By Jack Elliot
The annual New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame induction dinner was held on May 3.
Four outstanding aviators were inducted.
Fred Feldman, the first traffic helicopter reporter on the east coast, was inducted posthumously. His niece, Sue Yanitelli, received the Hall of Fame plaque in his honor. Feldman, who had served as a jet pilot and helicopter pilot in the Air Force for seven years, was the first helicopter traffic reporter in New York City and the second in the nation. The first was Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960. He reported traffic for a Los Angeles station. Feldman, a traffic reporter for 16 years who worked for KWOR in New York, died on Oct. 17, 1996 at the age of 63.
Oliver Le Boutillier, also honored posthumously, was New Jersey’s first flying ace. From Montclair, N.J., he began flying for the Royal Air Force prior to the United States’ official involvement in World War I.
Barry Schiff, born in New Brunswick, N.J., who had planned to but wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, has logged over 26,000 hours of flight time in 259 types of aircraft. He is an active aviation writer and a former TWA pilot who now lives in California.
Harry Hamlen was the editor and publisher of Air-List-Ads aviation magazine for 33 years. He served as the director of the Aviation Advisory Council of New Jersey for four years and was responsible for saving what is now Essex County Airport from closure and redevelopment.
Pat Reilly, executive vice president of the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey, presented the Distinguished Service Medal to former New Jersey Assemblyman Nicholas R. Felice. Felice got the 29-year-old Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum a state grant of $75,000 last year, its first grant from the state in its history.