The Experimental Aircraft Association recently honored eight people who have contributed greatly to the world of flight. The newest members of the EAA-affiliated Halls of Fame were inducted on Friday, Oct. 21, during a banquet program at the EAA Aviation Center at Oshkosh, Wis. Those inducted were Robert Bushby, Patty Wagstaff, Steve Hinton, Kermit Weeks, Richard Knutson, Charlie Nelson, Larry Mauro and Howard Fried.
“Each of these people has made a unique contribution to the world of flight,” said EAA President Tom Poberezny. “Those of us active in aviation today recognize their commitment and passion for flying. These inductees represent the best that recreational aviation has to offer and serve as an example for everyone involved in flying.”
Nominees were considered for their contributions to the history, development and growth of a particular facet of sport aviation.
EAA Homebuilders’ Hall of Fame
Robert Bushby was inducted into the EAA Homebuilders’ Hall of Fame, founded in 1993.
Bushby, of Minooka, Ill., is a charter EAA member and is best known for his innovative designs of the Midget Mustang and Mustang II homebuilt aircraft.
He has attended every EAA fly-in convention since the first in 1953. He’s brought a homebuilt aircraft to the event for 33 straight years, and taught many aircraft builders the metal skills necessary to succeed.
International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame
Patty Wagstaff became the newest member of the International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame, founded in 1987.
Wagstaff, of St. Augustine, Fla., is one of the world’s top aerobatic competitors and performers. She’s the first woman to win the National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship, which she did three times, and a six-time member of the U.S. national team. She has also flown dazzling performances in air shows all over the world.
Warbirds of America Hall of Fame
Steve Hinton and Kermit Weeks joined those in the EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame, founded in 1995.
Hinton, of Newport Beach, Calif., has logged more than 9,500 flight hours in 120 different aircraft types. He’s been a world speed record holder, national air race champion, motion picture pilot and air show performer. He’s currently president of the Planes of Fame museums in California and Arizona, and owns Fighter Rebuilders, a restoration service.
Weeks, of Polk City, Fla. built his first aircraft at age 16 and soon began flying competition aerobatics, eventually winning two national championships. He began buying and restoring warbirds in his 20s and eventually founded the Weeks Air Museum near Miami. In 1995, he opened Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fla., featuring many rare warbird aircraft.
Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame
Richard Knutson and Charlie Nelson join the Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame, created in 1993.
Knutson, of Lodi, Wis., has been involved in aviation and aircraft restoration for more than 50 years. He’s been involved as a judge at both EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and the “Sentimental Journey” Piper aircraft gathering at Lock Haven, Pa. He’s also been a longtime advocate of welcoming youth into aviation and offering flights to young people.
Nelson, of Athens, Tenn., is best known for his association with the Swift aircraft, beginning in the 1960s and continuing today through his efforts with the Swift Museum Foundation. His work has allowed the preservation and restoration of countless Swift airplanes, as well as hopes for a new aircraft based on the venerable Swift design.
Ultralight Hall of Fame
The EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame, founded in 1999, inducted Larry Mauro.
Mauro, of Mulberry, Fla., wasn’t a pilot when he pitched in five dollars to buy an Icarus II glider in 1972. He soon was hooked on flying, though, and shortly thereafter started the Ultralight Flying Machine Company. His designs include such pioneering ultralights as the Demoiselle, Solar Riser and Easy Riser.
National Association of Flight Instructors Hall of Fame
The National Association of Flight Instructors Hall of Fame inducted its first member in 1997 and welcomed Howard Fried this year.
Fried, of Albuquerque, N.M., has logged about 40,000 flight hours in over 60 years of flying. A lifelong crusader for aviation safety and proficiency, he was one of the first FAA designated examiners, in 1978, and conducted more than 4,000 check flights. Fried has also written numerous books and articles, sharing his insight to flight safety.