There are several aviation-oriented organizations that use the facilities at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. Among them are the Experimental Aircraft Association, known as "EAA", the Ninety-Nines, or 99's, and the San Luis Obispo Pilots Association, known as "SLOPA".
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
EAA was started with the vision of Paul Poberezney in 1953. Thirty-six aviation enthusiasts met at Milwaukees Curtiss-Wright Field to discuss forming a club. The purpose of the club was to promote the construction of amateur or "home-built" aircraft. Today, EAA has grown from a handful of aviation enthusiasts to a 170,000 member international organization representing virtually every spectrum of recreational aviation. EAA's headquarters and museaum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin occupies a 150,000 square foot facility that annually hosts a fly-in including over 2,000 experimental, vintage and warbird aircraft and some 800,000 visitors. One of EAA's most important programs promotes and fosters interest in aviation by youngsters. It is called "Young Eagles". EAA member pilots take kids between the ages of 8 and 17 for rides in their aircraft. To date, over 600,000 kids have participated.
Chapter 170 of EAA, headquartered in San Luis Obispo, was organized in 1977 with 5 charter members. Today is has over 60 active member-pilots. These members continue to build and fly numerous types of experimental and vintage aircraft, as well as promoting the many aviation programs offered by EAA. Aircraft built by its members typically exhibit an exceptional level of quality and innovation.
If interested, contact Neal Koellish, President, EAA Chapter 170 at 544-5398.
The Ninety-Nines, Inc. is an international organization of more than 6500 certificated women pilots from 35 countries throughout the world. The Ninety-Nines are a nonprofit, charitable membership corporation holding 501(c)(3) US tax status with International Headquarters located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Although there are other female pilot organizations in various states and nations, most all women of achievement in aviation have been or are members of The Ninety-Nines.
The organization came into being November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. All 117 American female pilots at that time were invited to assemble for mutual support and the advancement of aviation. Louise Thaden was elected secretary and worked tirelessly to keep the group together as they struggled to organize and grow until 1931, when Amelia Earhart was elected as the first president. The group was named the Ninety-Nines for the original 99 charter members.
Today the Ninety-Nines are professional pilots for airlines, industry, military, NTSB investigators, astronauts, test pilots, FAA Flight Examiners, WASPS and aerobatics champions. Ninety-Nines are pilots who teach, pilots who fly for pleasure, and pilots who are technicians and mechanics. But first and foremost, the Ninety-Nines are women who love to fly and are dedicated to aviation.
The international mission of the Ninety-Nines is to promote world fellowship through flight; provide networking and scholarship opportunities for women; provide aviation education in the community and preserve the unique historical contribution that women have made to aviation.
The Ninety-Nines were the one and only original sponsor of the "Powder-Puff Derby," a transcontinental air race flown in stock aircraft which is now known as the "National Air Race Classic."
One of the many service activities provided by the Ninety-Nines, which they started many years ago, is "air-marking." This involves placement of city/airport names on airports, water towers, etc. as a visual aid to pilots. Air-markings are also placed on schools, hospitals or other buildings or areas to identify noise sensitive zones as an aid to noise abatement programs. These important tasks have aided many pilots in "finding" themselves as well as greatly contributed to maintaining aviation as "community friendly."
Other services and assistance provided by the Ninety-Nines includes:
"Amelia Earhart" Scholarships to aid women pilots in completion of vital flight training
school/educational tours of airports and aviation activities
Flying Companion Seminars
"Fear of Flying" Clinics and underwriting/sponsorship of FAA Aviation Safety Seminars.
The Ninety-Nines also own and maintain Amelia Earhart's home birthplace in Atchison, Kansas now a museum of honor for all women aviators.
The San Luis Obispo Chapter of the Ninety-Nines was officially founded on October 1, 1969 with an original charter of 16 members. Most of the local Ninety-Nine members are also veteran cross-country air racers. The SLO Chapter proudly sponsors an annual in-state cross-country race called the "SLO Derby."
Among the many services provided by the SLO Chapter of the Ninety-Nine's are:
"Airmarking" of the Los Ranchos School as a aid to overflight avoidance and noise abatement
Provision of the "Flyers Fall Dinner" fund raiser for a local Ninety-Nine scholarship
Conducting aviation media days to promote and support aviation
Serve and sponsor "SBP Airport Day"
Participate in "County Air Tour Days"
Provide annual financial/refreshment sponsorship for SLO Aviation Program Safety Seminars.
The local Chapter is rightfully proud of the heritage of the Ninety-Nines and works hard to continue it's legend of service, safety education and scholarship. Women pilots of all ages, ratings and qualifications including student pilots are encouraged to consider membership in the Ninety-Nines. It is a great way not only to promote and enhance professionalism and safety but also as an outstanding way to preserve and promote the unique and important history and contributions that all women aviators have contributed to the world of aviation.
For more information go to www.slo99s.org/
San Luis Obisop Pilots Association (SLOPA)
The San Luis Obispo Pilots Association (SLOPA) is a non-profit corporation formed in 1955 by San Luis Obispo County pilots to "promote, increase, and improve the enjoyment and benefits of aviation to its members and to the general public." The founders of SLOPA had the foresight to recognize that aviation must promote itself to the many people who are not pilots and who have not yet shared the wonder of flight. SLOPA's "Articles of Incorporation" state that involvement with aviation includes not only flying, but all phases of aviation including safety, airport issues, education, training, flight regulations, and the preservation of the framework that makes the freedom of flight possible.
SLOPA members work with the California Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Airport Land Use Commission, the Airport's Management, and the City and County governments to preserve aviation in San Luis Obispo County.
For more information, visit www.slopilots.org