EAA AirVenture 2008 to Recognize 30,000th Homebuilt Aircraft

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (May 6, 2008) - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," will be recognizing many important aviation achievements when the 56th annual edition of the event takes place July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. One major activity, though, involves a big number: Recognizing 30,000 homebuilt aircraft currently registered in the United States.

During EAA AirVenture, one newly finished homebuilt aircraft flown to Oshkosh will be recognized as the honorary 30,000th homebuilt aircraft. The owner of that aircraft will be honored as the representative of the worldwide homebuilt aircraft community during the event.

"Right now we are at about 29,800 certificated homebuilts in the U.S., continuing the steady growth in the homebuilt movement in this country and worldwide," said Charlie Becker, EAA director of member programs. "We checked with the FAA and it is impossible to determine exactly which aircraft will be the 30,000th. This is a huge milestone for the homebuilt movement that EAA could not let go by unnoticed, so we've created another way to recognize this major achievement as a focal point of our celebration."

To be eligible, a homebuilt aircraft must be:

• Flown to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008

• Completed certification in the amateur-built category in 2008

• Registered at Homebuilder's Headquarters no later than Tuesday, July 29

• Owner must be present at AirVenture on Wednesday and Thursday (July 30-31)

The honorary 30,000th homebuilt will be selected on Tuesday evening via random drawing from among the eligible aircraft. Among the special events surrounding the honorary 30,000th homebuilt aircraft are:

• A special display will showcase the honorary aircraft on AeroShell Square on Wednesday and Thursday.

• Owner will accept a special award on behalf of all homebuilders from the FAA

• Aircraft and owner will be honored at the annual Homebuilders Dinner on Thursday evening, July 31.

This year's commemorative "I Flew My Homebuilt" patch, which is given to all attending homebuilders who fly to AirVenture, will recognize this milestone. The patch features a Hatz Biplane in recognition of that model's 40th anniversary, along with the special tribute, "30,000 & Climbing."

The homebuilt aircraft community continues its steadily growth, with about 1,000 new aircraft registered in the U.S. each year. These aircraft now account for about one-fifth of the nation's total single-engine, piston-powered aircraft fleet.

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket purchase, is available through the World Wide Web at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org.