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EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame

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EAA Hall of Fame Inductees

2009 Inductees

2008 Video Bios
Bill Pancake
John W. Dyke
William B. "Bill" Finagin
Mike Loehle
Connie Bowlin
Joan E. Mace
Charles "Don" Fairbanks
View the photo gallery of the 2008 EAA Hall of Fame ceremonies.

The history of aviation is marked by men and women who possessed the passion, the leadership and the 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.

Honoring EAA’s 2010 Hall of Fame Inductees
EAA will welcome and honor five new members to its Halls of Fame on October 29, 2010. All EAA members are invited to attend the induction ceremony and dinner that evening in the EAA AirVenture Museum. Order tickets online or call 800-236-1025.

Representing Ultralights, International Aerobatic Club, Vintage Aircraft Association, Warbirds of America, and Homebuilders, these inductees capture the spirit of EAA and its community.

John Ballantyne
EAA Ultralights Hall of Fame
John BallantyneJohn Ballantyne, United States ultralight instructor registration No. 1, is a commercial pilot and certificated flight instructor for gliders. He is the only recipient of FAA commercial and flight instructor certificates in trike aircraft, and is a United States Hang Gliding Association-rated master hang glider pilot. John founded the United States Ultralight Association and served as its president and chief operating officer from 1985 to 2000.

In 2000, John was recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale CIMA Commission for 27 years as a pre-eminent leader in America for the ultralight and microlight sport. In 1996, he received the Moody Award, the United States Ultralight Association’s highest honor, for outstanding contributions to American ultralight aviation.

Jimmy Franklin
International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame
Jimmy FranklinJimmy Franklin, who flew in air shows for more than 30 years, learned to fly as a toddler sitting on his father’s lap. He attended his first air show when he was 12 and at age 19, Jimmy bought  a 1940 Waco UPF-7 and started performing. He made a name for himself with aggressive aerobatic maneuvers such as the world’s lowest inverted ribbon pick-up.
Over the years, Jimmy introduced many unique acts to the air show industry and appeared in countless movies and television shows. In 1989, he received the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, and in 1999, he received his second Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award.

In 2005, Jimmy and his performing partner, Bobby Younkin, perished in a mid-air collision while performing at the Saskatchewan Centennial Air Show at Moose Jaw, Canada.

Morton Lester
Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame
Morton LesterMorton Lester learned to fly from his father, the owner of Martinsville, Virginia’s first airport. Over the years, he owned many aircraft, ranging from modern Bonanzas to vintage Wacos. Morton has played a vital role in the recovery and restoration of many aircraft, including a pair of one-of-a-kind racing planes, the Crosby CR-4, and the Keith Rider Jackrabbit, both of which were donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum.

Instrumental in the creation of the Virginia Aviation Museum, Morton was an early member of EAA/VAA Chapter 3 and has served as its president several times. He also served on the board of directors for what is now the Vintage Aircraft Association, as well as the board of directors of the EAA Aviation Foundation. 

Harold D. “Hal” Weekley
Warbirds of America Hall of Fame
Hal WeekleyHarold D. “Hal” Weekley began flight training in 1936. In fall 1942, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Air Forces. A year later, Hal graduated from flight school as an Army Air Forces pilot and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. In 1944, he went to England and flew 20 combat missions. On his last mission he was shot down by flak. After bailing out at 20,000 feet, he successfully evaded capture for several weeks, hidden by the local French people.

Hal also trained jet instructor pilots during both the Korean and Vietnam wars. After retirement from the Air Force he worked with the FAA for 14 years. He has amassed more than 20,000 hours in 97 different types and his certificates include airline transport pilot and airplane multiengine land with type ratings in the DC-9, B-727, and CV-240/340/440. Hal served for many years as a volunteer pilot on EAA’s B-17 Flying Fortress, “Aluminum Overcast.”

EAA and Warbirds of America mourn the recent loss of Col. Weekley who died on September 22, 2010.  His generous spirit and numerous aviation contributions will remain with us.

Dean Wilson
EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame
 Dean WilsonIn 1953, Dean Wilson purchased his first aircraft, a 1937 40-hp Model A Taylorcraft. The next year, he built and flew a hang glider from plans in a 1913 Popular Mechanics article called “How to Build a Glider for $10.” Dean’s homebuilt airplane experiences started when he converted 1934 UMF Waco into a spray plane. He went on to design and put into production a type-certificated biplane sprayer, the Eagle ag plane.

In the 1970s, Dean bought and restored 43 different aircraft. In 1983, he designed and put into production the Avid Flyer kit airplane, and later built the twin-engine Explorer and the single-engine Private Explorer, which went into production in Canada.

This year, with the help of local EAA Chapter 328 members, he is building a replica of a 1909 Herring Curtiss Pusher.

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