EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame
The history of aviation is marked by men and women who possessed the passion, leadership, and can-do spirit to ignore the known limits of possibility.
The EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame was established to honor the outstanding achievements of men and women who share the spirit of EAA's founder: a passion for the freedom that flight offers. Those inducted into the Hall of Fame are selected by their peers for the myriad of contributions made to their particular realm of flight - and aviation as a whole.
Bringing together EAA's Boards of Directors, Divisions, Affiliates, and Councils, the Hall of Fame is a tribute to the pioneering spirit and innovation that has marked the evolution of flight, a spirit that is nurtured and promoted throughout EAA's membership. The event also reunites past honorees to celebrate their collected achievements.
An active EAA member since 1956, Wes Schmid was involved in the preparation of Experimenter and redesigning EAA Sport Aviation magazine in 1958. He also prepared EAA's advertising programs and developed a variety of special publications such as data books, how-to manuals, brochures, and other educational and promotional materials.
In 1959, Paul Poberezny appointed Wes to the position of forums chairman, which he held until 2009. During those years, the forums grew from the one tent at the Rockford, Illinois, fly-in convention to the 11 buildings currently used at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He continues to volunteer with the forums operations to this day.
Wes had been a member of the EAA board of directors for 33 years, serving as the association's secretary. He is co-author of the Golden Age of Air Racing, which has been considered the "bible" for pre-World War II air racing fans.
FAA ATP-rated pilot Preston S. (Pete) Parish began his aviation career with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, where he worked his way up to the rank of major. Pete successfully completed his flight-training syllabus but was released from active duty before receiving official designation as a naval aviator. In 1984, the U.S. Navy recognized its error and Pete received his Navy Wings of Gold.
After his military service, Pete initiated and set up the aviation department at the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He also served as chairman of the board of the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) from 1985 to 1987.
After purchasing an N2S Stearman, Pete became very involved with EAA Warbirds of America and was elected to the board of directors, later serving as Warbirds president from 1976 to 1980.
On May 19, 2012, Pete was inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of aviation.
When Giles Henderson began flying in 1959, the state of Montana did not have any aerobatic flight schools for formal aerobatic training, so he taught himself basic maneuvers from various World War II military flight manuals.
In 1968, Giles became a member of the Aerobatic Club of America (ACA) and flew in his first contest in Vandalia, Illinois, with his stock Piper Cub. He later served as president of ACA Chapter 61 and was a long-standing member of the IAC Sequence Committee.
After making slight modifications to his 65-hp Cub, Giles' first major victory was at the International Aerobatic Club's Sportsman championship in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in 1971. He then upgraded his Cub with a 90-hp engine and won the same championship again in 1975 against 51 other competitors.
Giles is the four-time recipient of the Soucy Award, which recognizes the pilot who achieves the highest percentage of possible points during a contest season.
Shortly after graduating from college, Clyde Smith Jr. began his lengthy career with Piper Aircraft, starting out as a draftsman in the engineering department while working toward his private pilot certificate.
Twenty years and several positions later, Clyde was appointed manager of the Cub Kit Program and created the PA-18 in kit form. In 1994, Clyde began doing fabric Piper restoration and maintenance courses that he still maintains to this day. Clyde also currently runs a custom sheet metal shop where he manufactures small parts for fabric Piper airplanes.
Clyde attended his first EAA convention in Rockford in 1969 and has attended every year since that time, hosting forums as well as conducting a series of how-to seminars for restoring Pipers and other vintage aircraft around the country. Known as the Cub Doctor, Clyde has helped many vintage airplane owners through the years.
Owner and founder of Icarus Engineering since 1971, Taras Kiceniuk Jr. has designed and built several ultralight gliders over the decades, a few of which broke world records and have been held in high honor.
In 1971, Taras created the Icarus II biplane glider that set the world duration flight record of one hour and 11 minutes. Two years later, his Icarus V set the world duration record for high-performance hang gliders at two hours and 30 minutes. Additionally, in 1975, Taras' Icarus HPA-1 became the first human-powered plane to make unassisted flights in the United States.
As the chief engineer on the Gossamer Albatross project for human-powered flight across the English Channel, Taras was awarded a medal in 1979 by England's Prince Charles for his work. More recently, Taras was project director for Reginator from 2007 to 2009 and demonstrated the first atmospheric energy-gathering flight on May 31, 2007.