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EAA Halls of Fame Induct 10 New Members on Oct. 27

 

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (October 11, 2006) — Ten people who have contributed greatly to the world of flight are being honored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) as the newest members of the EAA-affiliated Halls of Fame. The group will be inducted on Friday, Oct. 27, during a banquet program at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis.

Edgar Lesher and B.J. Schramm will be inducted into the EAA Homebuilders' Hall of Fame; Gene Soucy is the newest member of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) Hall of Fame, while Jack Harrington and Daryl Lenz join those in the EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame. In addition, Charles W. Harris joins the Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame, while the EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame inducts Bob Lovejoy and Volmer Jensen, and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Hall of Fame welcomes Al Passell and Ralph Nelson. Lesher, Schramm, Lenz, Lovejoy, Jensen and Nelson are posthumous selections.

"Each of these 10 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. We are honored to welcome them as our newest inductees to the EAA Halls of Fame."

A limited number of tickets remain for the dinner and program, which also features Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn as main speaker. Tickets are priced at $50 each, with banquet tables and supporter levels also available. Contact Matt Miller at EAA (920-426-6886 or mmiller@eaa.org) for ticket reservations.

Members of EAA, NAFI and EAA Divisions nominated the inductees. The final selection was made by selection committees within each group. Nominees were considered for their contributions to the history, development and growth of a particular facet of sport aviation. The IAC Hall of Fame was founded in 1987, while the Homebuilders' Hall of Fame was founded in 1993 and the Warbirds of America Hall of Fame in 1995. The Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame was created in 1993, while 1999 was the inaugural year for the Ultralight Hall of Fame and 1997 the first induction for the Flight Instructors Hall of Fame.

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. EAA AirVenture information is also available through the World Wide Web at www.airventure.org.

EAA HALLS OF FAME 2006 INDUCTEES

HOMEBUILDERS' HALL OF FAME
B.J. Schramm: Schramm was the founder of RotorWay Aircraft, and creator of the Scorpion and Executive kit helicopters. The Scorpion became the first successful kit helicopter, incorporating affordability and simplicity. In 1980, Schramm unveiled the Rotorway Executive, a reliable helicopter as an achievable goal for the homebuilder. Schramm was very active in the homebuilding community until his death in 2004.
Edgar Lesher: Lesher (EAA #4077), a longtime member of EAA Chapter 113 who died in 1998, was a distinguished aviation teacher and engineer. He joined the University of Michigan's Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1942. Edgar's Teal made numerous world-record-setting flights for speed, and won many awards. His dedicated service as an educator and engineer advanced the science of aircraft design.

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
Charles W. Harris: Harris (EAA #96978) has been excited about aviation since 1930 after his first airplane ride at age three in his father's Travel Air 2000. A lifetime EAA member, Charlie has led Oklahoma aviation activities for decades. He co-founded the National Biplane Association and serves as its Chairman, along with that of the Biplane Expo.

INTERNATIONAL AEROBATIC CLUB HALL OF FAME
Gene Soucy: At age 20, Soucy (EAA #49266) earned a berth as the youngest competitor on the 1970 U.S. Aerobatic Team, placing sixth overall as the U.S. secured its first World Aerobatic Championship. Gene was one of the original "Red Devils" with Aerobatics Hall of Fame members Bob Heuer and Marion Cole, and later, Charlie Hillard and Tom Poberezny. That trio later became The Eagles Aerobatic Team. In 41 aerobatic competitions, Soucy placed in the top three 32 times, including 20 first places.

ULTRALIGHT HALL OF FAME
Volmer Jensen: Jensen (EAA #146198), designer of the Volmer VJ-22 Sportsman, was involved in hang gliding as early as 1925 and again in the 1970s. Appalled by the number of fatal accidents, he was motivated to provide aerodynamically and structurally safer aircraft. Volmer operated the Production Models Shop in Glendale, California, with his most famous product being the model of the Starship Enterprise used in the TV series and in full-length movies. Volmer was inducted into EAA Homebuilders' Hall of Fame in 1996.
Bob Lovejoy: Lovejoy (EAA #79097) created the Quicksilver rigid wing glider in 1972. Unlike other designs of the time, it was designed to have a tail and its wings were a more conventional "Hershey bar" shape. In its day, the Quicksilver hang glider developed a huge following among so-called "rigid wing" enthusiasts. The design evolved into the powered Quicksilver ultralight, several models which continue to be popular today.

WARBIRDS HALL OF FAME
Jack Harrington: Harrington (EAA #266182), current EAA Warbirds of America Board member and past President, began serving the organization in 1992. His expertise in the government affairs arena has helped establish a solid working relationship with the FAA. Jack was Warbirds president from 1996-2000. He also serves on the EAA Board of Directors and is a founding member of the EAA Legal Advisory Council.
Daryl Lenz: Lenz (EAA #125926), who was killed in an automobile accident in early 2006, was the former EAA director of aircraft maintenance and a strong supporter of the warbird movement. His work helped thousands of people experience the sights and sounds of WWII aviation through EAA's B-17, Aluminum Overcast. His work also included organizing and operating AeroShell Square, the center of activity at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR HALL OF FAME
Al Passell: Among the most prolific Pilot Examiners of all time, Passell was renowned in flight training circles in the central United States beginning in the 1960s. In the classroom and in the cockpit, his concise lessons remain etched in the minds of countless aviators, from local pilots to airline captains.
Ralph Nelson: Nelson (NAFI #4), a founder of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), had accumulated more than 10,000 hours in his logbook by the time he passed away in 2006. A safety crusader and innovative leader, he created and promoted A.M. Aviation Weather on public television as well as AOPA's Weekend Ground School. He also served as leader of the Aviation Safety Foundation and Flight Safety Foundation for nearly two decades. His lasting legacies include the creation of General Aviation Awards program and the Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year award.

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