New Members Join EAA Board


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has announced that Heather Penney and Ben Diachun will be joining its board of directors. Penney, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flew F-16s for 10 years, has directed U.S. Air Force programs for Lockheed Martin and is now a senior resident fellow for the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies at the Air Force Association. On the civilian side, she has flown a Taylorcraft BC-12 coast-to-coast and raced jets at the Reno National Championship Air Races. Penney is best known for her mission to intercept United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

Diachun is president of Scaled Composites and part of the team that received the Collier trophy for the development of SpaceShipOne in 2005. He has a Master of Science in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. Diachun joined Scaled Composites in 2003. Before taking on his current role as president, he served as a design engineer, project engineer, flight test engineer, chase pilot, business development manager and vice president of engineering for the company. He has participated in projects including SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, GlobalFlyer and the Model 401 advanced research aircraft. Diachun is a commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

“We are grateful that Heather and Ben have accepted our invitations to join EAA’s board, whose members volunteer their time and expertise to lead our association as we pursue our mission of growing participation by sharing the spirit of aviation,” said EAA CEO Jack J. Pelton. “Their passion for flight and experience in the aviation community will help represent the wide spectrum of interests among the entire EAA membership.” Penney and Diachun were approved as Class III directors for EAA and will serve one-year renewable terms on the EAA board.