Beyond my Parents The Experimental Aircraft Association EAA has been the major force that has shaped my life and Career.
I grew up in a Non Aviation Family, the closest thing ether side of the family came to aircraft was my Grandfather Kennith on my Moms side. Earlier in his Career he worked for solar aircraft company in Iowa, later he worked for the facilities department at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver.
For someone growing up as I did the EAA is the practical gateway into Aviation, all other avenues are barriers.
In the USA our ability to build our own aircraft Today is thanks to the diligent efforts of the EAA founded and lead for many decades by the Poberezny’s
With out all they have done Building your own plane in your garage would be highly illegal, with no hope of official authorization to fly.
Politically Home built aircraft are under threat from government agency’s, special interest & world events, in this kind of environment you need the 800 lbs gorilla that has your back.
Case in point all the recent purposed Drone restrictions, a similar origination to the EAA called the AMA for Radio Control aircraft has spent considerable lobbying / public relations resources to hold back the flood gates of over regulation that would severely cripple the hobby / industry that serves as a common inspirational source for the next generation of Pilots & Engineers.