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Vern Raburn To Speak At EAA Hall Of Fame Induction Event

 

Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn
Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn

October 5, 2006 — Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn will be the featured speaker at EAA's annual Sport Aviation Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner to be held Friday, October 27, at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The event is open to the public.

After announcing provisional FAA certification for its revolutionary 500 Jet at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last July, Eclipse Aviation recently achieved full FAA Type Certification for the aircraft, which ignited the Very Light Jet movement. The company aims to fundamentally change the transportation market by providing an affordable alternative to the traditional hub-and-spoke system and operating among the more than 10,000 landing facilities throughout the U.S. Since literally creating a new aircraft category, Eclipse has amassed a 2,500-order backlog and plans to begin first deliveries shortly.

Ten people will be inducted into the six EAA halls of fame, recognizing their incredible achievements as aviation innovators, engineers, entrepreneurs and adventurers.

The ceremony will also honor Fred and Carol Stadler, this year's recipients of the Henry H. Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award. The award recognizes exceptional volunteer commitment and leadership in the local area

Cost for the evening is $50 per person, which includes sit-down dinner service and a commemorative wine glass. Those wishing to attend the gala event should contact Matt Miller at EAA, 920-426-6886, or mmiller@eaa.org.

2006 EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees

National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Hall of Fame

Al Passell
Among the most prolific Pilot Examiners of all time, Al Passell dominated flight training in the central United States from the 1960s onward. 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
Ralph Nelson (NAFI #4), founding father and Vice President Emeritus 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. One of his lasting legacies is the General Aviation Awards program and the Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year award.

EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame

Jack Harrington
Jack Harrington (EAA #266182), current EAA Warbirds of America Board member and past President, began serving the organization in 1992. He currently serves on the Warbirds Executive, Nominating, and Government Affairs committees. His expertise in the government affairs arena has helped establish a solid working relationship with the FAA. Jack served two terms as Warbirds president from 1996-2000. Jack also serves on the EAA Board of Directors and is a founding member of the EAA Legal Advisory Council.

Daryl Lenz
Daryl Lenz (EAA #125926), former EAA director of aircraft maintenance, was 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. Tragically killed in an automobile accident this year, he was immortalized on the closing day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006 when the AeroShell Square operations building was renamed the Daryl Lenz Center.

Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame

Charles W. Harris
Charles W. 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 thirty year member of all of EAA's Divisions and a lifetime EAA member, Charlie has been involved in leading Oklahoma aviation activities for decades. He co-founded the National Biplane Association and serves as its Chairman, along with that of the Biplane Expo. Charlie was elected to the Vintage Board in 1988 and currently serves the Division as Treasurer and Chairman of the Executive Committee.

EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame

Bob Lovejoy
Bob 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. Unlike many of its contemporaries, the Quicksilver was designed from the outset to have a tail, and so it was a natural conversion into a relatively conventional looking ultralight. That design became so popular it outsold Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft combined and has since earned the moniker, "The Cessna of the Ultralight Industry."

Volmer Jensen
Volmer Jensen (EAA #146198), designer of the Volmer VJ-22 Sportsman, spent most of his life on the west coast and was involved in hang gliding as early as 1925 and again in the 1970s. Appalled by the number of fatal accidents, he was motivated by a desire 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 the EAA Homebuilder Hall of Fame in 1996.

EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame

Edgar Lesher
Edgar Lesher (EAA #4077), a longtime member of EAA Chapter 113, was a distinguished aviation teacher and engineer. He joined the University of Michigan's Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1942, and through his teaching decided to begin designing airplanes. Edgar's Teal broke numerous world-record-setting flights for speed, and won many distinguished awards. He is remembered for his dedicated service as an educator and engineer who advanced the science of aircraft design. Edgar passed away in 1998.

B.J. Schramm
B.J. Schramm was the founder of RotorWay Aircraft and creator of the Scorpion and Executive kit helicopters which debuted his one-of-a-kind design that led to the Scorpion in 1967. It became the first successful kit helicopter on the market, incorporating affordability and simplicity. By 1972, 600 kits had been produced. In 1980, Schramm unveiled the Rotorway Executive, refining the building process that introduced a reliable helicopter as an achievable goal for the homebuilder. Schramm continued to be very active in the homebuilding community until his death in 2004.

International Aerobatics Club (IAC) Hall of Fame

Gene Soucy
At age 20, Gene Soucy (EAA #49266) earned a berth on the 1970 United States Aerobatic Team. As the youngest competitor, Gene placed sixth overall and helped the USA secure its first World Aerobatic Championship. But Gene is probably best known as one of the original "Red Devils" with Aerobatics Hall of Fame honorees and IAC legends Bob Heuer and Marion Cole. Later, he joined Charlie Hillard and Tom Poberezny to form the three-man team The Christen Eagles. During his aerobatic competition years, he competed on 41 occasions and won first place 20 times; and first, second, or third place 32 times.

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