EAA, Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-in Sign New Sponsorship Agreement to Begin in 2008

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (Sept. 4, 2008) - EAA and the Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In (MERFI), one of the nation's oldest recreational aviation events, have signed a new working agreement that brings higher visibility to the MERFI event and clearly defines EAA's role in the popular fly-in.

The agreement underscores the shared missions of MERFI, which is celebrating its 44th anniversary in 2008, and EAA, the 170,000-member international organization that is dedicated to the spirit of aviation. Under the agreement, EAA will provide extensive promotion and coverage of MERFI, and also serve as a major sponsor of aviation educational activities such as forums and workshops during the event, among other considerations.

"This agreement provides an outstanding framework to ensure the future success of MERFI, confirms its organizational independence and highlights EAA's support for grassroots aviation events throughout the country," said Adam Smith, EAA's vice president of membership. "We have set the stage for success in our shared missions, which is to promote recreational aviation in all its forms."

The two organizations had operated under a more informal agreement over the past 40 years, which did not provide specific definitions of each group's commitments and responsibilities. The new agreement, which is in place just in time for this year's MERFI on Sept. 6-7 at Urbana, Ohio, reflects the evolving aviation community in the 21st century.

"We very much appreciate that EAA is continuing to support our event through its sponsorship," said Pam Fonseca of the Mid-Eastern Fly-In Corporation, which organizes and administers the long-running event.

MERFI's organizers moved the fly-in to Grimes Field (I74) at Urbana this year, near both Columbus and Dayton, and the new location features plenty of room for aircraft camping and parking. Other features include a B-17 restoration shop, the Grimes Flying Lab Museum, youth activities, a morning pancake breakfast each day and an on-field café and restaurant. Among the forums and seminars scheduled include:

• Dave Burdick on the ongoing B-17 restoration at Grimes Field;

• Noted aircraft designers John Dyke and Jim Bede;

• Survival training with Mike Millard;

• Frank Drain and his B-17 trip to England earlier this year;

• Wittman Buttercup builder Earl Luce.

More information about MERFI, including admission prices, accommodations and schedule information as confirmed, is available at www.merfi.com.

MERFI is owned and operated by the Mid-Eastern Fly-In Corporation, an organization that is independent of EAA. EAA does not own or control any part of the event or organizing body.

EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world's most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA's 170,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org.