA.[6] EAA promotes the hobby of building and flying small aircraft and has 160,00 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.[3] Poberezny was a member of the Centennial of Flight Commission,[7] a six-person board created by Congress to coordinate the nation's celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' historic first flight.[1]

Poberezny has promoted the EAA's role in the light-sport aircraft category bringing new opportunities for people to learn to fly or keep flying.[8]

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.[9]

On July 26 2011, at a press conference, Poberezny and the EAA announced at AirVenture that Poberezny would be retiring from EAA effective August 1, 2011. Current President and CEO Rod Hightower would assume Poberezny's duties until a replacement was found.[10] However, on 22 October 2012, Hightower resigned as President and CEO of EAA, and on the same day, Jack J. Peltonj 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.[11]

Poberezny was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of Wisconsin in October 1996.[1] He was also awarded the Distinguished Wisconsin Aviator Award in May 2007. Past recipients of this award include astronaut Mark Lee, Major General Albert Wilkening, Major General Fred R Sloan, and astronaut Jim Lovell.[6]


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